Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Retreat Heaven

Just come back from a weekend away on a quilters' retreat. Great fun - although I only managed to make a batch of Christmas crackers and a mug rug! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Fremantle 3rd Placer

I've just realised that I never put a photo of my finished Fremantle quilt on the blog. It will always be one of my favourites, especially as it was inspired by a photo I took on one of my first weekends in Australia. We took the train to Fremantle and I loved the old Victorian buildings, some sadly neglected. I snapped away but somehow the row of buildings in Phillimore Street struck a chord and I always knew that photo would be made into a quilt. Seeing Jenny Bowker's lovely quilts, using kaleidoscope blocks, was the final inspiration. I've been amazed by how many people recognise the location without me giving any hints!

Saturday, 19 October 2013


It's been an exciting couple of weeks...
At the Royal Show my quilt 'Fremantle' won third prize in the traditional category and my 'Crazy Garden' quilt won third prize too, in the mainly applique section.
Now I've just heard that my quilt 'The Purple Heather' has just been chosen by the judges of QuiltWest 2013 as one of the best quilts from WA and is to be hung at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne next April.
The two words 'Competitive' and 'Quilter' don't usually go together but in my case they do! I love entering my quilts and even better, winning with them...

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Stolen Quilt Alert

This quilt was stolen from the Queensland Quilt Show yesterday between 10.30 and 11am. Please spread the word so that the quilt can be returned to it's rightful owner.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Design Wall

I dug out all my Dear Jane blocks today, to put on my design wall so that I can start to moving them around into a colour wash pattern. I haven't looked at them since August!
I'm rather pleased with my design wall as I've improved it no end... I already had the large square board covered with flannel which had leant against the wall in my old house. But when I moved I realised that there wasn't going to be enough wall space for me to attach it to. I searched all over the internet for some sort of support or room divider that I could fix it to, with no joy. Then I had a light bulb moment in IKEA when I saw a clothes rack stand for $9 and thought that would just do the job perfectly! I attached the old design wall onto the clothes rack with plenty of strong tape at the back and it works a treat.

Now it's freestanding and I can move it around easily or put it away when not in use.
It would have been even better if it had wheels though...

Back to normal

Have done very little sewing in the last month as we have just moved into our new house...
managed to get my sewing room in order quite quickly using good old Ikea! They have some very clever storage systems to choose from and I managed to get tons of stuff hidden away. It all looks a bit too tidy at the moment so I need to start making something.....

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Tiny, Tiny

 I seem to have left another fiddly block till the end.

This must surely have the smallest pieces I've ever had to hand piece!

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Dreaded Nan's Naiad...

I've been putting off piecing this block ever since a friend told me she was dreading doing it - I sort of put it to the bottom of the list since then. So when I came to the final twenty DJ blocks I decided I had to take the plunge and do it!

Strangely it was easier to do than many of the other blocks I'd made earlier on. Either my skills have improved or it really wasn't any harder.

Incidentally I have only 15 more blocks to make which means, if my math is correct, I've made 154!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

145 blocks and 2 triangles!

I swear that these blocks are reproducing overnight by themselves... or else I'm 'sleep sewing'!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Dear Jane - 137 and counting!

I keep losing count but I have 137 blocks and 2 border triangles done! 
There are some I may redo as I've been given so many different liberty fabrics by my dear quilting friends that I can ditch any blocks I don't like. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Silk Rhapsody

I have some beautiful silk fabrics in my stash which I've wanted to use in a small wall quilt for ages.
The plan is to make this a showcase for my hand quilting with large open areas for beautiful feather quilting designs. I've been pondering for months how to plan the design and couldn't think of anything that excited me, then I remembered Ricky Timms  and his gorgeous Rhapsody Quilts. Luckily I have his book for reference and went straight to the drawing board to start playing! I eventually came up with a design I liked and which would be pieceable (curves, aargh!) and today made a mock-up in vaguely the right colours. 

I need to check how big to make this quilt as I have a limited amount of fabric and do NOT want to buy more silk! Once that's decided I can go on to make full size patterns and freezer paper templates.
Hopefully it can stretch to be 50"x 50"

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Cosmic Gears

My group challenge this month was to make a 12" quilt with the theme 'Cosmic Gears'. After much cog-itation I came up with this...

The idea is the interconnection between the sun, earth and moon - how they turn in relationship to each other.
Rather deep for me but good for the over 60's brain cells!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Pesky triangles!


Have been worrying about sewing the triangles for the border of my Dear Jane quilt and decided to get over this anxiety attack by making one.  So this is my first pesky triangle! 
Actually it was much easier than most blocks because the pieces were larger. I was careful to make sure that the edges of the pieces on the outside of the triangle were cut on the straight of grain to avoid stretchy edges but otherwise it was a breeze...

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

More reminders!

No-one is letting me forget how old I am! This was my quilting group today...

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Quilt as you go

I went to a workshop today which showed us various 'quilt -as-you-go' techniques. I have always been dismissive of QAYG, thinking that this method could never be as neat as the traditional way to construct a quilt. Instead it was a revelation! 
I love the way that you can do free motion machine quilting in small pieces and sew them together afterwards rather than shoving a huge quilt through the machine.

The samples we made for reference (the quilting was just done quickly so we could get the idea)

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Big One

My Birthday today and it's a big one. I've been trying to ignore it but all my quilting friends have kept reminding me all week!
Got some fun presents from quilting friends in the UK and Oz inc some much needed Liberty fabrics for DJ....

Monday, 22 July 2013

Still lots to do...

I decided to put my blocks in order on my design wall so that I could see what I still need to do. I have 106 blocks done and 63 to go. Looking at the photo it looks worse than that!
In the finished quilt I intend to position the blocks in a colour wash fashion and adding the narrow sashings between the blocks will improve the look. Happy days!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Dear Jane hits a century!

100 blocks done!!!

Have taken all the blocks down from my wall so that I can count them.. It's so easy to get muddled and forget which blocks I've already done.  
I've also decided to make all the DJ blocks instead of substituting others for the blocks I don't like. I've seen some of the ugly blocks made in different fabrics which look so much better than in the original quilt. This just shows that fabric choice makes a huge difference to the look of a block...

I've also cut out all the unpieced triangles so that I don't run out of any of the different prints and have a good balance of colours.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Screen printing

Had a fun day at my contemporary quilt group last week.. We had a go at screen printing using thermofax screens and I see a whole new way to use up any spare time I might have! I saw a great blog about making your own screens which I will put on my blog roll soon...

  The possibilities are endless!!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Fibonacci Challenge

I made a mini quilt today for my group challenge - a 12" x 7" rectangle ( Fibonacci ratio) with the theme  'F'. I had an image of a Fibonacci fossil which I thought would fit the bill and then rediscovered some fabric that I had hand dyed years ago and never knew what to do with. It had a spiral in the centre and was perfect for the job. I'm quite pleased with the result.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Carried Away!

Have been beavering away at my DJ blocks and have now made 72!
I admit to leaving all my chores till last and doing too much sewing but I just can't seem to stop. I cut out and prepare a number of blocks in advance so that I have work ready to take out with me then can't wait to sew them together. Hopeless!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

First 20...

Have decided to post my blocks in groups of 20 to avoid boring everyone to death! It will also help me keep track of progress and breaks the project into manageable junks. So here is the first  20!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

More babies!


15 blocks! I know this will get tedious but I can't help posting the new offspring...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

'Dear Angela'

Last night I went to my guild's business meeting for a talk by Angela Davis who has made a beautiful 'Dear Jane' quilt. It was really inspiring and great to hear about the maker's journey.

She also used Liberty Fabrics but made each block in a different one! That's maybe a step too far for me.

Using the 'quilt as you go'  method meant that the quilt was as beautiful on the back as the front.

Here's a close up of the blocks that shows the clever colour wash across the top.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Ten blocks...

Slow but sure.... have now made ten blocks and cut three more ready to go. They really are relaxing to make rather than slaving over a sewing machine!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


My 'Purple Heather' quilt won second place in the All Traditional Professional category at QuiltWest Show today!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tiny pieces

This is becoming addictive! I'm about to sew a DJ block with tiny, tiny triangles and the section in the photo is only the central bit, measuring 3" finished. I want to hand sew all the blocks but may change my mind later on!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Dear Jane ...


I had a pile of lovely Liberty fabric acquired over the years but could never decide what to do with it. I recently saw blocks that a friend was making in reds and whites from the 'Dear Jane' book and thought that I could use my Liberty fabrics to make a smaller version (the original historic quilt uses 225 tiny blocks!). But now everyone assumes I've started on the whole thing with encouraging remarks so I can't chicken out now! Also another friend has just started the 'Nearly Insane' quilt - a similar historic quilt of 98, slightly larger but more intricate, blocks than the 'Dear Jane' quilt. Add to that, we are rather a competitive pair and so I suspect the race is on!
I always love making small blocks and miniatures and am enjoying the hand sewing ... 5 down and only 220 to go !

Sunday, 12 May 2013

iPad stand

This is getting out of hand... I found this little item on a link from 'The Quilt Show'. It's designed by TeresaDownUnder and is perfect!

I made it using the same fabrics I used for the iPad case so I have a matching set!
Rather than use a stone inside for weight I used six of my husband's golf balls ( he'll never miss them) and was worried that the stand might not be stable but it works perfectly.
I can use it for typing, reading and drawing without having to hold onto the iPad and strain my wrists!

I even have a place to keep my stylus!

Thanks to TeresaDownUnder for sharing her talents.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

All ready to go!

Panic over! Have managed to get my quilt entries finished, labelled and bagged ready for QuiltWest - hand over is next Wednesday ready for the show the following week. It always seems as if I am putting my children in for an examination ...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

AQC Melbourne

I've been busy lately, firstly with a wonderful week at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne, then a break away in Metricup, near Margaret River and now am having a last minute panic getting my QuiltWest entries ready for next week.

I went to the AQC 2013 with three friends, Julie, Carol and Brenda and we signed up for the whole 'Gold Delegate' experience - we stayed at a hotel five minutes away from the venue and had an action packed five days.

We certainly got our money's worth as gold delegates - a welcome cocktail party, two evenings of talks by US tutors, four days of workshops and a gala dinner at the end of it. We were also privileged to have an early bird entry to the vendors and quilt show before the riff-raff were allowed in! Added to that we had constant teas and coffee and a packed snack bag and buffet lunch each day.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that we are going back again next year for the 10th Anniversary of AQC.

The Exhibition Building was an incredible venue and inspiration for future quilts...

I took a three day workshop with Jenny Bowker ('Triptych') which was a design workshop and spent 2 days making a plan for a three panel quilt and only started sewing on the final day! At least I have masses of ideas and plans to go on with. Jenny was a great teacher and it was an honour to see some of her stunning quilts close up.

On the fourth day I took a machine quilting class with Deborah Louie and somehow she managed to get me sewing feathers and flowers by the end of it...

 The talks were by David Taylor and Judy Coates Perez, both from the USA.

All in all it was a great week but we were exhausted by the end of it!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

iPad cover

I bought my first iPad last week and I'm loving it! I bought it originally to use as a design aid for my quilting, especially for the AQC workshops in April. The best App ever is 'Noteshelf' where you can produce notebooks, scan fabric/ text, add photos, drawings, sketch using a myriad of pens, brushes and crayons - the possibilities are endless.

Coincidentally I opened my new issue of 'Quilter's Companion' magazine and found a pattern for an iPad cover - it just had to be made. The measurements were spot on for a perfect fit. I really love it!


Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wish this was mine...

Yes, you can tell by my unrelaxed stance that this isn't my long arm machine - it belongs to a friend.

Thought it would be easier too - I started well and then on the last three rows my stitches got worse and worse until I noticed a slight clicking sound. On further investigation I discovered that the stitch regulator sensor had come adrift!
So that meant unpicking the stitches for the second time (I had previously decided that  the work done on my Janome wasn't good enough..)

I could have hand quilted it by now!

Sunday, 17 February 2013


I decided to get a move on with my Fremantle picture quilt - It's something I've being trying to do since arriving in Perth.
I have a free programme on my computer (Quilt Assistant) which enables you work on your own photos to create pieced quilts. You have to do all the work of dividing the photo into sewing-able sections yourself but then it will make the templates and the plans ready to print out.
It took a lot of patience as I had to cut out each template, each piece of fabric and then machine it all together which took hours! I almost gave up a couple of weeks ago as it became such a struggle to fit it all together well - It still looks rather wonky on the photo but hopefully I will be able to straighten the sections when I machine quilt it. I plan to add pieced kaleidoscope blocks around this section with the colours blending through to make the finished wall quilt measure about 40"x50". It looks better from a distance!
Dare I say 'Never Again' ?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

'Quilt of the Day'

Just heard my 'Purple Heather' quilt has been chosen as 'Quilt of the Day' by 'The Quilt Show'! That's the second time in a month one of my quilts has been chosen... .

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

French General Fabrics

Just basted a quilt for a friend who used 'French General' fabrics by Moda in a pretty nine patch design. It looks great and is all ready for her to hand quilt.
I'm going to start working on a UFO instead so no quilting for me for a while ......