Friday, March 20, 2015

Long time, no blog and no really good excuse! So much has happened since I last wrote.
2014 was such an exciting year for me starting with the release of my book,'Of Needle, Thimble and Thread' which was published by Quiltmania in February. As a result of this I travelled to Nantes, France, in April to be with my quilts which were on display, sign books and teach at Pour L'Amour  du Fil which is hosted by Qjuiltmania.  In October some of my quilts were then featured in a special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and I was lucky enough to travel to Houston to sign books, deliver a lecture and demonstrate Broderie Perse during festival. After Houston, I taught at The Quilt Merchant in Chicago, Inspirations Patchwork in Hills, Iowa and The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska. It was a dream come true for me and I didn't want to come home.
My friend Virginia, with whom I travelled, and I were lucky enough to stay with Margo Krager for our last 2 nights in the US. We spent 2 lovely evenings looking through Margo's fabric sample books dating back to the 18th century and we thoroughly enjoyed 2 days 'playing' in her shop, 'Reproduction Fabrics', where we were easily entertained sifting through a drawer of Dargate fabric scraps from bygone treasures and drooling over the wonderful shelves of reproduction fabrics, all arranged according to era.
Margo topped off my stay in the US by asking me to design and make a quilt using her new, upcoming fabric range, 'Dargate Treasury' by Andover. Of course I couldn't say no to that request! I left Margo, and America, complete with the Skus card for the Dargate Treasury fabric range and I have spent much time since pondering over a design that would do these beautiful fabrics justice.
The inspiration for my central block is the design on a 60 year old dinner set owned by my Mother- in-law and, in particular, the tea cup and saucer from this set in which she served me a cup of tea on Christmas Day. This block features an appliqué basket with Broderie Perse flowers and butterflies. These have been mostly cut from the floral feature stripe border fabric of Dargate Treasury. This central block will be surrounded by a series of pieced and plain borders featuring all the fabrics from the range. The quilt will travel to America for Spring Market and the pattern will be available, after May, on my website,
Enjoy and I hope you like it!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vanity Fair Borders

I mentioned in my last posting that I had modified my design for the Vanity Fair quilt due to my tennis elbow and the time restraints for publication of the magazine. I had completed 3 of the applique borders which were in my original design, but, I was unable to complete the whole quilt which was a more accurate reproduction of the antique quilt. I thought I would share with you some images from these borders. Keep in mind that the corner appliques on the border do not appear as they are to be worked once the borders are attached to the quilt centre ---but--- there isn't a centre now as I used it in the finished quilt. I will have to remake it...slightly tweaked I think. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vanity Fair Quilt

Yesterday I finally finished writing the pattern for my Vanity Fair  quilt and posted both the pattern and the finished quilt to Clare at Quilters Companion Magazine. Late 2009 Clare asked me if I would like to design and make a quilt for the magazine like I did previously with Fairhaven. She gave me the choice of 4 or 5 fabric ranges and Vanity Fair won my heart. I designed the quilt, inspired by one of the 2 antique quilts which Nancy Gere owns, and from which she designed the fabric range. Unfortunately along the way I developed tennis elbow, (from too much rotary cutting!) which lead to a modified design and me taking much longer to finish the quilt. I hope you like it. Unfrotunately the photo really doesn't show off the fabrics or the detail of the quilt very well. I bought up big on the range once it arrived in our shops and hope to one day have enough fabric to make my original design.    
The pattern will be available in Quilters Compnion Magazine in either the September or November edition.           

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gatton in May

Last weekend I travelled to Gatton in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland, to once again teach at Gatton in May. This area is where the devestating floods hit on January 10th this year. The community around this area has really been hit by the loss of houses and friends and there are still children going to school who have nowhere they can really call home and none of the possessions they owned, including clothes, before this date.
The organiser of Gatton in May, Gail, drove me around the area to show me what was left following this devestation. Her own brother had been swept away by the water, without warning. He was lucky enough to be plucked from a tree top, however, not before his home has been washed away - the roof 2 kms away and the rest of his home 3kms. It was only in the past few weeks that his wallet has been dug up from the debris that became his property.
It is hard to comprehend the height that the water reached - in one spot in Gatton it lapped about 4 storeys high at the rear the Aged Care Facility. There is still a little green house in Grantham that reminded me of a children's book I used to read to my four children when they were small called The Little Wobbly House. That is exactly how this house looked. The whole building was on a lean. Around the corner from it there is still a car up a tree. Gail exclaimed that it had falled down the tree from where it had originally rested since she had last driven by. I was told that there was no communication during this period and parts of the community were cut off, even if they weren't flooded. It must have been horrific not knowing whether your family had survived or not and being reliant of the army to drop off food from a helicopter.
I'm sure the people in this area would still welcome any assistance from outside. Sew Creative in Gatton has donated a large number of quilts to people and more would certainly not go astray. I can't imagine what it must be like to not have a needle and thread to sew on a stray button, not to mention any quilting supplies at all.

Gatton in May is 3 days of workshops with 3 tutors each teaching different techniques. On the Friday I taught my new quilt "Gatton Stars". This was my version of a quilt which was designed for me to teach on May 27th. Each tutor made their own version of the quilt which used English Paper Piecing, taught by Sue Daley, Foundation piecing taught by Karen Styles and template piecing and fussy cutting which I taught. My quilt used a paisley fabric which I fussy cut to obtain different effects within the stars. It was great fun to make because, until it was cut and laid out, I was unsure how it was going to look.

The pattern and templates for Gatton Stars will be available on my website within the next week or I can be contacted via email to purchase them. The pattern costs $24 and the templates are available as 2 sets: the centre star templates are $20 and the Le Moyne and Blazing Star template set will cost $22.50 plus postage.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Louisa - Corrupting the innocent!

Yesterday, Kirstie ran out of Harry Potter books to read and will have to wait until we return home to start book 5. The boys were out fishing and it was just Kirstie and me home so she decided to venture into Louisa and hopefully a love of patchwork that will continue for years to come.
I cut out the background squares for her as I don’t have a full sized rotary cutting mat and I didn’t want either of us to carve up someone else’s dining room table.

Kirstie traced the design onto the background fabric after a lesson in centring the design on the fabric and use of the light box.

Then the moment of truth! I had to remember how to do stem stitch after many years of not doing it. Kirstie set out and Googled it and came across a YouTube video....of course, when unsure, Google it! Do we knot the thread to begin with or not?? We did! I must say when Kirstie starts something she is very determined to master it and finish it.  Mid afternoon, block 1 of Louisa was finished.

Before she went off to bed block 2 was also finished and blocks 3 & 4 are traced onto the fabric and ready to go.

When the boys walked into the house after fishing a collective groan went up. Oh no! She’s just like her mother!
 As I write this Kirstie is sitting opposite me stitching away while her older sister is asleep on the couch having just returned from a school language trip to Malaysia. One corrupted and one to go......maybe??? I'm not sure Alyssa will be as easy to convince...or corrupt!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Hello and welcome to my Blog which has been long in the contemplating despite heaps of encouragement from my sewing friends, in particular Barb & Noleen. Thanks girls for your persistence!
I am currently on holidays with my family in Merimbula on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales. The view from the house is spectacular as can be seen from the photo below. This is what I have to contend with when I glance up from my sewing. Actually there is more glancing at the view than sewing most of the time.

My youngest daughter, Kirstie, who is 12, has been asking if she can make a Louisa quilt for some time now. Last week we visited Mandeni Needlecraft, just out of Merimbula to buy supplies for the quilt and I emailed the pattern to the local print shop for printing. Armed with the fabric, embroidery thread for the red work, a hoop and needles we headed home to start her quilt. Kirstie then decided to read Harry Potter again and she is now up to the forth book. Needless to say the Louisa supplies are still in the bag.
Mandeni is a beautiful shop with a section for patchwork but the main part of the shop consists of Needlecrafts in every option available. There is cross stitch, tapestries, crewel, wool embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, stump work..... The lovely thing is that all around the shop are finished projects to inspire and coerce. I was very good on my visit this time. Last time I was there I was pregnant with Kirstie and half the shop went home with me. For the moment I’m over wool embroidered baby blankets with sculptured velour teddies! If you’re ever in the area, Mandeni is well worth a visit, just be careful of the kangaroos hopping across the road on the way in and out!