31 July 2009

My latest project

If you don't already subscribe to the online version of Down Under Quilts magazine (and why don't you? It's free!) you can click on the image below to see the contents of the August issue. My latest project, Sunshine on Roses, is on the cover and the instructions are included. The quilt was machine quilted by the wonderful Kim Bradley. I love curved quilting patterns on square blocks!

Look Inside

29 July 2009


Is that a real word? It should be because it describes the most gorgeous movie, Cheri. The story line is slight and I didn't like the actor who played Cheri, but... Michelle Pfeiffer is divine, the costumes are superb, the architecture is stunning and the gardens are gorgeous.
It is such a visually sumptuous movie with designs from the Belle Epoch period in France. Look out for Lea's house and the design on the side of her bath tub. Sigh. Just beautiful.

27 July 2009


Let's just ignore yesterday. Saturday's sunshine disappeared and it was grey, damp and cold all day. We sat in the warmth and watched the Swans on television - they played in Canberra where it was 8 degrees - and were thankful that we weren't at the ground. Ok, we won the game but it was one of the most tedious games I have ever viewed. Neither entertaining nor skilful.
So let's rejoice that the sunshine is back in Sydney today. I've been hand quilting my Feathered Star and enjoying the sunny and bright colours. Yellow + pink = cheeriness!

26 July 2009

Victorian Quilt Showcase

I didn't travel to Melbourne for the Victorian Quilters' Quilt Showcase exhibition this past week, but I can still see the prize-winning quilts. Well, at least photos of them! Have a peek - there are some stunning ones on the website.

25 July 2009

Winter in Sydney

It doesn't get better than this. Glorious sunshine, cool temperatures, morning coffee with a friend and this stunning wattle tree in full flower. Winter in Sydney is all good.

22 July 2009


I started making quilts before rotary cutters were invented. Don't laugh - it's true. Since then, I have acquired a small collection of them. This is the one that I use the most at present - the wonderful Olfa 28mm cutter. With this, I cut all the pieces for the Feathered Star quilt I showed earlier in the week.

Sadly, rotary cutters do not cut through metal pins. Funny, that. My cutter acquired a tiny, tiny nick (I need to put on my specs to see it), which necessitated a trip to the shop for a new blade. Now I'm cutting like a wild woman again.

21 July 2009

Selvedge tulip tutorial

Remember this postcard-sized quilt I made last year? If you've been collecting selvedges and would like to start sewing them on a small project, check out my tutorial on SEWN.

Don't forget to send photos of your selvedge projects to Sarah at SEWN - we'd all love to see them. Beware, though - you might become addicted to using selvedges in all your projects!

19 July 2009

Ooh stripes!

Yay! I've finished adding the borders to this small quilt. I confess I adore the stripes and love the optical effect of the mitred corners.
Now to start the quilting...

17 July 2009

Look at me!

Well, not me exactly, but my quilt - on the cover of the August issue of Down Under Quilts. Doesn't it look great against those lovely lime green, yellow and white colours on the cover?

My quilt is called Sunshine on Roses and it is really simple to machine piece. I made it with yellow and pink fabrics that I've been collecting for years, but I think it would also look fabulous in my current colour obsession - lime green and blue. Mmmm...there's an idea!

I'm sure you'll be able to buy this in the shops very soon. Alternatively, you can sign up for a free digital subscription here.

Now I am working on my next quilt and, yes, it's lime green and blue!

16 July 2009

Studio envy

Yesterday I visited Lisa and immediately started salivating over her new studio. (It's ok, I didn't leave any obvious drool marks on the beautiful timber floor.) Lisa has arranged to knock down a wall between two rooms and has totally refurbished the area. It is wonderful! Here are a couple of pictures of the new area.

The space was full of the most gorgeous fabrics and beads. Honestly, you haven't seen beads until you've seen Lisa's collection - it is container after container full of the most beautiful colours.!)

She and Peter were busy packing for the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Show next week, but the two of us escaped to a local Vietnamese restaurant for a yummy lunch after we folded a pile of hand-dyed fat quarters. Tough life, isn't it?

It started us thinking though - wouldn't it be fantastic to have Lisa teach workshops in her studio? Wouldn't you like to drool here too? Let Lisa know if you are interested in this because I know she'd love to show off her new space and share her skills at the same time! (and tell her I sent you - I might get allowed to fold fat quarters again!

14 July 2009

New silk paper book

Ooh, this book is scrumptious! Silk paper for textile artists by Sarah Lawrence is a very useful addition to my library. I've already incorporated my handmade silk paper in ATCs and a couple of journal quilts, but this book has opened my eyes to new ways to embellish it.
There is a very informative chapter about working with silk, where the different types of raw silk are explained and instructions are given for dyeing silk. Then there are four chapters on methods - the iron method, the medium method, the stitched method and weaving and overdyeing rods.
Lots to absorb and interesting ideas for future playing.
For Sue: The book is published in Australia by Sally Milner Publishing. ISBN is 9781863514125.

13 July 2009

Welcome Cecile to blogland

Another friend has succumbed to the lure of blogging! Pop over and say hello to Cecile, who owns Unique Stitching, the source of wonderfully fun products for arty textiles. She has been dyeing over the past few days and shows how she dyes silk batts. I'm sure she'd appreciate a comment or two!

12 July 2009

Thanks Barry

It was a sad day at the footy yesterday as we all said thanks and goobye to Barry Hall. If you know anything about the Sydney Swans, you know the background story and if you don't, well you probably won't care.
Barry was a fantastic player for our team over the past seven years. Thanks for the memories Barry and good wishes for your future.
To make the day even sadder, we lost the game against Essendon. That probably means we won't play in the finals this year.
And it was seriously cold in the stands. Not a good day, really.

11 July 2009

Australian quilt history

I have previously blogged about a recently-published book, The Fabric of Society. I was very pleased to catch up with the author, Annette Gero recently at the Sydney Quilt Show and to pass on my admiration for the scope of her book.

Imagine how thrilled I was to read an exclusive interview with Annette in the July issue of Down Under Quilts magazine. The interview is three pages, plus three of the quilts from the book (and their stories) are featured on following pages. Fascinating reading and highly recommended.

10 July 2009


Just talk amongst yourselves for a short time while I have a quick panic attack. I have five articles plus one set of project instructions to write within the next four weeks. Breathe in, breathe out...

08 July 2009


Today Deborah and I had a sewing morning, although I confess not a single stitch was taken. We were too busy arranging quilt blocks, playing with fabric, cutting selvedges, looking at new magazines, examining doilies and embroidered cloths, drinking coffee, eating banana cake, talking about article ideas and getting excited about our overseas trip.

Not that we need any encouragement to get excited, but Deborah had purchased some fun accessories for us to take along.

The gorgeous plastic voodoo shape is actually a baggage label from Smiggle - name and address details are on the back of the label. How cute is this? Mine, of course, has blue features while Deborah opted for pink ones.

My bag tag lolls on the cover of an Amy Butler journal. Not only is the cover made with laminated Amy Butler fabric, but each page has motifs from Amy's fabrics as well. Absolutely perfect for jotting down - well, absolutely anything! Writing on the first page of any new journal is the difficult part, so I will start using this book soon.

On the way home I dropped into Material Obsession to buy more of the lavender/green spotted fabric for my current quilt. It was difficult to stay focused and not to swoon over all the new fabrics while I talked to Kathy and Bundle but I managed (just).

A perfect day, as I dodged the heavy showers.

07 July 2009

Wrapping up

It's very cold here today, so cold that visiting knitter Magda Sayeg plans to cover parts of Sydney with guerilla knits next week. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Magda, the founder of Knitta Please, is in Australia to take part in a festival of knitting events in Canberra and open a Soft Sculpture exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Wish she'd come here and knit a cosy cover for my house...

06 July 2009

Different spots

Lovely lavender background with lime green spots. This will make the quilt look very spring-like, I think.

02 July 2009

Love those Prairie Points

Some years ago, a friend gave me this silk cushion cover she bought in Thailand. Not only is it in various shades of blue (my friends know me well!) but it is also decorated with rows of tiny Prairie Points. These little folds of multiple fabrics add lots of texture to the design. I love the way they face inwards. Most examples on quilts I have seen have the points facing away from the centre. Interesting design idea...

01 July 2009

Dyad exhibition

Today is the first day of a new exhibition of textiles, paintings and sculpture by friends Nic Bridges and Janine Matthews. The opening is on Friday night. Both very talented artists, Nic and Janine will, no doubt, display works that will wow us.

Dyad is at Contemporary Artspace, 255 Keira St Woollongong until 12 July.

PS: I like to change my blog header occasionally. This one has a soothing winter feel, I think.