29 June 2014

Another Gwen fix

Hooray! Finally, my copy of Gwen Marston's latest book, Minimal Quiltmaking, is here. 

The book I ordered never arrived and I fretted for weeks, thinking I would have to pay for another copy. The lovely people at Book Depository said no, we'll send you a replacement, and here it is!

When Gwen was in Sydney this time last year, she showed us the quilt that's on the cover (she also revealed that she had just received the contract for the book). Stark in its minimalism, it sums up her philosophy.

These words from Gwen resonate with me.
 As you experiment with the construction tehniques I offer, remember that there are lots of ways to do almost everything, and I encourage you to alter my ideas to suit yourself. One size does nor suit all, and it's up to each of us to find the way we prefer to work. If you have an easier way to do somrthing, be my guest.

You will enjoy your work more and do a betterjob if you are working within your own comfort zone. As I have often said, "None of us is making quilts to add just a little more stress to our lives."

Agreed! Go forth and sew!

24 June 2014

A jolt of colour

It's going to be such a windy, gloomy day here today! I know that I am in need of some bright colour to cut through all that grey - what about you?

This glorious flower is one of many on my Zygocactus plants. The shimmer makes the hot pink colour almost look iridescent, doesn't it? I look forward to these plants flowering every year. With flowers like that, they aren't difficult to spot in the garden.

Generating a colour palette from this photo was fun. I used Color Palette FX to create this range of colours. A quilt with these selections would look fabulous. Why don't you try to create your own colour palette from a favourite photo? It might be just that colour jolt you need at this time of year.

22 June 2014

Celebrate the winter solstice

If we live in a city, it's easy for us to lose contact with the seasons and the natural passing of time. That's why I always like to celebrate the growth and decline in my garden - it's my way of staying in touch with our Earth.

Yesterday was the winter solstice in my part of the world - the shortest day of the year and, obviously, the longest night of the year.
The word solstice is from the Latin - sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The winter solstice has been thought of as a stillness before the Sun's strength builds and days grow longer.

This small quilt of mine reminds me of winter, although we never experience the sort of cold that results in snowflakes.   

I always find this time of the year good for reflecting on the things I observe around me. I'm just back from a long walk around my neighbourhood and feel soother after seeing the leaves changing colour and smelling the damp earth. 

How did you celebrate the winter solstice?

21 June 2014

Saturday survey

I know that many of you who read this blog are quilt makers, so this question is for you!

There are so many ways to make quilts. To get to know each other better, let's each vote on our favourite technique. You may not necessarily always create with this technique - let's face it, we all like to try different methods from time to time - but what's your go-to technique for most of your work?

You probably already know which one I'll be voting for but, if you don't, look out next week when I'll reveal all.

19 June 2014

Glory days

There's one tree that stands out in all its glory in winter. My crepe myrtle is in the process of losing its leaves for the season but, before it does, this stunning colour appears.

This is a photo I took last year but, as I gaze out my window, I can see the tree is just as stunning today.

I have never regretted planting this tree. It brings me (and my neighbourhood) bursts of colour each season - huge branches of flowers in summer, colouring leaves in autumn and winter, and unfurling new leaf growth in spring. The bark is also a joy, as it peels off the trunk to reveal fresh 'skin'. Glory days.

17 June 2014

Textiles Tuesday

Yay - it's Tuesday again! Here are SIX links for you to explore this week.

* Do you have a pile of fabric scraps? Use free Star Scrap Happy block instructions from Pat Sloan to make a lovely scrap quilt.

* Jane Davidson shows how to stitch a Hexagon Star Flower block without sewing 'Y' seams.

* Crochet lovers alert! Sandra from Cherry Heart has unveiled her new site, Crochet Corner, where you can find lots of useful crochet information, tutorials, tips and tricks.

* Fancy a mystery crochet adventure? 'Who's in your closet?' starts 1 July. 

* 14 June – 27 July: PETITE: Miniature Textiles exhibition, Wangaratta, VIC.

* Have you heard about 'A Letter a Week'? It's an annual project that began in 2010 and is primarily about having fun, experimenting and having a regular, small project to focus on each week.

15 June 2014

Do you wash fabric before sewing it: poll results

Last week's poll provided some interesting answers. Here are the results of your votes:

Are you surprised? I guess whether you wash your fabric depends on the type you buy and your intended purpose. I am strongly in the in the 'Always' camp.

Into the washing machine they go before I handle them. I have ALWAYS washed before use, not because I'm fearful of dye running but simply because I don't know where the fabric has been.

I don't know what chemicals have been used in making the cloth; I don't know where it's been stored and I don't know what it has encountered in its travels. After seeing the way some customers touch fabric in shops, I don't want their DNA on it, either!

So there's NO WAY I will allow myself to cut and sew with it until it has a thorough wash in my machine (none of that wussy dipping and rinsing business) and dries outside in the sunshine. Only then I will start fondling it!

Washing small pieces and strips is easier if you pop them in a lingerie bag before putting them in the machine. That way they don't get tangled up with other things. Yes, it does require some trimming of threads and careful pressing to get these small pieces ready to sew but I'd rather do that than sew with unwashed fabric.

Anyway, that's my opinion. What's yours?

11 June 2014

Colour palette of the day

I'm just popping in quickly to share my colour palette, taken from a photo of the epiphyllum in my garden.

I love a hit of colour in my day - what about you?

10 June 2014

Textiles Tuesday

Here's your regular fix of links to interesting textile-related items. There are EIGHT for you to explore this time.

* Did you know? World Wide Knit in Public Day has been expanded to a week! Dates: 14 - 22 June 2014. What do you have planned?

* Enjoy the stunning Broken Star quilts on Barbara Brackman's blog.

* Jinny Beyer has designed an exotic rainbow of fabrics for her Malam Batiks collection. Gorgeous!

* Do you like Prairie Points on quilts? In this article on Craftsy, Rachael shows you how to give your quilt that special edge with Prairie Point binding.

* Call for entries: Art on Legs

* Until 13 July at Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman, NSW: Indonesian textiles from the collection of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter.

* Tips for textile care from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

* Do you want to learn how to use silk tops to make silk paper for use in your textile works? Let me show you how! 

Do you have link you'd like to share? Please leave the details in a comment. 

09 June 2014

Blog culling

I've just spent some time deleting blogs from my Feedly list. I've only looked at blogs from A - C so far but I've culled 54 blogs!

Sadly, most of these blogs were defunct. Maybe the owners have moved them to a different platform or lost interest in them or, perhaps, the owners are no longer alive.
Do you have a blog you no longer update? 

If you don't plan to add to your blog regularly (at least once a month is a reasonable expectation, don't you think?), could you consider completely deleting it?

It's sad to think of the masses of dead blogs cluttering cyberspace.
Meanwhile, I'll continue with my culling...

08 June 2014


New fabric alert! 

Thanks to Sarah, I have a bundle of her new fabric before it is released in the shops - how lucky am I?

Enchanted by Sarah Fielke

It's available for wholsale ordering now, so ask your local quilt shop to place an order. You will definitely want these pretty designs when they are on sale in July. 

Enchanted is from Windham Fabrics and the Australian supplier is Leutenegger. Check out the full range here.

Meanwhile, I'm playing with my pieces. What to make, what to make?

07 June 2014

Saturday survey

Hello! This week, I have a simple question for you: do you wash your fabric before sewing it?

Share your opinion by choosing one of these answers and please add a comment if you want to say more! I have a strong prefence, but you'll have to wait until next Friday to discover why I feel that way.

This poll will close next Thursday and I will post the results on Friday. Thanks for visiting!

06 June 2014

Poll results - do you read blogs...

Thanks to each one of you who voted in my first poll. What fun I've had watching the results come in! Can you guess which percentage relates to each answer?

  Daily - I can't help myself

  Irregular - whenever I have time

   Weekly - it's my regular treat 

I confess I'm a daily reader of blogs. I gather them together (currently there are 702 but, of course, not every one blogs every day) using Feedly and review them each morning while I eat breakfast. It's an inspirational start to the day!

Don't forget you can add my blog to your feed using Feedly or Bloglovin', by clicking on the appropriate link on the left-hand side of this page. It would be great to have you as a subscriber!

Please pop back tomorrow, when I'll have another question for you. Thanks for joining the fun! 

03 June 2014

Textiles Tuesday

Here are this week's links - SEVEN of them for you to explore.

* Twenty books on textile design you may not have seen before.

 * Read about War & Peace ~ The Men’s Knitting Project , set up to commemorate the Anzac Centenary in April 2015 in Australia. The knitted samplers will be joined together to form a large knitted wall hanging that will be displayed at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery’s exhibition to mark the Centenary in April, 2015.

* Crochet alert! Fabulous crochet patterns available from Sarah London. 

* New! Australian Craft Industry Awards. Vote for your favourite craft retailer. 

* See a grid, then cross stitch! Check out the the way fences have been decorated by Urban X Stitch. 

* This is a neat idea! Tablet or laptop cover from a padded envelope - project by Kerris McLiver.  

* Sarai from Coletterie has set up a very useful method for storing, recording and searching her sewing patterns. Her method could also be used for knitting, crochet or quilt patterns, too.  

02 June 2014

This is fun

Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll or left a comment. I'm enjoying it so much that I will post a new question regularly.

Would Saturdays be good? I'll keep each poll open until Thursday each week, show results on Friday and then ask a new question on Saturday. Please share this with your friends!