Friday, 29 January 2010

Quilt Name Featured

A while ago one of the online group Scquilters, Linda Robertus, asked for help in naming her quilt (below) which she had made entirely from selvedges mostly sent to her by others after she requested more. My suggestion of "Salvaged Selvedges" won and Linda sent me a fabric post card as a prize. In the latest edition (Issue 139)of Down Under Quilts magazine, selvedge quilts and items are featured. Many would have seen the items at the Craft Fair at Melbourne Showgrounds. I got a thrill to see that the name of Linda's quilt was used in the heading for the magazine story.

Here are pics of the postcard Linda sent me.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Wonderful Holiday

My family and I are just back from a wonderful ten day holiday on the Gold Coast of Queensland. We like to stay in an apartment at Broadbeach as it is a little quieter than Surfers Paradise. Every day was fine and nothing under 30 degrees C so it was perfect for swimming and body boarding. We caught up with my brother's family who stayed nearby and my husband's sister and brother-in-law who live in a leafy suburb near the theme parks.

My cousins came down for two days from Brisbane and we went up to Brisbane for lunch one day with my husband's mother and step father. Below is a pic of the fruit platter which was half of the dessert ... the other half was a delicious trifle which was already nearly gone by the time I got the camera out! It was great to see everyone and the cousins had lots of fun hanging out together.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Next Quilting Project

My next quilting project is a Kaffe Fassett "Snowballs" pattern - there are 1066 of these tiny 1.5 inch squares but they are all cut out now and the first row of snowballs has been sewn. While the pic shows mostly burgundy and plum colours the dominant colours are gold, rust, red and browns. It is a quilt my son picked to update his room when he has a paint makeover from blues to mocha and red soon.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Garden friends

The flowering of agapanthus in Melbourne telegraphs to me the end of the school year and the approach of Christmas - one of my favourite times of the year. We have several purple and a couple of white ... all struck from the same big plant that was here when we bought the house and may date back to the 1950's. They are just starting to die off now.
Our vegetable patch which is looking healthy and producing loads of lebanese cucumber and zucchini. Beans are just starting, tomatoes are all green and there's quite a bit of rhubarb and herbs. We have finished picking apricots and Santa Rosa plums and are fighting the birds for the Satsuma (blood) plums.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Another book

This is the third of my books that I chose at Christmas time. It is "Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter" by Katie Pasquini Masopust. I have just started reading it and the design lessons are very intriguing. Many are taken from nature photo details. The lessons explore shape, lines, details, repetition, painting, linear reflections and freeze frame. Then there are lessons on translating design to pattern, construction and finishing.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Christmas Gift

My brother and sister-in-law gave me this gorgeous set of six ceramic bowls at Christmas. They are labelled "Casauno" and have a Japanese feel about them. I really like them! At the moment I'm just admiring them, I'm not sure how I will use them. I do have a blue and white Indian tablecloth that they will look pretty against.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Quilt Memories

Here is my most recent finished quilt. This is a cot or lap sized quilt. Bright isn't it! The blocks came from a Southern Cross Quilters (my online group) 9-patch swap where the theme fabric was Amy Butler (with some Kaffe Fassett thrown in). I sorted the 9-patches I received into two groups, basically bright and pastel. The additional fabrics came from "In Stitches of Williamstown". It remained a top for a while as I had no recipient in mind ... then friend Louise invited me to go with her to a hand quilting with Perle thread class at Amitie. This was a wonderful relaxed and informative class, we learnt all about batting, needles, threads and quilting and were itching to get started on our own projects. I used four shades of perle 8 and did a lot of the stitching during the national mountain bike orienteering weekend at Mt Gambier and watching the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars race (a family tradition). I particularly liked the way the circles and cable turned out.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jelly Roll Quilt Top Completed

Here is my first Jelly Roll Quilt top finished. It was started at my group Connected Quilters' retreat at Sewjourn in December and borders added yesterday in the heat. The pattern for the blocks is called "churn dash" and the fabrics were from Moda's "Nest" range. Now I will have to ponder a quilting design - all over or custom?

A jelly roll contains full width 2 1/2 inch wide strips of every fabric in a range, usually 40 strips and there are many books and patterns available for making quilts from them. The jelly roll came from one of my favourite shops (Ballarat Patchwork) and the background, sashing and backing from another favourite (GJ's Discount Fabrics).

Monday, 11 January 2010

Excellent Book

"Intuitive Color and Design - Adventures in Art Quilting" by Jean Wells is the second of the three books I gave myself at Christmas. Again it was a bargain from The Book Depository. Jean creates using line, design and colour and cuts without rulers. Some of her influences were Nancy Crow and the Gee's Bend quilters. I can see that a quilter I admire, Brenda Gael Smith of Serendipity Patchwork, has probably built on Jean's work , or was it the other way around? A comment of Jean's particularly struck me as true - "a quilt is a collection of memories and life experiences" (page 9). I am encouraged to revisit my completed quilts and their memories.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Honiton Lace

A few days ago The Textile Blog topic was Honiton Lace from East Devon UK. Suddenly I remembered a little doily my husband gave me in 1984, which he had purchased during the year he spent working in Plymouth, Devon, before we were married. From the pictures I could find I am pretty sure it is Honiton Lace and it is definitely hand made not a machine copy. What a rediscovery!The Textile Blog is very interesting if you are interested in textiles in general - a new topic each day.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Last week my son and I set the course for the Tuesday night street orienteering (Western Melbourne Summer Series). We have done courses twice before but this time was extra challenging as my son drew up a new map (called "Maidstone") as well. Mapping uses special orienteering software (OCAD) as well as Melways (street guide book) templates and Google maps, plus some field work checking that reality matches the map! We had 119 people come along to do one of the four running or hour walking courses and the new map went over very well. The area is mostly residential with a number of parks and reserves and many tree lined streets. It is completely flat ... no contours to add to the map! Results, plus a lot of other information about orienteering, can be seen at

Friday, 8 January 2010

One Block Wonder Fabric?

I have had this fabric since I went on a shop hop by train with Geelong Quilters a bit over a year ago. It was earmarked for a different kind of kaleidoscope quilt based on Marti Michell's "Kaleidoscope ABCs" and her kaleido-ruler but now I am looking at it in a different light ... what do you think? It is Michael Miller's Carnival Bloom in pink/purple. Just measured and the repeat is 25" but alas I have barely five repeats and need six! Hmm ... will have to do a little online search for another metre if I want to use it.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Terrific Quilting Book

I shouted myself three books from The Book Depository (UK) for Christmas and this is my favourite. I am absolutely loving it and reading every word. My husband was even sprung reading it on New Year's day! My friend spotted it in a shop in Gisborne VIC while we were "shop hopping" on the way to our annual quilting group retreat. It is "One Block Wonders" by Maxine Rosenthal and uses the kaleidoscope and "stack and whack" ideas together. Great economy of fabric as there is no fussy cutting and artistic way of laying out the blocks.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

First Etsy Purchase

I received some cash for Christmas from my mother in law and decided to purchase online from an Etsy store I had been browsing. These two lovely fresh tea towels came from Susie at Flower Press. They are hand printed on natural coloured linen. The service was great so I could certainly recommend her.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Hand made coat hanger

Here are a couple of pics of a hand made coat hanger my crafty auntie gave me for Christmas. She made three in different colours for her "girls" - daughter and two nieces.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

More garden bounty

This time it is plums and apricots that we are picking. They are so big and luscious. Yesterday I took some to the Western Urban Orchard Swap Meet ( 211 Nicholson St, Footscray). It is held on the first Saturday of each month and is a chance for home gardeners to swap excess fruit, vegetables, herbs, seeds and even recipes and tips. There are similar swap meets around Melbourne. It was my first visit and I came home with two other kinds of plums, some herbs, a couple of home baked bread rolls, and some sunflowers. Numbers attending were a little down due to the holidays but I will definitely go again. This part of the street is quiet and there is plenty of free parking. The swap meet uses a former fruit and veg shop (Grasslands) which has tables and boxes for display of produce. For more information contact Neesh on

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Jelly Roll Quilt progress

My "Nest" jelly roll quilt is progressing. It is now a centre of twelve 16 inch blocks awaiting borders, which are cut and ready to go. I am really happy with it, love the fabric which is very retro really.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Garden Bounty

Here are just a few of the peaches from our tree this December. It is usually a good cropper ... but this time it was covered in blossom in Spring and produced a bumper crop. Not bad for a $10 K-mart investment several years ago! There'll be less next year as it is due for a good prune with some branches going up too high.