posted by on Blackwork Embroidery


Veronica came into Patch n Quilt when i was teaching there on Saturday to show Mary her blackwork embroidery.  So glad that Mary brought it into the classroom to show us.  The photos that I took did not do it justice.

It is her own design that she has been working on for two years.  She wanted to replicate a drunkard’s path patchwork quilt.  So, each  half of a square has its partner elsewhere in the piece.  And she changed the direction of each block so it wouldn’t be too uniform.  The stitching is incredible – there is so much to see, from the tiny circles to the filled in stitches.  If you can enlarge the photo please do so and see the magnificent work.

Veronica with her blackwork embroidery

Veronica with her blackwork embroidery

A close-up of the blackwork.

A close-up of the blackwork.

New Pattern Release


posted by on Melon Lime and Bitters, Miz Kelly, New Patterns


I’ve just completed two new patterns:

Melon, Lime and Bitters – This quilt is a really simple quilt with just one template – in two sizes.  But it looks oh….so…..sweet!

Miz Kelly – Named after the famed “Mary Kelly”!  Another vase and flowers quilt – because I love them so much.  I chose a different background here to my normal cream backgrounds – and I love the effect!  I used four different shades of grey – not 50 .

To see these two quilts, Mary Kelly (from Patch n Quilt) and I will be holding a special day to launch the quilts:

When:             Saturday 7th June 2014 – between 10 and 4

Where:            Patch n Quilt, 14 Prince Street, Gisborne

Some of my other quilts will also be on display with patterns for sale.

So come see us …………..

posted by on Clamshells, Patchwork Passion, Phillip Island

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My next quilt class was at Treehouse Textiles.  Now that is one beautiful shop.  I was a bit nervous driving there as my GPS kept on crashing so I was thankful that I’d left so early.  Once I got there though I was enchanted – it is set in a beautiful location with beautiful surroundings.  I have a whole lot of photos here to share.  The class was a lot of fun, Emma and Sarah were my gracious hosts, yummy lunch was served and lots of fabric came home with me.

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Progress at the end of the day

Progress at the end of the day

I love how different everyone's looks.....

I love how different everyone’s looks…..


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Lunch menu - and delicious lunch served in our own individual boxes!! Yum!

Lunch menu – and delicious lunch served in our own individual boxes!! Yum!

Jay photobombing my lunch photos!!

Jay photobombing my lunch photos!!

Photos of the shop:

Quilts in the shop;  what quilters bring to class

Quilts in the shop; what quilters bring to class

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As I was teaching at Patchwork Passion the following day I stayed in Cranbourne with my very

gracious host, Lorraine.  Again, my Sunday class was a whole lot of fun.  Teaching two different quilts can be challenging sometimes, but then life would be boring if we did the same thing all the time, wouldn’t it?

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Patchwork Passion - hexagons and beginner needleturn

Patchwork Passion – hexagons and beginner needleturn

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Once more gig after that – Phillip Island.  I was very honoured to be invited last year to submit a couple of quilts for Phillip Island.  As I said when I was introduced, it was such an honour to be asked because I know how difficult it is to get into this retreat – you have to wait for someone to “drop off the perch” to get a spot!! J This was a full-on class – teaching clamshells, but, again, it went smoothly with lots of laughter and I was sad to finish on the Sunday.  Clamshells is such an easy class for me – the method is so simple I usually say I can teach the class within half an hour and then leave.  The rest of the time we just “muck around”.

Again, I was very honoured to be asked to stay back on the Sunday night to do this class again with the other members of the Phillip Island Quilters who couldn’t make it to the retreat.  I stayed with Joan and Bill in their fabulous home on Phillip Island and had my own lovely room.  Again, this was a great class.

One of my star

One of my star pupils…………

PI 10 may class 44

I have another class this week at Patch n Quilt and something special in Ballarat on Sunday 25 May which I will talk about in my next post.

On reading through my posts I realise that I always describe my classes as “a lot of fun”.  And this is so true.  If you can’t have fun and a LOT of laughs then for me its not worth teaching.  Quilting should be fun, relaxing with a whole load of laughs!

posted by on Message in a bottle, SA Quilters


Well…… we all have these lapses don’t we?  Where we are so sure that we will make regular blog posts and then life gets in the way.  I had a great excuse there for a while – my website was down for a couple of weeks.

Anyway its been fixed but there are still a few glitches that we are trying to work out – particularly my list of stockists which grows from week to week – which of course is fantastic for me.  I now have shops in the US, Europe, England and of course Australia.  I also have customers all over the world – which makes me very very happy!

I’ve also started Instagram and am having so much fun with it – its very addictive – thanks Mary!!  A few girls on Instagram have started doing Auntie Green’s Garden and it is so much fun seeing how each of them are progressing and the very different backgrounds they are using.  It has also kept me up to date on quilt market in Pittsburg, in touch with the latest trends in fabric and all the latest designs from some fabulous designers, with the Australians being way up there – yeah!!!  It makes me very itchy to get something going – so perhaps next year…… I’ll be at Houston this year just to see how things work and who knows what the future holds for me.

So where have I been?

In early April I was very fortunate to be asked to teach for the Quilting Guild of South Australia.

What can I say about my SA adventure?  Lots, of course.

As it was a two day class teaching Message in a Bottle, they asked if I’d come a day earlier and do my trunk show at their monthly meeting on a Thursday night.  Despite the 3 hour flight delay from Melbourne, once I arrived in Adelaide I was well looked after, which more than made up for the inconvenience of the delay.  Of course, everything had to be “sped up” in order to get me to the meeting on Thursday night.

When I was asked to give the trunk show to the Guild I expected between 30 to 50 women – as is the case most everywhere else I’ve been.  When I got there I was asked if I get nervous before a talk and reassured them that I was fine as I had become used to giving talks.  Little did I realise how many would turn up.  So I’m sitting there quietly minding my own business, and soon see the room filling up, and filling up and filling up – and my heart is starting to pound ever so slightly, then a bit more …..  Well, there were around 206 quilters attending that night!!!  My biggest ever audience.  To say I was a tad nervous would be an understatement.  However, once I got talking, I quickly relaxed – and of course its great when you know that your quilts will speak for themselves!  It is such an honour to be asked to share my quilts and I am always amazed that quilters actually love my patterns enough to want to do them.  I was mighty impressed by the turn-out that night and how much the quilting community in South Australia support their Guild.

I then spent the next two days doing the Message in a Bottle workshop.  And I have to say – I had the BEST time that I’ve had in a looooooooong time!

I met up with new quilters and caught up with old friends.   From the “Claires” (I’ve encompassed both spellings in this) who were our hostesses with the mostest to the girls doing my class – everyone was warm and welcoming.  The hostesses made sure that we were fed and watered at appropriate times, though sometimes they had to be stern with us (and you know which Claire (?) you are).  Everyone brought a plate that was shared and there certainly was some yummy food.  We covered a lot in the class including techniques that did not relate to the class – but the girls wanted to learn other techniques and I was happy to comply.

Apart from learning and spending a happy two days with friends, we had a LOT of fun as well.  Those are the workshops that for me end all too quickly.  I left feeling a little sad at having to say goodbye, but I know that I’ll be back soon – even if its just for a visit.  I have made many friends there that I’d like to see again.

My fabulous Message in a Bottle class in South Australia

My fabulous Message in a Bottle class in South Australia

Show and Tell brought in from previous workshops

Show and Tell brought in from previous workshops

Working hard? I wonder..........

Working hard? I wonder……….

What women bring to classes - its always a delight to see all their "bits and pieces"

What women bring to classes – its always a delight to see all their “bits and pieces”

So thank you to Shirley A for organising me, for her and Gay for driving me back and forth, to the “Claires” for being such fabulous hostesses and for everyone else for making me feel so warm and welcoming.

posted by on Classes @ Treehouse Textiles


I’m very excited to be running a workshop at Treehouse Textiles on Saturday 3 May.  We will be focusing on one block from MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE – a block that I had so much fun making. image message in a bottle quilt

Message in a Bottle

Here is a description from their website:

“Irene is a Quilt Designer and passionate about Needle Turn Applique, and VERY good at it too!! Her quilt “Minerva” (named after her cat) is soon to be featured in “Quilters Companion.”

So it is with the utmost delight and fantastic good fortune that Irene has agreed to run one of her wonderful workshops at Treehouse Textiles.

Her quilt “Message in a Bottle” is made using lots of script/ newsprint fabric for backgrounds, as well as bottles, flowers and other pieced appliqués .

Some of the background blocks have been pieced…a little different! The blocks are joined together with fillers.
Irene uses NO PINS in her appliqué and encourages quilters to prepare a complete block so that it is portable and can be completed anywhere, anytime.

Irene is also known for her wonderful choice of fabrics and gorgeous colour palette “Message in a Bottle” is a perfect example.

A little birdy has also mentioned that Irene instills confidence in workshop participants in the use and choice of colour…We can’t wait!!

At the Treehouse Textiles workshop you will be making Block 18 ‘Flowers in a Bottle.’

Yummy lunch, espresso coffee, specialty teas & treat included on full day workshops.

I have been following Treehouse Textiles from the time of their inception so I was very happy to be able to teach there.

So come along, bring your friends, and let’s have a fun day sewing.

You can contact Emma or Sarah on or 0427 570 950

posted by on AQC Melbourne 2014, Greenacres, Timeless


I will be helping Lenora of Elm Grove at AQC on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – I hope my legs hold out!!  We are launching two of my new quilts – Greenacres and Timeless.



so come visit and say hi – Stall No. 45

posted by on Bribbaree, Confetti, Eva Grace, Workshops

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Warning: This is a photo-filled post so grab a cuppa!!

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of teaching in the tiny country town of Bribbaree in New South Wales.  You may remember that I went there earlier this year and while i was there I heard Anne West mention a quilt exhibition of Life is Beautiful (a Hugs and Kisses pattern) that some of her quilt group had made.  As I had such a fun time in February I thought it would be great if I could return for the exhibition.  Well…… knowing Anne as I do, one thing led to another and pretty soon she had my flights booked and a workshop organised.

Bribbaree, for those that don’t know, is really the “hub of the universe” as Bill West likes to call it.

I arrived in Wagga on Friday and spent a quilty day with Anne and Mandy, visiting quilt shops and stocking up on much needed fabric (as if!).  First stop was Nimble Thimble in Wagga owned by the lovely Maria and it was great to catch up with her again.  Unfortunately she missed out on this year’s workshop – but not to worry as we have big plans for next year.

Nimble Thimble - (Main photo) Maria and Anne; Janice came to visit as well; and Mandy

We also visited another shop in Wagga, Simply Stitches, had a lovely lunch and then went on to Temora to Patches of Heaven where I found the most divine hinged tin!!

I stayed at Bill and Anne West’s home “Balmoral”.  It is such a beautiful home.  Here are some pics:

Bill and Anne West, my most gracious hosts!

A view from the front of the house

Out the back.........

A few delightful corners in the house

What started out with a handful of women, ended up with 32 in my workshop– woo hoo!!!  My biggest quilting workshop ever!!  The two quilts offered at the workshop were Confetti and Eva Grace.  Anne had everyone organised with patterns, fabric etc. and all I really had to do was come along and have FUN.

Confetti and Eva Grace

What was so amazing about this workshop is that the women came from far and wide and I was so impressed that some of them drove such long distances to attend the workshop.  But then, what could be better than spending a whole Saturday sewing with quilting friends, yummy food, fabric shopping and lots of laughter.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday to set up the hall  – or least part of the hall as Anne and Bill had done a lot of work earlier on in the week – and to get the workshop ready.  Quilters started arriving by 9:15 and pretty soon everyone was there raring to go.  For those quilters who felt that they needed more fabric, Keryl, with her shop Fabric Sauce, was in attendance as well.  Morning and afternoon teas as well as a delicious champagne lunch was provided.  It was great to catch up with old friends and meet many new ones. 

Keryl and Madison at Fabric Sauce

Quilt Show (I apologise I didn't manage to photograph all the quilts)

But that’s not all.  As we were leaving, there were a few of us outside chatting when Lindel drove past on her way home and realised that she had a flat tyre.  Well, as far as I was concerned, you just call  RACV or NRMA don’t you?  Not these ladies.  Four of them got together and with a lot of hard work and sweat they changed the tyre.  Needless to say, they are my heros!!!  I was very impressed.

My heros!!!

Me, Anne, Mandy, Cynthia - tired but happy!

On the way home from the hall we came across this modern day cowboy – I couldn’t resist taking a photo:

A cowboy on his mobile!

Satuday night dinner was at the bowling club with a bunch of quilters and their husbands – and again…… lots of laughs.

Sunday was much  quieter.  On the way to the airport at Wagga we stopped at the Schillers farm.  I had never seen a “live” sheep shearing – so Geoff (who was kindly volunteered by Michael) offered to do a live shearing for me.  To say I was impressed is putting it mildly.  I took lots of photos of course. 

Mandy Schiller - thank you so much for all your help!

The Junior Schiller's (Nicholas and Josephine) Farm

My first live shearing demonstration with shearer-extraordinaire, Geoff

All in all, a wonderful fun weekend.  Many thanks to Anne West for her fantastic organisational skills.  She is a remarkable woman who gives freely of her time organising the quilters in her area with sit and sews as well as sewing pillowcases for oncology kids.  Again thanks to Mandy for picking me up at the airport, driving me around, selling my patterns at the workshop and generally helping Anne to make sure the workshop ran smoothly.  Thanks too to all my friends in Bribbaree for making me feel like I’m “home” and for making me feel so very special.  Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing you all next year for bigger and better things.

And of course a special thanks to Bill and Anne, for being such fabulous hosts and making me feel like I’m truly living in my own home.

This weekend I’ve been invited as guest speaker for the Embroiderer’s Guild in Melbourne.  I’ll keep you posted………



posted by on Tins


I LOVE tins – all sorts of tins……… small ones………large ones……..square….round……. but the tins that score the most points for me are the HINGED tins.

I wait for the sales after Christmas where you can snag the BEST biscuits tins.  Of course the biscuits are usually stale but who cares – I’m not buying them for biscuits. 

I used to look for the most attractive tins until I discovered that I could actually cover them myself.  So of course, I’ve gone a bit crazy – slightly – and started out with these two.  I buy scrapbooking paper, cut it to size and glue it down with any tacky glue.  I use Elmer’s clear glue which seems to work the best for me.

The large one (which was a Dilmah tea tin) is going to be my new hexagon tin and the little one (formerly a chocolate tin) is the one I’ll use when I travel to hold my sewing needs.


My new hexagon tin

My travelling sewing tin

I know there are a lot of you out there just like me – and you know who you are!

posted by on Greenacres, Melon Lime and Bitters, Patckwork on Parker


As usually I’ve been busy busy busy – both with meditation and quilting. 

I spent the weekend of 12-13 October facilitating a meditation weekend at Clandulla.  Where’s that you say?  Well, I wish I’d asked more questions on where it actually was to prepare myself for the travel.  I thought it was in the Blue Mountains, only because I met Chris, my host, at a workshop I did in the Blue Mountains.  Well… I did have to catch the train to the Blue Mountains, but then had another 2 hour drive to the farm where the workshop was held.  The workshop was great and a lot of fun as well.  My return journey from there to home in Melbourne was “challenging” to say the least.  I left Clandulla at 1pm and arrived at Sydney Airport at 5:30pm – there were no trains from Central to Domestic so had to catch a bus. Sydney Airport was in total chaos because 12 flights had to be cancelled due to strong winds.  Of course, my flight was one of them.  However, I was bumped up to an earlier flight, which of course left later than my original flight eventually getting home at 9:30pm.  As I said, “challenging”!


View from the farmhouse at Clandulla

Another view from the farmhouse

Bianca - or Binki - the wonderdog and guard dog. She joined us in meditation and was the best participant! See how relaxed she is after meditation?

Last weekend the travel was a whole lot easier.  I was invited to teach at Patchwork on Parker in Cootamundra.  The flight with REX was uneventful, the lovely Sonia picked me up from Wagga airport and drove me to Cootamundra.  Friday was spent just chillin’ out.  I don’t get much of a chance to chill out at home – always busy running around – so it was very soothing to just sit up in bed, watch “crappy” TV and sew…….sew……sew.


The view from my room

Saturday morning, bright and early at the shop – and 16 lovely quilters started arriving – very enthusiastic and early.  I always get a buzz from knowing that woman actually enjoy making my quilts.  Tulipa was the quilt chosen for this class.  Of course we had a wonderful day, lots of laughter, sewing and FUN!  What better way to spend a weekend.


Dianne and Kate

Julie (who works in the shop), Darlene, Bev, Debbie and Dianne

Rhonda and Kate

Robyn, Jane, Darlene Leigh (and me, of course)

Bev, Janelle and me (i know it looks like I didn't move - all the photos were taken towards the end of the workshop!

Sonia (my host and owner of Patchwork on Parker) and Darlene

I meant to take lots of photos but of course I was having too much fun.  Thanks Janelle for helping me here.  My apologies to those girls whose photo we missed.  And a big thank you to Sonia for organising the whole trip!  We’ve made plans for me to return in August 2013 – and I KNOW that you girls will all have Tulipa completed!

I’m working on trying to complete a couple of quilts by December.  My crib quilt Greenacres is done and I’m now working on the pattern.  I’m also in the process of finishing a quilt made up of melon blocks – or orange peel blocks.  Trying to name quilts is tough for me, but my Cootamundra friends – thanks Anne and Janelle – came up with a fantastic name – a play on words – Melon Lime and Bitters.  So those two quilt patterns should be up and ready soon.  I also have 3 more quilts prepped – now I just have to find more hours in my day to complete them.

I’m off to Bribbaree in a couple of weeks time.  How fortunate I am to have Anne West organise this for me.  She is the driving force behind most quilty events in that area.  She’s managed to “round up” around 30 quilters for a weekend of fun. fantastic food (including a delicious champagne lunch) and sewing.  There will also be an exhibition of quilts made by “her girls” and any completed clamshell quilts from my previous class.  I can’t wait!

Here’s a question ….. how do you like your quilt patterns packaged?  I’m looking at different ways of doing this effectively but the jury is still out…..


posted by on Uncategorized


I’ve just got home from spending two days helping out at Quilts in the Barn.  And I am so glad that I did.  I got to hang out with some fabulous women and spent two nights laughing until my sides ached.  Got to hang out with Leonie (from The Quilted Crows), Margaret and Jennifer (my two sidekicks!), Mary and Joe Koval and of course our fabulous hosts, Linda and Paul.  Lots of fun, lots of eating, drinking and definitely lots of laughter.

I’m getting quite envious about the trip to Houston that was being planned and discussed –  who knew it would sound like so much fun.  But perhaps next year I’ll be able to join “them” when I’m in the US.  I have a plan…………

I caught up with many quilting friends from around Victoria– too many to name – it was wonderful to spend time chatting. 

Linda does a great job in organising and hosting this event every year with all proceeds going  to breast cancer research.

Here are some pics from today

Doing my stint at the front desk - with Jill. The stunning raffle quilt is on my right.

With my new BF, Leonie. See that absolutely gorgeous antique quilt in the background? Love it! The Quilted Crows are offering it as a BOM.

With another of my BF, Kim. I always love it when we catch up!


Linda behind the camera!

Some of the Sunday helpers - with Sam at the extreme right who helped out everyday and did a great job!

With Jennifer and Mary Koval.

Till next time………

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