posted by on Auntie Greens Garden, Classes @ Somerset, Summer School

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I taught at my first summer school!!!  This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long long long time.  A few months ago I read Karen’s blog where she mentioned summer school and thought “I’d love to do that”.  The next week Karen called and started talking about summer school and was in the process of asking if I’d like to teach – I was silently saying “yes…yes…yes….yes…!” before she finished her question.

So rocked up bright and early on Saturday morning at Somerset– and had a fantastic weekend with 6 like minded wonderful quilters.

Jane came all the way from Brisbane just to do my class.......... well......... let's say the tennis was on as well!!

The company was great, the food was yummy and the sewing was ……….. well……. I don’t even have to explain to you all just how wonderful it is to be able to sit and sew for two whole days with all meals prepared and nothing else to think about.

We invented a couple of new phrases – “Kim tacking” and “asparagus cake”.  The lovely Kim is such a beautiful sewer and all her stitches are soooo tiny – so small stitch tacking now has a new name.  Sue had baked a delicious rhubarb cake.  As I cut into it and took a bite I knew it was rhubarb but had a CRAFT moment and couldn’t think of the name – all that came to mind was “asparagus” and I knew if I said it I’d be in trouble but couldn’t help myself.  So if anyone is interested in asparagus cake, please ask Sue Ambrose!

Don't you just love Kim's shirt?

Sue – well……. Sue started cutting out all her bits and pieces on Saturday, went home and that night decided that she didn’t like what she’d done and redid the whole thing.  I know I set them homework but this was a tad ridiculous.

Sue and Meredith - working?

I’ve seen Meredith around for a long time now and it was great to have her in my class and what fun she was!   She worked hard on her homework Saturday night – now that’s dedication for you.  You can check her blog post on this workshop here.

Anita – well you have to sew with her to see how organised she is – COD…..OCD… you get it.  And we did miss Anne Marie on Sunday but enjoyed her company on Saturday.

Meredith, Anita and Karen who joined us for a sit and sew on Sunday.

I am always delighted to see the many different colour combinations quilters chose to make my quilts, sometimes colours that I wouldn’t chose but when someone else does it I can see how beautiful it all looks.

So……… the challenge is on – which one of you will finish first?  We meet again in 2 months time, so if anyone wants to join us let Karen know and we’ll have a sit and sew day soon.

 

posted by on Chat

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Jennifer and I met up a couple of Saturdays ago and had a lovely day together.  First stop was Woodend to check out the new retreat centre there which was opened recently by Abbe – and what a lovely place!

Next stop – lunch in Woodend and a visit to some of the dress shops there – I think I need a new wardrobe!

Last stop Patch n Quilt in Gisborne to hang out with Mary.  Its always great visiting with Mary and I can spend a whole day in there!  We got into a discussion about blogging.  Whilst I do enjoy blogging, I feel that I need to come up with something interesting to talk about – not always easy.  The word we came up with was “content”.  Not much point blogging if you don’t have content!  At the same time you don’t want months to go by between blog posts.  Of course we all made promises to try and blog more often, but life sometimes has a habit of getting in the way.

I happened to have a quiet night at home last week with all kids out and just the dog and two cats home with me……..so I started on my next quilt – working title Melodie.  This quilt is going to be one in a series ……. of background fabric.  I am still so in love with newsprint and script fabric that I intend using it in as many quilts as I can.  This one is no different in that the background fabric is taupe with writing on it.  And it’s the open weave-linen look fabric that I’m just loving.  Melodie is an adaptation of an antique quilt made by Maria Whelpton in 1828.  I spent all night drafting the pattern and spent the next day working with the fabric.

Melodie in progress

Starting new quilts always excites me – fondling fabric, choosing colours, playing with fabric.  I’ll have my music playing near me – I’m in my Shawn Mullins phase at the moment, fabric all around me, light box at the ready ……. Bliss!

So what is one to do when you get up early Christmas day and all is quiet – do something you love doing – playing with fabric and designing!!!.

I’ve been enjoying doing Message in a Bottle so much but was aghast to find that I only have two blocks to complete.  Well……I thought I did.  So brought out the design and went through it only to discover that I’d forgotten to design a couple of smaller blocks and a few fillers.  So spent the day cutting out fabric and generally just have a good time playing with my fabric.  I was waiting on fabric that Mary was getting in for me (she now reminds me that if I’d been paying attention when we were ordering it I’d have heard that it would be delivered mid January – but then who listens to those minor details when one is soooo excited about seeing fabric one likes???)  I started to panic as I don’t think I’ll have enough time to wait until then to do my borders.  You may remember that a few posts ago I put out an SOS for fabric.   I didn’t get any response and decided that I’d go with my next best choice.  However, I was visiting Somerset and chatting to Karen and as I was about to leave she remembered that she had a message for me.  Her friend Lyn saw my post and “thinks” she has the fabric I want.  So phone numbers were exchanged, Lyn (sorry if I’m spelling your name incorrectly) called and the good news?  She’s going to post about a metre and a quarter to me hopefully to arrive this week!  Wonderful – and thanks Karen and Lyn.  As soon as I get that fabric I’ll start on my borders.

So here’s some photos of my working area – I much prefer working in organised chaos …..

Part of my design wall - Message in a bottle and Timeless

So much to do and so little time…….

See ya soon!

posted by on Clamshells, Classes @ Millrose

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I’ve been away on my other business – running meditation workshops and had a wonderful week in Byron Bay with 10 high “energy” people ranging in age from 35 to 85!  I came home exhausted and have been trying to catch up on my sleep ever since.

On Saturday 8 December I attended the Castlemaine Applique Group.  I popped into a newsagents in Castlemaine to buy the latest Homespun to check out my fabulous webperson’s quilt featured in that magazine.  If you don’t have a copy do yourself a favour (as they say) and check out Jennifer Murray’s quilt – its beautiful and the piece done on her is pretty good too! Thanks Jenn!  I bought a few other magazines and was delighted to find that there was another quilt in Quiltmania made by another good friend, Margaret Mew.  So again, go out, buy a copy and have a look!

Sunday 9 December saw me at Ballan at the beautiful Mill Rose Cottage teaching clamshells.  I don’t really have a pattern for this but have been teaching it the way that we have all been doing it at my local guild – Essendon Quilters.  It’s a fun, easy way to do it – no papers, no grids, no lines, no stabilising fabric – just fun and stress-free.  11 women rocked up and we had a great day.  One of the nicest things about doing the workshop at Mill Rose is that we get lunch at the café next door and for afternoon tea we have the BEST vanilla slices – this time decorated with three red roses (from the garden) dusted with icing sugar  – simply delightful!  Sorry no photos – we couldn’t wait to eat our vanilla slices.

Whilst there I asked if I could take photos for my blog – only to be told by Ruth “yes it’s about time you updated your blog!!”

Here are some photos:

The girls working hard - I think!

Cheryl, Cheryn and Ruth

There is of course a story about Cheryl and Cheryn – cousins – both mothers loved the name Cheryl, but Cheryl was born first so her mother snagged that name and Cheryn’s mother came out second-best and decided to be inventive – and just changed the last letter – and what a lovely name it is too!

Lynne Lyn Melissa Kerri Gurli

Lyn Melissa Kerri

Debbie chose a pack of Japanese fabric and is making a wedding gift for a friend - lucky friend!

Cheryn - assessing her fabrics!

OK Ruth - here's one for you!

Lyn popped in for a quick lesson and brought in her completed Botanika.  Isn’t is just lovely?

Lynne with her Botanika; Lyn's Botanika

Lynne also brought in her version – completely different colour pallet and just as lovely.  It always gives me great joy to see so many different versions of my quilts – with fabrics that either I’d never think to use or fabrics that I wouldn’t think would go well together – they always do.  There is a lesson there I think – and that is not to stress out and procrastinate about fabric – in the end it all looks beautiful.

I’m so glad that December is here.  I don’t worry about Christmas too much – everything gets taken care of anyway without worrying.  For me the best part is that I get some time off to indulge in sewing – DURING THE DAY!  I have two completed quilts, Timeless (formerly known as Mimosa) and Tulipa  that just need to be quilted, and I will be completing Message in a Bottle – just waiting on fabric from Mary Kelly of Patch N Quilt (hurry up Mary!) and then writing the patterns (not my favourite job).  And I have another 3 quilts on paper that I want to start working on.  I’m hoping of course to get all these things done and not party too much.

I’m also looking forward to catching up with other quilting friends – particularly going down to Clifton Springs to hang out with Jill and her Fat Quarter quilting group – always a fun day filled with good food, good conversation, great friends and a lot of sewing.

Hope your Christmas is a joyful one filled with celebration – good food, good company and great pressies.

posted by on Millrose Cottage, Patch n Quilt, Tulipa

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Last week was a big quilty week for me!

First of all, my quilting group.  We call ourselves the MSGs because we were originally the Monday Sewing Group, obviously meeting on Monday.  However over the years we have moved to a Wednesday, but have left the name.  It sounds kinda catchy!  We meet three Wednesdays of the months (sometimes four) come rain, hail or shine.

Last Wednesday we were celebrating a couple of birthdays and met at Glenda’s.  Fortunately I had my camera with me so was able to get some really nice photos of the group.

Maureen (the birthday girl), Jess, Maureen M, Dianne

Glenda, Carmel, Robina and Dianne, Lorraine (the other birthday girl), Glenda

Then on Saturday I had a class at Patch N Quilt.  I always love going there because of Mary.  Now what can I say about Mary?  You have to visit the shop for that.  Suffice to say that we spend a loooooong time after the class catching up on news.  Its always great fun teaching there.  Sorry no photos – sometimes I just don’t think about that.

On Sunday I met up with some MSGs and friends from Essendon Quilters, friends that we don’t get to meet as they mostly go to the day meetings and I go to the night meetings.  Mill Rose Cottage is a beautiful shop and if you are ever in Ballan, don’t miss it.  Morning and afternoon tea from the café next door and a delicious lunch next door as well.  The best part is that we have all day to decide what fabric we so desperately need for our stash!

Jennifer/Libby shopping of course/Maureen and Carmel deep in conversation

Carmel and Jess / Joy and Jill

Lorraine and Carmel relaxing and chatting!

Now here is a quilt that I’ve had on my blog before but for some reason I took it off.  I am so proud of this quilt.  I made it for Vic Quilters Challenge in 2011 and loved every minute making it.  It is my version of Auntie Green’s Coverlet.

Auntie Green's Garden

And last, but not least, my webperson – Jennifer – is back from the US and its time that she started working again.  So we’ve updated my calendar.  Its quickly filling up and I’m so very excited about this.  I just finished talking to my friend Anne West who lives in Bribbaree – which she tells me is a “little village” just out of Young in NSW.  She’s invited me to teach up there in February, and we finalised all the arrangements over the weekend.  So if you are in that part of the country come visit.  I will do a mini-trunk show and have a one day class doing my Clamshell quilt.

I think I’ve caught up with all my quilty news – oh yes, one more …….. I have just about finished doing Tulipa – and here’s a little taste of it:

Tulipa

 

posted by on Uncategorized

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This is a very quick post.

I’m looking for this fabric.

I bought it some time ago – about 2-3 years ago.  Its blue and an open weave, almost linen-like.  I’ve only just discovered it in my stash and want to use it in my new quilt Message in a bottle.  So if you have about a metre of it pretty please get in touch with me!

posted by on Classes @ Jukejema, Irene Blanck trunk show, Mosaics, Uncategorized

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I’m finally back in Melbourne after my fantastic road trip.

And what a blast that was!

After Wodonga and Carolyn’s Quilting Room I drove up to Sydney for my trunk shows and workshop in Jukejema.

I left Sydney early Monday morning to get to Jukejema in Nowra – I wasn’t sure where it was and this was the first time I’d driven in Sydney by myself relying on my GPS –  so wanted to make sure that I got there in time for my first trunk show – my “matinee” trunk show!  Finally arrived in time to settle into my lovely motel, grab a quick lunch and head off to Jukejema.  I was having too much fun to remember to get all the photos I wanted so didn’t get any of the shop.  It is a lovely bright shop with fabric that makes up a big part of my stash –  but more importantly Kim, the owner, is just lovely and made me feel at ease as soon as we met.

Again, I didn’t get photos of the trunk shows – I was just too busy to even think about it.  Needless to say that both trunk shows, the “matinee” and the night show were very enjoyable and well attended.  It was very humbling and truly gratifying to know that there are women out there who like my quilts – and to actually get to meet with them and chat with them.  I thank you all.

I was up bright and early Tuesday morning for the first day of my workshop – teaching Mosaics.  11 quilters and myself all raring to go.  I thought that I was running late because when I got there most of them were already there ready to start!

Here are some photos of our workshop.  If I’ve got your names wrong ladies I apologise.

Clockwise: The "talkative" table; Julie and Elaine, Barbara , Liz and Wendy at the light box; Anne showing the centre of her Mosaics to Barbara

Clockwise: Di with her beautiful first hexa; Donna; Anne and Lee; Larene

Wendy seems to be concentrating and I didn't want to interrupt!!

And thank you Margaret for the absolutely yummy slices that kept up our carbs throughout the workshop!

 

Kim and me (with a bad hair day - I blame the humidity!!!)

Whilst I was in Sydney I also visited another couple of shops – again no photos!

Patchwork Plus in Miranda – another lovely shop with lots and lots and lots of fabric.  This was a visit that I decided to make on the spur of the moment and I wasn’t disappointed.  Whilst I didn’t get to meet Lorraine I did get to meet Karen Cunningham who was teaching there and she very graciously allowed me to show off my quilts to the girls in her class.

I also visited Quiltsmith – another shop with such a yummy range of fabric – just when you think you’ve seen all in one room you realise that there is another room just as full of fabric.  I am delighted to say that they will be stocking my patterns in the future.

Of course, last but not least, I celebrated my “bestie’s” BIG birthday and gave her a quilt that was beautifully quilted by Rebecca Rae, my machine quilter extraordinaire from A Stitch N Line.

Driving back to Melbourne was a looooooooooong loooooooong boring trip – 10 hours in all.  I’m not sure that I’ll do it again – all I could think of whilst driving was all the quilting and sewing I could have done!

Well, I’m hoping to do a lot more teaching in New South Wales in 2013 – so if you are out there come see me and say hi!

posted by on Classes@ Carolyn's Quilting room, Floral Beauty

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What a great weekend I’ve had!

The Wodonga quilters I met are awesome – and you all know who you are! And I know that I’ve made some good friends here – and I’ll be baaaaaack……….

The trunk show at Carolyn’s Quilting Room on Friday was a great deal of fun.  There were about 15 women, all enthusiastic – which makes it so much easier for me.  It was good to meet them and hear their comments about my quilts – it helps me realise that what I’m doing is so appreciated!  After the talk came the “fondling of the quilts” – which always puts a smile on my face – quilts are meant to be fondled and touched and caressed ….

My No. 1 Wodonga fan - Jacquie; the "fondling of the quilts"

Saturday saw me bright and early in the shop raring to go.  I always enjoy teaching Floral Beauty, my first design ever.  When I first taught it one of the requirements I listed was a phone headset.  This of course received a lot of attention.  This was the quilt that showed me that I could do two things at once – as if I didn’t know that before after all I am a woman!  So I installed a headset and whenever any of my girlfriends called I’d say “hang on” and I’d grab my headset and my sewing.  I did most of this quilt on the phone!

I also enjoy seeing the wide variety of fabrics that quilters use for this quilt.

All the blocks at the end of the day

And guess who gatecrashed our class?

Sue-Anne from Buddy and me blog!

Sue-Anne had started Floral Beauty and brought it in for us all to drool over.  I’m sorry I didn’t take any photos thinking that I had already photographed them – and I had but they were on my other computer at home.

Very organised Shelly - see that neat pile of fabric in front of her?

Shelly and Jan looked after me very well – I couldn’t have asked for better hosts!  Jan where were you?  I missed getting a photo of you – maybe next time!  And of course I did make a dent in my “wages” for the day – how could I resist when there are such beautiful fabrics just begging to be taken home.

 

Carolyn's Quilting Room - such luscious fabric!

I was so fortunate to meet this wonderful group – AND to be asked to come back to teach.  So Wodonga…. I’ll be back!

And lastly, don’t you just love this sign?

Sign in car park

posted by on Floral Beauty, Irene Blanck trunk show, Mosaics

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I’m off on a road trip!!!  Yippee!!!

I’ve been so looking forward to this – a whole week away!

First stop – Wodonga at Carolyn’s Quilting Room.  Carolyn invited me to do a trunk show and a one day workshop teaching Floral Beauty.  Carolyn is in the US right now for Quilt Market, but I have been very well looked after by Jan and Shelly.  So if you’re in the area please pop in and say hi.  The trunk show is on tonight – Friday 26 October at 7:00pm and the workshop is tomorrow – Saturday 27 October.

Another shop that has been wanting me to teach is Jukejema Quilting Barn in Nowra, but the logistics of me going there just didn’t seem feasible.  Well, as I was going to be driving to Wodonga I was almost halfway there.  So Kim (from Jukejema) and I worked it out and I thought “why not”.

So…. After Wodonga I leave for Sydney, spend a night with my “bestie” in Sydney and on to Nowra for 2 trunk shows (woo hoo!!) on Monday 29 October – one at 2:30 and the other at 7:30, and a two day workshop teaching Mosaics on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All this travelling just so happens to coincide with my “bestie’s” BIG birthday.  Now shush….. don’t tell her ……. I’ve made a quilt just for her.  She is one of a few “keepers” of my quilts – you know you have those non-quilting friends who love your quilts and you know take especially good care of them.

I’ve been frantically trying to get all my stuff together – working long nights collating patterns and prepping sewing….my talk….notes….

So I’ve packed 2 large suitcases plus another large cloth bag stuffed full of my quilts, boxes of patterns, and assorted other bags with computer, sewing and “provisions”.  I’m hoping of course to have lots of time to sew – am I kidding myself or what?

 

Mini trying to sneak into my bags!

I’m going to try and take lots of photos of my trip, so stay tuned.

See ya soon!

posted by on Message in a bottle

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You know how sometimes a new pattern really excites you?

And you just HAVE to do it right away?

Well, that’s what’s happened to me.  I had this idea in my head, that slowly came out onto paper and before I knew it it just grew and grew.

Firstly I must confess that I absolutely LOVE script or newsprint fabric.  I’ve been collecting and collecting and collecting over time – and now have a basketful!

Well……….the quilt I had in mind was going to make use of a LOT of newsprint/script fabric.  As I also enjoy designing vases, flowers, baskets – I knew that I wanted that to be the theme.  But with newsprint/script fabric?

The title came to me first – “Message in a bottle” – and I ran with it.

I enjoyed the process of designing the bottles – with flowers of course.  I wanted the quilt to be awash with colour – without beige/cream backgrounds.  Once I started drafting and drawing it seemed that inspiration came from everywhere.  I certainly don’t call myself an “artist” because I can’t really draw but…… sometimes what I see in my head gets translated pretty closely onto paper.  Other times I struggle to get it right and don’t always succeed.

Once that was all done I put it away thinking I’d start it after finishing work on Mimosa and Tulipa.  But the urge to start was too strong so I decided “what the heck” ……… I worked over a weekend and a few nights and glued all the blocks down and machine sewed the fillers.

And here are some of the blocks:

The block that was the inspiration for the quilt

This started off with just flowers and evolved with bottles added!

Don't you love coloured leaves?

A bouquet of leaves with filler blocks.

In the meantime, Margaret and Jennifer are off to the US to Quilt Market.  Wish I was going – maybe next time.  And why are they going?  We were commissioned to design a quilt using Marianne Elizabeth’s new fabric range – Arabella Rose, the pattern of which will be released at Fall Market.  Go to my other blog Turn left for Harmony to read the story there.

Missing in action!

Sep
2012
25

posted by on Blooming Springtime, Botanika, Millrose Cottage, Patterns, Tulipa

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Well…….. it’s been a while!!  Somehow despite me making a promise to myself that I’d post more often, life does tend to get in the way.  Not that I haven’t been doing any quilty things, but……….sometimes time just gets away.  .

I’ve been really busy since my last post, doing lots of other “stuff” but also including some quilting – I’m trying to finish two quilts – Mimosa and Tulipa but they both seem to be going very slowly.  I keep on getting distracted by diamond and hexagon quilts.

and what exactly have I been doing?

A week away at Byron Bay running a different kind of workshop (I also run meditation workshops).  We have one of the most beautiful retreat centres, Sangsurya and have the best time!

A fabulous day at Linda Collins viewing the Chester County Criswell Quilt which was the main feature as well as a number of other beautiful antique quilts.  Janet O’Dell showed us one of her quilts that I absolutely fell in love with – it had the most divine fabric.  Oh I wish some of the fabric used in that quilt were available… sigh…….

Another weekend meditation workshop in the Blue Mountains(aren’t I lucky I get to go to all the best places!)

My last Botanika class at Mill Rose Cottage.  I had a small lovely group of quilters, Lizzie, Lyn, Lyn 2 and Cheryl whom I hope to see again for more classes.  These lovely women were my “testers”.  Botanika was quite a difficult pattern to write and we managed to iron out all the little errors.  So that pattern is now available at Mill Rose or on my website.

 

That's Floral Beauty and Botanika hanging up at Mill Rose Cottage

 

Lyn's Botanika - so different to mine - and so beautiful!

My weekend away with Essendon Quilters to Castlemaine.  This came about unexpectedly.  I wasn’t supposed to be going as I had a class to teach, but fortunately (for me at least) it was cancelled so I was a last minute edition.  For the last two years we’ve met at the Castle Motel where we have a large room for sewing where of course nothing has to be put away at night – wonderful.  I missed out on this retreat last year due to other commitments so was very pleased to be able to attend this year and catch up with many old and new friends.  Sorry no photos here.  I took my camera and only remembered on the last day when most women had left.  I even managed to catch up twice with Jennifer for lunch (some sort of record I think).

Now something that is dear to my heart – labels!  Yeah…… I know …….. boring…… but….. after spending so much time making beautiful quilts I feel that the label should in some way reflect the quilt that I make, and I try to do this with most of my quilts – if I have time of course.  Here are a few of my labels:

 

Labels for Auntie Greens Garden and The Clamshell Quilt

Labels for Blooming Springtime and Floral Beauty

Till next time – hopefully sooner rather than later!

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