Monday 29 December 2008


A few years ago (after exhausting all the flavours and types at the local patisseries, cake shops and bakeries), we wanted to enjoy some new cakes, so my daughter's took up the challenge of beginning to bake all our cakes - for every occassion.

I think this was the best cake decision we've made, it's really enjoyable to watch my girls bake and realise again and again just how much work goes into a good cake. This was a first attempt at croquenbouche, and it tasted delicious. The only thing missing was the spun sugar nest - which just didnt come together (she lost patience with the candy thermometre and decided to glue the stack together with chocolate instead!).

It's so nice to finally be able to delegate some cooking!

Sunday 28 December 2008

Block placements, take 2

I know, I know, you're all eager to see the block placements. I'm STILL having trouble with my EQ6 so I've handed it over to someone who doesn't mind the software...and hopefully it will be up either before or with the next block....thank your for your patience and's coming....soon

Seasonal Sewing

What's Christmas without some last minute sewing?

We grew tired of our usual festive tablecloth, so I decided to quickly make one at the last minute. Actually, it wasn't a real UFO, it was just a hemming project. I had this wonderful apple print fabric that I bought a few years ago to be a quilt backing...but I really didn't want to see it languish at the back of a quilt, its so pretty and festive, it was definitely calling for some attention. I love the apples, and of course the red. I zipped up the red edging in just a few minutes. I love stumbling across great print fabric that just 'tells you' what it wants to be!

And then I found another packed away stash of fabric and I decided that it too was destined to be a tablecloth. We have a birthday just following Christmas in our family, so I like to have a change for the table.

This one took a little longer as I had to join it all up (it was cut in large squares and rectangles). I added some trim, and that's that! Who said Christmas was too busy a time for some home sewing?

Wednesday 17 December 2008


Some pics of the finished birthday quilt. I can't take the credit for this one, I only quilted it, but it always feels nice to make something as a group effort.

I havent packed away the unfinished pink/green UFO yet...which is promising, its on the wall, reminding me to get on with it...but, it is Christmas afterall, so I dont know WHEN that will happen.

about the 15th

Every month on the 15th (Australian time), the monthy free BOM will be removed and will no longer be available. After the 15th, you can buy any missed blocks through my Etsy shop.

Now, I know we all hate a deadline (the months just seem to fly by) but the 15th of the month is definitely the deadline for each monthly BOM. In fairness to those who purchase the block through my shop, there will be no emailed blocks or exceptions after this date. I want you to all enjoy this mystery BOM, so please remember that:

Red Delicious will always be free
if you download it before the 15th of each month

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Info about Nightshade, block 2

In answer to today's most popular question:

The finished size of the Nightshade block is 16 inches x 9 inches. (Finished size means NO SEAM ALLOWANCE).

Cutting size: when cutting the background fabric for Nightshade, I have ADDED a seam allowance (making it 16.5 inches x 9.5 inches).

Please read the BOM INTRO before starting any blocks,
it just makes it so much easier

Monday 15 December 2008

Block placements

I've been asked a lot via email in the last 6 hours, so just to let you all know, I will be providing the placement of each block in the scheme of the quilt as we progress every month.

At the moment I'm still wrestling with my EQ6 software which is driving me plain crazy with frustration! You see, I had the quilt outlay and blocks ready to insert each months block, and then I moved something....and couldnt get it back....and then it all went I'm going to correct it shortly and put it up so that you can see where each new piece of the mystery belongs....When I sort out my software stand -off, I will post up the outlay promptly...until then, think of it as a 'double blind' mystery...

Nightshade is available

There seems to have been some delay with the site uploading the files at midnight, but its OK, Nightshade is definitely up now- I just checked.

Block 2, Nightshade

It's the 15th! Where has the month gone? It feels like a few days since I was designing Red Delicious and now we're already onto block 2.

Welcome: NIGHTSHADE, block 2!

When I first had the idea to start a free mystery BOM, I had no idea that it would grow into something so rewarding. Block 1, Love Birds has now had over 11'000 downloads - more than I ever expected. THANK YOU for joining in !

Lots of you out there love your reds and have the stash to prove it...I've been really impressed with the amount of fabric and reds some of you are fitting into a single block - its inspiring!...and I love all the pics you've sent in of your finished (and almost finished) blocks, keep it coming!

Red Delicious is now a worldwide BOM, with downloads, emails and block pics from every continent! So, dust off your next batch of reds and get stuck in, January 15th will be upon us before we know it....

Friday 12 December 2008



On the 15th of December, Red Delicious BLOCK 1 will no longer be available for free. After the 15th you can buy block 1 from my etsy shop for a minimal fee.

I know many of you are taking part in this mystery BOM and I dont want you to miss out, so please hurry!

Red Delicious will always be free
if you download it before the 15th of each month

Thursday 11 December 2008


What quilter doesn't love a deadline in December?!

I'm at my machine again tonight, finishing the birthday quilt.

After this one, it's officially Christmas season for me and I'm going to stick with designing, catching up with the quilting magazines that keep arriving on my door (time flys when youre quilting!) and of course, designing some more quilts. ( I have a few new ones brewing that I have to get down).

At some point, I'll have to take a moment to consider doing the Christmas shopping too..

Wednesday 10 December 2008


Progress....and now its finally finished (and just in the nick of time)

I really enjoyed turning my white stash into hand dyes...there's something really rewarding about creating your own design and using your own hand dyes.
The colours still don't show up in my pics as true to life, each time I post they look completely different.
Sometimes I think that in order to be a quilter you need to be a professional photographer and computer technician as well. I still fiddle with my camera settings, and I STILL havent designed a quilt on my EQ6 software, even though I've had it for years. Sometimes I fiddle around and print out frames, but I always end up just drawing my designs by hand. This can be very frustrating, especially as all this new software is supposed to make life easier and quicker...I guess I'm just stuck in my ways.
Finally finished, but the week is not over yet. I have that Friendship Group Quilt to Quilt tomorrow!

Sunday 7 December 2008

Ok, a little sneak peek

It's nearly is a sneak peek of BLOCK 2,
arriving on the 15th (Australian time)

Do you have your next batch of reds ready? Remember, You only need scraps - don't go out and buy any!

It's nearly been a month and I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. I knew a free BOM was a great idea....but I wasn't expecting so much positive support and feedback! Nearly 10'000 downloads and counting...

Thank you to everyone who has decided to take part in this mystery. I have received some GREAT email pics of finished blocks - I'm in awe at how fast they started arriving in my in-box. It's good to know that I'm not the only one with a red stash!

Can't wait to see the next batch arrive!

Thursday 4 December 2008


What's December without a detour? I've put Dream Fountain on hold for today as I have Quilter's Friendship Group Duty ( I won't say which one as that may give it away)...I'm in charge of quilting a quilt that the group has made for an "0" birthday.

When lots of people are involved in a project, things don't always fit at the last lap, so I'm unpicking this quilt's ditch stitching tonight as it's uneven - it has too much ease. I have to admit, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I can't start quilting unless the top is as close to perfect as possible...I always tell my friends, once you start unpicking- it never ends! You see more and more mistakes that you want to correct. What starts with a small 'fix' ends up with 6 hours invested. There's just no easy way out, good quilting needs a good foundation.

It's times like these that I wish I had a long arm machine, because with domestic machine quilting you just can't get away with fudging it - even a little bit...

Wednesday 3 December 2008

UFO Progress

It's a week for getting things done. Here is a pic of my nearly abandoned brights UFO. I've nearly finished piecing, all thats left to do is the sashing and border...and some serious quilting of course!

When I found this quilt, I couldn't remember why I'd started this one in the first place. But now, I like the green coming through the pinks.

I'm sure I'm not the only quilter out there who has made or started something...and then 're-discovered' it and wondered, 'what was I thinking here?'

I really need a throw quilt. Many of my quilts are on the walls and some of them are really precious so I dont throw them about or let my cat climb or claw them.
This one will be a 'useful' quilt.


I've been busy today, working towards getting this wall quilt finished before monday ( I have to set deadlines on myself or I never finish). It's a whimsical quilt and I've decided to call it Dream Fountain.

This is step two, and I'm loving the brights, it's a nice change and it's really rewarding to work with hand dyed fabric. That's also why I enjoy stencilling so much - the artistic control, down to the last detail.

I'm builing this quilt from the 'background' up. I've placed the squiggles in their spot, but I've got a long way to go yet.
I'm having difficulty photographing it so the hues are correct - it looks a bit too stark in this image - but you get the idea.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

New Designs

Now that I've satisfied my red craving with my monthly BOM, I've been struck with inspiration. It's not like I don't have a million other things to do....but when you feel you for the last few days I've been hand dying a pallette of vivid hues

I've been inspired by a walk through the garden again....(nature can't get it wrong when it comes to matching colours)

Green is my other favourite colour (my quilts are like my wardrobe, I love wearing Reds, Oranges and Greens - not all at once). I'm still working hard at getting to love Blue a little better, I know it's classic, but often I don't get past navy. I just need to appreciate it in nature somewhere to apply it to a quilt design.
Christmas is nearly upon us, so before I definitely didn't have a spare day to dye, I got stuck in, and I'm now in respite from a few days of non stop procion shifts.

Above is a pic from some of my new pallette. The grey didnt show up well in the photo, but it's a greeny grey and it makes the greens and oranges look alive. I'm really inspired with this design at the moment and think I will have to finish it before Christmas. Or it might become another UFO and sit on the shelf for years before I discover it again!

Monday 1 December 2008

Colour Palette

Here is my latest inspiration, a passionfruit flower; I love this colour combination. I'm drawing up a design called Dream Fountain and these are the colours that have moved me towards blues and yellows.
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