Friday 30 January 2009

too hot to blog

Stuck in a record breaking heat wave. Everything I've started: I've stopped. It's too hot to quilt and it's too hot to blog.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Heat Wave

It's going to be one of those weeks! I can't wait to get tothe other side of it.

There's a heatwave expected all this week (I'm already heat exhausted) and, in typical fashion, I have 2 quilts to quilt lined up. What was I thinking? I've decided to stick with my quilting schedule - this year I want no ensure no more UFO's are created (actually I wanted to dust off and finish all the ones I already have) and this means working to a plan. As much as I resist plans, I've reached the point of having to get seriously scheduled.

This is hard for me - with quilting I prefer to work as the mood takes me. However this has also meant that I actually do have a lot of UFO's, a lot to quilts ready to quilt, a lot of new design stencils and a lot of new quilts waiting in the wings. I decided that this year was going to be stash busting, and it's also going to be working through some 'must make' quilts.

This week I also started preparing for some workshops coming in the next few weeks. I really enjoy teaching stencilling - it's a great workshop and I'm always impressed with what fellow quilters and curious students manage to create after just a day of learning the technique.

Of course, workshop planning wouldn't be complete without some supply issues. I'm currently trying to source the right shade of paints - it appears that everyone shops for art supplies at the same time!

Sometimes the organising takes more time than the workshop itself.

Well, I know I shouldnt complain, at least I'm sweating over something I enjoy doing....

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Feeling Creative?

...then get out your stencilling brush!

One thing I really love about quilting is it's scope.... to challenge, delight, inspire and encourage - that's how I got into stencilling, and I haven't looked back.

If you'd like to try something new and you're in Melbourne next month, why not come along to the AQC - Australian Quilters Convention? I'm a tutor this year and my workshop will be exploring stencilling.

This wall hanging, Not Quite Shabby Chic is one of my favourite workshop quilts to teach - its so adaptable, just a switch of colours can change the whole feeling, the stencil roses bouquet in the centre is a really rewarding (and straight forward) piece to stencil.

If you have'nt tried stencilling yet, you're missing out!

Click the AQC button on the left hand side of this blog for more info!

Sunday 18 January 2009


The glitch gremlins are in....

Block 3, Love Apple, has 2 measuring mistakes.

A Block 3 correction sheet has now been added to with the error positions highlighted and the correct data entered. Please download this correction sheet when downloading block 3.

Apolagies to all of you who may have been confused by this error, and thank you to Eugenie for pointing it out.


When a block's finished size is, say, 16" by 9" and in the cutting directions I instruct that the background be cut to 16.5" by 9.5" - this is NOT an error. I always allow a half inch for seam allowance. There have been a few queries about this half inch, and this is the reason.

Finished size means no seam allowances, so when the block size is indicated at the beginning of the pattern, it is listing the finished size. When making the block, the seam allowance size is referred to.

Saturday 17 January 2009

What's enough red anyway?

Red and White is so stunningly simple...yet evocative.

Personally, I can't get enough red in my designing at the moment, and whilst Red Delicious has definitely started taking care of my fabric stash, I knew I wouldn't feel finished until I extended the red theme with some stencilling.

Stencilling is a beautiful, traditional and almost forgotten quilting technique - I utilise it alot as it allows you to make designs from your own sketches in an original, challenging and enjoyable way.

Here I designed a Red stencil cushion, I know, I know...I even thought about moving into Blue & White (also stunning) but my heart currently belongs to Red!

Country Craft and Decorating Magazine is now available, so why not add to your red project list?

Monday 12 January 2009

It's nearly time.....

No sneak peeks, just a's nearly time to change blocks again

Saturday 10 January 2009

Farewell Grace

Farewell my dear friend Grace

'We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned
so as to have the life that is waiting for us' are already sorely missed...

Thursday 8 January 2009

It's still a New Year

We're still in January, and already some fellow stash busters (who shall remain nameless) have faltered. I know it seems hard, but what better way to focus on creativity, and design, and resourcefulness than using what we already have? I'm commited to staying on track with this! In fact I've already started designing another stash busting quilt

It may be economy, shelf space or guilt, but whatever the motivation for stash busting, remember - hoarding fabric does not help quilts (even future quilts!) get made - I can vouch for this.

Just this week I caught my daughters wondering out loud about what they would do with all my fabric if I suddenly wasn't around...which motivated me to stop looking through my latest quilt catalogue ( I was just looking)

Now really, it's not that hard...and every month on the 15th its going to be just that little bit easier - with a new Red Delicious block and a new reason to use up whats already sitting on the shelf waiting to be used....

Thursday 1 January 2009

Welcome 2009

New Year's Resolution
My NYR is to use all (ok, most of) my quilting fabric stash. I already had a lot of fabric before I even started quilting....and it's just kept growing. I have yards and yards of fabric I ordered online that looked perfect in the catalogue or on screen -but was out just a tone or two when it arrived, so it couldnt be used to plan....and then I have stashes from when I find stunning prints that I know I will need 'one day' ...and then I have fat quarters from shows and shops and markets that compliment already existing stashes...and of course I've been given a fair share of prints too.

But just recently, I went looking for some suitably inspiring fabric and I opened a stash box (I have them arranged in colours, prints, themes, etc) and the box was so jam packed (and looked so pretty) that I had second thoughts about rummaging through it. I had arranged it so well that it could have stayed like that undisturbed until one day I went out and bought exactly the same print and shade...forgetting I already had it.

Now this surely isnt impossible, because as I kept looking through my boxes I found fabric I didnt recognise, had forgotten was there and never even knew I had (a fat quarter wheel of chrismas prints comes to mind - perfect for a new December tablecloth that I need, and that I wasn't even thinking of, for instance)...

So, when is enough fabric, finally enough? On the one hand, nothing in my stash is inspiring me right now, its good for 'other ideas' but none that I'm currently entertaining. I have lots of plans for quilts I want to make and I don't want to be constrained my existing stash. Also, when you have an idea and you need a certain tone...its hard to match your colour theme from an existing batch, you usually have to go out and buy some more. Or, you buy a backing fabric and then by sheer coincidence you find a great 'zinger' for a quilt you're working on...and it has several prints in the range that you need to compliment the look. Then of course, there's always lovely new fabric coming out which is fresh and exciting and I have to stop myself buying it all up and just storing it for when I 'get around to it'....

On the other hand, my shelves are groaning. They are so tightly stuffed that it can take me 30 minutes to expertly remove a 'layer' without disturbing the fabric surrounding it. I have run out of boxes (which are a nuisance to wheel out and un-stack and then re-stack) everytime I want to start something. And then of course, I'm bored of looking at the same fabric all the time, knowing that something should be done with it, rather than have it just sitting there. I could easily buy fabric almost constantly, infact, everytime I go out I could probably pick up a few more fat quarters or metres of something really special....but when am I going to get around to sorting out all this fabric? There is always going to be something new and interesting coming out, but I've decided to devote more time to my numerous pending ideas....and commit myself to creating new projects, patterns and ideas that use up existing fabric only.

This year, I'm going to be stash busting.

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