After the Melbourne Craft Show 2011

It really has been a very busy time in my house for the last two months which has made me quite lackadaisical in my blogging.  My youngest son has left high school and started his Chef training down in the city.  He’s up at 5am to catch the train into Melbourne, an hour & 20minutes away and gets home about 8.30 – 9.00pm.  By the time I get his uniform washed, dried and ironed its around 12.30am and I get to bed!  Then up at 5.45pm to get him to the train.  It’s playing havoc with getting a decent sleep that’s for sure.  I’m a bit like a zombie at the moment.

My local quilting guild, Goldfield Quilters, was a group exhibitor at the Melbourne Craft Show just gone.  Both Margaret and Rachel exhibited in our group exhibition as well as the general exhibition.  Margaret exhibited her Nebraska Baskets quilt as well as another gorgeous quilt, a red Ohio Star which she whipped up and Rachel exhibited her When North meets South Lone Star quilt as well as another gorgeous quilt which she will hopefully put an image up of.

As you’ll notice there hasn’t been many photo’s of other peoples quilts lately.  Well both the major exhibitions lately have a No Photos policy I believe, so even if I do take photos I no longer post them without express permission of the quilt maker.  And we should all get into the habit of “watermarking” images of our quilts with our blog address.  End of rant!

Well back to. . .

I only bought one piece of fabric at the show, a fat quarter of Kim Diehl’s ‘Along the Fence’ in a lovely muddy browny purple.  I really need a couple of metres I’ve decided, but I’m on a budget now. 🙁

So on Saturday after saying goodbye to Rachel I headed off on the 112 Tram back Northcote where I’d parked my car at a friends place.  But before I got there I stopped off in Fitzroy and soaked up the atmosphere.  I really love Fitzroy and my favourite optometrist is there and they were having a sale so I’ve put away 3 pairs of frames, two for sunnies and one for actual spectacles.  I really loved being in the northern inner city suburbs.  They are so vibrant and it really energised me.

I’ve some friends, Catherine and Ralf, who live around the corner from the Black Cat CafeRalf is a fabulous artist, so I had a lovely catch-up with them and then back out to Brunswick Street and back onto the tram and back to Northcote and my faithfully waiting little blue Barina.

In a little over a week it’s CAG time again on 13 August.  Hopefully I will remember to ask if I can post photo’s of the guest speaker, Carolyn Mellor’s, antique quilts that she is going to show us.

Next post will have, at least two quilt tops I’m trying to finish off, who knows maybe I’ll have three as they only need setting squares and triangles!

I promise photo’s in the next post.

ciao for now


Sydney and CAG

Well I did this post some time ago, in early July and somehow forgot to actually post it.  My bad.  So anyway I thought I’d hit the Publish button and do a proper post after I get back from the Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair at Jeff’s shed which started today.

From a month ago…

It’s been a real whirlwind of quilty goodness lately.  Things are returning to normal thankfully or I don’t think I’d last much longer.

Margaret has posted about some of the lovely quilts we spent hours pouring over so be sure to have a look at the photo’s she’s been able to show.

Anyway here are some rough photos of the CAG event as well as some quick shots I took of some Boutis that I saw as I was leaving the Sydney quilt show.

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Just some of the fabrics I picked up in Sydney

just some of the fabric I picked up in Sydney

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Gorgeous Boutis

and another

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and another absolutely gorgeous Boutis

and this next one is my favourite, unfortunately I didn’t find out where they came from or who made them

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and this if my favourite Boutis

I’ve already starting drafting a pattern of this last one, as an appliqué of course.

CAG was fabulous and it’s alway a great opportunity to catch up with lots of lovely and amazingly talented quilters.

I wasn’t able to take very good photos at CAG as my camera isn’t up to it but here’s one quilt which is my favourite.  Bev’s quilt is my all-time favourite version that I’ve seen of Di Ford’s 19th Century Baskets quilt.  It’s not a good photo but the quilt is lovely.

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Bev Bannards version of the Di Ford pattern 19th century baskets

And of course it was lovely to catch up with Mary and Joe again at CAG.

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Mary, Joe and I


Sydney Quilt Show 2011 – Day 1

Sorry I haven’t posted for nearly a month, I hurt my back and sitting at the computer wasn’t an option for awhile.  But enough of that, Margaret and I are just back from the Sydney Quilt show and Wow! what a fabulous and busy weekend we had.

Up before the crack of dawn for me on Friday as I left my place at 6.30am in the fog to get to Margaret’s.  I had to drive very slowly as its quite a windy and narrow road and of course the kangaroos are out and about at that time of the morning.  Margaret’s lovely husband, Lindsay, drove us to the airport and before we knew it we we’re coming in to land at Sydney airport.

Landing at Sydney gave both Margaret and I a new appreciation of why international visitors are impressed when they enter the country at Sydney.  The view was spectacular with the vista of the blue harbour and sandy beaches in the sun.

First off a fabulous luncheon with Margaret’s cousin Grant at Matthew’s Peacock Garden in Crows Nest.  If you ever get the chance to go there the food and service is beautiful and well worth the visit.

By 4.00pm we were finally on our way to the Show.  Here are a few photos of Margaret and I with just one of the many sculptures around Darling Harbour that Lindsay has cast.

Margaret at Darling Harbour

Sorry for the blurry photo’s but it was after our lovely lunch.

Me, happy to have something to rest against

We had a very quick visit to the show before it was time to chose a nice dinner restaurant for everyone.  Dinner was a very merry affair with Carol, Guy, Mary Lou and Isabelle from Quilt Mania, Petra & Nel from Den Haan & Wagenmakers and Joe & Mary Koval.

I’ll post again about the rest of the weekend in Sydney soon, with some photo’s, as well as tomorrow at CAG when they Carol, Petra & Nel and Joe and Mary come up to Castlemaine for the day.



Sewing machine in reverse!

Just a quick update on what I’ve been up to.  When I started moving rooms during Easter all machine sewing got put aside and that meant my not quite finished red & white star quilt which I started in March.  I also left my sewing machine on the table it was on plugged in as if I had just gotten up to have a cuppa.  I don’t think my 20 year old Janome machine appreciates being left on a table and ignored.

I’m just finishing up the last two points and need to get some more background fabric for the setting squares & triangles.  I didn’t grab enough when I originally started the quilt so I popped down to Threadbear today but they didn’t have any of the Kona I’m using, fortunately they’re only four streets away, so I’ll either have to wait til some more comes in or choose a different fabric which I’m fairly certain will take it away from being a red & white quilt to red, white and green quilt

Anyway here is a quick pic of it lying on the floor earlier today with one row missing as its on the sewing table.  I tried out some fabrics from my stash for backgrounds and was really drawn to the greens but I really do want this to be a red and white quilt.

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Red & White star quilt

And here is the block I made for the Quilts in the Barn Jo Morton fabric raffle quilt, minus my signature and this before my machine decided to stay in reverse until a quick visit to the sewing machine repair man.   The main fabric is an older one, perhaps four or five years old.  I think it’s from Jo’s Caramels?  Finding a neutral was a little harder and my signature when I did it doesn’t stand out very well.  Have a look at some of Linda’s posts to see all the lovely blocks she has received from quilters all around the world

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My block for the Quilts in the Barn raffle quilt

Janome machines can have a sticky reverse, apparently.  I can’t complain as my machine is 20 years old and really has given great service.  I’m very fond of it and haven’t been in any hurry to get a new one but perhaps that day is getting closer.



Maltaville Album Quilt fabric shopping

Last year I said that 2011 was the year I’d start to explore modern quilts & fabrics and so I’ve started.  Two weeks ago Margaret and I went on a little shopping trip to the city and visited Amitie, a quilt shop in Bentleigh, Melbourne.  Amitie have a lovely selection of modern fabrics, glorious Liberty Art Prints as well as Kaffe Fassett fabrics and a sprinkling of repros, we even found a tiny scrap of Smithsonian Rising Sun fabric.

But I was on a mission to find modern fabrics for my Maltaville blocks.  I jokingly said to Margaret a little while back that I’d do the Maltaville in modern fabrics and the idea stuck.  I’m really interested in exploring some of the modern style of quilts in reproduction fabrics and this is an extension of that exploration.  Many of you will be aware of the Civil War Bride quilt by Corliss Searcey and I’ve seen a few of these quilts in all sorts of fabrics which has contributed to me going down this path.  I’m certainly not abandoning reproduction quilts and fabrics, just spreading my wings.

Anyway below are a few photos of the fabrics I’ve picked up on our trip as well as the first block of the Maltaville I’ve completed.

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My Maltaville fabrics so far...

This is the first block I’ve finished, in fabrics selected at AQC in April from the Ballarat Patchwork stand and I’ve started on the Oak Leaf & Reel block, featuring the dark green fabric as well as the last red fabric on the right.

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Maltaville Album block

I’ve had very little time this year for quilting, blogging and blog reading but that’s changing so I’m looking forward to a very productive year, I hope.



Design ideas

Just a very quick post before I leave to go on a shopping jaunt to the city with Margaret.  On Saturday while doing my normal shopping and making my way through the crowds of fathers and children madly looking for that last minute mothers day present, I popped into the home-wares shop down the street and it was well worthwhile.

I picked up two little presents for my self that I just couldn’t resist.  For my new office of course!

My new coaster

And this one as well

I just had to have it

Well I’ve got to race, I should have left 5 minutes ago. 🙂

Returning to normal blogging

First off I’d like to thank all those visitors who kindly followed the link in the previous post and completed my survey.  It was really appreciated.

And now a return to normal blogging. 🙂

Over the easter break my house has been a teenager free zone, with my youngest returning perhaps on Thursday or if I’m lucky on Friday.  I really prefer it to be Saturday and you’ll see why in the photos below.

In starting my business it was really necessary to set up my office/studio properly.  Up to now I’ve had my computer next to my son’s in the family area of the house.  Part of my no computers in bedrooms policy.  This has meant that the boys grew up with the idea that they are always open about what’s on their computer and have always been happy to show me what’s on their MySpace / Facebooks accounts.  This however is not conducive to an uninterrupted work area for me.

Anyway I had decided that Zac’s room would be the best room to be my office/workspace so yesterday I decided to start moving everything and I’ve done most of the work in setting up my office except for a few minor things such as getting my new workbench delivered.  I didn’t do this in a very organised manner, just started hauling stuff around.

My new office/workspace

While moving everything I found something I thought finished and sent, don’t know how I made that booboo, but it’s on the agenda after Friday.  Sorry about the dullness of the photos.

Cot quilt

I’m supposed to turn this into my son’s bedroom!!  I’m supposed to be dropping some stuff in a skip today but I’m not quite there yet, but boy did I stuff a lot in the recycle bin yesterday.  Zac’s Nana sometimes checks this blog.  I can only hope she doesn’t do so while Zac is there or I’ll be getting a cranky phone call from him!

Zac's new room

A little while ago I may have made mention that I was going to do a limited and entirely different look of Margaret’s Maltaville Album pattern.  While at AQC in Melbourne last weekend I meet up with Margaret and Irene and picked up some fabrics for my Maltaville quilt.  I’ve been saying to Margaret that this year I’m going to do a quilt in modern fabrics so here goes.  This quilt will necessitate a few quilt shop visits to shops that stock modern fabric and NOT repros.

My fabrics for the Maltaville Album quilt

I’m madly jumping from one topic to another but I’m supposed to be going to Margaret’s, ah 25 minutes ago!  Gotta dash!



Starting a small business

I’m currently in the midst of starting a small business as a Web developer specialising in the Quilt & Craft area.  As part of that process I’m doing a Small Business course and I’m up to the Market Research component.  So I’m asking if visitors would kindly complete my survey.  This survey doesn’t record your identities in any way so is entirely anonymous.  I would however like to thank two very generous ladies, Margaret & Kathie for helping me fine tune the questions.

The survey covers questions regarding quilt related websites and blogs.  The following link will take you to another site called Survey Monkey where the survey is hosted.

Click here to take survey

This blog will shortly return to normal quilt-related blogging!

Thanks in anticipation 🙂


Farm Day & ACQ 2011

Last Sunday was Farm Day and the subject matter was Prince’s Plume / Princess Feather quilts.  As always there were some absolutely stunning quilts to look at.  It’s always fabulous to get up close to Jan’s quilts and be able to have a really good look at how the maker may have bound and quilted  it.  Robyn provided lots of fun in getting us to have a go at actually trying to draw our own plumes and feathers and as always she provided us with some inspiring patterns to take home.

While I don’t have any photos of the day to show, I did get to go home with two books from Jan’s collection.  The first is “Make Room for Quilts” by That Patchwork Place, which has lots of pictures on displaying quilts, sewing room set-up ideas as well as lots of quilts to inspire

The cover of Make room for quilts

and the second book is “A communion of the spirits: African-American quilters, preservers and their stories” by Roland L. Freeman which has some really amazing quilts.  I love the larger scale of some of the quilts in this book.

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The cover of Communion of Spirits

One of my favourite quilts is this next one which is going on my ‘to do’ list.

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One of my favourite quilts in this book

The Australian Quilt Convention is this weekend so tomorrow I’m off on the train down to town to enjoy the day slowly strolling around looking at the exhibition and shopping for some fabric.  I’ve got a pattern I want to try with modern fresh fabric so I’m thinking a Jelly Roll will be perfect. Just enough different fabrics and in the right dimensions.  Choosing and using modern fabrics will definitely be going outside my comfort zone so we’ll see what I come back with.



Castlemaine State Festival and LQS Sale!

My local area is absolutely bopping at the moment.  The Castlemaine State Festival is on at the moment and I’ve spent the day down in town visiting some fabulous exhibitions, particularly of the printmaking variety, as that’s my special love. I have in the past been a printmaker, and will be again one day.  I’ve been so inspired that I’m going to do a lino print of my logo idea, run up some prints and scan it into photoshop/illustrator for my business card.

Threadbear, my local quilt shop have had a 2 day Sale so I popped in and grabbed some fabrics for my pickledish clamshell project.  I’d run out of the patterned background fabrics and needed a bit more variety, so now I can get a few more of those done as well. I also grabbed a piece of that pretty pink floral as well.

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Sale day fabrics for Pickledish Clamshells

And a little more fabric I picked up from the 50% off shelf a little while ago.

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I'm not sure what I'll do with them

And next week is the first ‘Farm Day’ for the year.  I think it’s Princes/Princess Feather? patterns that we’ll be looking at.  I’m off back to Illustrator to do some more work on Margaret’s logo.