Sunday, May 29, 2011

Meet Blossom


Blossom is my latest sock monkey,  a shy, old-fashioned little girl with tiny bunches of pink blossom on her legs and outstretched arms.


She’s made from a pair of new toddler socks, and her dearest wish is to belong to a little baby girl who will love her.


So little Blossom is practicing her very sweetest smile in the hope that a kind nanna will buy her from the craft stall at our annual hospital fundraiser at the end of June.



Friday, May 27, 2011

It’s been three weeks

…and I know you’re dying to hear about the secret quilters’ business Di B and I were up to in this post.

But I ‘m afraid you’ll just have to bear with me for a little longer. Winking smile



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All Hail the Two Gails!

I have two talented quilting friends called Gail – Gail O and Gail D - and today I’d like to share with you their latest creations.

Gail O made this very tactile Noah’s Ark mini-quilt for her little granddaughter.



Gail’s our “queen of embellishment” and you can imagine how fascinating those fluffy tufts of ‘hair’ are going to feel to little E’s fingers.


Or she might like to rub the monkey’s tummy.


Or stroke these two fluffy velveteen ducks.


The elephant even flaps his ear Smile


And now for something completely different…

We all admired Gail D’s new block keeper roll at St Mark’s Quilters last week.


Such a useful accessory to carry quilt blocks on the go, and Gail’s version is just so luscious and rosy.


I made one for myself a few years ago, but I much prefer Gail’s chosen fabrics, so mellow and vintage – and PINK! And just look at that lining fabric with the fine handwriting.


If you’d like to make one for yourself, Gail used these instructions from Teresa’s blog All Things Vintage.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Colourful birds

No, not my English Quilt friends Rae, Gail and Anne Smile


Jill hosted our sewing day this month, and there was plenty of colour, both in the amazing birdlife visiting her garden throughout the day, and in the projects everyone was working on.

Colourful Birds-1

As one for whom the local wildlife in our suburb, not far from the CBD, consists pretty much of the cat at the foot of the bed, Chester the world’s best labrador, and the occasional cockroach disappearing under the door, I was entranced by the king parrots, pink galahs and rainbow lorikeets in Jill’s leafy lower north shore environs.

Sitting inside around Jill’s cosy fire, six of us stitched away at various projects.

Rae managed to finish off the hand quilting on this exquisite Japanese quilt made from the leftovers of a much bigger quilt currently being machine quilted (watch this space!).


Gail, Jill, Robbie, Anne and I worked on our pieced version of the Joseph’s Coat quilt, using Ardco templates in Tea Leaf design.

Gail’s using Liberty fabrics, including some of the reproduction fabrics produced for the Victoria & Albert Quilt Exhibition last year.


Jill’s rich  earthy brown is the perfect foil for her aquas and ultramarines.


You might recall I’m using mostly Kaffe Fassett fabrics in mine, with a white spotty tone-on-tone for the background.


Robbie’s petals are in delicate pastels.


And Anne’s using Kaffes too, but in a palette of blues.


Because we can never have just one project on the go, Anne also brought along her applique medallion for the Lynne Alchin quilt, Laurel’s Stars.



And Jill showed us the blocks she’s been making for Chris Jurd’s beautiful quilt Deauville, from Quilter’s Companion.



Four of us have made various adaptations of the Frederika Josephson quilt (seen in Dr Annette Gero’s book The Fabric of Society) so it was somewhat appropriate that from Jill’s deck we could look across the bay to the land on which Frederika Josephson and her husband Emmanuel lived from 1853 to 1873 in their house, Riverview Cottage.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Come with us to the Holy Land!

How timely was this delicious post from Marlene about her recent trip to Israel! – just as I was about to tell you about the tour my DH (the Rev’d Canon Boak Jobbins) and I are escorting early next year.

I don’t believe in coincidences, so if you happen to be thinking about making the journey yourself sometime soon, this might be your opportunity. Smile

“In the Footsteps of Jesus” is a 21 day tour, from 19 February to 10 March 2012, starting in the city of Amman in Jordan.

We’ll be flying there from Sydney, but if you want to join us, and don’t live in Australia, it’s very easy to arrange to meet us there.


We’ll travel to some fabulous sites in Jordan, including the ruins of the city of Jerash, and unforgettable Petra, before crossing into Israel near Aqaba and travelling north through the Negev Desert to the Dead Sea region. Here we’ll ascend to the fortress of Masada in a cable car, and even enjoy a float in the Dead Sea if you wish.


As we travel further up we’ll visit Qumran, Bethany, Joppa, Caesarea Maritima, Mt Carmel, Tiberias, Megiddo, Sepphoris, and Capernaum – all familiar names right out of the Bible.

We’ll take a ride in a small boat on the Sea of Galilee where the rolling hills that surround us have changed little since Jesus’ day.

The climax of any trip to the Holy Land has to be Jerusalem and our plan is to arrive via the Mount of Olives so that we can enjoy the spectacular vista before going down into the city.


As well as exploring Jerusalem in detail (we have 6 nights there) we will go out to Bethlehem , and to Jericho (security permitting).

This video has more photos of what you’ll see.

In the Footsteps of Jesus–A Journey to Jordan and Israel February–March 2012

It will be my third time in Israel, and Boak’s fourth, and he, of course, is wonderfully knowledgeable about the significance of each of the sites we’ll visit. In addition we’ll have a local guide and bus driver to take us everywhere in air conditioned comfort, and we’ll stay in 4 star hotels (with ensuite facilitiesWinking smile).

If you’d like to read about our adventures on the tour we led in 2008 pop over to the blog I wrote as we went along.

This tour works for me on so many levels. Like Marlene, I feel a very deep spiritual connection with this part of the world. For the historian it’s a treasure-trove. Photographers, artists and quilters will find so much to feed their creative appetite – and if our previous trip is anything to go by, we will enjoy making new friends.

Please contact me at if you’d like more details including the costs.

We would like to know reasonably soon whether we have a viable number of participants.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And even more St Mark’s Quilters activity!

At last Saturday’s workshop not everyone was working on Blankets of Love. Liz and Barb were happily adding colourful sashings to some New Life quilt blocks.
Remember, the scraps that make up these blocks are so tiny that most quilters would consign them to the bin. It’s such a good feeling to give them New Life!
Margaret was giving  some scrappy strips another chance at life too, as she sewed them into quilt-as-you-go blocks.
And Carol was knitting squares to be sewn together to make warm rugs for Wrap with Love – not to be confused with Blankets of Love!
I love this group Smile
It does my heart good to call such caring and generous women my friends!

More Baby Quilts

One of my very favourite scrappy quilts is this one from Rita of Red Pepper Quilts, so I thought I’d make a baby-sized Blanket of Love version to try it out for myself.
Mine’s only 20 inches square, for a very tiny baby.  When Di C saw it last month she was taken with the design too, but being a very considered quilter who likes to choose her fabrics carefully Di wanted a less scrappy result.
Over the past 4 weeks she has turned these beautifully colour-co-ordinated scraps …
… into this fabulous 25 inch baby quilt!
I just love how crisp and fresh this quilt looks when worked with a carefully chosen palette, and I think I might be trying this out for myself soon.
The quilt-love’s spreading, and Gail has started on her pastel version now.
Amanda was spreading sunshine with this checkerboard baby quilt.
Sarah started her quilt in the morning and was ready to quilt it by the end of the day – and did just that when she went home!

Blankets of Love

With their usual enthusiasm our warm-hearted St Mark’s Quilters have embraced our latest project – Blankets of Love for RPA Newborn Care.


Little 24 inch square quilts, they are given to grieving parents whose newborn bubs sadly don’t survive.


Since our decision to support Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in this way, several women have told us about the secret pain of losing a baby, and we are coming to appreciate how very meaningful these little quilts can be at this sad time, and for many years on.


A quilt is a precious memento to cling to, and when friends comment on the quilt it gives the parents an opening to talk about the little one they have loved and lost, but who will always have a special place in their hearts.


Di B and I ran up a few examples, and before long there was no stopping our girls.


Gail made this cutie scattered with tiny circus lions.



And Moo dipped into her stash of pinks to make these sweet and girly little quilts.



From a quilter’s point of view they are a delight to make – and a wonderful opportunity to try out new techniques with quick results.

I’ve added a special Page for these Blankets of Love so you can keep track of our progress in the photo gallery.