Sunday, July 31, 2011

Di J’s and Di B’s Big Day Out

In the pre-dawn gloom on Friday Di B and I were grinning like cheshire cats as my DH drove us to the airport for our 7am flight.

In my bright pink coat, toting my selvage bag, and accompanied by that very colourful character Di B, we might have been just a little conspicuous on the plane amid a sea of dark suits hunched silently over their iPads reading the Sydney Morning Herald on their way to conduct business in Melbourne.

We were on our way to the Melbourne Quilt and Craft Fair for the day, and in particular to see the Victorian Quilters’ Guild Fabric of Society Challenge quilts.

This challenge involved making a quilt inspired by, recreated or adapted from any quilt published in quilt historian Dr Annette Gero’s book, The Fabric of Society – Australian Quilt Heritage from the Convict Times to 1960.

The Fabric of Society

Months ago I had entered a photo of my Scrappy Hexagon quilt, a version of Kerry Dear’s Candied Hexagons, and was amazed when my quilt was accepted.

Long-time followers of this blog will recall that Candied Hexagons was inspired by the Frederica Josephson quilt (shown here) in Annette Gero’s book.

scanned image 13 Fredricas quilt1850-1

I’ve never entered a quilt in an exhibition before, so it’s somewhat ironic that my first entry should be a quilt that was not made for competition and was only meant to cover my knees as I watched TV on winter evenings. It’s not show-perfect, but it does fit the criteria for this challenge, and my highest hope was simply to see it displayed with others similarly inspired by antique quilts.


Consequently as I sent my quilt off I had visions of the lovely ladies opening the box, throwing up their hands in horror at my workmanship, and putting it quietly aside. Di B was the only person I told about my entry, and she insisted on coming to Melbourne with me to share the experience.

Best of all, good friend that she is, she promised not to laugh if my quilt wasn’t hung.

To see my Scrappy Hexagons (as I now call it) hanging in the exhibition space, alongside other much more exquisitely executed quilts , was an absolute thrill for this novice.  Can you tell?


Does everyone who enters a quilt for the first time feel the same way, I wonder?

The winning quilt, and Best of Show in the Fabric of Society Challenge, was Dear Prudence by Linda White, and it was stunning!


Those are 1/4 inch hexagons, 17,977 of them, patiently stitched together with more than 500,000 stitches over 12 months. You can read about the making of this quilt on Linda’s blog here.


As I was taking this photo a lady beside me commented, “I don’t usually like machined quilts, but this one’s really good”. She was somewhat taken aback when I explained that it was in fact handmade. Congratulations, Linda!

The “icing on the cake” is that my humble Scrappy Hexagons quilt will spend next year travelling, with Linda’s magnificent Dear Prudence and the other beauties in the Fabric of Society Challenge, to the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne and then to the Quilt and Craft Fairs all over Australia.


Such exciting news inspired a little silliness Rolling on the floor laughing  *


We don’t get out much (lol!). My quilt, however, will make up for that next year.

And since we were indeed at a Craft Fair, we also managed a little lot of shopping, lunching and meeting up with two dear friends that I’ve known for several years online but had never met in person – Lynda and Neroli. There were hugs all round, and so much excitement that I completely forgot to take photos before we had to leave on a jet plane to fly home again for dinner.

As you do.


* Quilt Police please note – It might not look like it, but in fact no quilts were touched in the taking of these photographs!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A little unfinished business…

More chocolate-fuelled creativity from the English Quilt girls’ get-together last week.

This sumptuous wool-embroidered blanket isn’t something Gail just whipped up this month, but as a treasured creation of hers from a few years back it’s an elegant “show and tell”.








Rae is one of those quilters I really admire – a finisher! Here she is patiently hand-quilting her absolutely enormous Japanese quilt.





Anne and Jill enjoyed their stitching.


And so did Gail, our hostess. Wendi escaped before I could take her photo – next time, Wendi.


In other news, I’m making slow progress on latest hand-pieced quilt. Maybe it’s because of the sunglasses I need to wear when I work on it Hot smile


Bright, isn’t it?


If I sound as if I’m in a hurry, I am. Di B and I are leaving Sydney and jetsetting off to the Melbourne Quilt and Craft Fair at 7am tomorrow, hoping to meet up with some friends I’ve only met on the internet! We’ve known each other for years, but this will be the first time we’ve met in person – such excitement!

I’m feeling so fancy-free I’ve made this little piece of frivolity to wear on my overcoat. Lovely Wonderland scissors fabric by MoMo, and one of my very favourite selvages.

Will I look like a quilter, do you think?


Perhaps I’ll team it with my selvage bag.

Selvedge bag 3-1

Watch out, Melbourne – “Team Di” is on the way Open-mouthed smile (down and back in a day).



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chocolate cake boosts creativity


It’s true! The English Quilters have proved it.

Just look at some of the projects we “showed and told” when we met for our monthly sewing day last week.

Anne’s making progress with her Lynne Alchin-designed medallion quilt, Laurel’s Stars. Lots and lots of leaves to applique Smile


Jill’s Deauville quilt top, a Chris Jurd design in mellow antique hues, is finished and looking fabulous.


Jill saw her quilt backing as a perfect opportunity to use up her leftover fabrics.



Stitch by stitch Gail has been patiently hand quilting this vast tumbling blocks quilt for a very long time now – and finally it’s finished!


We all agreed that it would not look out of place on a four-poster bed in a historic house (even in my house Winking smile)


More chocolate cake-fuelled creativity to come…


Saturday, July 23, 2011


The moment she saw this colourful Michael Miller “Messy Hands” fabric on Linda’s blog earlier this year Di B decided it was just perfect for the children’s quilts St Mark’s Quilters make for the “Marcia” kindy and RPA Blankets of Love.

Expert fabric sleuth that she is, she soon tracked it down, and lucky Liz has been the first to use it.


Doesn’t this remind you of messy finger-painting and giggles?


The starry aqua backing complements it perfectly too. Liz, you’ve done a great job!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Five (of many) things that have made me smile in the last few weeks

Enjoying cuddles with my littlest darlings -  Xanna and Jack.



Catching up with my dear friend Linda, while she was on holidays in the Ozarks in the USA, through the magic of Skype. Linda’s blog is and I thought her very clever to rent a condo with a picture of a flourishing palm tree over her bed Smile 



Congratulating myself on being able to keep a phalaenopsis orchid alive for a whole year, and getting it to produce flowers.

My secret? Benign neglect.


Imagining the beautiful quilt I’m going to make with these lovely fabrics (and more) over the next 6 months. More about that later Smile




Fulfilling a special order for a friend who wanted these goodies made to give to new twin bubs in her family.




What’s been making you smile?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

St Mark's Quilters July Workshop

After last month's little whinge about our bleak weather* I had little nothing to complain about yesterday.

The sun shone brightly on our July workshop and after a refresher lesson in binding a quilt we immersed ourselves in what we love best - a whole day spent fabric fondling, rotary cutting and stitching together more fabulous little quilts (Blankets of Love) for RPA Newborn Care.

With Susie and Christine joining us for the first time there was even more to smile about. 

[There might have also been cake made by Margaret, biscuits brought by Moo and chocolates from Di B. :-)]

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Time to stop clowning around


Remember this post and this post about a top-secret project Di B and I were working on? It wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t. After all it was back in the Dark Ages May.

We’ve left you in suspense far too long, (oh we do love to tease!). However we were waiting for a special event – the arrival of this little man.


Hamish belongs to our Assistant Minister, Dan,  and his wife Emily, and here he is lying on our secret project – a new quilt, a gift from all the St Mark’s Quilters.

So many hands stitched their love for Hamish, Dan, Emily, and their little girls Ashlyn and Rhianna into this quilt which is bordered by twelve applique teddy bears, each made by a different St Mark’s Quilter.

Di B and I merely put the blocks together and finished it off.














May God bless you, little Hamish Red heart

Di – and all the St Mark’s Quilters

Emily's Quilt