Thursday, October 27, 2011

That quilt again!

Regular readers know the one. It’s a beautiful quilt but it has an identity crisis.

Joseph’s Coat / Waiting for Russell / Tea Leaf / Lover’s Knot /Lafayette Orange Peel… This traditional quilt pattern goes by all these names, but until now I’ve been fence-sitting, unable to decide what to call my particular version. 

Several of us are working on the same pattern, and in the collage below you can see our fabric choices.

(Clockwise, starting with the top right photo) Jill’s, Lyn’s, mine and Gail’s.

Joseph's Coat

Anne is making one too, using blue Kaffe fabrics.


I’ve finally finished enough circle blocks to make my quilt the same size as Sandra Dart’s “Waiting for Russell” pattern, but I’ve decided I want my quilt larger. 16 circles more ought to do it, and shouldn’t take me too long.


If I can find a couple of hours in the evening to stitch in front of the TV I can complete one of these daisy-shaped blocks a day.



So that’s what I think I’ll call my quilt – “Daisy a Day” Be right back  What do you think?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paddington Patchworkers Breast Cancer Morning Tea

Statistically you’d expect to find them in a group the size of ours, and you do. Breast cancer survivors, strong, positive women getting on with their lives and making the most of every day.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for 27% of all cancer diagnoses in 2007, and one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85. 

So when Breast Cancer Day rolls around each October we at Paddington Patchworkers usually hold a morning tea and do our best to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Yesterday our quilters brought along these delicious treats (and more!).

Paddo Patchworkers Breast Cancer Morning



We brought handmade goods for a stall too, but I think I must have been too busy sampling Charlyn’s lavender-topped cupcakes to get a photo before the stall was cleaned out by eager buyers.

Same story with the lucky door prize hamper of quilty bits and pieces (this time I’ll blame Di B’s scones with jam and cream for distracting me).


Amazingly some industrious types even managed a little stitching.

Janet worked on her scallops.


Jillian and Glenda stitched away at their embroideries.




Rae was making more hexagons for her grandmother’s flower garden quilt.




Gail was smocking a little Liberty print dress for her granddaughter.


Julie worked on her applique.


Sue sewed the binding down on this zippy strippy quilt as some of us made a mental note to make a quilt like this ourselves.


Hannah brought along a spectacular quilt top for show and tell, the very first quilt her daughter has made – pieced completely by hand. I’m loving this one!IMG_1363

And Di B and her lovely mum Margaret just enjoyed the fun.


How much did around 20 Paddington Patchworkers raise? The very respectable sum of $550. Well done, girls.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

BOMs away!

Most of the Block of the Month quilts I’ve seen in the past have been expensive, time-consuming and required me to commit to a lengthy contract. I’ve always imagined myself burdened with the pressure to keep up my “homework” each month lest I fall behind. I have enough pressure in my life, thank you very much, so consequently I’ve steered clear of BOMs.

Until now.


Circles of Life by Jenny of Elefantz is great value (unbelievable, in fact), runs over just 6 months (perfect for those of us with commitment issues) and is the sweetest little embroidered and pieced quilt I’ve seen in a long while.


Better still, Jenny has cleverly broken up the monthly assignments so that they are do-able for even the busiest person. That embroidery is so portable that it can be whipped out whenever there’s a spare moment.


This month’s BOM was in fact six! But they’re all mini-blocks, and took no time at all. As you can see, I haven’t quite finished my homework yet. I need to trim these blocks down and machine a border around each one.







Circles of Life is just one of the delightful little patterns Jenny publishes in her Elefantz Home online magazine every month.

Are you working on Jenny’s Circles of Life quilt too?


Friday, October 21, 2011

I love to boast…

…about what talented friends I have!

Look at Margaret’s latest finish, an amazing quilt-as-you-go quilt for her great grandson, Hamish. 

A quilt like this would be an achievement for any quilter, but when the crafter in question is eighty-something years young and has only been making quilts for 2 years  I think she deserves all the accolades I know you, dear readers, are going to send her way (in your comments).


As a graduate of Stitchin’ Mission here at St Mark’s Darling Point (Australia) Margaret knows how important it is to label her quilts so future generations will always know who made them. This label was composed by Margaret, created in Publisher by me, and printed on Printed Treasures fabric by Di B. It was easy.


What better reward could a great grandma ask for but a beaming smile and a big hug from a little boy who’ll be reminded how much she loves him every time he snuggles under that wonderful quilt for years to come.


Great job, Margaret!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

This one made me cry…


Beautiful daughter … Beautiful Virginian countryside … Beautiful message!

And it came as the “icing on the cake” just after she had Skyped me this morning too.

Thank you, darling – you made my day  Birthday cake


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some thoughts on sponsored blog posts

If you’re a blogger you’ll probably recognise this scenario. An email pops into your box from a company offering to give you a free product, and maybe even one to offer as a giveaway to one of your lucky readers.

All they ask in return is that you write a review of their product on your blog– unbiased of course .

To review? or not to review? That is the question


Julie’s been pondering this too, and has set out her stance in her blog post today. She’s asked us, her readers and fellow bloggers, to share our thoughts on the subject as well, and I’m so glad she’s opened the discussion on a subject that’s been on my mind for a while now.

So far I’ve resisted the lure of free goodies because the products have simply not been a close enough fit with what I write about on my blog. The lure of money-making from my writing is just not strong enough to take me down that path.

When I write a review, I want it to be from the heart, and I think any sponsor worth their salt would want this from me too. Besides, dear reader, you’ll see through it in a wink if it’s not.


I enjoy blogging because…

I love words, their rhythm and colour, and the effect they can have.

I love sharing my life with you, and half the fun comes from the sharing.

I love shouting to the rooftops about the creativity and generosity of so many of my real-life quilting friends especially as I’m the only blogger among them. Somebody has to show you what a wonderful bunch they are, and they won’t blow their own trumpets.

I love the connection it gives me to a whole community of readers across the world. When I started out blogging 6 years ago I had no idea this would happen and it still blows me away!

I don’t do it for the money, but I’ll be honest and say that if I can earn pocket money from writing about the things that give me the most pleasure in life, then I’m more than ready to have a go. For example, since I love reading I’ve felt very comfortable joining affiliates programmes and offering links in my sidebars to Book Depository and Amazon. 

I might do better if I actually wrote the occasional book review, but let’s just say I’d need more hours in my day right now!


Following Julie’s example then, here are some subjects I’d consider writing about, if approached by a sponsor…

Quilting, fabric, embroidery, knitting, sock monkeys, life with grandchildren, labradors, travel, photography, reading and cooking (and, if there’s any left over after Julie’s had her share…chocolate!).

What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Making and giving

At St Mark’s Quilters we love to make quilts for others. Mostly we make them for charitable organisations who know best how to use them.

But sometimes those “others” are simply people near and dear to us. And sometimes we don’t even make quilts.

Look at this jazzy Patchwork Cat tapestry that Kirstin was working on today for a special gift. What a winning combination – such a sweet smile,  colours that sing (jazz, of course!), a sprinkling of hearts, a sassy crown and the patchwork pussy cat herself. I really love this!


For those enquiring minds who want to know, the kit can be purchased online from Jolly Red (in the UK) or Mosman Needlecraft (in Australia)*


Michelle was knitting a very special doll for her granddaughter, complete with her very own hipster wardrobe. Again, anticipating eager cries of “Where can I get it?”, I took a photo of the pattern book and went a-Googling.


The 32 page AK Traditions classic hand knitted doll book (shown below) is available online from AK Traditions in Melbourne (Australia) and really appeals to my “inner child”. When I was researching where my readers could buy this book I saw that they also have what looks like an amazing book of patterns for even more knitted accessories for these dolls*


Perdita’s daughter was married in August, and having shared the excitement of the wedding planning each month everyone wanted to see the album of photos she brought along today.

Not only did the mother of the bride, the bridesmaid (Perdita’s other daughter)and the bride herself look stunning, but they were elegantly accessorised with a simple bunch of hot pink sweet peas carried by the bridesmaid, and snowdrops carried by the bride.


Perdita had even more to “show and tell” – a Double Irish Chain wedding quilt of more than 2,000 2 inch squares that she has lovingly (and accurately!) pieced together for the happy couple. Just the borders to come, then the quilting. Watch this space.


And finally, just so we all felt part of the happy occasion, she brought along some wedding cake (which she had made herself). Wonderful!



* In case you’re wondering, I’ve not received sponsorship from any of these companies ( – but samples are always welcome Winking smile)

Monday, October 10, 2011

The sky was blue – and our quilts were too!



Gillian created these three beautiful variations using the same cute-as-a-button fabrics.







Dale’s a friend of ours from Paddington Patchworkers who can’t come to our monthly Saturday workshops, but  generously made us a Blanket of Love to add to our growing collection. How’s this for sunshine and blue sky?





Moo knows that sometimes simple is best if you have the right fabrics, like these confetti dots and teddy bears.




And Barb’s been playing around with delicate blue florals from her stash to make her Disappearing 4 Patch with a difference.




Finally, doesn’t the green in this one by Gail D go well with the fresh greens in our garden at St Mark’s?



Yes, amazingly there is more work by our keen St Mark’s Quilters to share here. See you back tomorrow?