Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yours, in haste…

I’ve been a little busy this week.

Visiting …


Shopping for plants to replenish our garden after a winter of neglect…


And fondling these fabrics…



I’ll be taking part in the Dots on Dots Blog Hop next month, the perfect excuse to design a project using my happiest and spottiest fabrics. You’ll have to wait till the very last day (20th September) to see my contribution to the fun, but there will be plenty of blogs to visit and admire along the way.

Click on the image below, or the Dots on Dots badge in the upper right hand of this page to see the complete list of bloggers joining in.


Finally, for those of you who’ve been counting, I haven’t forgotten that I have yet to reveal the last of the three quilts I announced that I’d finished in July. You’ve seen the Whirligig Quilt and the Wedding Quilt, and I hope I don’t have to keep you waiting too much longer for Daisy a Day. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Sometimes saying goodbye can be tough.

Today, just three whirlwind weeks after we swept her up into our arms at the airport, we were back there again to see Sarah off on her long journey back to the USA.

Whilst here she’s caught up with friends and family, been a part of our exciting family wedding, slept (a lot) and made a quilt – a Blanket of Love for RPA Newborn Care’s Intensive Care Nursery.

It’s been exciting having her around the house again, even if Chester has shunned us in favour of his new best friend, Sarah.


He insisted on being part of this photo, simply took his place beside Sarah and refused to budge. Just look at that sad little black face. You can’t tell me he didn’t sense that this would be his last morning with her for who knows how long.


Out at the airport, we drank coffee together and took photos, trying hard to be brave.



Then she was gone, back to “living the dream”. We wouldn’t have it any other way, but we miss her just the same.


If one goodbye is tough, having to say two in one day is just plain heartbreaking.

We said our final farewells to our dear friend Jan this afternoon, and celebrated her long and generous life, a life spent bringing sunshine into the lives of others.

IMG_9661 Through her friendships, her volunteer work, her support for disadvantaged people across the world, and her bright, cheerful outlook on life, Jan made the world a better place for so many people.


For me it was a special privilege to have have been one of “Jan’s Girls”, participants in the morning exercise classes that she conducted locally for around 30 years.

It’s probably not news to you that I’m not a morning person, but after an hour of stretches, marches, jigs and laughter I never failed to leave Jan’s class with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Her love of life, of good health, and of her Lord were downright infectious.

Jan's Birthday

Goodbye, dear Jan (and you make sure those angels sit up nice and straight and don’t cross their legs).


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pretty little things

Just pictures today – little pincushions I made for my treasured friends whose small gestures of kindness helped our big occasion run so smoothly.












Lucky for me they’re all quilters Red rose


Monday, August 13, 2012

Two stunning winners at Hunters Hill Quilt Show


Last week it was rose petals at St Mark’s, this week confetti at Hunters Hill Quilt Show.

Periwinkle Confetti, to be exact, an eye-poppingly beautiful quilt made by my friend Heather Watts, one of 10 quilts chosen as winners by the non-quilting guest judge, chef Alex Herbert from the (now closed) Bird, Cow, Fish restaurant in Surry Hills.


Heather’s crisp and pretty style really resonates with me, and Nic Bridges has quilted it to perfection! Take a closer look at those feathers along the border in the photo above, and swoon!





But wait, there’s more! Heather’s Aloha – Flowers of Hawaii won as well! I can almost hear the ukeleles and smell the frangipani.


Actually a little Hawaiian sunshine would be heavenly right now … I’m sure Di B and Gillian would agree. Here’s a momentary shivery pose before all three of us bolted for the car!IMG_9386

Dddddddddddd…Di Winking smile

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Covering up

They’ve arrived, right on time. Those chilling August winds. Too lazy to go round you, they go right through you, blowing off the snow, not far away in the Blue Mountains.

Scarves and warm coats were de rigeur for our early arrivals at St Mark’s Quilters this morning, but we were soon warmed up and ready for another day of stitching together.

5-St Mark's Quilters August 2012

Today we introduced humidicrib covers into the mix of charity quilting projects we enjoy working on.


Here’s one Di B prepared earlier, made from a pattern the nurses at the RPAH Newborn Intensive Care Nursery gave us, with flaps they can lift up to access those arm holes when they need to attend to a sick premmie baby.


Those crazy red, yellow, green and blue sock monkeys, and the rainbow bias-cut binding, were enough to get plenty of creative juices flowing.

Gillian’s cover, scattered with giraffes, will have a pinwheel pieced panel across the top.


Friendly, circus lions and zippy zigzag binding were fun choices for Di B’s second cover.


Barb’s chosen teddy bears and dots – always a hit.


And Sue’s pink, lime, lemon and aqua chickens are absolutely scrumptious.


They’re reasonably straight forward to make, the biggest decision being how to quilt them. As you can see, most of our quilters have gone with sensible options like meandering and straight line quilting which take little time and compliment the cover designs.

However Someone simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to practice her free motion machine quilting, and went just a little overboard with some very free-form swirls, flowers and feathers. Consequently her cover has taken slightly longer to make. Once she’s sewn her binding on in a few days though, this Someone will share her finished humidicrib cover with you Winking smile


Of course we made quilts as well, gorgeous pastel baby quilts for newborns (with a few in stronger colours thrown in for those modern parents who like something a little different), and a couple of child-sized quilts for pre-schoolers at The Marcia (KU kindy for autistic children).

You can see more detailed photos of all these quilts by clicking on the Blankets of Love tab above and scrolling down to the end of our growing gallery of quilts.

17-St Mark's Quilters August 20121

My daughter Sarah, home for a 3 week visit, worked on finishing the sweet little blue toile quilt she started last year before she flew off to the USA and Botswana.IMG_9455

Gail taught Helen to paper-piece hexagons. Yes, she’s addicted already!


Michelle learnt from Sue how to square off her tumbler quilt, made from luscious hand-dyes by Lisa at Dyed and Gone to Heaven.


Margaret brought along her latest quilt-as-you-go quilt, all in blue for her blue-loving friend who’s turning 80 in a few weeks.


And we all played with our new group “toy”, the Simplicity Binding Maker. Suddenly everyone had to make a binding today! We had such fun watching those metres and metres of crisp, folded bindings emerge, all ready to sew on our projects.


With that chill wind outside, misty rain drifting past from time to time, and some of us facing life’s challenges and sadness, the idea of comfort was very much on our minds today - the comfort we can give others by using the gifts God’s given us to make quilts, and the comfort He can give us if we bring our worries to him.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Wedding Quilt

Ready for another #10 bus?

You’ve seen so many sneak peeks of this one, so here’s the reveal. Taaadaaa!!


Of the three queen-sized quilts I skited shared about finishing in July, this is the only one I also started the same month, a feat only possible because I stepped out of my comfort zone and made it entirely by machine.


I wanted this quilt to reflect the blending of two cultures, Korean and Australian. Most importantly, I also wanted to include in it something of Ben’s and Sunny’s daughter, our precious little Princess.


I chose oriental-themed fabrics from a collection I had been gathering for a few years, augmented with a handful of Australian fabrics from Leesa Chandler’s Under the Australian Sun 2 collection. Since most of the orientals, as well as the Australians, were embellished with gold stamping, they played together very happily indeed!


I love the way Leesa’s Australian native flowers – flannel flowers, tea tree, gum blossom, gum leaves, banksia and waratah – add plenty of colour to the quilt, along with the cherry blossom, chrysanthemums and ginkgo leaves from various other collections.


I used Julie Wallace’s Lanterns of Light triangle template to cut my equilateral triangles after first cutting 8 inch wide strips.  Because several pairs of eyes are always better when determining a layout, Di B, her mum Margaret and I spent a morning with all the pieces spread on the floor making sure there was a nice balance.


I know you can still see some clashes, but please don’t blame Di B and Margaret for this. I confused myself just a little when I was sewing the rows of triangles together Eye rolling smile.  Our church hall was the perfect place to sandwich and tack the quilt, and I machine quilted it on my Bernina 1230.


With the guide attached to the walking foot, I quilted 1 inch either side of all the seam lines, a simple process as I was just machining edge to edge across the quilt. Wrangling the quilt through the 6.5 inch harp (throat) was a little challenging at times, but not impossible.

My recently acquired perspex extension table helped enormously, as did applications of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream, which made my fingers so grippy I felt like Spiderman!!!



The Moda wide quiltback in rich scarlet was a lucky find at Patchwork Products, as was the black and white binding that I think nicely frames all those  ‘look at me!’ triangles.





81 in x 75 in

Various ranges of oriental themed fabrics, teamed with Under the Australian Sun 2 by Leesa Chandler for Robert Kaufman.

Bamboo batting.

Pieced and quilted on a Bernina 1230.

Pieced with Aurifil 40 weight thread in white (2024)

Quilted with Aurifil 50 weight thread in red (lost its label!)