Sunday, September 22, 2013



Walking Chester in the park yesterday morning I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my skin, and with it the promise of summer just around the corner.

St Marks Quilters Sept 20132 

The prospect of spending the day ahead with these lovely ladies* from St Mark’s Quilters put a spring in my step too.

St Marks Quilters Sept 2013

St Marks Quilters Sept 20131

…and birthday girls Di B and Sue (below) Birthday cake


* In addition to Kirstin, Perdita, Margaret, and Cath who somehow eluded my camera this time.

As our finished quilts pile up there’s a happy sense of anticipation of the day when they’ll be handed over to the two organisations we support – RPA Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit and the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre (known as “The Marcia”).

This month’s finishes make great eye candy!


Three kindy quilts by Barb



Three kindy quilts by Sophie and Susan, who like to work as a team.



A kindy quilt (on the left) by Gillian and a Blanket of Love by Di C



A kindy quilt made by Margaret from a charm pack, and two sweet little Blankets of Love made with hexies that she cut with Paddington Patchworkers’ new Go! Baby cutter.IMG_5908



A kindy quilt by Perdita



A kindy quilt by Susie

You might recall Kirstin’s knitted patchwork quilt, started last year, in softest fine cotton using delicate shades of lemon, green, tangerine and blue.

We had helped her lay out the squares into a pleasing pattern some time ago, then taken a photo of the layout and wrapped each block’s pieces in plastic wrap and numbered them. So even though the project had been put on hold for a little while it was a relatively easy matter for Kirstin to take up where she left off.


Another slow-burner (you know I’m a huge fan of the slow-burner myself!) is this pretty quilt Amanda’s working on. Today she added the first of two borders and I think this yellow is just perfect (being a huge fan of yellow in quilts too!). I can’t wait to see the final border soon.


We’re also eagerly anticipating the induction of our new minister, Michael Jensen, on 10th October. It’s been a whole year since Boak died and with the dedication of a beautiful plaque to his memory in the church on 1st September it’s now time for us to look to the future.


Finally, on a personal note, I’m anticipating two exciting arrivals this week. This little person, my new grandbaby, is due any day now, and I simply can’t wait to meet him/her!


And my daughter, Sarah, is arriving home from the US for a holiday. We’re going to have the best time!


Yes, that is a snake Surprised smile

Red rose Di

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Laurel’s Stars and Princess Plenty

Remember how excited you felt starting out, at the beginning of the school year, with new exercise books and folders? When Paddington Patchworkers invited delightful Blue Mountains quilt designer and teacher, Lynne Alchin, to come and teach a class Di B decided her besties needed folders to keep all our cut-out pieces and applique shapes organised.

Quilt Folder Collage

The concept is simple, a loose leaf ring binder filled with zip lock plastic pages that can hold all those tiny pieces that seem to get left between the cushions or on the floor under the chair. You could just use ordinary household zip lock bags, but these are made specially to fit in binders and are more robust.

For the covers Di picked a fabric she knew each of us would love – and she certainly hit the spot with my Kaffe hot pink fans!






Di B with Rae

If you’ve been following my blog for several years you might recall this quilt made by my friend Anne a couple of years ago.

It’s Lynne Alchin’s design, “Laurel’s Stars”, and was the quilt that first sparked our determination to have Lynne come and teach us. When Gail successfully secured her Lynne brought her original “Laurel’s Stars” along to our class and oh my, this quilt is exquisite.


Di B chose this quilt to make for her mother, Margaret, and since she’s such a machine applique whizz she had it finished to this stage in no time. Go ahead, you may drool now.


Rae’s more of a handwork lady, and her starry borders are coming together steadily, piece by piece. This is the only photo I have so far. [Does anyone else use their pants as a pincushion? I confess I doWinking smile]


Desley’s put her own quirky spin on Laurel’s Stars by using only fabrics from her scrap stash to complete her applique – and I love it!


My own choice is Lynne’s “Princess Plenty” quilt (seen below), with a centre star surrounded by huge feathers, a pieced border and then …. (be still, my heart) … a deep border of applique vines, flowers, fruit, birds and cornucopias.


I’m using some of my treasured Robyn Pandolph florals, along with Lecien Flower Sugar fabrics, so mine will look very different from Lynne’s.


Already I’ve made a rather cheeky design adjustment. I wasn’t happy with how the centre points of my star met (or didn’t meet!).


My solution? A tiny applique dot to hide my sins. Have you seen my tutorial for these babies?

Edited LA quilt

Edited LA quilt 3

It’s so great to be embarking on another major handwork project along with my quilting friends, and seeing their variations on the designs really gets all our creative juices flowing.

PS. I’ve had a few requests lately for advice on how to assemble the Joseph’s Coat/Orange Peel blocks I used to make my “Daisy a Day” quilt, and I’m preparing a tutorial on this. I’ll post it as soon as I’m able.

Red rose Di

Sunday, September 1, 2013


With my new abode still a work-in-progress I can’t quite give you the grand tour just yet. Not that the tour will ever be very grand, but you get my drift.

However since this blog is supposed to be mainly about quilting – my own and that of my friends – I thought I’d update you on what we’ve been up to.

Rae’s Grandmother’s Flower Garden just grows and grows in a most beautiful fashion. I think Rae’s our undisputed Queen of Fussy Cutting! She thinks she’s going to use up all her scraps on this monster. Should we tell her now? or let her find out that this is an impossible dream.


Sue’s caught the hexagon bug too, but hers are quilt-as-you-go. What you can’t see is that the quilt is entirely reversible, and will need no sandwiching or quilting at all once it’s finished.


Here are some more gorgeous hexagon finishes by Sue using Japanese fabrics and hardware she bought at the Sydney Craft Fair.

IMG_5503Gail made this lovely Flowering Vines quilt from a pattern by the Piece o’ Cake girls a few years ago, but she’s always felt it needed a co-ordinating pillow case. Don’t you love her design? Those scrappy edges are such a fun touch.



Gail has also had the wonderful news that she is to be a grandma to twin girls early in the new year, and being a woman of action she’s already designed, made and quilted these quirky beauties for the babies. Geckos for one, and frogs for the other.


IMG_5658There’s one in every crowd, and in our crowd it’s Di B. We love her! Just look at that bag, from a pattern by the Blue Willow girls, made in the cutest, brightest frog fabric and sure to raise a smile wherever Di wears it. Great work!


Here’s a work-in-progress shot.


I’m loving Lyn’s owl quilt in 30s fabrics. Such a simple concept, but so happy and cheery for a little one. And “hoo” doesn’t enjoy an owl joke now and then?


In case you think I’ve been completely idle, this photo was snapped by the quilting paparazzi at our August St Mark’s Quilters workshop. I might have just been sewing on a label, but that counts as quiltmaking, doesn’t it?


I’m a bit excited, too, to tell you that my Daisy a Day quilt appears in an article on Orange Peel quilts in the current issue of Down Under Quilts, along with photos I took of ancient examples of this design in stone and mosaics when I was travelling in Israel last year, and several ‘photos of photos’ from a museum display.



It’s surprising how far back some of our quilting designs go.


There really is nothing new under the sun!

Red rose Di