Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Spirit

It is hard to believe that it is only a couple of days to Christmas Day.  There has been so much to organise for next year that I have given very little thought to the Festive Season.  But I know as long as I have family there to share a special meal and spend some time together which is what is happening what more do I really need.  It will be more than many people have at this time of the year so I intend to count my blessings every day. In some ways to have spent lots of money on things none of us really need would have felt wrong somehow.

We had our shop Cristmas get-together last Sunday and exchanged Kris Kringle gifts.They have to be hand made and we have all year to make them.  I had mine done by June because I know how frantic things can be at this time of the year.  Some people were still stitching the night before and some are not quite finished but will be by the end of the week and are worth waiting for.

I enjoyed making my gift so much I am planning on hand making all my gifts for next year.  So on New Years Day I will be making my gift list and starting the stitching in January.

Natasha and I would like to wish all our Blog readers and followers "A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year for 2012".

We wanted to show you a couple of photos of our free pattern made by Sandra. The top is finished and she is planning on having it quilted by next Christmas.  I love the applique she has added in the middle.  This quilt looks so festive and yet she has only used a couple of scraps of actual Christmas fabric. It is gorgeous and the photos really don't do it justice.

Happy stitching

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Preview Night

The shop is tidy again the dishes and glasses are washed and put away.  We had a great night with lots of the ladies indulging in a bit of retail therapy, oohing and aahing over our class samples for Term 1 in 2012. Some of the new classes are nearly full, so we are happy too.

Cheryl (aka Santa's Little Helper) really got into the Christmas spirit.
So cute.
This is one of the samples for the string piecing class and when I started it I thought "I am going to use up so many scraps." I was only kidding myself if I thought one quilt was going to make a dent in the tub. I think it's either the extra air from digging through the tub or the scraps and strings are breeding overnight while I am asleep. Whatever it is - the tub is still overflowing.

Till next time,


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chance Encounters

Since July I am not in the shop every day as I have been spending two days each week at home designing so it is a bit hit and miss to catch up with people.

I met a lovely lady from overseas today who has her own quilt shop and we had an indepth discussion about running a patchwork business and doing Mail Order over the internet.  It was really nice to talk to someone else with the same goals and interests.

 I love designing quilts and now I actually only do stuff that pleases me and hope that other people will like it too.  I have tried to do designs that I think people will like and then find that I am never happy with the finished result.  So I have learnt over the years that I have to be true to my own vision.

I have been "head down, bum up" (as the saying goes) for the last 4 weeks because we are having our Preview Night on Wednesday 7th December between 7.00 and 9.00pm where we reveal our new classes for next year and our new Block of the Month.  It is also our way of thanking our loyal customers for their support through the year with a cuppa and some nibblies plus some door prizes and extra special disounts.  So if you are local and free, come and say Hi and share in the fun.

Happy Stitching,


Thursday, November 17, 2011

No Connection

We had no internet connection for over a week due to technical difficulties with our local tower.  Aaarrgghhh! After several phone calls to our provider we were told it was going to take a while to fix.  The people at the other end of the phone were wonderful and very helpful but sometimes things like that are beyond anyone's control and we just have to go with the flow.

It actually gave me the incentive to do something I have been procrastinating over for about four weeks.  I have been working on a new Block of the Month for 6 months and I am really happy with it so far.  I am up to the borders and it kept telling me it needed applique on them.  (My quilts often talk to me you know !!!!)  I kept wanting to just sew a border on and send it off to be quilted and it kept saying "no, no, no, I need applique."

So in the end I listened and this is the result!

 Scraps in the bin and the applique is being stitched onto the border.

Till next time,


Friday, October 28, 2011

Simple is Good

Sometimes you just want to throw a quilt together that you don't want to have to agonise over.  You just want to play with pretty colours a little bit outside your comfort zone to see if they play nicely together.  In your mind they do, but sometimes when they are actually sewn together, they just don't work.  Then, if you are lucky, sometimes they really sing.  Sweet.

I have called it Zigzag.  It can be made in about two days so it is ideal for that last minute gift for a teenager, child or even a cool auntie.

The pattern is done and we will be selling kits in the shop and on our website by next week for that Christmas gift that has to be finished in a hurry.

Happy stitching from Therese

Thursday, October 20, 2011


On my last big "O" birthday I decided it was time to go through my cupboards and dig out the projects I was going to do "one day' because one day was here.  I gave away any that no longer held and interest for me and the others I put in order of priority.
The first one I finished was At Piece With Time and I am hoping I inspired at least one person to dig their's out to finish too. (How about it Siobhan).

The next one was a Secret Womens Business project from 2003 with my Friendship Group where we all got 2 fat quarters.  One was a large floral and the other was a stripe of the floral and an animal print. The quilt had to have a star in it and we had to use both prints.  I made the star and started on the log cabin blocks to go around the edge but ran out of the floral and the biscuit background so it got flung in a box and put in the cupboard of disillusion.

When I opened the box earlier this year and hung the bits on my design wall to study for a few days I had a lightbulb moment.  I could use several  biscuit coloured prints and a similar floral in the border so that I could still use the log cabin blocks instead of ditching them to start again with something else.

Then I worked out how many strips of the striped fabric I would need to go around the edge and worked out from the amount of fabric I had as to how wide I could cut the border. 

I really enjoyed finishing this quilt because it forced me to think outside the box several times and challenge myself.

The funny thing is that my tastes have changer so much in the last 8 years that I have given the top to a friend to finish because she loved it and the colours would be perfect in her bedroom.  Bye bye Feathered Star.Have a wonderful life with Cheryl.

I am now onto Number 3 WISP (Work In Slow Progress) and it will probably take me at least another 6 months to finish the top because there is lots of needleturn applique.  I started it in a class at Primarily Patchwork in October 1998.  All the appliques are prepared  so it is a perfect carry around project.

So, what's your oldest UFO and are you planning on ever finishing it?

Happy stitching from Therese.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dreaming of Patchwork

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about new quilts?  I woke the other night and thankfully was able to sketch a quick diagram before it vanished. 

My grandmother left me a black vase with a beautiful gold floral emblem.  I dreamt that I used the design for an applique - a black, taupe and grey floral fabric vase on a crisp white background.   In my dream it was stunning!  Alas, I have 5 or 6 U.F.O's that I 'should' finish before I begin this new design.

What should I do? Do I continue with my U.F.O's (even though I am bored with them!) or can I start another project? 

Until next time,


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where's Wally

This Wally has been finishing a new Country quilt design which is why I have been missing for several weeks.  The middle part is done and I am up to the borders and then I am on to the really boring stuff.  Writing the pattern, proof reading and then proof reading again, measuring every piece of fabric used so I can do an accurate costing for Block of the Month. Drawing the appliques and the piecing diagrams to make sure that anyone who purchases my patterns can make their own quilt with a minimum of stress.  But I actually love the whole process of designing, even the boring bits. 

The other thing I have been chipping away at is a quilt I started in 2004 called At Piece With Time.
I did it with my Friendship  Group.  We all bought a copy of the book and some of us actually started the quilt. I found the box of bits at the start of last year and realised all I had left to do was the middle block and the applique triangles. At friendship group nights all last year I stitched away at the triangles and then over the summer I started putting it together. However I was never 100% happy with the way they had put it together so decided to change the borders even though that involved another year of needle turn applique.  When I didn't have enough of one light fabric I used about ten different fabrics joined end to end. My personal rule at the moment is to "use the stash"  and I am so pleased I did.  I had worked out that the applique would fit on a 6 inch border.  When I finished the applique, of course I didn't have enough of any of the prints for a final border so I just cut any leftover fabrics from the quilt into strips, joined them end to end, cut the lengths I needed and sewed them on.

I am really happy with my quilt and I will get it basted by a long arm quilter so that I can hand quilt it over the next couple of years. It holds many, many happy memories for me.
I have a couple more long term projects nearly done too and I will have photos to show you soon.

Happy Stitching
 from Therese

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Quilt Show

It was like old home week.  I had a stall at my guild's quilt show over the weekend and it was so nice to catch up with members that I hadn't seen for ages.  I get so busy with running a shop and online business that I don't have a lot of time to socialise.  Sadly they never have any night time functions and the only weekend things are the bi-annual quilt show and a retreat on the alternate years.  So, as my gorgeous grandaughter came to help me, I was able to sit and chat and have coffee several times with ladies I have known for years.

I did remember to take my camera on Sunday and went off to snap some of the quilts and after two shots ---MEMORY FULL----Aarrgghhh. If I had realised I would have downloaded onto the computer on Saturday night before I went to bed.

This was one of my favourites.  I remember when Annaliese came into the shop looking for a border and we found a red japanese print which was perfect.  It was really special to see the finished quilt hanging in our quilt show.

So til next time,

Happy stitching

from Therese.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

If in doubt, add Purple

Maryanne says "if it's not working just add purple"

I have been trying to reduce my stash for several years and last year I decided to be really ruthless with my purples because Tasha had raided them but there were still a lot that didn't appeal to her.  So I got to with my rotary cutter and cut 2 1/2" strips, joined them end to end on the cross, then cut thirty 60 1/2 strips and sewed them together with no regard for what went with what.  As long as the same prints weren't next to each other it got sewn on. I then sewed three rows across the top and bottom to make it a bit longer. I threw this quilt together in two days and I can't believe how good it looks.  There are some very ugly fabrics in there.

 Then I picked out some of the larger pieces and joined them together for the back.
It was hand quiled 1/4" each side of the seams and the binding was the leftover 2 1/2" strips. It is called Linear I because I am now making a series of these quilts as a way of exploring colour and also light, medium and dark.

Linear II is not quilted yet and is in light and dark blue. Linear III is in brown,beige and grey And Linear IV is in green,yellow and apricot. It is called Citrus and is finished too.  It will also be on display this weekend (3rd and 4th September) with Linear I at Toorak College in Mt. Eliza at Mornington Peninsula Patchworkers Inc exhibition and I will be there with a stall of goodies too so if you are local come and have a look and say "hello".  It is usually a really interesting exhibition.

I am planning on taking some photos so I will post some next week.

Until then

Happy stitching,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Toys

We are very excited because we have finally upgraded our computer about a month ago.  The only problem is that I now have to learn how to drive it.  I was in my nice little comfort zone playing  with our old one and it has taken me a few weeks to get going on the new system which is why I haven't done a post for a couple of weeks. Tasha has had a really bad lurgie for about a month and is on her 3rd lot of antibiotics so hopefully this will fix it at last.

I am fairly limited with time at the moment as I have a project to finish for Homespun Magazine by the first week of September. (There are several funny stories about that and I will share them with you soon.) 

 Also my local Quilt Guild is having their Exhibition on 3rd and 4th September so I am sewing bindings, labels and sleeves on the four quilts I am putting in it  and they also have to be done by the same time.  so as you can imagine there is a lot of hand sewing going on.

I have been trying to add more photos and it won't let me so I will try again tomorrow

Happy stitching from Therese and Tasha

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sand Dune

Who remembers Sandcastle fabric? 

It was fabulous for bags and stitcheries because it was a thick and had a  weave that looked like it was quilted.  Sadly the company that produced it went out of business several years ago.  The good news is that there is a nearly identical product called Sand Dune available now.  It is $30.00 per metre but is 47" or 1.2m wide. 

 I have been using it to make a bag over the last few days and I am at the lining and putting together stage.  I have appliqued on the side panels, the front and on the pocket which will go on the back.  It has been really nice to stitch on as it is very stable.
I am planning on sewing tomorrow to get it finished.

Till next time,

Happy stitching from Therese.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I finished my hand quilting sample and decided to make a cushion.  My favourite technique for cushions is to make the back in two pieces with buttonholes in the overlap and then to simply bind it like a quilt.  So I have taken some photos of the process.

Step1. Stitch with 1/4" seam

Step 2: When you get to the corner, stop 1/4" before the corner and stitch into the corner at a 45 degree angle
Step 3: Take your work out from the machine and fold the binding up at a right angle
then fold it straight down again

and continue stitching.

and then your binding  has a neat mitered corner to hand stitch down on the back.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Loose End

When I finish a major new project like "Oriental Whispers" for the last two weeks  I have wandered around and tidied up a bit of my sewing stuff, I have gone through and tossed out some paperwork,

I have sewn a bit of applique on the border of a work in progress

and done some sashing on another UFO

and finished the embroidery on the Springtime Daisies blocks from an earlier post.

In other words I have achieved very little and usually managed to get in everyone's way and  annoy them until "what if I put that bit of applique with those blocks and then I could" and suddenly I am focused on a new design and all is right in my world again. 

I love it when the creative juices start to flow again.

Till next time

Happy Stitching from Therese.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Worth waiting for

Remember that saying "some things are worth waiting for." 

 I made a quilt at the end of last year called Oriental Whispers and since then I have been looking for a quilter that I felt comfortable handing my quilt over to.  It came back yesterday and I just want to thank Sue for making my vision come true. 

 I usually just say to a machine quilter "do what you think it needs" but this time I wanted the feel of the Japanese taupe quilts and that is exactly what I got.  I am over the moon.

We will be selling packs of fabric and the pattern at Patchwork Pumpkin from 1st July.

Happy stitching til next time from Therese

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Class Sample

After several requests about hand quilting I am running some classes in Term 3 to teach the basics on preparing your quilt for hand quilting, deciding on a quilting pattern, marking the design and how to go about stitching it.  I thought I should actually do a sample of what I plan to teach.  I am not a high tech person and I like to use household things to mark my quilting lines like the glass in the photo.  I do have several books of quilting patterns and there are some that I use over and over.  I often use quarter inch tape for straight lines instead of pencil.

 This is a really simple little design that will probably be made into a cushion when finished.  I am really enjoying the process.

I just love the rhythm of hand quilting and can really "zone out" when I get going.

I have also quilted with Perle cotton and love the effect it gives. I am thinking I should include that in the class too.

Happy stitching til next time

P.S.We had a great day on Sunday at the market, chatting to people and selling some of our goodies.  It is very easy to get attached to things that you have made and it can be a bit sad handing them over but it is comforting to know that they are going to a good home with a fellow craft lover.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am so Virtuous

When I had bronchitis in February I was very, very slack and didn't really even do a class list for Term 2.  But TA DA, Term 3 Class List is done and will be on the website by the weekend.

We are even having some new classes including one for a quilt called Illusions and another called Australian Beauty. 

I am also teaching some hand quilting classes.  I just love to hand quilt.  It is the closest I have ever come to meditation as I can just zone out into my own little universe when I am  quilting by hand. When I am sewing quilts for the shop I just don't have time to hand quilt but when I am making them for myself it is a different story because I am not on a time limit.  I like the way they drape and feel so soft.

Happy stitching from Therese

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yo-yo Retro

Somewhere in my travels I aquired a bag of yo-yos. They are made out of dressmaking fabrics and whatever was to hand.  They look like they are 1950's to 1960's vintage.  I had planned to make a yo-yo quilt one day and had sewn some together to see how they looked but then the bag was put away in a cupboard.

I have been having a major clean out in my sewing room and when I unearthed the bag I decided to sort it out and actually use some of the bits.  So I now have four new cushions to use as shop displays and then to sell at our upcoming Craft Market on 5th June. 
 I am so happy with how they look, I have also written the pattern, so my customers can make their own Yo-yo Retro cushions.

Happy stitching from Therese