Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Craft Alive - Wagga

Wagga Wagga here I come!

Therese has done a few craft shows in the past and of course, I've been dragged along to help set up, work on the stand and pack up!  But I've never organised a stand at a craft show on my own.  It is amazing the amount of decisions required - which stand to have, corner stand or middle of the aisle, near the toilets or kitchen or front door, what stock to take, which quilts to display, what am I going to wear (just kidding on the last one!). 

But as the time draws nearer, I'm actually getting excited.  It's a chance to get out of the office, have a road trip to somewhere I've never been before, see what fabrics other businesses have (maybe buy some of their fabrics!) and meet new quilters and other crafty people.

What do you like about going to a craft fair?

See attached ad for more info!

Till next time,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our Birthday Sale was such a success that we have
decided to extend it and combine it with our Stocktake Sale! 
So the more you buy, the less I have to count! 

Happy Birthday Patchwork Pumpkin

Help celebrate our 12th Birthday and our Stocktake Sale!

1 July - 31 July, 2012

20% off all patterns and kits
(free postage for overseas orders)
(Excludes BOM's)

In store shopping - 20% off fabric, patterns, kits,
plus pre-cut fat quarters $2- each or 6 for $15- 
(Excludes BOM's)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quilting Wishes

When I was learning how to do patchwork and quilting, I didn't listen.  I was an experienced sewer - how hard could it be?  If only I had listened and taken notice, I would have saved myself hours of unpicking and not wasted so much of my time and precious fabric.

So here are the Rules I wished that I had followed:

Rule 1: Make sure you are sewing an accurate 1/4" seam. 

Rule 2: Make sure your fabric is straight before you cut it.

Rule 3: Make sure you cut accurately.

Rule 4: Press your seams flat with no tucks.

Rule 5: Press after every seam.  Yes, it's a pain to have to get up each time, but you will be pleased with the results.

Rule 6: You are pressing, not IRONING.

Rule 7: There is no such thing as the quilt police - it is your quilt.

These are the things I stress to my beginners when teaching the Sampler Class.  I often have to smile when I listen to myself talking and hope that they take more notice than I did when I was starting my journey.

Till next time,

(kindly typed up and posted by Tasha!)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Isn't it funny (and frustrating) that when you go looking for something on the web that you end up in a place so far away from 'home' you have no idea how you got there?

I read blogs about minimalist living and one of our lovely followers (Tasmanian Minimalist) had a post about 'Regretsy'.  (****Language Warning!*** - please dont look if offended by profanity!)

Well, I thought I would have a look at this site and an hour later realised that I had achieved nothing that I had set out to do.  I had laughed until I cried (or LMAO as my DD would say), been shocked by some of the 'creative' talent others had and vowed that I would never combine the words 'vintage', 'one of a kind' and 'hand made' in the same description.  Some of the ideas are preposterous - who comes up with these things?  What also amazed me was how many of the featured items had actually sold!  Want a good laugh - go check it out.

The other site that I love and loathe in equal measure is 'Pinterest'.  Love it 'cause it has so many wonderful ideas - house, garden, cooking, clothing, hairstyles!  Loathe it 'cause it makes me feel inferior - I am limited in time, money, creativity, etc.  But does that stop me from perusing the eclectic collections - no way! 

So, until next time

Happy creating.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mystery Quilts

(Disappearing Nine Patch Class)
For several years we have run twelve hour classes - yes, you read that right! 12 glorious hours of sewing, eating, laughing, more eating and yet more sewing. No housework, no children, no hubbies.  Fresh baked scones with jam and cream for morning tea, lovely sandwiches, fruit and a cheese platter for lunch and afternoon tea, pizza for dinner.  Yummo!

Sharon came up with the sample for this Mystery Quilt and before we had a chance to put it into our class list - the class was full. We will be running it again in a few weeks time for those who missed out for one reason or another.

The pattern was typed up so that each person had to complete a section, before being allowed to continue.  Some speedy people whipped through some sections, so people got a sneak peek.  We did have a couple of people reach the final part, putting it together, but they had to hide what they were doing while laying their blocks out. 

I had to go to work early, so missed a couple of hours of the class, but when I dropped off dinner I was amazed by how much people had achieved.

Have you ever done a Mystery Quilt?  It takes a lot of courage and trust in your teachers!

Till next time,


Friday, April 6, 2012

Over Half Way

When I purchased my copy of the Dear Jane book 15 years ago I loved the quilt because I had seen a photo in a book called Enduring Grace and had already decided that I was going to make a quilt like that one day.  It took me about 5 years to collect suitable fabrics and to feel that I had the sewing skills to start.
I made myself start at A1 and do each block in the order they were printed in the book.  At times I wouldn't touch it for several months and then I would have a little sewing frenzy and get a few more blocks done. 

Then we started running a class at Patchwork Pumpkin once a month called The Jane Dears and I started to get serious. I actually joined two rows together. After that I set myself a goal of 4 blocks per month which I actually stuck to for all of 2011. Over the Christmas break I realised I was half way because I had finished Row G and G7 is the centre block. Since then I have finished two more rows plus some of the border triangles. 
 I am still on the journey but the destination is getting closer.  I am trying not to rush the process now just to get it finished but to savour stitching each block as I go.

I design mainly large quilts but inbetween I like to do some smaller projects too like the tablerunner in the next photo.  I started by wanting to play with some foundation string piecing and it just sort of grew from there. Everything in this tablerunner is leftovers from other projects even the batting which I had to join. The bias vine is black and was a bit stark so I did  a feather stitch along it to tone it down a bit.

It's a really great way to use those skinny left over bits of fabric that some of us find very hard to throw away. I blame my mother - she used to keep paper bags and bits of string.  It's a result of living through the depression and sometimes I think there are lessons we could learn from having to live that frugally.

 I wish everyone a Happy and Peaceful Easter Sunday tomorrow and hope you get to spend it with your loved ones and share a bit of chocolate with them.

Happy stitching from Therese.

P.S. I have finished a special Easter gift for my daughter and I will show photos next week.  I just hope she likes it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Training and Tarts

For the last couple of weeks I have been in training for the Run for the Kids 5km walk that was held on Sunday, 1 April, 2012.  When I began my training, my wonderful trainer told me that I would be doing the 5km walk and I thought it was an April Fools Joke that he was setting up.  No, he was serious.  Well, I completed the 5km in 52mins and 13sec.  I was so proud that I finished.  Miss C came with me and we had a blast.  Melbourne delivered a beautiful day - not too hot, not too cold. 

So what does this have to do with sewing?  Not much, but I did finish my homework, so I didn't have to give Sharon her $1.  We have finished 5 pies and 1 tart and they are looking fabulous.

Till next time,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Batty for Bargello

Well, we have done it and we all survived!  Our first Bargello class was such a success, we are planning on teaching the class again next term.  We were supposed to limit the class to eight students, but when nine and ten threatened to cry we squeezed them in too.

All ten quilts looked so different - some people were not quite sure that their fabric choices would work and others were confident that they would be great. 

It can be a bit of a serendipity experience because when some fabrics are cut into smaller pieces it changes them completely.

Even the ladies who were umming and ahhing during the process were amazed  when they had pinned their strips to a design wall then took several large steps back and saw the effect they had achieved.

Therese here :- It was my first full day back at work and I had to go home and have a "Nanna Nap" afterwards but it was a fabulous class.  Thanks Tasha for playing assistant.

Till next time,

Therese and Tasha

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Assorted Ramblings

Another week draws to an end and I am stuffed!  I miss my mum :(  She is such an important part of the business and we all need her to be back on her feet asap!  Thank you to all well-wishers - it cheers her up to know that she is loved and missed!

Have you heard the saying 'if it's not one thing, it's your mother'?  With Mother's Day fast approaching - are you looking to make something special for your mum?  We have a gorgeous kit in stock - 'Roses' - a little bit of applique, some easy piecing and a beautiful stitchery 'take time to smell the roses' and voila!  Check out our website for more details (shhh - it may be on special for a limited time).

We have our How Do You Do Bargello? class tomorrow - it was booked out within days of being organised (just like One Direction tickets! Thanks go to my DD for that comment!)  We will run it again next term and will also do a pattern.  Apparently, it is quite easy to do when you know how.  Isn't that like most things, though?

Sharon and I have a friendly competition going at the moment.  We both love the 'Pies and Tarts' quilt from Patchwork with Busyfingers.  Sharon suggested that we each make a 'pie' a week.  If you don't have your 'pie' finished and appliqued onto the background you have to pay the other person a dollar.  No money has changed hands yet, but we are only in our first week, so things may change soon!  Keep an eye out for some photos of our blocks.

Till next time,


Sunday, February 26, 2012

U.F.O's and Miniatures

Whew what a hot and humid weekend we have had.  Thank goodness for some rain and slightly cooler temps.  It was so muggy that on Sunday I sat in front of the air-con with some hand stitching and that was about it for the day!  My DD even made lunch for us both as I was too hot to move!

UFO's - we all have them! (Even though some don't like to admit it!) I am not sure how old my oldest UFO is though.  I would love for you to leave a comment about your oldest UFO.

One of our customers came to a marathon class four (or five) years ago and vowed that she would go home and finish the quilt!!  Well, life got in the way as it tends to do.  But she recently decided to pull it out of the cupboard and finish it - better late than never.  Doesn't it look fabulous?

Sharon held her first paper piecing class on Saturday, which was a great success!  I think we have a whole new group of paper piecing fans.  Everyone was impressed with how easy it actually is to paper piece and they were all going home to do some 'homework'.

Till next time,


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm Back

After seeing the doctor this morning I was allowed to come and play for a couple of hours but no lifting or moving anything. And after the pain I have been in, there is no way I will be ignoring "doctor's orders". I have been stitching a little bit at home and drawing up some new stuff that I am itching to start sewing but I just have to be patient.

Natasha tells me that everyone has been asking "how's your Mum," so Thank You for all your concern and Good Wishes.  The Epidural procedure seems to have worked and now it is just a matter of giving my back time to heal.

Happy Stitching til next time from Therese

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hard at Work!

With mum off work with an injury, we have been working extra hard at the shop this week.  Thank goodness for wonderful staff who step up and help out!  Thanks go to Sharon and Cheryl - I wouldn't survive with you! 

It has been a busy time, with school going back (woo hoo!), new classes and lots of customers eager to start a new project.  We have a new BOM coming soon - it just needs to be quilted and bound. 

Sharon (our fantastic Mail Order person) has been hard at work cutting, sewing and packing up our BOM's.  It is amazing how many people love a BOM - a lovely little parcel each month, with all the colours chosen by someone else!

Till next time,


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lazy Sunday afternoon

I have been so slack recently (thank goodness my mum has been blogging!).  These school holidays have flown by (my DD is starting high school - eek!).

But I have been busy - not much to show for it, but I have - I promise.

 A few years ago, mum designed 'My Blue Heaven' in shades of blue and yellow - it is very sweet.  These gorgeous lovebirds were featured as an applique.

Mum and I have been working on a new idea and this is just the beginning.  I discovered that I love doing stitcheries, so this was my contribution to a little wallhanging (at least, I think it is going to be a wallhanging - knowing mum, it could be something else entirely).  Stay tuned, for more details.

 I was sitting in my lounge room reading an old(ish) edition of 'O' - The Oprah Magazine and came upon the picture on the left.  I know someone whose threads actually look this disorganised (not mentioning any names - but she knows who I am talking about!). 

Till next time,


Friday, January 27, 2012

The Holidays Are Over

 I hope everyone had a Happy Australia Day.  We did the Lamb Roast dinner thing with baked veggies, mint jelly and gravy.  Then for sweets Natasha made Peppermint or Crunchie Chocolate Ripple Cake which is her Dad's favourite sweets. And one of mine so yummo.

Even though I loved Australia Day when I was a child, it meant that the summer holidays were nearly over.  School was starting again for another year with all the excitement of new books and new things to learn. Those last couple of days of holidays also meant that you had to squeeze in everything that you had meant to do over the summer and hadn't.

Not much has changed. I am busy writing up class notes and while trying to finish the class samples decided I didn't like one of them so of course I started a new one. It is for the string - pieced class so it will not be needed until April and is a smaller project than the original idea. Much more achieveable in a one day class.

 I am very excited about our technique classes called "How Do You Do----?" this year. There has been a lot of interest and one of the three classes scheduled for Term 1 is already booked out and one of the others only has 2 places left.

When I was making the list of techniques for the year I was a bit worried about coming up with ten or eleven ideas.  I don't know why I worried because I have enough ideas to run classes throughout next year too. 

 As I am starting planning for Term 2, I have to decide in the next couple of weeks which ones I will sew the samples for and start them.

Sharon will be teaching "Quilt As You Go" in Term 2 and we already have several names down for that class. We had run it several times and it is always popular.


Don't forget that our Two for One pattern sale finishes on Tuesday and to get the special offer if you are ordering through our website it needs to be done before midnight on the 31st January.
(to be honest, if it arrives the next day we let you have it too.)

So til next time
Happy stitching from Therese.

p.s.The recipe for Chocolate Ripple Cake is 1 packet of Chocolate Ripple biscuits, whipped cream layered between each biscuit and laid on a tray like a log and then completely covered with whipped cream. Leave for 6 to 8 hours(this is the hardest part).  Whack a Peppermint Crisp bar or Crunchie in the packet with a rolling pin, sprinkle over the top (we do one end peppermint and the other end crunchie) then cut into slices on a 45degree angle with a knife dipped in hot water. (If you need one in less than 6 hours you can make a cup of really strong coffee and brush each biscuit before adding the cream. Tia Maria works too!!!) If you need pictures just "google" it. There are lots of variations too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paper Piecing

These are two samples of another technique class we are running in Term 1.  They are both paper pieced which gives a really accurate finished result.  The log cabin quilt is a miniature as each block finishes at 3" and if you have had a play with paper piecing before and want to improve your skills this is a great class.

The star quilt has larger pieces so for anyone who hasn't done paper piecing before, this is probably a better pattern to start with.  We like to encourage our students to build their skill levels by offering classes with several options to suit what they are comfortable with stitching.

Our Term 1 class list is now on our website at http://www.patchworkpumpkin.com.au/ and don't forget all our patterns are included in our 2 for the price of 1 until the 31st Jan. so if there are any patterns you have been looking at for a while this is a good time to purchase them.

So till next time
Happy stitching from Therese.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Classes in 2012

After fifteen years of doing it, I still love teaching. To be able to pass on the knowledge that I have acquired over the past 25 years of sewing patchwork and quilting is a priviledge that I just love.  From beginners to more experienced students it is still exciting for me when they have those "light bulb" moments when they realise that "that's how it's done. Ah ha, now I get it." I still love to try new things myself and this year I have challenged myself to try some things that I had a go at when I was a very new quilter, messed up and so hated them. I will let you know what they are afterwards. I wonder if I will have a different experience this time!!!!!

We have scheduled a monthly class this year that is focused on techniques. We are starting with Crazy Patchwork, Bargello and String Piecing in Term 1. We always encourage students to finish our projects and these will be no different but they will be small things and if the students want to make them bigger they will have the skills to do so at home.

Now that the pattern for Country Album is done, I am busy writing up the class instructions and requirement lists as the classes are nearly full.  I am limiting the number of students in these sessions because I want to make sure that everyone understands the techniques by the end of the day.  They will be fairly intensive learning and I am really looking forward to them.  I will try to be a better blogger this year and take lots of photos during these classes.

We have had so much positive feedback from our free Friendship Medallion pattern that I couldn't help myself.  I did another one.  It is a bit smaller and has different blocks but the same "Rules" apply.  This one is called The Lighthouse Medallion because I believe the block in the middle is called Lighthouse.  Unfortunately I didn't write down where I saw it so I apologise if it is not in the public domain.  I just started playing with my scraps and strips that are already cut a la Bonnie Hunter style and within a week I had a quilt top made.  Bonnie is one of my Quilting Gurus and she is one of the most generous quilters in the world.  If she ever comes to Australia I will be one of the first in line to do a class with her.

This is the centre block for anyone who is interested.  (I am contemplating unpicking the floral strip in the setting triangles or appliqueing something over the top.)
Til next time

Happy stitching  from Therese.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Year

What's the best way to start a new year?  Have a little re-arrange, isn't it, and that's what Natasha, Sharon and Cheryl have been doing at Patchwork Pumpkin over the last couple of days.  It's nearly finished apart from the last little bits of tweaking and it's amazing how much it freshens up the shop so thanks girls, it looks fabulous.

I have tried for 5 minutes to get this photo up the right way and still can't so sorry for the crick in the neck view.

Till next time,

Happy stitching from


(I can't take any credit for the shop looking so good because I have been nose to the grindstone with pattern writing. One more day and it will be done. Yay.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back to Work

After a wonderful break of nearly two weeks I am back at work.  Natasha will be back tomorrow. Why do holidays go so fast? We try to make the Christmas fun last all year round with our class called "Soon it will be Christmas". 

Sharon got a book full of inspiration that we have all been drooling over.

I have spent most of today proof reading the pattern for my new  Block of the Month, Country Album which is due to start in March so I am busy costing it and making sure the diagrams match the numbers in the pattern and that all the applique and stitching bits are drawn properly.

I did take some time during my busy day to enjoy a coffee break and a browse through the December/January issue of one of my favourite magazines.  It takes a bit longer for us to get it in Australia but it is always worth the wait. I have a quick flick through it and then over the next couple of days I read it from cover to cover.

So happy sewing, from Therese