Friday, December 20, 2013

Tasha's Medallion

 At the moment Tasha is one busy lady and has limited time to sew.  She has been working on this medallion for a few months now and is starting to see the results of putting in some sewing time whenever she can, even just doing the cutting.

There are five more parts to this pattern so she is nearly half way.

I am very proud of her because her accuracy is amazing.  (Better than mine actually.)

I really love the colours and prints she is using. They are so "girly" and pretty and looking gorgeous with the white backgrounds.

The response to this free pattern has been amazing with the instructions being sent to every state in Australia and all over the world.  Quilting truly makes us one family.

Happy stitching
from Therese and Tasha.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who's ready for Christmas?

 We will be closing for Christmas on Saturday and my plan is to run around like a headless chicken for the next 3 days. LOL

There has been a little bit of decorating at the shop to get in the spirit of the season but as we have been invited to our son's in-laws for lunch I haven't worried too much at home.  One of my favourite decorations is a little crazy patchwork heart.  It is hanging up in the shop but will be going home with me on Saturday.

On Christmas Day my darling husband asks me what he bought me for Christmas and I give him a kiss and tell him how generous he is and then tell him what he gave me!  This year it came early in the shape of a cute pair of black flats with a gorgeous bow on the toes. The bonus is that they are Homy Peds so they are uber comfortable.

So to all our customers, I hope you have a safe and happy Holiday Season and see you all in the New Year.

Happy Stitching from Therese and Natasha and see you in 2014
ps; The shop will re open on 2nd January.

My Blue Heaven

One of the biggest compliments I get as a designer is when someone makes one of my quilts in their own choice of colours.  It gives the pattern a whole new look. 


  One of our students is making My Blue Heaven for her "nearly a teenager granddaughter" in lime, orange and purple. What a difference!!! and it looks fabulous. I can hardly wait to see the finished quilt.
 I just love it when students think outside the box.
Happy stitching
from Therese and Tasha

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Everyone knows dandelions are a weed and none of us want them in our gardens. But who can forget  the magic as a child, picking one and blowing the seeds to make a wish which was sure to come true if you could blow all the seeds away in one breath.

 I was inspired to make this simple table runner by the humble dandelion and as I used "Sand Dune" for the base I didn't even have to quilt it. Bonus!

I simply cut the width of the Sand Dune, randomly stitched five bias fabric stems on each end, then stem stitched the seed stems and stitched doll buttons for the seeds. The backing fabric was cut 3" bigger all around, turned over twice and slip stitched to the front. It was made over two evenings from start to finish.

 I should make some more as Christmas gifts and if it wasn't already December I probably would.  There is always next year!!!!!!!!

But don't you just love projects that seem to happen with no angst or unpicking or "what if" needed.

Happy Stitching

From Therese

ps: Sand Dune used to be known as Sandcastle and is a thickly woven textured fabric that looks like it is already quilted. It is great for bags, clothing and Table runners.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's That Time of Year.

It's that time of year when we try to finish things started during the year or even several years ago.  Is it because we don't want to start another year with all these unfinished projects hanging over our heads?

I have just had a customer call in with a 9 Patch Chop Chop quilt which she started in 2007.  It is quilted now and she  needed to check that she had enough fabric for the binding.  Because I work out those sort of amounts all the time I forget that others don't find it so easy to estimate.

The formula is the circumference of the quilt divided by 40" (the width of most fabrics is between 42" and 45") which gives a bit of wriggle room.  That tells you the number of strips you need so all you then have to do is multiply that figure by 2 1/2 to know how much fabric you need. If in doubt always add another strip because if you come back in a couple of weeks for one more strip, you know it will all be gone.  I think that is one of Murphy's Laws.

I have been trying to finish things all year myself and have concentrated on the small projects.  The subject came up at my last friendship group meeting.  I had a bag of blocks that I know I will never finish so I gave them to two of the other girls with the condition that they have to make something with them by the end of 2014. We finished up by writing a list of what two projects everyone plans to finish.  My number one is Dear Jane which I started in the 1990's and the other is Pennsylvania Applique started in 1998 at Primarily Patchwork. I still love both of them and look forward to working on them all year.  I am planning on having them quilted and bound before 31st December 2014.

Happy Stitching from Therese.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I love binding.  I know it is not everyone's favourite thing but I love the feeling of achievement when I am putting those last stitches in a project and it's done.  It's that WOOHOO moment that only other quilters really understand.

Rhiannon needed a quilt bound urgently. It is a birthday gift and she was just not going to have it bound in time so I offered to do it for her. She has just picked it up and loves it.  (I can't get the picture upright. Grrrrr) I hope her friend likes it too and realises all the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it.  She is a new quilter and has learnt so much in the last three months. and is already well and truly addicted.

Happy stitching,

from Therese.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Favourite Quilt?

Someone asked me yesterday which of my designs was my favourite.  That is a bit like asking a mother which one is her favourite child.  Each quilt I have made holds special memories and emotions.

 For example "Nanna's Garden" makes me think of my mother who spent hours in her garden and always wore a hat with a broad brim and an apron with a big pocket. She had an amazing veggie garden but loved her flowers too.  She could break off a twig, put it in the ground or a pot and it would grow.

 I made this quilt in 2002 with a range of fabric from Robyn Pandolph called Secret Garden which was absolutely gorgeous and I still smile when I come across a scrap of it in my stash at home and trust me there are only scraps left. They remind me of my mum, Doreen.

I still sell the pattern in the shop and we make kits for it when asked by customers.  I think it is one of those designs that will never go out of fashion because pretty floral fabrics are always popular.

Happy stitching,

from Therese.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Plodding Along

I have two hand pieced projects that seem to be taking forever!  I just keep plodding along even though I don't seem to be getting anywhere for months.

Last night I finished another row of apple core shapes and as I pinned it to the edge of the quilt I realised I have four more rows to do and the quilt is done. That was a WOOHOO moment because I started cutting it out before I went into hospital for hip surgery last November.  Now that the end is in sight I will find it easier  to put in that little more stitching time to get it done by the end of the year

I have wanted to make an Apple Core quilt since this magazine came out many, many years ago.  I have used it in other quilts but never made a whole quilt just from this shape.

I have really enjoyed the process of just using scraps in lights and darks and working with one shape.  It is as addictive as hexagons.

There are lots of images available on the internet and lots of different techniques and tutorials to sew them. We all need to find our own comfort zone.

The other quilt is my Dear Jane of course.  I have stitched the pieced triangles for the top edge and I am now stitching the top border together. I have prepared ten for the right hand side and they are  in my sewing bag that sits next to my chair in the lounge room. I have to sew one seam every night before I touch anything else. If I am not in the mood for Dear Jane-ing I can then put it away but I always do more than one seam before I put it down. I usually find that it only takes me two or three nights to finish a block or triangle. The most time consuming part is the preparation and it needs to be a time with no distractions or interruptions. Any other Dear Janer will know exactly    what I am talking about. (lol)

So until next time

Happy Stitching

from Therese.

Friday, November 22, 2013


There is only one thing better than Pfeffernusse -----

and that is Pfeffernusse and black coffee.

The packets will be shared at a family function later today but there might be a couple missing from one of them!!!!!

They are one of my favourite Christmas treats and I try not to buy them at other times during the year unless Natasha and I need a little something special to cheer ourselves up.

So until next time

Happy Stitching

from Therese.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Spiderweb for Luck

The first time I foundation pieced a spiderweb quilt was about 25 years ago when I was a very new quilter.  I loved the technique but I was not happy with the result so it was never finished and eventually given to someone who loved it anyway and was happy to finish it.

Then early this year I was browsing on the internet and saw a bright version on Bonnie Hunter's blog that I just fell in love with.  She has a fabulous free pattern on her website.

But what started out as a cushion cover to use up some scraps and cut strips  became a King size quilt that kept me busy for about 3 months because I had to add an applique border and of course it then wanted another border of blocks and as you can see from the photos I had to match the colours with the centre.

 This quilt involved lots of graph paper and coloured pencils then writing on the papers to make sure I stitched the right colours on the right end of the triangles. Trust me, this is essential to get the pattern right!!!!!

It was a mental challenge from start to finish and did involve a little bit of reverse sewing but I am delighted with the result and to be truthful I love to be challenged when I am making a quilt. 

So it will be going off to the quilter this week for her to work her magic and I will post more photos when it is finished.

Then it will be given to the special person it was made for. My beautiful daughter Natasha.

                                           So until next time

                                           Happy stitching
                                           from Therese

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tilda quilt

Several months ago I went to a High Tea at a lovely shop in Rosebud, "Sewing and Beyond" where I purchased some fat quarters of Tilda fabrics (hi Julieanne).  I love the colours of raspberry, teal blues, greys and creams and the pretty floral prints with the birds and the matching stripes, spots and ditsy prints.  I have had a new smaller format Sampler quilt in mind for a few years and realised that these fabrics would be perfect.

 I wanted to try some new piecing techniques, plus needle turn and fusible web applique and also include some simple stitcheries. I also had a lot of fun fussy cutting some of the bird motifs. Click on the photos for a closer look.

If I made small blocks it would be a fairly quick project suitable for a Summer School format.  This might suit people on holidays who could spend several days per week over two weeks learning the addictive hobby that we love. Because we have moved back into one shop we can be a lot more flexible with our classes and cater to the customers time frame for attending sessions.

 I am now up to the part that I love the most which is quilting.  I am planning on stitching in the ditch first to stabilise the quilt then I will quilt the blocks by hand, mostly with quilting cotton but some with perle cotton and maybe some tying and embellishing in the crazy patchwork block.

It is 38" square  so should only take me a couple of weeks to quilt and as soon as the binding is on it will be on display in the shop.  I will do another post to show the finished quilt but if you are a local pop in to have a look because I will be working on it here when time permits.

So until next time

Happy Stitching

 from Therese

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We're Back

After being away for nearly 12 months with major surgery and then lots of re-hab I am finally back at work part time. I had always taken my health for granted and when I was at a point where I could barely function I have to admit that I fell in a heap. With the support and help of my wonderful family I'm nearly back to 100% fit.

I actually have three new quilts in the pipeline (two just have to be quilted) and I am working on some new class ideas too for next year including some great ways to use your stash. Hopefully I will have some more photos to post over the next week.

Like many other businesses in these tough times we have made some changes at the shop to reduce our costs because we want to stay open.  This has included reducing the fabric area and putting the classroom back in the main shop.  The feedback so far from the students has been really positive as it is much easier for them if they need fabric or notions during a class.  There is still a bit of tweaking to do especially as I have new fabrics due to come in before Christmas.  There is still lots of stuff on the markdown table so if you are local, pop in to score a bargain.

Happy stitching from Therese