Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Yes, it's Halloween Down Under, and while it's not the most Australian of holidays, our street has a great tradition we practise for the kids. All the people who want to be Trick or Treated to decorate the fronts of their houses, and those that don't, don't. So the kids know which houses to go to, and we parents don't have to worry about people getting angry with the kids. Here's a few pics of my kids and the "ghostie" protecting the treats at the end of our driveway.....

The Scary Movie monster, the Hunchback and Frankenstein!

If you're an Aussie who doesn't know much about Halloween, or one that does and want to make a quilt to celebrate, or even someone from countries where Halloween is the norm and you don't know what I'm on about, check out these fun Halloween quilts I found searching around on the net, and get inspired with all the orange fabrics in your stash!

Happy Halloween! :) Sarah

Monday, October 30, 2006

Dolly Update

For lack of anything to blog tonight I'm showing you a little update of how my dolly quilt is coming along..... they are looking quite cute, and to see more things like them you should check out Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran's book, Colloraborative Quilting, or Gwen's website, www.gwenmarston.com . To tell you the truth I am so shattered from watching the final episode of Grey's Anatomy that I may just go into mourning until it comes back next year. True love never dies! I'm off to weep quietly on my couch and email Kath who I know is weeping too.... enjoy the pics :) Sarah
PS. Happy birthday Big Oscar

Friday, October 27, 2006

KDP Strikes Again

Just sharing with you yet another masterpiece from our talented and very prolific accountant, Kathie de Palo. She just keeps whipping them out, and the quilt below is one of her best I think. She made it in a workshop with Leesa Seigle in Coffs Harbour. We really have to put hobbles on that girl, she is too clever for her own good!
And while we're still blowing our own trumpets, check out the cover of Down Under Quilts this month, featuring our very own Carolyn Davis' very very popular quilt Tokyo Rose. I think Kath and I might retire and just let these girls drive the train. Then I might read a book, or go to a movie, or sleep..... aaah, who am I kidding.... watch out in dark alleys KDP, we're comin' to getcha!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Creative Kudos

Reading my favourite blogs today, I came across these great thoughts from the Yarn Harlot. I often wonder at the same feelings from girls who come in the shop. Frequently people don't bring their quilts in to show us because they're "too embarassed", or run their own achievements down by saying someone else picked all the fabric, or that all their points don't match. I have one thing to say to all you girls out there - sing your own praises! Quilters, knitters, whatever you are - the process of creating something with your own hands is an age old and time consuming thing, and in this day and age of rushing and bustling along with your life, spending time on something creative and something which requires concentration and dedication is to be celebrated. So next time someone says to you, "Did you make that? You're so clever!" don't hide your light under a bushel... say "Yes, I did make that, yes I am extremely clever - tell me again!" Oh, and you might want to have all your door frames enlarged to fit your head. :) Sarah

Kath Made This!
Carolyn Made This!
And I Made This!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Mere Bagatelle

How cute is that? Whipping up this bag was too easy with this book from Indygo Junction. We made the Tweedy Bag, using the new line of fabric from Echino.

The ladybird fabric comes in four different colourways, and is the perfect weight to make bags with! We lined our bag with the purple and blue spot from the Echino range, and it looks gorgeous. The book and the fabric are both available from MO, and don't forget we also have Amy Butler bag patterns if that's more what you're looking for! Sarah

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bella Avalon

We picked out an Avalon quilt for a customer the other day and the fabrics looked so delicious we just had to make one for ourselves. Most of the fat quarters are from Belle, Amy Butler's new line, and two are from Anna Maria Horner's Bohemian. The sashing is from Jennifer Sampou's Colour Beat. It looks great here, but in real life the colours are so rich and glowy. Yummo! Not bad for an arvo's work.

The original Avalon quilt (below).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

City Windows

Reading the Sunday paper today, I came across this picture of a famous piece of architecture in Vienna, the Friedensriech Hundertwasser apartment building. The hundertwasser house is an extreme example of how housing identity is formed. Inside the building, no two apartments are alike, and are designed and decorated completely differently. Many of the apartments take up several storeys, and are designed as "houses within houses".
The exterior of the building is textural, colourful and asymetrical. What a wonderful and exciting piece of inner city living! If only more architects were given to such artistic liscence, we might be rid of some of the world's uglier high rises. Click on the link below to see more of this wonderful building.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Looking at all this colour explosion led me to look around some more, and I found another great building, this time in London. St. Martins Lane Hotel features light displays in every Guest Room that allow guests to personalize their own individual space by changing the colour of the lights in their room to suit their whim or mood. This interactive service helps to turn the hotel into a beautiful and ever changing mosaic of color. Must put that one on my must do travel list.

And the more I looked, the more it reminded me of something. To make your own city scape quilt, you could try our MO pattern, City Windows! I made the original quilt using woollen tailor's samples, cashmere and patchwork cottons. Have a look at the architecture in your area and use the images in your quilting! You never know what you might come up with. Sarah :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Ruler Group Strikes Again

Ruler Group today... it was Cath and Cheryl's birthdays so we all had wonderful hazelnut and chocolate cake made by Lindsay, yum yum! AND it had sour cream and brown sugar on top. Must have these girls in more often.
They arrived just after the most delicious shipment of Lecien spots and stripes, which I will photograph and post for you on Monday, if they survive the weekend! I was tempted to take the lot home and drape my living room in them, but the thought of the kids walking all over it was too much to bear. Besides that I do have rather alot of fabric already, so there may have been some resistance from several parties. Such is life.
Back to the subject at hand, the newly named Cut Loose Quilters have been very busy as usual and we have a few photos to share. One is Libby's finished Christmas quilt, which she started at Quilt Camp, shown below being held up by our lovely model Sheena. Libby wasn't at the group today, but her quilt made a guest appearance, so we take this opportunity to say, "Well done Libby, it looks lovely!"

This one is Lindsay's finished Carlton quilt, completely hand pieced and hand quilted! Another Quilt Camp production. Lindsay used some interesting red and cream upholstery fabrics and big print florals for her stars. Shown below is Kath's original Carlton so you can compare the pair. Modelled in glittering style by the spectacular but rather pensive Kathy, and Lindsay herself.
A good day was had by all... looking forward to a quiet weekend and maybe some hand sewing of my Sue Spargo amongst the lavender in the front garden. Have a good one :) Sarah

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Wednesday Night Girls Return

So good to see my Wednesday Night girls after three weeks without classes! Although someof them did come on Quilt Camp, of course. And as per usual, they've been busy.... Kate's been piecing K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid) for a friend's wedding, using Flea Market Fancy and a fabulous Asian print of fans and butterflies. Wish someone gave me that for a wedding present!
And Kathy's been quietly piecing away on a project she's been working on from a magazine. She has used all sorts of fabrics from the shop. It's beautifully pieced and the colours look great. She still has a few borders to add, so we'll keep you updated on the progress.

Good to have you back girls, see you next week! Sarah

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hello Horsey

Isn't he cute? Anyway he thought my quilt was very nice and tried to take a mouthful, so I had to go and rescue it pretty smartly, there's quite a few hours of applique in there! These are the quilt tops I worked on in Morpeth. Above is the Dresden plate quilt I've been working on for a while, and below is the developments on the Field Study Glimmer quilt, which now has a working title of "The Wisdom of Frogs" thanks to Lindsay from the Ruler Group!

This one is my brother Dave's wedding quilt, which has been in the works for ages but is finally done and off being machine quilted by the wonderful Kim Bradley. I have to say I'm really pleased with it, and it's very "them" so I know they're going to love it. The wedding is in December, so I've got a while to get it back and bind it!

And finally, this quilt is made using seven antique Circling Swallows blocks that I bought from Sheena's business, Ric Rac, which operates out of Material Obsession at the moment! I set the blocks on point using American Folk Art fabric, and a smashing pink and cream spot I've been hording in the stash for just such an occasion. I love using antique blocks, I can't wait to quilt it.

So that's what kept me busy in Morpeth! Patterns will most certainly follow, they always do.... and look out for the Dresden quilt in a later issue of Down Under Quilts. Sarah :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Clever Kath

Well would you look what I found.... while we were working hard at Quilt Camp, we also found some time to sew! Believe it or not Kathy finished two tops and started two other projects, and I finished two tops and started two more, which I'll post tomorrow night. For now, I thought I would share with you the brilliance that is my business partner..... Kath whipped up this one, made predominately from Anna Marie Horner's Bohemia range.
She has been wanting to do a Carolina Lily block for ages, and this is her take on it. Don't you love the way the flowers in the border look like they're growing out of a vine? It amazes me how Kath always manages to take something you have seen a million times like a Carolina Lily, or the Cross block below, and make it look new and different.

This black and red Cross quilt Kath is making for her son, Noah. I really like the way the black and greys form the 3D effect around the Civil War "bandanna" fabric in the centre blocks.
This is an applique quilt Kath's working on. I love those little birdies perching in the middle of the block. You should see what esle she's got planned for this quilt! It's going to look great. We'll keep you updated on the progress of these quilts in coming months, as well a a few others Kath's got up her bottomless sleeve! Sarah :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Crispy Quilters

Yes, after seven days, we had to do some washing. At least the setting was picturesque..... and we had a few hours in between the Ruler Group and the last group arriving. A few quiet stitches later they arrived, first Christine and Deidre, from Brisbane, and their friend Lisa, and Nicole from Newcastle. Considering we had never met the girls before, we were soon all chatting away over a coffee and Krispy Creme kindly brought by Christine, and before they knew it all the girls were unpacking and getting ready to sew.
Did I say unpacking? These girls from Brisbane win the "she who dies with the most equipment wins" competition, hands down. Kath and I were boggled by the extremely comprehensive collection of gadgets, lights and irons that came out of bags, not to mention the absolutely stunning array of applique quilts in progress. All three Brisbane girls have a passion for applique quilts, and they certainly have made some lovely ones.
All three had come to do versions of our Fanciful Flowers quilt, which was quite a compliment considering the level of their applique! However, like most of our quilts, Fanciful Flowers ain't your usual little flowers and baskets, so the girls were challenged by the bold shapes and colours.

Lisa's Fanciful Flowers

Christine's Fanciful Flowers

Denise's Fanciful Flowers

Nicole is a beginner quilter, although we use that term loosely! She has never made a quilt before, but she has done alot of other sewing, and it has certainly inspired her to great things. She designed this butterfly quilt herself for her daughter, picked her fabrics and set about teaching herself to foundation piece. Not a bad little start for a"beginner" is it?

Once again we had a great time with this group of girls.... it was lovely to meet some new people, see some new quilts, learn a few new things ourselves! When we sat down to eat dinner on Saturday night, I do have to say though that I was looking forward to dinner with my kids the next night. Quilt Camp was great fun, but exhausting for the teachers! Unbeknownst to all of you in blog land, Kathy, Carolyn and I spent the week sleeping in a shed out the back with a tractor next door and all three of our melodic snores blending in the night..... good thing we all get along so well or there could have been all sorts of trouble. I have to say that there are very few people in the world who could spend ten days eating, sleeping and working together non stop, without a cross word to be had, and I love you guys! xx

I leave you all with a photo of our resident kangaroo eating the front lawn for all you overseas viewers.... and a very random shot of Carolyn sewing the skin back onto a sweet potato, for which I have no explanation :) Happy quilting and that's all of Quilt Camp until next year. Thanks so much to everyone who came and we're looking forward to the next one. Sarah

Sunday, October 15, 2006

She's Apples

She'll be apples when you take on this little beauty! She's Apples is made using two Nifty Notions rulers which are available from Material Obsession, some easy piecing and a beautiful rosy border. This is the easiest way to make Dresden Plates we've ever seen, and they're so quick! Pattern, kit and/or rulers are all available now, or you can check out this month's Country Threads magazine where the quilt is featured.
Look out tomorrow for the final installment of Quilt Camp - group 4, the Crispy Quilters are coming your way. Happy quilting..... Sarah

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Go Margaret!

Just a quickie to share with you this photo of Margaret we received today. She has finished her Carlton top she started at Quilt Camp - doesn't it look great? Go Margaret!

PS. For those of you who've asked, yes there is a Bunny pattern, and it's $20 AUS (that's $15 USD) and you can order by email, or by calling the shop on (61 2) 9817 2733 Thanks!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Group 3 - The Ruler Group

The Ruler Group started coming to us recently for a little inspiration and a nice place to sew on a Wednesday afternoon. The girls have all been sewing together for a few years, and the group includes Sheena, our lovely Thursday employee in the shop. After a very quiet two hours between Group 2 and Group 3, they crunched up the driveway and it was game on again.
The Ruler Group have all been quilting for some years, and they are none of them afraid to try new tools, new fabrics or new techniques. Unlike the other groups we had a few things planned to keep these firecrackers amused, including some liberated piecing from Gwen Marston's books which Libby brought, and a whole box full of different Marti Michell rulers for them to try.
Cheryl came to Quilt camp to make a quilt for her nephew, and used the ruler class prior to Camp to pick our her fabrics. The pattern is from Kaffe Fassett's book, Quilt Road, and done in these fabrics it has a real zing to it perfect for a bloke! Cheryl was the quiet achiever in the corner, who zipped along and finished her top in no time. She even had time for a Gwen Marston dolly block and to experiment with some Marti Michell rulers, making this lovely star.

Libby brought two projects with her to Quilt Camp. First she worked on a Christmas quilt combining stars and trees for a festive throw -

and then she pieced some liberated dolly blocks to go with her previously pieced liberated shopping bags, to make Christmas Shopping!

Cath is a lady who always has something interesing in her sewing basket, and there is one stash I would like to get a look in. True to form she brought with her some gorgeous bark cloth and various other bits and pieces to make this throw-

which she had stitched up before drinks on the first day! She then moved on to this interesting little number, which she pasted onto her black design wall and promptly had us all argueing as to wether or not it needed a black background.

In between all that Cath found time to piece this little liberated stars cot quilt, a very stylish little dolly and this rather amazing wagon wheel made using a Marti Michell ruler. Phew! We're tired just watching her.

And then there was Lindsay. Lindsay kept us all in hysterics as well as in stitches for her entire stay. Every time she opened her mouth she had us all laughing - and blushing from the jokes! Somewhere along the line though Lindsay beautifully hand pieced some lovely blocks for The Carlton. Lindsay sually hand pieces all her quilts, although she surprised us recently by showing up to a ruler class with a complete, hand quilted and quite large quilt, using a ruler Kathy taught her to use only four weeks before! These girls freak us out, they are just too quick for their own good. :)

Lindsay also brought with her this stunning redwork quilt she has been working on, designed by taking the pictures from all her favourite dress patterns she has made over the years. Isn't that a great idea?

Which leads us to Sheena, who came all ready to finish the quilt she started with the very same ruler. Sheena is the vintage queen. She sells her vintage fabrics, orphan blocks and antique quilt tops at the shop, and loves to use vintage and reclaimed fabrics where others would use new. The girls all joke that Sheena's answer to every quilting dilemma is, "Just put some ric-rac over it!" . Here's the quilt she worked on over the Camp using the most beautiful vintage fabric as her main inspiration.

We had so much fun with these girls.... there was alot of laughter, alot of sewing by all, alot of eating and quite alot of drinking as well! The Ruler Group is a great addition to our MO class schedule, we love having you girls.

Libby shows off her dolly and shopping bag

Linsday shows us why hats and glasses don't mix

Linsday and Kath designing


Shots from our impromptu quilt show - Libby's Christmas quilt and Sheena's vintage Pressed Roses

Sheena's applique quilt, Cath's throw and some of Libby's bags

Carolyn's stunning stars

Sheena's quilt, Cath's blocks and Lindsay's Carlton star

Everyone at the show. Great Camp everyone! Thanks for coming :) Sarah