Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Quilt Love: Winter Picnic

Many of my quilts are given to friends and family and are for special occasions, but some, they are my keepers. Perhaps i've made them with myself or my family in mind, or maybe i simply fell in love with them and their pretty fabrics while i was making them. They are special to me and they are used in our home and loved for many purposes.

Sometimes we just snuggle under them while watching movies or they keep our guests warm when they come to stay. Others are used on our camping trips, in the van as we hit the road or on picnics. The Hurricane snuggles under one on his bed but he also reckons they make the best cubbies. My husband and i usually snuggle under my favourite.

I've decided to share with you on the blog how my family love our quilts and how quilts are part of our day to day lives. It's my hope you'll enjoy seeing these photos as much as we enjoy creating the quilt love memories.

It's a work in progress and i'll keep adding to it as i collect our memories, but first of all i can share some memories from our recent camping trip to South Durras, a gorgeous part of the NSW South Coast.

We often use our Summer Picnic Quilt when we're out camping or on day trips to the National Parks and Reserves near us. I still love the colours and the bamboo batting and basic straight-line machine quilting are holding up well to the regular washing and outdoor use. I'm so glad we kept it!


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Heather Bailey Charm Along with Ms Midge

My Mum, Norma and I have been having fun participating in Ms Midge's Heather Bailey Charm Swap and Charm Along. I really love the fresh colours and floral tendencies that Heather Bailey combines into her fabric ranges, so i couldn't resist this charm swap. Over the last couple of months Mum has worked hard and has completed a great quilt top. She says this about it.

'This is my first charm swap and I was encouraged to participate by my daughter, Jen. I found it challenging to be given fabrics I hadn't chosen and to use colours I normally avoid, but I soon realised that all the colours and patterns had been designed by Heather Bailey, so from one designer, all different fabric colours would melt together into a harmonious whole'.

'Of course, loving gardens, my choice of pattern was to imitate rows of flowers, all unique, but growing beautifully together. I hope, in a small way, I have achieved that. By the time the double bed quilt is finished with the edging on, I will have used every scrap of my 224 charm squares'.

'Thank you Ms Midge for making this possible'.


As for me, well, I haven't made quite as much progress as Mum, but my quilt top is shaping up nicely and today i managed to play around with the layout a bit while The Hurricane was sleeping.

My Heather Bailey charm quilt is all about half square triangles (HST's) and orange peel petals and was inspired by Amy Gibson's (of Stitchery Dickory Dock) Tuileries quilt which was put together as part of the True Colors blog tour back in January, 2014. She used the True Colors and Lottie Da ranges of Heathers' fabric (read more about it and see some pics here).

 I've decided to sew on my orange peel, petals by hand, so i'm still a long way off getting the quilt top all into one piece.

I'm not sure how to go about quilting something like this, so would love to hear your suggestions if you're happy to share them.

Thanks to Ms Midge for hosting another great charm swap and charm along.


Linking up with:
- Ms Midge for the Heather Bailey Charm Along and
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Play Time - A Travelling Cot Quilt

This cot quilt began in the Australian Capital of Canberra as single, log cabin style block in fresh whites, oranges and turquoise.

Then off it travelled to my Mum, Norma in the Blue Mountains (New South Wales) where she added another block with some pink highlights. Mum and I had agreed to make a travelling quilt; something we could play with. The quilt top travelled back and forth between us like this for several months, growing bigger and more involved and it was always exciting to receive the parcel in the mail and see what Mum had added.

It has been a true collaboration and i reckon it's turned out so well. 

Given the varying styles of blocks and different sizes, i found it difficult deciding how to quilt it. I wanted it to be special, so decided to try and quilt each section with something to suit it. In some places, like around the triangles, i've stuck with quilting in the ditch.

My favourite section to quilt was the wonderful Kathy Doughty (Material Obsession) Sunburst Star (p116. of Making Quilts...the promise of joy) and given its size, has ended up being a real feature of the quilt. I also like how the petals have tuned out inside the improv drunkards path.

The wool/polyester batting gives the quilt a really great loft and makes the quilting stand out well.

We recently spent a winter weekend down the coast and i enjoyed taking some photo's of this quilt before washing it ready to send off to it's new owner. It was test driven by The Hurricane and given full approval for warmth and drying capacity!

This quilt has been posted and travelled all the way to Rainbow Beach in Queensland, where it is now keeping its new owner Olivia (3months), warm on these winter nights. Sleep sweet Olivia. We hope you will have fun playing with your quilt, feeling all the textures, looking at the fresh colours and snuggling underneath it.

Quilty Specs:
Size:               Approx. 34" x 50"
Quilt top:       Various 100% cotton, made by Jen and Norma
Batting:          Wool/polyester
Backing:        Various 100% cotton
Quilted by:     Jen using a pale blue 50wt Aurifil thread.

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking up with;
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social and
- Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Boho Road Trip: My Anna Maria Horner Charm Quilt

Not long ago, i participated in the Anna Maria Horner Charm Swap organised by Ms MidgeIt was lots of fun and such a great way to work with an amazing designers' collection of fabrics. 

I reckon Anna Maria Horner has a real knack for making gorgeous and wonderfully colourful fabrics. Many of them remind me of modern bohemian styles that together combine to make what i reckon turns into a delicious, funky, almost folk-style quilt.

I wanted to make a something to showcase the beautiful diversity of fabrics and to keep in style with the bohemian vibes. Our family is fortunate enough to have a VW CamperVan (Transporter) that we use regularly to get away to the coast and take our travelling holidays in so I wanted a quilt to snuggle under on our road trips around the country; something we could wrap ourselves in while watching sunrises and sunsets and while we watched for humpback whales as they migrate along Australia's east and west coasts. I wanted a quilt that would keep us warm while waiting for good surf on nippy coastal mornings.

And this is it, all quilted, bound and finished and i love it. Thanks again so much to Ms Midge for organising the charm swap.

Of course i choose the most blusterous, gusterous, windy day at the National Arboretum in Canberra to take some photo's and will try to get some better pics on our next trip away in the Van.

Quilty Specs:
Size: almost 2x2m
Fabric: 100% cotton designed by Anna Maria Horner
Batting: 100% wool
Quilting: Edge to Edge Vintage b2b by Jeanette at Gone Aussie Quilting.

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking up with;
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social and
- Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday

Monday, 25 May 2015

Autumn and Lime Splice Cushion Cover

Autumn is coming to an end here in Canberra and winter is knocking with temperatures falling below zero at night and icy frosts welcoming us each morning.

I've named this cushion cover my 'Autumn and Lime Splice' because its colours sing of the lemons and limes that we've had in seasonal abundance here with a hint of autumn deciduous orange.

I'm currently participating in the Heather Bailey Aussie Charm Swap organised by the lovely Ms Midge and made this cushion cover using the scraps left over after my Mum and i had cut all our Heather Bailey yardage into wee, little charm squares.

We recently hosted a Cancer Council: Australia's Biggest Morning Tea at our place and i placed the Autumn and Lime Splice up for silent auction bidding. The cushion cover was generously purchased, as was the beautiful Love, Peace and Fun cot quilt that my Mum donated (more about that here), and both will be soon on their way to new homes.

It was a wonderful morning and we managed to raise over $1,700 for the Cancer Council which i know will go towards cancer research and the wonderful services that help people suffering the awfulness of cancer.

Thank you to all for your well wishes and lovely comments which have been so encouraging and to those who have donated so generously. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Measuring 41x41cm, i've made the cushion cover with some lovely green, checked piping and a Heather Bailey Nicey Jane backing with hidden zip. The top has been quilted with really close, straight lines.

I'm looking froward to receiving all the Heather Bailey charms and have a bit of a plan ready for an orange peel and half square triangle quilt. Stay tuned....

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking up with;
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social and
- Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Love, Peace and Fun; a Cot Quilt

My Mum, Norma recently made this awesome cot quilt. It's snuggly orange minke and turquoise highlights (with trucks...brrmm brrmm!) are the perfect colours to welcome a newby into the Australian autumn.

The minke makes it super soft and snuggly and Mum has embroidered the words 'love', 'peace' and 'fun' onto the quilt.

She has added some great embroidery and patches to make it super cute, but what makes it extra special is the fact that she's putting it up for silent auction at our 'Cancer Council: Biggest Morning Tea at Our Place' later this month.

You might remember me telling you that not long ago my Dad, David, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a really terrible type of bone cancer). Well, the good news is that, after the excellent work of several specialist doctors, some fancy new medicines and a dose of chemo and radio, he is now in remission....wahoooo!

I can honestly say though, that the many months during diagnosis and treatment were the toughest and most worrying times my Dad and our family have ever been through. During this time I also became a firm believer that cancer really is best described with swear words!

In recent days my sister Belinda was diagnosed with breast cancer (insert swear word here) and is currently undergoing treatment and our good friends Wendy and Dave are fighting their own battle with cancer too.

With so many people affected by cancer, either in their own lives or through family and friends, we want to help raise important funds for cancer research and the amazing support services that we've so appreciated over the last couple of years.

So, we're hosting a Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea on Saturday 23rd May, 2015 at 10.00am.

You and your family are invited to MORNING TEA at our place in Higgins, Canberra. Of course i'm aware many readers on this blog space live far and wide and won't be able to make it but we'd sure love to see you if you live nearby! (Please let us know if you're able to make it along by contacting me via the comments section).

If you can't make it along but would like to make a donation (it's really simple if you follow the promts at or if you'd like to make a bid on the 'Love, Peace and Fun Cot Quilt', please also contact me via the comments section and i will get back to you with details.

Love, Peace and Fun Cot Quilt:

Dimensions:101cm x 120cm (40"x47")
Quilt Top:    100% Cotton Childrens Prints and Orange Minke
Batting:        100% Bamboo
Quilt Back:  100% Cotton Childrens Print

Linking up with;
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social and
- Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Anna Maria Horner Charm Swap: Boho Road Trip

I reckon Anna Maria Horner (AMH) has a real knack for making gorgeous and colourful fabrics. Many of them remind me of modern bohemian styles that (as I've discovered by participating in Ms Midge's AMH charm swap) together combine to make what i reckon turns into a delicious, funky, almost folk-style quilt.

Boho Road Trip: A finished quilt top

Ms Midge's AMH Charm Swap:

It has been so much fun participating in the AMH Charm Swap organised by Ms Midge . It was such a great way to work with a designers collection of fabrics. Mostly though, i found it totally fun working out what to make with the charms that i thought would suit the collection and also seeing what other people design and come up with. 56 people participated in the charm swap and we all contributed 2 sets of charms from a fabric line each. That meant we all received 112 unique charms. 

While my quilt design was fairly simple, there have been some awesome and unique quilts made, very different to mine, despite being based on the same collection of fabrics (Visit Ms Midge's Charm Along to check some of them out).

Boho Road Trip:

After seeing the AMH fabrics, i wanted to make a something to showcase the fabrics and to keep in style with the bohemian vibes. Our family is fortunate enough to have a VW CamperVan (Transporter) that we use regularly to get away to the coast and take our travelling holidays in so I wanted a quilt to snuggle under on our road trips around the country. Something we could wrap ourselves in while watching sunrises and sunsets and while we watched for humpback whales as they migrate along Australia's east and west coasts. I wanted a quilt that would keep us warm while waiting for good surf on nippy coastal mornings.

I'd seen some lovely quilts made from charm squares, but never made one myself. I decided to make a quilt based on a disappearing 9 patch and thought the AMH fabric collection would suit these blocks well. The resulting blocks were really simple to make but I like the way that the charms aren't cut up too small and so some of the fabrics with larger designs can still be appreciated.

At nearly 2x2m, this quilt was a little on the big side for me to quilt on my Bernina, so I've asked Jeanette at Gone Aussie Quilting to quilt an edge to edge design on it for me. I can't wait to get it back!

Would i recommend participating in a charm swap?

I sure would! And i can't wait to do another one. I'm so thankful to Melissa for all her hard work organising this swap. Thanks're the best!


Linking up with:

- Ms Midge for the Anna Maria Horner Charm-Along and
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social and
Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday

Friday, 3 April 2015

Chita Cushion Cover

While we were visiting family in Portugal last year, i picked up this great 'Chita de Alcobaca' fabric (read more about Chita here). I loved the unusual designs and the colours remind me of our visits to Portugal and the typical colours that make up the many decorative tiles, know as Azulejos.

While our Portuguese family are currently visiting us here in Canberra, i decided to whip up a couple of little cushion covers using the Chita. I made some piping using the Chita and some cord and added a covered zipper into the backing fabrics.

The making of the pillow was very simple, but i hate sewing in the piping around the corners of the cushion (they never end up super neat for me!).

For backing fabric on the first, i used a Chita (above), but for the other i used a fabric in the delicious blues of; 'Grand Bazaar by Patty Young for Michael Miller' (below).

One cushion is destined for our couch, but the other i've given to my Aunt Sue, whose birthday it was this week.

Happy Birthday Sue!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Summer Picnic

My Spring Summer Picnic quilt is finished. And while i didn't quite have it finished to enjoy the Australian spring as hoped, it is ready to make the most of the last remnants of summer.

For me, this quilt is all about the colours. Colours that really please my eyes and say 'take me out onto some lush, green grass and enjoy the warmth, blue skies and fresh air outdoors'. The design is simple...super simple....but i really like how in it's simplicity, it's reminiscent of the table cloths we used on picnic tables when i was young.

I was inspired to make my Summer Picnic quilt after seeing Annie's Picnic Quilt by Malka Dubrawsky (p.122 of her book Fresh Quilting; Fearless Color, Design & Inspiration) (You can read more about that here).

I also really liked the colour combinations in Kaffe Fassett's Green Shirt Stripes fabric, so while the solids are primarily shades of green, i've tended to include some prints and squares of purple and blue to liven things up a little. I've used Kaffe's Green Shirt Stripes for the binding.

Today, we headed off to the sculpture garden outside the Australian National Gallery in Canberra to take some photo's. As usual, my assistants were very helpful and the perfect picnic quilt testers; 
1. rolling on it - tick
2. munching yummy things on it -  tick
3. jumping and running all over it - tick
4. Hurricane proof? - tick.

Lesson learnt - 

Rip-Stop Fabric is too slippery to quilt using my walking foot!

One of the reasons for the delay in finishing the quilt was because i'd decided to experiment a bit with some Rip-Stop as backing. I thought Rip-Stop would make the perfect backing for a picnic it a bit of water/dirt proofing when the ground is a little damp. So after whipping up the quilt top, i thread basted the quilt sandwich ready to go.

My plan was for simple 1/4 inch quilting either side of the seams with my wonderful walking foot. Sounds easy right? Well, i battled and fought with the quilt as it slipped and created horrible, irregular, messy quilting lines. I persisted for several lines of quilting before i was so disappointed, i turned off my Bernina and set the quilt aside while i decided what to do.

Now, don't get me wrong, my machine quilting is far from perfect at the best of times. My main problem usually happens when dealing with larger quilts and the thread length will vary as i tug and battle with the weight and size of the quilt and i often end up disappointed and not enjoying the quilting process (for that reason i usually opt to take big quilts to my lovely long-arm friends).

But this was soooo much worse. At times like this, a girl needs to consult her Mum and she agreed that i should unpick the mess i'd made, remove the Rip-Stop, make a new backing from the left over fabrics i'd used on the top, re-make the sandwich and quilt it as planned. And, i'm very happy i did. Despite a few wonky imperfections (aka Hurricane assistance) and some of the usual variations in thread length, it's ready and raring for picnics.

I can't wait to take it out for another date. I look forward to some lazy napping, sharing yummy nibbles with family and friends and the likely job of working out how to best remove the evidence that a good time was had; red-wine, homemade beetroot dip (my favourite) and probably some tomato sauce.

Cheers to many years of picnics ahead,

Linking up with:
- Kim at Persimon Dreams for TGIFF,
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social and

Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday