Please remember that any photos, images or text on this blog remain my property, but if you wish to use any that you see, feel free to contact me for permission. Thank you for respecting my request and enjoy your visit.......Joy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More freebies for Christmas

Don't you love giveaways? I do. Here is another one for you to look at - Judi at Green Fairy Quilting has a Moda Jelly Roll and a Layer Cake up for grabs. Just leave a message on her blog and you're in the running.
Actually I'd rather you didn't - then there is less people in the draw and I might have a better chance! But read her blog anyway - it is great with lots of patterns and eye candy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas is not far away

I'm a follower of Where Women Create on Facebook and Jo's blog. If, like me you like to check out what other women are creating and how they fit into their lives. Check out Jo Packham's sites as there is heaps of information and inspiration. Presently she has a competition going for the '12 Days of Christmas' and all you have to do is visit her blog and leave a message on any particular day or all 12 days if you wish. You can get to the particular link by clicking on the 'Christmas is coming' logo you see in the right-hand column on this page.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Won some fabric from Beth Ferrier

How exciting is this - I just received an email from Beth Ferrier of Applewood Farm fame who told me I had won a parcel of fat quarters from her!!! My comment on her blog was picked out.
I am so excited just had to write here and let you all know.

Will get back to updating notes from my trip very shortly. When the parcel arrives (probably about 14 or so days from the US) will post a pic of what I won. Yippee. As if I didn;'t have enough fabric, but this is special.....

If you have a chance go and visit her blog and her website - both are great places to visit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

From NY to Lancaster

We left New York on Tuesday morning and travelled by coach through the most beautiful, green and lush countryside on our way to Lancaster and the Amish and Mennomite communities.

It was very strange leaving such a vibrant, busy city and only a couple of hours later to find ourselves in an entirely different environment.

Our first stop was Burkholders, just outside of Lancaster and of course we helped their economy! Here are some of us (Rosemary in front) lining up to pay for our purchases.
Burkholders is quite a large shop with a huge class room and a large display of quilts on the walls and around all areas of the shop and one wall complete with gadgets etc.

We stayed at the Marriott, a fairly new hotel in Lancaster city for 4 nights and travelled by coach during the day to various Amish communities - Intercourse (passing by Virgintown/Maidenville!!!) and Bird-In-Hand.

While in Lancaster we visited one of Lancaster's museums which has a large collection of quilts and also on display was a collection of Native Indian woven wool wallhangings. The colours in this collection were beautiful, strong reds and browns. This is just a small number.
Unfortunately the antique quilts were all encased in glass and when taking photos they show a lot of reflection and wont post very well.
So if you want to see what I took you will just have visit me!!!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York - Part 2 (b)

It had been arranged for us to visit an exhibition of quilts held in the Williams Club. This was partly organised in conjunction with The City Quilter which we had previously visited.

The quilts were all made by quilters living and/or working in the New York area and were displayed in various rooms of the club. Vary diverse works.

Quite a few versions of Dear Jane as you can see here. Some quite contemporary ones, large and small. It was quite exciting to see our first exhibition on our trip and the standard of work by 'every day quilters' not just the professional ones or award winning quilts. For me, I thought they were all deserving of an award - much different to my standard!!!!

After 4 days in New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, and a couple of us even did an underground rail trip (Yvonne and myself tried our best to get back from Staten Island via train - caught the wrong one - ended up going through the Bronx area, but eventually got back) Sorry Yvonne, it was a long walk from Times Square back to the hotel!!!!! We then boarded the coach and headed to Lancaster - Amish country.

Stay turned for more.......
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New York - part 2 (a)

After seeing Jersey Boys on Broadway we went to dinner at the Olive Grove, an Italian restaurant about 2 blocks away.

They serve the most delicious cocktails - this was called a 'Mango & Passionfruit' daiquiri.

Very potent, and as you can see by the comparison with the glass of water, not small!! (Note - I only had one)

After dinner we walked the length of Broadway (almost) - what a fantastic sight - so much to see - there were as you can guess so many lights and billboards, also many street vendors and entertainers.

Very, very vibrant atmosphere. Loved everything about it.

Unfortunately I had a photo of me with Elmo but it didn't come out very well - flash wasn't turned on (duh!!)

The next day we went on a walking tour of the 'garment district' of New York.

Fascinating stuff - there is this magnificent bronze sculpture of a man at an old treadle sewing machine and also along one footpath many plaques denoting the various designers that have worked in the area.

We were lucky to be able to go into some warehouses and purchase material off the shelves (mainly dressmaking stuff etc).

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

New York - part 1

We stayed at the Raddison on Lexington. Our first venture into a quilting shop was The City Quilter in New York.

A smallish shop going by the standards of others we went into later in the trip - but about the same size as some of ours in Oz. Heaps of fabric, books and notions that we don't see very much of here. They have their own range of specialist NY fabric - taxis, city skylines, etc and of course I had to buy some! I think just about everyone did.

I know what you're going to say - show us - I will as soon as I my visitors have gone and everyone has seen the goodies. I will then properly unpack the cases - note cases! Sue and myself had to purchase extra - we were very close to the weight limit of 23kgs. But one can have 2 cases with 23 kgs - so that is what we did! Cheaper than paying for excess baggage.......

This was the start of our mission to 'help the US economy situation'.

Our bus driver also took us for a tour of the city highlights. Love the traffic and the pedestrians - lost count of how many we missed!!!! They take no notice of traffic lights.

Getting back to our hotel I looked out our window (our room was on the 8th floor) and saw this very interesting sight. Don't know how it got there, but the car was gone the next day. If I didn't take this photo you would have said I dreamt it!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Wanderer's return

Hi everyone,
I'm back. What a fantastic trip. Apologies for not posting while away but we were only able to get limited computer access, and family were expecting updates - had to get my priorities right!

I am still getting over jet-lag. It is taking a bit longer than I thought. All up we had 28 hours flying time from Houston-Denver-LA-Sydney, then to Melbourne, with approx 2 hrs at each airport transit lounge, so the full journey to get home was 35 hours. Long, long time to not have a proper sleep, plus the fact that when we left it was Sunday and arrived on Tuesday - Monday was non-existent!!!! It is that infernal 'date-line' we cross when flying over the Pacific. Was thinking about asking someone to move it to the other side of the world - say the Atlantic!!!!

Apart from all of that it was absolutely fantastic. Great people in the tour group, the loveliest of tour guides - Michelle Maher from Travelrite and Michelle Marvig who was so helpful with any questions we had about our purchases. There were many many boxes of goodies sent home and some of us (me included) bought an extra case to bring home, once we worked it out that it was cheaper to do this than post the boxes. On the flights we were allowed 2 cases with 23k in each and as most of us went with one, when the weight was getting very close to the limit before we even arrived in Houston the way to go was to get another case. I can tell you, it didn't take long to fill.

I purchased two small Amish quilts (wallhangings) which I am thrilled with.

As soon as I get my photos sorted out I will post some pics and more little stories as the days go by. I managed to fill 2 x 2gb sim cards in my camera. Not sure how many times I had to charge the batteries!!!!!

Afraid it is getting close to that time of night when I am starting to flag, so need to make a warm drink and off to bed with one of the books/mags I bought.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Today I finished my ATCs that I will be taking with me to swap at Houston on the Quilting Arts wall.
I made 8, hope that will be enough and they are all basically the same design, just with a slight variation of the boomerang and shape of the wattle tree. I decided on the wattle as it is our floral emblem and the boomerang being aboriginal. For the background I used a rich blue silk material for the sky and I cut up a serviette for the earth! It was the only thing I had that was a good representation of our red earth. Trouble is I now have 5 instead of 6. Anyone know what I should do with them???

Friday, September 18, 2009


Don't we all love a freebie? I came across this blog while doing a search for something entirely different. There are heaps and heaps of links to freebies - patterns, hints, how to's etc etc. Please check it out (no brown paper bags here, just love the site). I have also put a link in my reading list also. I plan to make the fabric bowl that is listed. Very easy instructions and templates included.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gathering info for Houston

I have been spending some time contacting different crafters/shops who I have dealt with or just like their blogs, etc to see who will be exhibiting at Houston Quilt Festival. I thought this was the easiest way as when I downloaded the Festival catalogue (83 pages!!!) my mind went into 'overload'. There is so much information I'm not sure how we can get around the whole festival and see everything, even though we will be there for 3 days.

Interestingly, quite a few wont be there - cost is too high for some, which I fully understand as our shows here in Oz tend to be very expensive for the exhibitors as well. But there are still a few that myself and friends want to check out. I'm compiling a list of names, what they're doing (if a demonstration etc) and type of things they have. Sue has a list of some other shops to visit as well.

With the information and what has been arranged by the tour company plus our own info we should be well and truly capable of helping the economy of our friends in the US!!!

On my return, depending on how big it turns out, I will post this info and any other info on what we see at Houston for future reference if any of you out there go in the future.

I'm not sure if I will be posting to the blog while away - will depend on computer access.

Two and a bit weeks to go......... have nearly finished my ATCs for Quilting Arts trading wall. When finished will put up a pic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Postcard for Heloisa

I had fun making this postcard. I used the techniques I learnt in an on-line course with Two Creative Studios. The background was painted first with white household emulsion paint, then moulding paste was spread over thinly and I attached some pieces of lace and cords, then when it was dry I painted with watercolour paints, finishing off when some bronze rubbings. Finally finished with some stitching. I am sending this to Heloisa in Brazil as part of the Stitching Fingers Birthday Swap. This is the last one for a couple of months as we don't have anyone with a birthday now until (I think) January. I hope Heloisa likes it.

I enjoyed making this so much I am going to try a few other techniques - this size is great as one can experiment with lots of ideas and they don't cost too much.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Received this postcard from Cindy in the US today. Another one of the swaps organised through Stitchin Fingers.
Cindy has stenciled the background. I love her choice of colours.

Until I get the ATCs completed that I'm taking with me when I go to Houston, I'm not joining any more swaps. I'm going to miss swapping for a month or so, but hey, it's not the end of the world and my trip is coming up - getting very close now - only 4 weeks to go till I leave.
I'll still post here and show what I've made and also hopefully will clear up some small sewing things I have started. Then when I get back, it will be 'all systems go' again and I will be back in the swapping once more.

In a fortnight I've booked in to do a dyeing workshop with Dijanne Cevaal which should be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Postcards made for

I've just finished another 2 postcards - well one I actually finished a couple of days ago, but I didn't want to put up a pic of it until I mailed it. The daisy card is for Dakotah (USA) as part of our swap with Stitchinfingers. The background is painted and the petals of the flower are felt which I free-motion stitched down and then added a button with some beads. The stem and leaves are free-motioned stitched - stem in zig-zag, I hope she likes it.

The other one is for my brother who is celebrating his 60th birthday this weekend. One of his loves is fishing, so I came up with this idea of the fish going for the cake instead of the worm! Nothing fancy on this one, just some free-motion quilting and simple applique, with some stitching on the bottom for the sea-grass. I am posting it to him even though he is having a bar-be-que on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Postcard received

I received this lovely postcard from Dakotah (USA) today. We are both in the Stitchinfingers group and this one is for the July/August swap. I love her colours and the stitching is very interesting. Not sure what you call the blue flowers but they look great don't they? I am getting quite a large collection now. Will have to try and make a collage like I did with the ATCs and post a pic of all that I have received this year. It's amazing that these little works of art travel from one side of the world to the other (literally in this case!!! right across that big pond in the middle.)Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jade ATC for Stitchinfingers

Mailed off on Thursday this ATC to Christine in the UK for the 'Jade+2' swap on Stitchinfingers. It is part of a monthly swap we have. We put our names on the list and Gina (bless her!) sorts us out and makes sure we send and receive from different people and if possible someone in a different country. We only have to make one to send so it doesn't become too onerous if we have other things happening in our lives. I hope Christine likes it. The colour jade doesn't show up as well as I would have liked, but it is jade. The background is offcuts from sari silk strips - as you can see some have frayed, but I like the effect. The two other colours are silver and blue.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Using old laces etc

These postcards are made from an old piece of lace which I painted with dye to achieve the different looks. I made them up as one piece of fabric then I cut four pieces from the fabric and then edged them. The background is a multi-coloured piece of silk fabric which I fused to pelmet vilene to stiffen. I rather like the way they turned out. Kind of a triptych, but there are four instead of three!

A hint - I use a 'window' template the size of the postcard (6x4) or an ATC (2.5x3.5) to audition the part I wish to cut out. You get quite a different perspective when looking at it through the template. Just move it around until you see where you would like to cut.
I have been making postcards as well as ATCs lately for swapping. These little items are very addictive and I find that my other sewing is getting neglected. This is the postcard I recently sent to Dakotah in the USA - have just heard from her that she loves it. I didn't post earlier as I wanted it to be a surprise. It is one of a few that I made while doing an online course in altering fabric. I painted the base with white household paint, then scraped on some moulding paste through a stencil. When dry I then painted with water colour and dabbed on gold and bronze paint. The little rose is fabric and cov ered with a little moulding pase and then painted. A small amount of stitching was added.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finally finished the ATCs for swapping at Retreat

Late this afternoon I finished off the 14 ATCs that I am taking to a retreat this weekend. I made them using the selvages which have been cut off from lots of material. If you want to know more about sewing with these little bits of scraps check the Selvage Blog in the right hand column. I love using them, you gets lots of interesting little bits, some with writing. With these ones I added some embellishments, beads, stitching and small tiles. Hope the girls I'm swapping with will like them. This pic is just a few - they are all much of a muchness with a little bit of variety.

Yippee - I'm going.....

Just received two phone calls - one from the tour company and one from a fellow Scquilter - Sue - she has decided to do this tour.  Sue had been thinking about it for some time and saw my plea on the Scquilter's message board, rang the company and booked. Michelle from Travelrite confirmed Sue's booking - how lucky is that - not only am I now going but sharing with someone I know and get on well with!!! I think I will go and get myself a Tatts ticket (lotto for those who live o/seas.). Feeling very lucky today.

I haven't felt like sewing since I got the awful news, but now I am ready to get back to the little ATCs I am making to take with me this weekend. I'm off on a little retreat for 3 days with a group of lovely ladies from the Willows Quilting Group - we go every year to the same place in Bacchus Marsh (which is about a 2hr drive from here) and sew, talk, sew, laugh, sew, eat what someone else has prepared and sew. Usually about 25 or so go, but am told this year there is a few more (like 40 of us!!!). Hopefully they will allow me take some photos and put up on the blog (I might sneek some in...).

Back to my sewing machine, a very happy Joy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is there anyone out there?????

As mentioned in an earlier post I have been very excited about booking a tour to the US in October and visiting the Quilt Festival in Houston. Well today I had a call from the tour company to say that the girl I had been paired with to share rooms has pulled out. Ok, you say no problems you didn't know her, it doesn't impact on you going... Well it does - because the accommodation is twin-share I may have to pay the single supplement ($A2,800). that puts a real damper on my going - it is more money than I had planned to use for spending and makes the trip way out of what I can afford.

SO - if anyone is reading this and has been thinking of doing this trip, please please please give it a lot of thought and join me. I can assure you I'm not an 'axe murderer' - I am a nice person, generally happy (except for right now!!).

My only hope is if someone else pulls out - then I can share with the other 'odd' person or if someone joins us and they can share with me!

The link to the tour is here.
Thank you

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now for something I am sewing

My Monday night sewing group are having a simple challenge. We were all given 1 mt of fabric to use as much or as little as we like, but we have to use it in a quilt suitable for donating to our local hospital. This is something we do on a regular basis - sometimes it may be Quilts of Love for the very tiny prem babies, or Christmas quilts for the kids, etc. My piece of material was a bright blue and I thought this would look good using some of my strings that I have an abundance of.

Having decided on the size of the blocks (finished 12 in) I then chose to do a pattern that looks like flying geese.
I then made 4 string blocks (finished 6 in) and then sewed them to the blue squares creating two sets of triangles.
The finished blocks were then sewn together. All that is left now is to put on a border, quilt then bind off.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More cards arriving

Is this the greatest birthday? Every day for a week now ATCs and Postcards have been arriving in my mail box. The one on the far right is an ATC from Sheila (from Scotland) and the one on the left is her Postcard.

(Sorry about the photo, not sure how this happened, it's lost part of the lower section - as you can see I'm still learning. Will put up a better one if I can fix it.)

We just happened to have joined two different
two swaps from two different groups -
both international!
A small world after all
(not sure who said that, but a good quote....)
The other postcard is from Lorna (UK).
These photos don't do the work on these cards justice, they are just beautiful and the colours divine. Even though I love colour I find it a little bit 'out of my comfort zone' so I usually stick to my favourites.

In a short while I will start posting pics of the cards I'm making (and have made) for these swaps.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Great Information site

Earlier this year I signed up for the newsletter from Two Creative Studios. A great site for some free information sheets on everything from mixed media to dyeing to 'where ever your creative hands want to take you'. You can access more information here and see what they have to offer. I also did an on-line course run by Terri and although I haven't finished everything I learnt heaps. Hope any of you reading this will pop over and have a look.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Getting very excited!!! - USA here I come

In October this year I am winging myself across that big blue pond between us and the USA for 3 weeks travelling around a small part of the country, but mainly to visit the Houston Quilt Festival. Last night I downloaded the full catalogue - wow 83 pages - can you believe that! With over 365 hands-on classes and numerous workshops listed for the six days of the festival! Comparing to our shows here - it's mind boggling and I don't think I can actually envisage it yet. Going to take me awhile to get my head around the size of it all.
There is also over 20 (note 20) different exhibitions.
I have decided not to do any classes - just couldn't find anything - now I can see you thinking - what with that many she must be very very fussy - I'm not believe me - just too much to take in. What I'm going to do is take my time and make sure I don't miss a thing. I'm also hoping that I may be able to attend some of the 'on the floor demonstrations and workshops' that you don't book into. These are in the form of each teacher/artist talks for about 15 mins and has some of their work on display. But I also think that by the time I go up and down all the aisles my brain might be just a tad overloaded!
There is one thing I noticed when reading the catalogue for the upteenth time - they have an actual Festival Quilting Bee - organised by one of the local guilds. This is a definite on my list.
Stay tuned for more updates - will post titbits as I find out more.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lots of parcels in today's mail

Today the postie had to bring my mail to the front door. I am in an international birthday ATC swap and also a swap with Scquilters (an online Australian quilting group) and he had too many envelopes to put in my mailbox. I haven't opened them yet as I promised my granddaughter Jorja who is nearly 3 that when she comes to visit she can help me open them. She loves looking through the folders I have of ATCs and Postcards that I have swapped over the past couple of years. Last time she was down here (they live the other side of Melbourne about 130kms from me) she helped me make a couple by sprinkling on some glitter. Mind you there was more glitter on the floor than the cards! I will put up some photos of the albums when the weather is better - at the moment it is very cold and wet here and my camera doesn't take a good photo inside. (Actually I have hinted to my 3 boys that a new one would be very good!!!)

We will all have to wait until the 12th.

Until next time, stay healthy, love well, laugh often.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I'm a member of Around the World in 20 Quilts - a small group of art quilters from Australia, US, UK and Europe who make a small art quilt 4 times a year to a chosen theme. Today 30 June is the final day for the unveiling of our quilts for this quarter. During the period between quilts we post little snippets as 'teasers' and it is very interesting and sometimes very surprising to see the finished quilt. You get an idea of what you think it might be, but when the final posting is shown quite often the quilt is not at all like you pictured it would be.

Some of us (myself included!) leave it to the last minute to finish off our quilts but we still get it done. The moderator of the group Linda keeps us on our toes.

This pic is of my quilt for this particular theme which was 'Connections'.
I worked on the connections between family and friends and the 4 sets of triangles represent my 3 sons and the 4th is for friends, with myself as the 'star' in the middle. I first tried a heart but it didn't work, probably because of the soft lines, whereas a star has harder lines and points which seemed to blend in more with the triangles. The three tiles on the left are for my boys again, but are aligned this way for DS2 who lives in northern Australia (Noosa Qld) and DS1 & DS2 who both live in southern Vic (Melb and Anglesea) and are also by the ocean (like myself) which the two smaller tiles next to them represent. I chose furnishing fabric for the background for the colours of the sand, the swirling of the ocean and green for the bush which surrounds me. I edged this little quilt with string and threaded it through a toggle at the top which 'binds everything together'.
I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I've been a traditional quilter for some 10 years now and I love doing these little quilties as it get me out of my comfort zone and I'm also learning heaps.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The beginning!

Many many friends have been asking me for some time now 'when are you going to start a blog'?

Well, as you can all see I've started :). Hopefully this will be the first of many posts - I will try to post weekly, or at least fortnightly.

This is also the start of another new part of my life's journey. As of 2 months ago I retired from full-time work, so it is a good time to start writing a journal. Something I've never done but always wanted to, but never had the courage as I've always been a fairly private person.

You will notice as I write I have a passion about anything to do with needle, thread and/or material. I also collect a number of things, namely - thimbles, old embroideries, crocheted items, and anything to do with the 'gentle arts', plus I also love old kitchen stuff - I have a collection of wooden rolling pins, tin ware, kitchen utensils, aprons, especially embroidered ones.

My family is also very important to me - I have 3 wonderful sons, all grown up and left home, plus one absolutely delightful granddaughter (I am a bit biaised where she is concerned....) After 3 boys to have a little girl (who is a little girl, not a 'tom boy') who loves anything pink, fairies and dressing up - so different from noisy, sport loving boys - I am in second heaven. You might guess she is a little spoilt - but isn't that what Nanna's are for?

This journey will also be a learning curve for me - the cyber/techo world. I email, look at Google, check our websites, but that is about it! I wont tell you how long it took me to get this far with getting this blog up! Let's just say, today I have been on the computer for quite some time :).

Another love of mine is tennis - so I will now have to leave you all as Wimbledon is about to start here on the east coast of Aust (11.30 pm) - will return again tomorrow with some more ramblings.