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

Friday, December 30, 2011

I've been surfing again......

and came across another fantastic blog - Linda Kemshall's.  Linda is half of Linda and Laura Kemshall, Design Matters.  I first came across this mother and daughter team while watching and reading Quilting Arts magazine and TV shows.  They hail from England and work with a large variety of techniques.  Their latest purchase is a huge printing machine that actually prints direct onto fabric by the yard!!  How cool is that?

Anyway I suggest if you love art, design, techniques, colour, pattern, quilting, mixed media, etc, then go and have a look at their blog.  I'm very tempted to sign up for an on-line course or their Design Matters TV shows - may have to use some of the $ I found in my Christmas stocking.

I have also put it in my reading list in the right hand column.  Enjoy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Christmas gift to myself

Ever since my boys were quite young (when they were believers of Father Christmas!!) I have bought myself a gift to put under the tree.  One year DS1 was very upset because Father Christmas hadn't bought me a present and he said 'but you are a very good mum!!!

This year is no exception - 'except' that I spent a tad more than I usually do.  This is what I bought myself!  I have always wanted one and while at a retreat a few months ago one of the other retreatees mentioned that she was going to advertise her Treadle Machine.  As I know this person and know she would have looked after it I jumped right in and said I would be interested.

I got my DS3, whose car is bigger than mine, to go with me and naturally loved it from the first look.  Now it is in my house.  But the question is 'How do I wrap it and put it under the tree!'

Isn't she a little beauty!!

Ps. I hope no-one is listening, but a week or so ago I did spend a bit more - I purchased two vintage quilt tops, but I'll show these at a later date - have to work out how to photograph them without taking them outside in the bright sunlight.  One is circa 1870-90 and the other is circa early 1900s.  Can't wait to show you these, I love them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ricky Timms is coming to Australia

Quilter, Singer, Musician, Writer, TV Star is coming to Australia in September 2012.  The Australian Machine Quilters Assoc is having a one-day seminar at their Quilt Festival in Adelaide and if you want to attend you need to go over to their website here, and get the details. I'm going to register - just love his work and also have some CDs of his show with Alex Anderson.  Anyone want to join me - maybe share a room???

Monday, December 12, 2011

I won!!!!

Ocassionally when I see a give-away on someone's blog and if it is something I would like I enter.  Once or twice over the years I have won something.  This time over at Dye Candy, Chris was giving away a copy of one of the latest Jennifer Chiaverini's books - The Wedding Quilt.  I have all the others up to this one and had it on my Christmas Wish List.  I just received an email from Chris to say I WON!!!  How good is that!  Please go over and look at her blog - she has some fantastic things there, especially love her jewellery and of course her dyed fabrics.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My apology

if I have made it harder for you to comment on my blog.  BUT, I have had to put in an extra step - I will be viewing postings before allowing them to be published.

Reason being over the last couple of weeks I have had some spam postings come in and luckily I have been able to delete them before they were up for too long.  I have a spam checker but these guys/gals are clever, so for the near future you will see a message that says I need to approve before posting goes public.

Again, my apologies but it is a necessary step that I have to take - don't want any of my readers to be caught up in the 'net' as well.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Link for lovers of the history of quilting

Doing some surfing the other day (as one does when one should be sewing!!!) and came across this fantastic site - The Quilt Index.  It's a resource and reference tool that gleans its information from very large and varied resources, such as museums, private collections, etc. The information on this site is mind-boggling.  They have a blog also and you can read it here. When checking out the blog scroll down to a posting on 1 Dec 2011 and have a look at the Embroidered Quilt by The Ilingelihle Women’s Project, in South Africa. Absolutely stunning.

Some of the quilts on this site are not old, but are significant in that they are reflective in their interpretation of life in different counties and societies today.

I will definitely be checking this site regularly.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Battings tested

A fellow quilter here in Aust, Linda Steele, has written an excellent article on the comparison on quilting with different battings.  You can read about it on her blog here with some surprising results especially with the thread that she used for the examples.  I generally use a cotton batting, but will now think of changing to a wool/poly mix.  Thanks Linda for taking the time to do this.

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Blog and a give-away

My friend Sharon from Two-Bits Patches has started a new blog and is having a give-away.  If you click here it will take you to her blog.  Sharon has an on-line business mainly dealing with I-Spy type materials and has some great packs and other stuff that she has available.  Please go and have a look at her site.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A blog for lovers of textiles

I haven't posted for a while - have been busy with family stuff - but I could let this one go by without letting you know - I have found a great blog for those who love doing textiles.  You may already know about it - has been going for some time.  Liz Kettle whose blog it is, is part of the team that have the website Textile Evolution - she also has a give-away going at present - so if you are 'biting at the bit' to get there here it is - click here - hope you like it as much as I do.

I'll be back soon,
Take care...Joy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Memories of New York

I have just recently completed this little quilt in honour of my two visits to New York City (in 1999 and this year).  One of my most favourite places in the world to visit (haven't been to many, but love New York...)  I wanted to put something on my lounge room wall to remember this vibrant city.  Don't know if I will ever get back there.  Maybe one day.
I called it 'Postcard from New York.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Daisy Chains...

I used to love making these when I was a kid.  This is a delightful little park a block away from granddaughter's house.  Unfortunately there weren't many daisies with long enough stems to make a long chain.
Picking the Daisies

Making the first slit

Starting the Chain

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Out of the archives...

come a couple of small wallhangings.

This one I made for Warwick (DS3) who loves his fishing.  The idea was dictated by the material I found for the sky.  You just see the fish (a button) which is near the end of the fishing line.  It is the 'one that got away!!!'

This delightful little quilt is 'Winston' - who is not little (a Ridgeback), loves his bones and kennel and now lives in Metung, near Lakes Entrance in Victoria.  A big, softy, and loveable dog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mystery no more

The blocks of the mystery quilt I was doing are now all sewn together with borders.  This was such as easy one to do I am thinking of doing another (wont be a mystery!!) in some batiks I have, or maybe I may use some Japanese fabric I have,......or........???  Who knows what I will use - got to still make it a mystery!!  The quilt top will now go in my basket of tops waiting to be quilted.

I am one of those quilters who has a lot of tops, not many quilted or finished, but this year I am getting through some of them.  Some just need the binding - isn't it the way you get so far and then onto something else.  This year I decided (all by myself.....) to not purchase any more fabric, only what I absolutely require to finish an already started project.  So far I have been good.  Next year - will wait and see.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

One completed star block

Yesterday I cut some white triangles to put around my star blocks.  Sewing the 'Y' seams wasn't too hard at all.  It's just the stopping and starting each seam that is a bother.  But I will keep going as I like what I see and having already sorted out more reds and blues from my stash to make a quilt (I think...)  The templates I sized from EQ6 all work together.  A bonus as I didn't want to draw them myself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I love stars

Many of my quilts are based on stars of some type.  I love them.  I have been fiddling around with EQ6 lately and managed to work out how to draw up a 6 pointed star.  These are 5 that I have sewn up. I still have to add the set-in pieces to make them into a hexagon shaped block.  Not looking forward to that - I might like stars but not sewing set-in pieces.  This will test my maths skills and if EQ6 turns out a good block. 
A project for a quiet day I think.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

While I'm on the subject..

of winning. 

Many years ago ( I entered two of my large embroidery works in the local Geelong Art & Agricultural Show. 

They are shown here - the Roses won 1st Prize in 'Surface Embroidery' and the Iris's received 2nd in the same category. 

Both these works hang on the wall above my bed.  I'm very proud of them as they were also my own design which I took off a couple of photos in a gardening book.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The best news.......

This weekend is the Melbourne Quilt & Craft Show at Jeff's Shed (Exhibition Centre).  I'm a member of my local Geelong Quilt Guild and also a little offshoot Art Play Group.  We only got together earlier this year to learn and try out new ideas in the Art Quilt area.  One of our group Lyn. thought it would be good to do a joint project and submit it for entry at the Show.  We did and not only was it accepted to be hung WE WON FIRST PRIZE in the Group Quilt Section.  How good is that!!!  I'm stoked!!

We made 12x12 inch quilts to the theme of 'circles'.  Mine is second from the right in the second row (bright pink background).  I used felt as the base and printed and discharged random circles then felted spirals and added some hand stitching and pearl buttons.

They were joined by using metal rings to continue the theme of circles and was named 'Circle Fabrication'.  I must thank Jenni S  of Jacaranda blog for these photos as I was not able to get to the show myself.   Her quilt is the first one in the second row.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playing with the blocks

Yesterday I finished sewing the blocks for the mystery quilt I'm doing.  Today I started to play with them on my design wall.  Don't know what you think, but I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.  Just need to find the right orientation for the blocks.  This is one way, but there is another which I'm going with - you will have to wait and see when I've sewn them together.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Next Mystery Steps

Step 5 is where the shorter of the strips are sewn to one side of the blocks and then joined in rows.  I will then be sewing the longer strips in beween four of the blocks, thus making one quite large block.  With the very cold weather we're having here in Victoria I'm hoping to finish it off this weekend.
Step 6 is putting these large blocks together - borders and binding is your own choice.  Once I have them together will post the final stage before I decide on what to do for borders.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whoo Hoo - I'm back

on line, that is.
Have been having heaps of problems with Blogger.  Hopefully all is well again.

In the meantime I have been busy, busy, busy.  I'm participating in a Mystery Quilt through my Monday night group.  It is from the Bedford Mystery series.  This series of mystery quilts began in South Aust by a couple of quilters as a means of raising money for a local charity.  It is also the first Mystery quilt I've done and am enjoying it heaps.

Unfortunately, in my haste to get started I didn't take early photographs of the first three steps - there are 6 in all.  Step 1 was the selection of fabrics - I chose to do mine in 'country colours' - safe.... Step 2 was to make 4-patch blocks and strips with 1/2 sq triangle on the end. These blocks are some of the ones finished up to Step 3.

This next photo is Step 4.  These strips are the same construction as part of Steps 1-3, but are longer.  Hopefully the latter bits will be finished very soon. 

A bit hard to see on my 'design wall' as I have used a cream for the light colour material and my design wall is made from a cream flannel sheet.

In the meantime I have also finished some ATCs that are due to be posted very soon.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More historical stuff

 I'm still going through my old photos of quilts that I have made in the past.

This first one is a small Baltimore quilt (the squares are 6" square).  I made this in a class at The German Quilthouse in Geelong, Vic (unfortunately it has been closed for some time now).

A pity you can't see the dimensional work, but there is a ruched flower, padded little rose buds, and free-form flowers used in the borders.

The whole quilt measures 36" x 36".

The next quilt (as you can see) is a kid's quilt.  I made it for my boss when his son Benjamin was born 6 years ago. 

I used pre-printed alphabet squares and stitched the animals, then added different size pieces of bright materials to the squares to add interest.

This last one is very special.  It is a signature quilt of my son's wedding.  I first did the applique and stitching and then we got the guests at the wedding to sign it.  It is finished to fit their dining table as a runner.

Hope you are enjoying my reminiscing as much as I am.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Meeting my favourite princesses...

As you know my family and I went to Disneyland and the US last month.  We had the most fabulous time.  It is a magical place to visit.  I would have enjoyed it even with my granddaughter.

She met all the princesses as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Goofy, and a number of other Disney characters.

Two of her favourites are Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and of course Snow White.  When she met Aurora, we were having lunch in Ariel's Grotto and she was wearing her 'Aurora' dress.

It was truly a magical happy 3 days.  The rest of the time we went to Chicago, Boston and New York.  I will post some snippets about this part of our trip over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, June 13, 2011


As mentioned in my previous post way back in April, I have been busy with family stuff. Hopefully I think it has all been resolved, except that I now have DS3 (Warwick) living back home - not just his 'stuff' but him as well.  Having spread myself out over the past few years in my little house, I now have to 'compact' a lot of stuff (that word again!!).  But this exercise has been good in one way - I have had to make strong decisions about what is really worth keeping and what is not. 

At the same time I have found some photos of stuff I have made over the years and given away as gifts etc.

Decided to scan these onto the computer so they wont get lost in the future.  Here are some - the first one is an old photo of me and my very first quilt, a scrappy pyramid.

The second one a basket wallhanging.
And the third is a sampler made in country style colours and material.  The original pattern came from Marti Michell.

I'm also learning to navigate myself around the new look Blogger. 

So much has changed since I last posted.

Oops, I've forgotten to change the aspect of the last photo.  You will have to turn your head to look at it properly...sorry about that.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stuff etc - I'm sort of still here....accumulating stuff...

My apologies for neglecting my blog.  I have been busy with family stuff.  Hopefully most stuff has now settled down a bit. My mum's unit has now been sold and was settled last week so all the sorting/cleaning etc is finished.  I still have quite a few boxes of stuff in my house that need to find a good home.  DS2 returned from 5 years in Qld (Noosa) and bought all his stuff, even though he is sharing a house with a couple of mates, says his stuff wont fit there!  Then DS3 whose house has just been sold - please mum, can I store some of my stuff at your place until I get new digs!

Amongst all this stuff happening, I had a wonderful 5 days in Kiama last month at the annual Scquilters Retreat - 120+ other quilters from around Oz invaded the small coastal town just below Sydney.  In Melbourne we had the annual Australasian Quilter's Convention and Show and I masqueraded as an Angel for 2 days - the first doing White Glove duty in the Show area answering questions, showing the backs of quilts and making sure no-one bought in food or drink.  The second day was working as a Tutor's Angel with Gloria Loughman, an Australian Landscape Quilt Artist.  Both days were fantastic and I will definitely do it again.

After all of this, next week I'm off on holiday - flying to the US with DS1, DDIL and granddaughter.  We're going to NY, Chicago and Boston AND Disneyland!!!!!  Can't wait to experience this with a 4 yo who firmly believes the 'real Cinderella and the real Snow White' live there.  Not the pretend ones!  The real ones!

Hope to post again before I leave as there has been lots of other things happening around here.  I have even finished a couple more UFOs, but still have to take the photos.

Take care,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another PhD completed

Would you believe this quilt was first started in 2002 with a block exchange between our little Tuesday night group of eight girls.  When we did this exchange we had only been quilting for a couple of months, so everyone was a beginner.  The idea of the exchange was to learn new techniques - each month one of us chose a block that we liked and gave out instructions for making the block with some suggestions of colour etc.  Most were pieced, but I chose an applique as I particularly wanted to learn this technique.  The cups/mugs symbolised our many cups of coffee/tea that was consumed while we had our little gatherings.

It was a few years later I came across the patterns for the teapots in the first round of corners and the coffee mugs in the final round corners and also incorporated the words.  Unfortunately, they are a tad bit hard to read in the photo because of the light thread I used.  But they say:

"If you are cold tea will warm you,
If you are hot it will cool you,
If you are depressed it will cheer you,
If you are excited it will calm you."

Now onto my next PhD (Project half done)....

Monday, January 31, 2011

What Sharon won...

These are the Fat Qtrs that I sent to Sharon after my blog giveaway.  I wanted to make sure she had received them before posting a picture. 
I contacted Sharon when her name was pulled out to ask if she wanted any particular colour or style.  She told me she was collecting some autumn materials for The Farmer's Wife quilt.  This is what I chose.  Sharon was thrilled with them. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

Let's celebrate today with the same guts and determination our forebears did when they arrived in this harsh, but beautiful land.  Throw a lamb chop on the barbie!!!

In Dorothy McKellar's iconic poem she says - 'I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges and droughts and flooding rains'.  Droughts and flooding rains couldn't be more true  when it was written than the past couple of month's events.  Most of Australia has been in a drought for 5-10 years or more and especially where I live, we have had Stage 4 Water Restrictions for the past 5 years - that means:  no washing or hosing windows;  cars;  lawns;  etc. Garden beds can only be watered by 'hand only' and then on certain days of the week and only for 2 hours.

Over the past 6 months or so most of Australia has had more rain than our dams and rivers can handle so hence the devastating floods in the Eastern half Australia.

You ask - 'with droughts, floods, bush fires, some of the most poisonous spiders and snakes in the world, sharks and stingers in your oceans - what is it like to live in Australia?'

Bloody beautiful!   We have a strong feeling of mateship that comes from some of the above situations/disasters.  We dig-in and help our neighbours.  I believe we are tolerant and accepting of all people and we welcome newcomers to this land with open arms.  It is because of these newcomers (I don't like the word immigrant) that we have a wonderful multi-cultural society and all that brings to a country.

I wouldn't live anywhere else.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First ATC for 2011

I can now show you my first ATC made for the International Birthday Swap organised by Kate North in the UK.  Sheila (who was the first recipient) has now received it and has posted photos to her album in the group's page.

For this particular one I used some water soluble and stitched a grid over it.  Then I laid down some ribbons and stitched them down then kept adding more stitches and bits and pieces and finally washed the soluble away.  I had to wash a couple of times as the stitched piece was quite stiff.  Finally I cut it into 4 ATC sizes and for Sheila's I attached it to a piece of black velvet and then added some embellishment and finally edged it.  Not sure how I will finish off the other three - would like to make them look different for each person.  You can see here the one edged with green is Sheila's.

Unfortunately, I wont be able to post pics here until after they have been received.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Congrats Sharon

Sharon, you were the winner of the Fat Qtrs.  Congratulations.  DS3 said everyone's comments were good and honest.  So we put the names in a hat and out came Sharon's.  I will be in touch with you very soon.
Thanks everyone for playing along.  Not a lot of players, but I thought it was a fun thing to do that I will do this again. Maybe on a significant visitor number - ie 4,000 - my stats show 3,500 or perhaps a significant date on the calendar! I will put my thinking cap on and let you know in a few days what I come up with.  This is a great way to reduce my stash, which is getting too big for the cupboard I am using.

I have tried other means of reducing it but to no avail.  A couple of retreats I went to last year they had Fat Qtr raffles where you take along some of your collection and for each piece you receive a ticket and throughout the retreat at various times they draw a number and the winner gets a bundle of Fat Qtrs - well each time I won a bundle it was more than what I had actually taken along!!! My stash increased instead of being reduced.

I really love all my material but there is a lot which I will never ever use as my tastes and my quilting is going in a different direction than when I first started.  It's all good quality material I don't like seeing it sitting there looking very sad that it is not being used.

Thanks again everyone,

Take care,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How much do you spend on your hobby? And a surprise giveaway.....

I came across this interesting link about how much quilters in the US spend on their hobby.  It has been quoted that some spend $500US a month - wow even with our dollar at parity with the US$ and knowing the difference in their prices per yd as compared with our prices per mtr that is still a lot of money.

My question is - How Much Do You Spend?  And Where, local shop, web, quilt shows?  You have to be truthful and as you know it is only 350 days to next Christmas Santa is still watching..... The best original and truthful answer, judged by my DS3 will receive 6 fat quarters from my stash.  But you must leave your email addy so I can contact you.  You have until next Saturday 15 January 2011 at 5.00pm (EST in Australia)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A give-away on 3Creative Studios blog

If like me you are fan of this blog and also the girl's website you must go over and see what they are doing for the year.  It looks exciting.  This week they are having a fantastic give-away (3 in fact) of some of their fabulous stuff and all you have to do is comment on their blog here to be in the running.  I get a second chance of winning by posting their link here. But of course if too many of you go and post a comment that means my chances are less.  Boo Hoo.......

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sign of the times??

DS3 Warwick and DGD Jorja playing with games on iphones........Jorja has her father's, that's his feet you can see.  By the way, she can see through her hair......