Friday, January 29, 2016

a matter of time - exploring the fourth dimension, in quilts

Brenda Gael Smith is curating a new textile art quilt exhibition, a matter of time  - the quilts have been chosen and the touring schedule is filling up. You can find all the details on the dedicated exhibition website, Facebook page Instagram account and Pinterest board

Starting today, just a moment, a series of images of the quilts will be posted, along with information about the artist, one each day until 29th February. You can subscribe to blog updates, so that you are sent the images automatically - so easy!

The exhibition will premiere at the Stitches & Craft Show, Sydney: 3-6 March 2016 - further dates are listed, and more are being negotiated.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Two current exhibitions - information from Template Free

Check in with Quilt NSW's blog, Template Free for information about Whispered Threads, a small exhibition of small quilts at Sutherland Library, until 7th February, based on the concept of the game of Chinese whispers.

If you have time to visit the southern suburbs during the next week or so, remember that Hazelhurst Gallery (the venue for last years Labours of Love exhibition, and our 2015 bus trip) is nearby, with its excellent cafe, as is Patchwork Plus in Miranda.

While you are on Template Free, also check out yesterday's post about Cathy Jack Coupland's current exhibition, Colour, at Times Textiles gallery in Newcastle, including a video of Cathy talking about her relationship with colour.

Patchwork ploughing to save soil

When you fly over farmland, it is common to think 'patchwork' if you are looking out the window ...  even if you have no interest in or knowledge at all of farming country, if you are a quilter, the photos in this article are worth a look.

The ploughed land goes way beyond a patchwork effect - it looks as though a quilting design has been marked on it too. All in the name of good agricultural practice in a country where erosion is a constant problem.

Quilts - they're everywhere!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Kate Quilts will be one of the merchants at our 2016 Quilt Show in April. Kate's shop is online, and she does a number of shows each year.  You might get a head start during her Australia Day sale:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easing into 2016

Some of us reconvened after our summer break this week, while others are still on holidays, recovering from holidays, looking after grandchildren or some of the many things other than quilting that keep us busy. It was good to meet up again, and catch up on all the news. There was even a little show and tell ...

Sue C didn't have to look far for blue fabrics to make a much
-appreciated Dr Who themed bag for her granddaughter ...
although some of these look suspiciously new ...
And the reverse - of course it is bigger than it looks ...
Susan M is making great progress with hand quilting
her whimsical farm quilt, after some lessons from Janice
- one of the perks of belonging to such a co-operative group.
Jill managed a finish in the first half of January - because the top
was made and basted in 2015. Scraps from a 2014 quilt.
Pam couldn't make it to our Christmas lunch,
but her Blanket of Love was done.
We're not sure of the number, but let's call this one the
sixth blue and white quilt that Lynette has made from
our community stash (and some of her own) over the
last couple of years. There are still blue fabrics in that
stash, so she might not be finished yet! 
Not only do we have generous members, but our friends
are generous too. Lynette's friend Chris made this top, including
some fabrics she actually bought from the craft stall at our
last Quilt Show, then donated to the community program.
Lynette quilted and bound it. Great use of a scrappy sashed
four patch. Thank you Chris, and Lynette.
The second 'Plaids Gone Wild' Dawn has made from
Suzy Myer's very versatile Batik's Gone Wild pattern - it is
much easier to make the blocks than they look, but deciding
on the layout can take time.
About three years ago, one of members donated a considerable
stash of plaid fabrics, which Down took on as a project.
This quite large disappearing 9 patch uses the last of that donation.
It is at least the seventh quilt made from the donated fabrics,
maybe the eighth (we forget to count).
Thank you Dawn and Helen for your generosity and persistence.
It's been a long break, and not everyone is back, so there will be more ...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On now

The Embroiderers' Guild of NSW Facebook page has some excellent close-up photos from the exhibition posted over the last few days.  Further details of the event and a link to tickets are here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Quilt Show 2016

Our major event for the year is less than three months away - put it in your diary now!

Exhibition of Fairholme members’ quilts
Members’ challenge exhibition
Fairholme craft boutique
Fairholme Cafe
Quilt raffle - drawn 4 pm Sunday 10th

Cherry Pie Designs
The Stitching Post
Kate Quilts
Cottage Quilt Works
Gallery ARTES Pop-up shop

Friday 8th:  1pm - 5pm
Saturday 9th / Sunday 10th: 10am - 4pm

Friday, January 15, 2016

For the travellers

Next time you are heading to Tasmania, you might want to add this new shop to your itinerary ...
Helen Stubbings (who you might be familiar with from Hugs and Kisses) has opened Quarter Inch in North Hobart just this week. Among her carefully chosen stock, is every single colour (more than 300!) of Robert Kaufman's Kona Cotton Solids. Worth a visit to see all those bolts lined up in one room!
Thinking about Asia? Here's a new tour to consider ...
Lisa Walton (Dyed and Gone to Heaven) will be leading this tour to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for textile and food lovers.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A whole page of 'magic cutting numbers' from C and T

C and T Publishing post lots of great tips for quilters. Here is an illustrated list of 'magic cutting numbers' ... the sizes you need to cut various shapes to end up with the finished size you need. The ones you often forget just how to calculate. Available as a webpage, and/or a .pdf to download/print off.

Very handy.

Monday, January 11, 2016

30/30 fabric sale: Patchwork on Pittwater

30% off all fabrics in store - minimum cut 30 cm, excludes pre-cuts

Other sale fabrics from $7 per metre

10.00 am Monday 11 January, until 2.00 pm Saturday 16 February 2016

Patchwork on Pittwater
Suite 28, 4th Floor (The Gateway Building)
1 Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale NSW 2103
Phone  9999 6159 

The Rajah Quilt revisited: video free online this week only

This episode of the (US) Quilt Show, featuring Australian quilter and designer Lesse Siegele, designer of their Block of the Month for 2016, will be freely available online for just this week.

The BOM is Lesse's Rajah Quilt Revisited. More information about the block of the month, with links to kits or to the pattern only is in this blog post from The Quilt Show.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

From Fabric Cave to Fabric, Needlecraft and More: a unique social enterprise

If you are in Sydney, you might have heard about, or have been a customer of the much loved Fabric Cave, renowned for its bargain vintage fabric/haberdashery/needlework supplies, when it was run to benefit Crowle House (which has now closed).

Image: courtesy Achieve Australia
If you have never shopped there, or it has been a while, you might be interested in its evolution as Fabric, Needlecraft and More, a social enterprise providing income for Achieve Australia. The staff are volunteers, and the stock, including patchwork and quilting fabric and patterns, is donated. You can also donate our excess stash, and/or volunteer.

You can read about it on the Achieve Australia website, including a map to the location, still in Meadowbank, and in this end-of-year blog post.

On 27 November 2015, Achieve Australia tweeted about Fabric, Needlecraft and More:
    Wow! $250,000 in revenue in 25 months!! A Heartfelt thanks to all volunteers and donors.
  • Achieve Australia is a not-for-profit community organisation, providing services and support for people with a disability to achieve a life that is meaningful and valued. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A 'top tip' and a reminder from a novice quilter

If you too like the precision that paper foundation piecing can deliver, but tend to avoid it because of the sometimes tricky angles and need to think differently from ordinary piecing, this tip from Lee Heinrich (quilt maker, pattern designer, teacher, blogger) might convert you to a regular foundation piecer:

We all Sew, 28 December 2015
... I’m here today to give you my absolute favorite paper-piecing tip ever. It’s so beautifully simple you’ll probably think it’s too good to be true. But it’s 100% for real! ...

If you are an experienced, quilter, you might be very familiar with Lee's technique already, but this blog post by Sarah, a Martingale staff member, published in February 2014, reminds us all that we were once beginners, and we might have forgotten how easy it is to become discouraged:

Advice to seasoned quilters…from a beginner
... The authors of this book knew that their designs were simple—perhaps too simple for the seasoned quilter, except when they wanted to showcase novelty prints or whip out a quick quilt for a baby shower. But what they also knew was that non-sewists, like me, would never move past that first quilt if it wasn’t something they could complete quickly and feel good about. They knew that the tiniest boost of confidence was the most critical factor in turning a curious beginner into a full-fledged quilting addict ...

If you're still with Sarah's quilting story, here is the next instalment, from July 2014:

A girl finally becomes a quilter - thanks to YOU!

... I asked you what you wish you’d known before you started quilting, and while many helpful tips and tricks were mentioned, one resounding sentiment was shared by most of you: “I wish I’d known how much I would love it!” you cried. “If I had known that, I would have taken the leap much, much sooner” ...

How many of us would say the same?

Monday, January 4, 2016

A gentle start to 2016 ...

Summer seems to be taking a break for a few days here in Sydney, but it is great weather for sewing while the rain keeps us indoors. Internet trawling over the holidays has turned up some interesting quilts and a book you might like to contemplate for 2016 (or just for looking at):

Pretty Little Quilts ran an Instagram quilt-along for her pieced Hillside Houses design during 2015, and you can still download the .pdf pattern via Craftsy at very reasonable price (link in the blog post). They really are pretty little houses. Some are still being posted on Instagram now, and they seem to be both fun and quick to put together.

Sue C found this lovely account by the artist, Valerie Greely of her commission to illustrate
The Dream Quiltby Adele Geras, published in the UK just before Christmas:
... Perhaps just once in a lifetime a dream job comes along. For a textile designer who also illustrates books this was my dream commission. Each illustration represents one square of a patchwork quilt ...
The ever generous Esther Aliu has launched another of her free block of the month projects, with two quilts, Hazel and Little Hazel, both pieced designs. Esther says she has lans for further BOMS during the year, and new patterns.

Your suggestions are also welcome - email