Monday, December 30, 2019

Year of colour 2019

Sharing from our Instagram page, a fun end-of-year activity popular with quilters is to have Year of Colour process your year's posts to produce a series of colour maps.  Here are two  graphic 'reports' of our 2019 'year of quilt colours'.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Community quilts 2019

We don’t have a target for the numbers of community quilts we make each year, we make what we have time and resources for, and work alone, or with others, depending on what each person can and wants to do. It’s not as chaotic as it might sound - we enjoy our community sewing days, we work well together, and we get a lot done. Here are just some of the community quilts we’ve made during 2019. We've already started on the 2020 collection.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum,
Garigal National Park, NSW, Margaret R Donald 2013

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Quilts and other community activities 2019

In addition to our regular community quilts program, we were able to contribute to a number of broader community initiatives during 2019, only one of them planned in advance. Thanks to everyone who responded to every request.

  • In February, we sent QAYG blocks to be made into quilts for people affected by bushfires in Victoria, by the fabulous Ladies From The Land Australia.

  • We held a Biggest Morning Tea event at the end of March, in support of the Cancer Council, raising over $1100

  • In May we sent a green heart quilt to New Zealand for the 'Healing Hearts for Christchurch' quilt appeal in response to the terrorist attcks in the city in March.

  • This week it was good to hear from Ladies From The Land Australia again, that our quilt donation in response to the devastating on-going east coast bushfires has arrived along with more than 300 other quilts. They will begin distributing them in the Manning Valley/Taree area soon.
We sent this beautiful quilt, that had been generously donated
to our community collection. It was started by Marianne's
Singapore group, and finished by her after she moved to
Sydney. Several members donated quilts individually as well.

  • We have been making 'Fearless Flowers'  for some weeks to support the 'Pink Meets Teal' campaign based in Newcastle to raise funds and awareness about ovarian cancer. Our collection is still growing and will be handed over to the organisers early in the New Year.

Monday, December 16, 2019

All the 2019 'SuperStars'

Photos of our 'SuperStars' quilts made following a workshop with designer Miriam Jones (@sewmiriam) have been appearing in our posts for several months - here is a summary of progress made so far with this very popular new design ...

Miriam a great teacher and communicator,
so it was always going to go well.
Thanks to Nerida for organising and staging
such a lovely and productive day.

Sue pattern tested for Miriam, so we knew she had
enjoyed making the quilt, and her version was
an excellent example.
Roslyn made a very cute test block
- a 2 1/2" panel for a tiny pouch.

The success of the workshop can be partly measured by the numbers of
'SuperStars' quilts that are either finished, or well on the way to being
finished. You can see larger photos of all of them by following this link
through our archives. We know that at least three others are in earlier
stages of preparation, so we'll be sharing them through 2020 as well.

Miriam's Superstar quilt design is available both as a pattern to purchase, and as a project in the Quiltmania magazine, Issue #134.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Sewing, knitting, crocheting for native animal rescue

Many quilters and other crafters are interested in using their skills to make items to help wildlife during the widespread bushfires in NSW and Queensland. There are many regional and local services caring for particular species in particular areas, and each will have its own requirements.

The response has been very generous, and some services have all the mittens, pouches and liners that they can currently use and store. Please check with the service you wish to help whether they are accepting items now, or will need them in the future before sending your contributions off, and for the materials that they can use (most need natural fibres, particularly cotton).

Media attention has been largely focussed on koala rescue, but other species are, of course, also affected.

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is Australia's largest wildlife rescue organisation. WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same. WIRES works under a license issued by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (

The WIRES fact sheet on pouches are here:

One of our members who has been a WIRES rescuer recommends that washed flannelette sheets and pillowcases make excellent pouch liners as they are very soft, but closely enough woven that claws don't snag.

This article points out that there will be much rescue and rehabilitation work to be done with native animals once the fire emergency has passed, and that crafted items will be needed long afterwards - so keep making, and be ready to pass them on as they are needed.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Last community sewing day for 2019

We usually fit in ten monthly community sewing days, February - November, as we did this year. They allow us to access our community fabric stash for several hours at a time, make decisions as a group about which causes we can support, sort through and prioritise donations, work as a team basting finished tops (none of us is up to crawling around the floor to do it), share out tasks like quilting and binding, encourage each other in the choices we make as we put a quilt together ... and of course we have plenty of time to talk, solve the world's problems, and enjoy each other's company. Over the last ten years it has become an anticipated social and volunteering day that results in the making of about 60 - 70 quilts each year (we don't set a target, we just make what we have time and materials for) that support our local and the wider community as needed. In between our monthly days, we sometimes work on our quilts at home, and sometimes other things have to take priority.

Here are some of the things we worked on during our last sewing day for this year ...

A thrifty mother kept the wild-west cotton fabric left from
her son's long-ago bedroom curtains, and gave it to
one of our members ...

... so we backed it with this fun print from the stash and
made two reversible wholecloth kids' quilts.

We buy batting in large rolls, and economise further by sewing
the offcuts together to make it go as far as it can.

We basted a number of quilts, including this one for Helen ,
with a two-part backing to compliment it's predominantly
red and blue top.

There are three quilts here, cut from two different lengths of 
vintage-style 'cheater' prints, kindly donated, and with borders
added by Dawn.

Laura has kindly quilted them on her long-arm machine ...

... with oak lives and vine ...

... and a very cute apple design on this one.

We backed them with a sale fabric we bought in an end-of-bolt
sale, that suited the vintage look of the tops.

Elaine W worked on her current community project, that
will have this pretty Dresden plate as its centre.

We found a length of a soft blue and cream floral  backing
for a quilt made by Barbara, and basted it ready for quilting.

Friday, December 6, 2019

2019 Christmas lunch and challenge

Our Christmas challenge this year was to make a mug rug, some of which will be donated to the craft stall at our 2020 Quilt Show. It was a fun challenge, small and free enough to not be daunting, but open to a fun make. They were hung at our Christmas lunch, and we voted for our favourite. Congratulations to Roslyn who organised the challenge and display, and then won viewers' choice!

Roslyn's winning mug rug.

We are taking a break over the summer, but will continue to post here occasionally until we re-convene in January.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Last regular show and tell for 2019

Our final regular meetings for the year have come and gone, with some excellent show and tell, and an opportunity to pay tribute to one our most generous community quilters ...

Lyn's latest large quilt finish is foundation pieced
- that's a lot of papers to have removed! And all those pretty,
colourful scraps? Lyn says there are plenty more ...

Lyn used her Westerlee quilting rulers to free motion quilt it -
she is enjoying her new skills mean she can quilt on her
domestic machine more quickly and accurately.

Janet has a large quilt to be finishing the machine quilting
on (it is started), so of course she took some of her left
over blues and made another quilt at the same time!
We know she is not the first.

Pam had help from her 12 year old granddaughter in
making her grandson's quilt - adding a budding quilter
to the family is a bonus!

Robin W thinks she is finished with her blue scraps now
... just the pink and range to go! Thank you for another
community quilt donation, Robin.

Lynette was responsible for structuring our very successful
community sewing program with a community stash and
regular monthly sewing days over ten years ago, and she
remains one of its most prolific contributors, making quilts from
start to finish, and often collaborating to quilt and bind quilt
tops made by others. This quilt and the following five are her
most recent finishes.

Disappearing four patch is one of Lynette's favourite
traditional designs.
A calming choice of colours and prints.

Susan reconstructed a donated quilt top, deleting and
adding some elements to make a more cohesive design, and
Lynette has quilted and bound it. This one was definitely
a challenge.
There seems to be an endless supply of blue print squares to be
made into quilt tops, and Lynette is more than doing her bit!