Monday, December 11, 2006
...through Central Asia.
Here I am, sitting in Starbucks on Charing Cross Road in London. And thanks to an early Christmas present (my lovely new Dell Laptop) I am now able to post the first of my travel postcards. I'll try to keep these all textile related, but all of the other nitty gritty will be found over at 'Alison in Europe'.
Before booking my Asia Overland trip I had no idea of the importance of textiles in Central Asia. Everywhere in Kygyzstan and Uzbekistan you can find beautifully worked, but practical, items made from wool, wool felt, silk and cotton. Above is a 'summary' picture showing toasty warm felt slippers given to me in Kyrgyzstan (the warmest, most hospitable people!) and some hand embroidered silk and cotton items from Uzbekistan.
I don't know if my antennae have been raised because of my recent travels, or if there genuinely is an emerging trend for the Central Asian fibre work, but in the last two days I have been to IKEA and seen embroidered lamp shades and cushions in a Central Asian style, and then yesterday at the British Museum shop I came across the most gorgeous Kyrgyz wool felt christmas ornaments. I had to sit on my hands not to buy those - they were soooo gorgeous (sadly they're not on their online shop).
More details and photos to come...
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I am at present working on my latest Stain Glass project, using the latest gorgeous range of Balis that have arrived in store. There is alot of difficult work getting the bias binding right, with lots of mitres in the project, but once i got used to it, they turned out great.
I am now waiting on the assistant to do the quilting on the background to complete the project and see what it looks like.
Alison is at present in London working, and so will not be able to do any Patchwork for a while, so Gai and i will have to look at updating the site regularly.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I started the Just Patchwork blog back in March of this year, and I'm sad to be handing the reins over to Gai as of tomorrow. But the UK and my itchy feet are telling me to jump on a plane, and I know that I leave you in safe hands.
Tomorrow I fly to Beijing to start a journey that will take me along the silk road through China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and then up to see more of the former USSR in Russia and the Baltic States. Throw in a bit of western europe to catch up with friends scattered all over the place and then I'll finally make it to the UK to settle down for a year or two.
I'll be making guest appearances on this blog to talk about the fabulous textiles I (hope I) will see in my travels, and enjoy Gai's other updates on what's new here at Just Patchwork...
P.S. Gai and Elwin will be in Canberra for the Quilt Show from this Thursday-Sunday. If you're in the area make sure you don't miss it. I hope that it doesn't snow like it did on setup day last year. From the relative warmth of Forster/Tuncurry that was a shock to the system!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Expertise Events who run the fantastic Craft and Quilt Fairs around Australia and New Zealand have started a new program to encourage 10-18 year olds to start sewing and crafting. We thought that it was a great idea and joined the program.
I did a test run at the Sydney show in June with our Wonky Squares project, and thanks to that successful outing Gai will now be running Wonky Squares classes at other shows. In some locations the lucky class participants will be constructing their cushion by machine, using PFAFF and Husqvana machines. At other locations, students will be introduced to the joys and portability of hand piecing. Over in the download section on the sidebar I've included an info sheet from Expertise with more details about the Creative Zone classes.
If you'll be attending one of the shows with a young friend or relative let them experience your hobby first hand by joining one of the great Creative Zone classes.
Monday, July 31, 2006
We met with the lovely Prints Charming girls - Cath and Kirsten - at the Sydney Show in June. And we're thrilled to announce that our first shipment of their stunning hand screenprinted fabrics have just arrived.
If you're looking to send some unique Aussie made and designed quilting fabric overseas that doesn't have a koala or kangaroo in sight, here is the solution.
Printed on 150m wide cotton fabric, the fabrics on the bolt are perfect for large scale piecing or even whole cloth quilts. And the fat quarters (45cm x 45cm) come in a wide range of colours and prints.
Gai and I have been working on some quilts using the beautiful fabrics and even though my 'spinning' quilt is not quite ready for public consumption (it needs a good iron and also to be heavily machine quilted), here is a picture of it. I wanted a quilt that incorporated a lot of white for a modern girls bedroom. But the red, white and blue combination and graphic prints won't alienate the guys either...
Check out the Aussie icon in the photo - the Hills Hoist!
We'll have the Prints Charming range at the Canberra Quilt Show next week, instore in Tuncurry and soon on the web. Fat quarters start at $11 and the fabric on the bolt starts at $38/m (150cm wide) for one colour prints.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Still in Cowra, this is my last night here. This is actually the bed that my grandparents - both - slept on when they were first married. It's a little wider than a single, but not by much. I'm fairly certain it's had a new mattress since then because it is very comfortable...for one person!
All my life though it has been in the 'kids' room at my grandparents. The pillowcase is a flanelette one I've used every winter for over 20 years when visiting Grandma and Pop and the blanket is one that's been with us for at least as long. The quilt however is new - the Tag Sale quilt made with Flea Market Fancy, with some Kaffe and Amy thrown in for fun.
The night I took this photo I'd been up until 1.30am watching the Tour de France on television (we suffer for our sport in Australia), I'd stoked up the fire and could hear the rain beating on the roof. With the reading light on, the bed looked so cosy and the quilt worked perfectly with the mismatched throw rug and 'my' pillowcase. The photo's a little dark, but doesn't it make you just want to crawl under the quilt...
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Show and tell is one of the many satisfying aspects of quilting and crafting in general, so why limit ourselves to just the people around us - post it on the web and we can all enjoy the creativity. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am away from the shop at the moment in Cowra (beautiful place if you have never visited before...) so unfortunately no photo of said magazine. But I promise - next post will have photos!
And I'll also be updating my links list next week so you can connect to other Aussie quilters who all love APQ magazine too. Hopefully there'll be even more new bloggers out there then.
The Alex Anderson podcasts are up to about episode twenty-something, and they are rightly popular. Different in style to Simply Quilts, the podcasts are more 'behind the scenes with Alex'. At first you think - how could a quilting podcast, a subject that is such a visual craft medium work? And in some ways that is true. Most of the podcasts presume that you are familiar with the artists being interviewed or profiled. If you're not, there are usually weblinks on the podcast host's site to look at first. Once you've got that mental picture - go listen!
If you're not familiar with podcasting - the easiest way to imagine it is as a radio program that is taped and available for you to listen to at any time. There are no ads, usually no music in quilting and crafting podcasts, so it's like a radio interview show. With me so far?
Despite the name, you do not have to own an iPod to listen to podcasts. Any computer or mp3 player will do it. If listening through your computer make sure that the speakers are up to the job. You download individual podcasts from websites, just like you would download a pdf file or a picture, or you can subscribe through iTunes so you don't have to always remember to go to individual websites.
Depending on how much time you have, and what you are interested in, different podcasts will work for you. My current favourites are (of course) Alex Anderson, Craft Sanity and Crafty Pod. Craft Sanity is great for long car trips because her podcasts/programs are over an hour long and that hour flies. The other two are approx. 20-30mins each. I usually save several episodes so that I have a lot to listen to on long trips. My favourites from yesterday's trip? The Craft Sanity interview with Heidi from My Paper Crane and Alex's podcast with thread maestro's from Superior Threads.
I'll write a separate post on how to subscribe to these through iTunes, plus any other podcast bits and pieces that occur to me, but in the meantime why not load some podcasts onto your computer or mp3 player to listen to while you're quilting? You'll be hooked in no time.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The quilt looks amazing, so I had to share some of Glenice's pictures with you (with her permission)...
Friday, July 14, 2006
Some detailed versions of my quilt because I always hate how quilts photograph flat...
I've long been an avid reader of Kim's Modern Quilt-Along posts. As soon as I stumbled across the first mentions of the FunQuilts Modern Quilt Workshop book I had to have it. Since then I've drooled over pictures of the quilts being made in the Modern Quilt-Along group and also over the pictures in the book itself without actually getting my 'hands dirty!'
A question we hear often as people (most often new quilters) come into the shop and look at the Kaffe Fassett wall is 'what goes with this' (accompanied by hand in the air holding a bolt of Kaffe Fassett fabric)? They've shown great taste zooming in on his stuff :) and we want to encourage them to let loose with print and colour inhibitions.
When we received a shipment of 30 Kaffe Fassett/Rowan fabrics a little while back, I grabbed 10 fat quarters pretty much at random and threw them together into a Modern Quilt Workshop 'Plain Spoken' quilt. It definitely looks different from the versions made with the delicious Kona Cottons out there in blogland. And mine is just a little baby compared to most of the double, queen or king versions that other quilters have slaved over. But I still love mine. And I think I proved the point that any of Kaffe's fabrics can happily co-habit in a quilt if you keep the pattern simple. The detailed pictures do more justice to the quilt than the version below, but just because I hate flat quilt pictures doesn't mean that you should miss out....
And finally, so you know that I love the quilt made up in plains, I have started my collection of plains to make a lovely version in Kona Cottons and Kaffe's shot cottons. Six more of our backorder of the shot cottons came in yesterday - very exciting! They'll join their brothers and sisters on the shelves and in my plain spoken pile this afternoon.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Gai's just completed the very cute Wash Day quilt, using a panel and coodinating spots and dots. These are many of the spots and dots from the RJR Circus range, but they look great frolicking around in the borders on this quilt. The kit will soon be available on our website.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Hello to my fellow scrap pack lovers... I had anticipated perhaps having more to post tonight, but sadly it is not to be. If you are already waiting for some packs from me, the good news is that I have made all of the 'extra' packs we discussed to ensure that you all have some lovely goodies in the mail soon. But, that's meant that I don't have enough leftover packs to make a bumper post so it will have to wait until early next week. Thank you also for the lovely emails from those of you who have your packs in hand.
PS: even though our storewide 20% off sale ends on Saturday, I'll keep the discount on the next group of packs meaning they will still be $4.00 each.
And if you're a local shopper reading this, I will have some new packs in store tomorrow at 10am, but come early!
But I've found that there is such freedom in drawing the quilt freehand and not having to worry about precise measurements or scale until I know that this one will be made in cloth as well.
At the moment, we're very big on circles - whether printed on fabric, pieced into or appliqued onto quilts. And I've always loved fairy lights. So last night I whipped up my fairy light quilt (on the computer of course). And the beauty of the system? I could recolour it with a click of the paint dropper... here are some of my favourites.
Monday, July 03, 2006
To download, print or save a class list in pdf go to this link.
To open this document you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If not already installed on your computer, it is available for free download at www.adobe.com.
Friday, June 30, 2006
It absolutely astounds me how many talented crafters/quilters there are out there in blogland. I can spend hours of the day chasing links and feel like only minutes have passed.
I have read craft blogs for a lot longer than I have had this blog, and I used to read enviously of all of the swaps going on around the world. How lovely to receive a package from a 'stranger' who may become a friend...the idea is so wonderful.
Thanks to the Open Yours Too project run by the supremely talented Dawbis I too have been able to participate in some swaps. The second swap I've participated in was a postcard swap. You send one card to one person, and address another two and leave them in public places in the hopes that the kindness of strangers will prevail and they'll post them for you. Of course we had already stamped them, so this act of kindness wouldn't cost the post-er anything :)
I had such fun experimenting with designs for the postcard. I hope that the recipients like their own Aussie Autumn leaf.
But the most exciting part was of course receiving my very own postcard from the lovely Ms Bird (pictured at the top of the post). I have it framed and absolutely love it!!
So why not travel around the net to find a swap you can join? I can definitely recommend the Open Yours Too swaps, but others pop up all the time - check out fabulous Whip Up or other crafty blogs and jump in. I'm glad that I did.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Now they're sold, I've removed the pack photos so that the blog doesn't take an age for you to download.
The packs literally ran out of the store last time - well, not literally but you know what I mean :) So for the unlucky who missed out completely I had whispered in your ear that more would be available tonight. Half an hour later than expected, but you know what they say!
I actually had a lot more packs than this, but as I've been making them up here customers have been walking in off the street and buying them. So there's just 21 tonight, and most I made up after we closed, so that I'd have something to offer you all!!
It will be the same deal as last time. If you see a pack that you like, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your daytime contact number and the numbers for the packs you would like. I'll call you tomorrow to confirm which packs you have, and collect your postal address and credit card details from you. Sorry, only credit cards can be accepted for these packs.
And like before, each pack is $4.00 (down from $5.00 in our 20% off sale). Postage on one pack is $4.90 and postage for 2-6 packs is $8.90.
And tonight you have the no frills version of posting - no names on the packs, just numbers. Those of you with eagle eyes will probably be able to spot who has designed the fabrics anyway. If the packs aren't taken tomorrow I'll post the link to the SCQ-Comm list, but for tonight it's just for you :)
SOLD No. 30
SOLD No. 31
SOLD No. 32
SOLD No. 33
SOLD No. 34
SOLD No. 35
SOLD No. 36
SOLD No. 37
SOLD No. 38
SOLD No. 39
SOLD No. 40
SOLD No. 41
SOLD No. 42
SOLD No. 43
SOLD No. 44
SOLD No. 45
SOLD No. 46
SOLD No. 47
SOLD No. 48
SOLD No. 49
SOLD No. 50
P.S. There will be one more roll out of scrap packs on the blog - a final hooroo for the moment for them :( It'll be sometime next week so keep checking back. We'll also be featuring some other great specials that have up until now been reserved for in-store shoppers. If you need a fix before then, check out our products over at www.justpatchwork.com all 20% off this week (except PFAFF sewing machines and SewEzi tables).
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Janette working hard on her gorgeous quilt
Gloria did comment that the South Africans were using the strong African colours and fabrics whereas many of our group had the watery balis and hand dyes that are so evocative of Australian coastal living. We even had one quilt that was a dead ringer for a Coral Reef! I guess that geography will out...
Most of us got too excited making the pieces for the quilts and decided to save the embellishment/stitching for hometime, but some disciplined souls did stitch as much as cut and fuse over the two days. But it shows we all approach projects differently, and I'm just sorry I can't post pictures of all of the wonderful class projects!
And just a reminder - any mail order purchases of kits or fabrics are also 20% off at the moment.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Here at Just Patchwork we don't throw sales on a regular basis because we like to make sure that they are real fair dinkum savings and not just a gimmicky way to draw people in. So this time we've decided to take 20% off the total of our customer's bills...even on thread, needles, wadding, books, kits etc. Normally sales specify this or that is on sale and everything else is normal price. But the only things we're not reducing are the PFAFF sewing machines and the SewEzi table (because they're already at rock bottom bargain price). EVERYTHING ELSE including oh-so-soft, chenille, samples and ready made quilts and importantly the scrap packs are all 20% off.
So how can you choose between the scrap packs? I've made up 28 today and taken photos of all of them. If you want one or more, email us at email@example.com to 'reserve' it. Just give us your business hours phone number and we'll call to get your credit card details and address to send it to. First one in on the email gets the pack...
And I hear you asking about postage. Well, one scrap pack will go into a 500g satchel for $4.90. But if you buy more than one...the postage for 2-6 packs is a flat $8.90 for the 3kg satchel. So why not pick a few? Maybe have some backups in case your first choices are already gone.
Just to recap - each scrap pack is now a tiny A$4 each ($5 minus this week's 20% off), plus postage.
SOLD No. 3 Dark Floral Beauties
SOLD No. 4 Balis
SOLD No. 5 Golden spots and retro florals
SOLD No. 6 1930's orange and purple
SOLD No. 7 More balis and mottleds
SOLD No. 8 Kaffe, Heather, Denyse and more
SOLD No. 9 Heather's fishy friends
SOLD No. 10 Shot Cotton and floral fusion
SOLD No. 11 Perky Pinks and Hot Chocolate
SOLD No. 12 Raspberry Reds (incl. Chenille)
SOLD No. 13 Butterfly heaven
SOLD No. 14 Spiderman again
SOLD No. 15 Not quite Christmas
SOLD No. 16 Guest starring the Red Hat Ladies
SOLD No. 17 Blue and White monster pack
SOLD No. 18 Noahs Ark and other cuties
SOLD No. 19 Again not quite Christmas
SOLD No. 20 Glorious Greens
SOLD No. 21 Raucous Reds
SOLD No. 22 Lovely Lilacs (incl. Balis)
SOLD No. 23 Black and White magic
SOLD No. 24 Pink and Brown, Brown, Brown
SOLD No. 25 All natural
SOLD No. 26 I found some more Balis!
SOLD No. 27 Fall florals
SOLD No. 28 Silver sparkles and gold accents
As promised, I'm posting some pictures from the fabulous Landscape Mosaic class by Gloria Loughman. Unfortunately the lighting in the workshop room wasn't ideal for photography, so some unlucky partipants won't be posted :( but here are some of the backgrounds completed in the class ready to be embellished in Gloria's inventive style. We've asked everyone to send us a picture of their finished quilts, so we all look forward to seeing them done.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Gloria demonstrating to the lucky Landscape Mosaic class participantsWe were so excited this week to be hosting Gloria Loughman, world-reknowned quilter and teacher for two workshops in Forster/Tuncurry. The popular 'Landscape Mosaic' and the brand new class 'Playing on the Surface' were both two-day workshops and we've all left inspired, ready to sit down and create our own masterpieces.
If you're not familiar with Gloria's work - where have you been? Gloria and her quilts have been in all of the Aussie and international magazines and we love going to a quilt show and seeing her magnificent quilts. These are quilts that you can't even imagine creating yourself...the detail in the piecing, applique and stitching is magnificent. Then you start noticing the paint effects that she's achieved and you really do feel like you can step right into the picture. It makes you want to start that large project you've been dreaming about....
But back to the workshops. The Landscape Mosaic class breaks down the tehniques to create your own design in Gloria's fantastic landscape quilt style. I'm proud to have finished my Landscape Mosaic quilt - Brynly (the reef starfish) - and I've added the pictures here in case you haven't seen it hanging in the shop before.
'Brynly (the reef starfish) - and his day at the beach'
Detail of the stitched Starfish on the 'Brynly' quiltIt will be so exciting to see the 14 new quilts to come out of Tuesday and Wednesday's class. Look for some photos on the blog next week of the works in progress. The beauty of Gloria's teaching is that we all start out thinking - 'there's no way I can do this' and within a few minutes you're thinking - 'wow, I'm going to do this, then this, then....'. You can definitely tell that she was a teacher in her former life.
To keep this short I'll post more about the classes, and a ton of pictures over the coming days.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Of course we always intend to take pictures of our stand (B20 - come and see us next year if you missed the show this time!) when we've just set it up and everything is perfectly placed and displayed. And inevitably we run around at 4.30 on the last day trying to get a few shots to record the week of craziness, with the last few customers who've rushed back to get that item they can't get out of their head.
Here's Gai chatting away next to the fabulous SewEzi portable sewing table. It was a hit at the show!
And I couldn't leave Elwin out...
Monday, June 19, 2006
The blog has been quite neglected of late, but we just got back from the fabulous Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair last night, and there's lots to tell. Until I download those photos though, I decided to write about the other exciting news.
We've just received a copy of the latest Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine (Vol. 14 No. 8) and my 'Milly Molly Mandy' quilt is one of the included projects. The bright colours in the quilt photographed so well - I was thrilled to see my cuddly quilt in print!
Do you remember Milly Molly Mandy? I loved reading, and still do actually, and I devoured all of the popular children's classics. I also loved birthday parties, tea parties, and just general entertaining. I still enjoy throwing a dinner party...setting the table, and thinking of just the right foods to serve. So I guess I haven't grown up as much as I might think :)
But back to Milly Molly Mandy - the stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley - she was always adorable in her pink and white stripe short frocks (only in summer of course) and saving her pocket money to buy penny sweets like aniseed rings for her friends. So I decided to join the party with my own tea party tablecloth in pretty pink, green and blue with white borders to make their lovely white cottage. If you wanted to host your own tea party all of the instructions to make your own are in this month's APQ mag!
Monday, June 05, 2006
In May, Gai and Elwin attended a trade show in South West Rocks designed to showcase the wealth of business knowledge and expertise in our region. The range of businesses was astounding - from Steber International (who make beautiful boats!) to Cassegrain Winery in Port Macquarie, Just Patchwork :) from Tuncurry and even a free range egg company from the Manning Valley (plus many more....).
The 40 businesses selected were profiled in a book 'World Class Business on the NSW Mid North Coast', and we were honoured to be included in the lineup. The pages were to 'visually represent' the business with minimal words...and I think our page does that!
Gai and Elwin also enjoyed the chance to meet other business owners and discuss the international and domestic markets that our region services. It's amazing to hear where some of our local products end up. The Austrade reps there gave some more insight on the ways to cut through export red-tape, and the Deputy Prime-Minister Mark Vaile was in attendance to support his own local area.
The Mid North Coast Regional Development Board and the NSW Department of State and Regional Development organised the booklet and the event. We were very pleased to be part of it!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Life has been very hectic around here at Just Patchwork lately. With Gai and Elwin in Perth for the Craft and Quilt Show last week and a busy, busy time in the shop my head is spinning to try and work out what I need to be doing now.
The good news is that part of last week's business was a whole truckload of new fabrics and books arriving. Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy range is looking resplendant on the shelves, and we've got copies of her book in stock again too.
The Quilt-It kit also arrived in, and the project cards are the cutest way I've ever seen patterns packaged. Actually the whole kit was a joy to open up and fossick through. I might even have to dive in and make the cushion using the fabric procided in the kit!
I'm also working on a pattern for my 'Tag Sale' Quilt using Denyse's fabrics along with some Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett favourites. That'll follow this week (once I recharge the digital camera's batteries!).