Monday, July 31, 2006

Swept off our feet by Prints Charming

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

Warm and Cosy in Cowra

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

Australian Patchwork and Quilting

The latest issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine (Vol 14 No 9) has hit the stands and I'm so excited that my article about Blogs is in there. I've already had some great feedback from quilters that either already have their own blog or have actually started one after reading the article. Yay for that!

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.

Podcasts and travelling fun...

I'm in Cowra this week visiting my grandfather and hoping to get a few quilt tops quilted. It's an eight hour drive from Tuncurry to Cowra, and I used to hate driving that far, constantly fiddling with the radio to find another station or changing CD's. But... enter the fantastic iPod, my birthday present in April of the year. Not only have I become a true music lover (as this is a quilting blog I'll largely ignore that side of the iPod here) but listening to podcasts makes the trip go by in a flash.

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

Spiderman to the rescue

The other side of the scrap packs... the lovely Glenice B posted pictures to the Southern Cross Quilters Commercial list a little while back showing the gorgeous quilt she has made from the Spiderman scrap packs offered up a couple of weeks ago. The quilt's new owner is an 8-year old who has had some rough times, medically speaking, but we all know the difference a cosy quilt can make!

The quilt looks amazing, so I had to share some of Glenice's pictures with you (with her permission)...

From this...


Friday, July 14, 2006

Modern Quilting

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

Wash Day Quilt

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

Sensational Scraps updates

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!

Digital Quilts

I have recently been playing around with Adobe Illustrator, specifically the drawing functions. We do use Electric Quilt 5 to design some of our quilts, and certainly refer to it in many of our classes to show variations on the theme we're working on, without having to have samples for every little variation.

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

New class list hot off the presses

We've just finished formatting the latest class list for July-December 2006. You can call into the shop from tomorrow to pick up a copy, or you can download it from this link. There are many highlights of this new list - and I'll be featuring some of the projects that can be made in the next couple of weeks.

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