other people's craft · patchwork · quilting

happy hexagons

Do you remember when I showed you my Mum’s hand-pieced hexagons in progress?  Well, now I can show you the finished quilt!

Happy Hexagons quilt

I am so incredibly impressed that Mum hand-pieced the top of this quilt. I think that the borders might have been attached by machine, but otherwise it was many an evening of needle and thread.

Happy Hexagons quilt

Mum learned to hand-piece hexagons in a class taught by Kath Gale of Patchwork Charm. The long-arm quilting was done by Sue Evans of Quirky Quilter. I think that the swirls complement the hexagons beautifully.

Happy Hexagons quilt

And here’s the back!

Happy Hexagons quilt

Mum is already working on another hand-pieced quilt, also hexagons, but entirely different to these ones. I am really enjoying watching her progress (and thinking of the beautiful family heirloom quilts that will grace my daughters’ houses one day). Size wise, the quilt that she just completed is almost the size of a queen sized bed.

Happy Hexagons quilt

I also love watching the way that Mum operates when she is making a quilt. She buys just enough fabric, never any more than needed. In fact, with this quilt she bought small pieces of fabric at a time, only buying more as she ran out and wished to vary the palette a little. There is no leftover, no waste. She gets just the right amount for each part of the process. It is entirely the opposite of the way that I currently sew.

Happy Hexagons quilt

Congratulations Mum – this quilt is absolutely wonderful, and you should be very proud of your work!  (And by the way, Mum does have a name – it’s Alison).

adult's clothing · embroidery · family · quilting · sewing

in progress (and a huge thank you)

The instructions for this pattern have you sew each piece together, then topstitch.  Instead of topstitching by machine, I decided to do a hand running stitch.  But which colour to use?


You’ll have to guess – the front of the dress is already done now, and now I’m working on the cuffs and neck band!

We haven’t heard anything from the Under 35s Quilt Competition, so assume that Clare didn’t win a prize. Although we’re a little sad about that, both Clare and I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all those who left such beautiful, encouraging comments! I don’t think that I’ve ever had as many comments on one blog post, and your wonderfully positive response has had a big impact on Clare.  She has had a grin from ear to ear after reading each and every one of them! Clare was also thrilled to see a photo of her quilt hanging in the exhibition – thanks to Amy for helping out!

Clare's "Ripe & Blooming" hanging on display

Entering the competition has been a terrific experience for Clare, and she’s looking forward to hanging her quilt up in her room once it comes back later in the year.  In the meantime, she’s busily working on a cross-stitch while spending time with her grandparents for the first week of school holidays.  She is definitely a winner in our eyes!

family · other people's craft · patchwork · quilting

Ripe and Blooming

Some months ago I read in Quilter’s Companion magazine that the Quilter’s Guild of NSW were running an Under 35s Quilt Competition.  Being more than a little over 35 myself, I mentioned it to Clare.  She was keen, and after reading the requirements and theme of “How Does Your Garden Grow” she started a concept drawing.

Ripe and Blooming - original concept drawing

Then I let her loose on my stash! Clare chose all the fabrics for her project herself, and I was impressed with her appreciation for value, shade, scale and pattern. She started by piecing the background. I gave some minor assistance with the rotary cutter and the iron (although she rapidly took over the ironing) but that was all – absolutely every other stitch and decision related to this quilt is Clare’s.

Ripe and Blooming - pieced background

Once the background was done, it was time for the applique. She started off by cutting out shapes in paper and arranging them, before moving on to cutting and fusing the shapes in fabric.

Ripe and Blooming - petals ready to be appliqued

Clare did what many of us do as they are making a quilt and allowed it to evolve and vary from her original design as she worked. There are elements that she left out, and others that she added. She drew all the shapes free hand, including the fruits. Pretty good for a nine year old! Then before we knew it the applique was done, the quilt sandwich made, and Clare quilted around the appliqued shapes close to the raw edges to give them more definition.

Ripe and Blooming - stitching on the binding

She quilted long diagonal rows through the background, like the rows that you plant in the garden. A number of binding fabrics were auditioned before she decided on a stripe.

Ripe and Blooming - stitching on the binding

A hanging sleeve was added to the back and the final touch was a label that Clare carefully wrote and hand-stitched into place. Ta-da – Clare’s first ever quilt! And just in time too!

Ripe and Blooming - done!

She named it “Ripe and Blooming”.  Clare says “I’m really proud of myself. At first I was taking it slowly then I found there was no time left! I did the last few things quickly but also being careful.”

I’m really proud of her too! Clare has been to many quilt exhibitions with me over the years, and has watched me quilting and listened to my mum and I talk quilts. It’s amazing how much information is absorbed! I did give suggestions and guidance throughout the process, but Clare was fairly definite about what suggestions she was interested in or not and mainly used her own common sense. The competition quilts will be on display this Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10-4 at The Newington Gallery, Newington College, 221-235 Stanmore Road, Stanmore, New South Wales. If any of my blog readers are planning on going I’d love to see a photo of Clare’s quilt in situ! The winners of each section (Primary, Secondary, 18-24 and 25-34) will be announced on Saturday. Fingers crossed for Clare – but whether she wins anything or not, she’s definitely a winner with designing, planning, cutting, piecing, sewing, quilting, and binding this wonderful quilt all on her own at age nine!

patchwork · quilting

loving Thursdays

It’s Thursday again – my day without kids – well, for six hours or so anyway.  My day for trying to squeeze in all those tasks that can be done much more quickly without  the company of a four year old or a nine year old.  So while I am doing the ironing/visiting Medicare/visiting the travel agent/paying bills/getting petrol, I will be dreaming about quilting this work-in-progress.


I put this together during the holidays back in January. It took very little time, and was lots of fun to do. I have backing fabric, I have batting, I have binding fabric. I just need some time to baste it and quilt it!


Size wise it’s a small lap quilt, perfect for in the car, on your lap, or for a baby. I’ll possibly make another for my niece Leah – because she’s having a baby in July! I’m going to be a great-aunt! Who’d have thought it…

You can get the pattern for this quilt from the talented Kate.  Go on, make one!  But I’d better get back to that to-do list. Now!

medallion quilt-a-long · patchwork · quilting

medallion quiltalong – round 3: applique

Round 3 for the medallion quiltalong was applique.  Applique is not usually my scene.  It involves detailed design work and precision, not just sewing  bits of fabric together according to another clever person’s pattern.  So I decided on simple, large, bold, raw edge applique.  Except I’ve only fused it in place and haven’t appliqued it yet.  That will take my mother’s fancy schmancy sewing machine during the January holidays.

Medallion Quiltalong - three rounds done

Birds! As you can see, this quilt is getting big. Fast. Those eight inch blocks will do that. Anyway, the applique round was for November, so I am up to date. Sort of – the December theme is circles. And I don’t have enough fabric left to do them justice, so I’m going to sit out December. But I’m loving how this is coming along!

Round 3 applique in progress

books · patchwork · quilting

modern blocks (and a little giveaway)

I’ve finally got a copy in my hot little hands!  Modern Blocks, published by Stash Books.


Of course, I’m excited because I have a block in there:


But I’m even more excited because there are a couple more Aussies I know with blocks in there as well! They’ve been more prolific than me – Kate has two blocks in the book and Louise has four!

aussies in modern blocks

Kate‘s are the top two and Louise‘s the bottom four. But there are many, many more blocks in this book – in fact, there are 99 in total! It’s beautifully presented with a photo of each block and instructions on how to make it on the adjoining page. There are plenty of blocks in there from well known bloggers and quilters, and I think it’s a wonderful resource for anyone looking for some block designs that are a little bit new or are presented in a fresh way. It’s given me lots of ideas about the next quilt I could make…that is, once I finish the four (or five, or six, or is it seven) that are currently in progress. These are all twelve inch blocks, so translate nicely to sampler quilts, dolly quilts, or to cushions, placemats, table runners and similar. Or to fully blown quilts!

And because the nice people at Stash books actually sent me two copies and to celebrate my 1,111th blog post today, I’m going to give one away! I’m going to make you work for it – leave a comment saying what your favourite things to read about on my blog are – the garments I sew myself, the garments I sew for my girls, my crochet projects, vintage crochet Friday, stash building, pattern purchases, book purchases, patchwork and/or quilting, bags, my occasional blitherings, or something else entirely. I’m interested! I’ll draw a winner on Thursday 1st December.  I am happy to post overseas so everyone is welcome to enter.

EDITED TO ADD: The giveaway is over – thanks to all the people who entered!

medallion quilt-a-long · patchwork · planned projects · quilting

medallion quilt-a-long

It’s been a long time since I completed a quilt.  I currently have one that is basted awaiting quilting, another that is awaiting basting, and three that need to have the tops finished.  Oh, actually that might be four.  But I’m starting another one.

Meridithe is hosting a medallion quilt-a-long to celebrate her 100th blog post.  It’s a do it yourself type of quilt-a-long, where you start with a centre medallion, and Meredithe will suggest what to do with the next round on a regular basis.  So everyone will come up with something quite different.

Medallion quiltalong - fabrics

I’m using the Prints Charming bird that I started embroidering at SIT months ago as my centre panel, and will be using my stash of Australian designer prints for the rest, with some solids thrown in. It will be interesting to see how this evolves – and whether I have enough fabric or will be forced to purchase more!

The first round has a theme of triangles. I wonder what I’ll do? But while I’m wondering, I’d better get cracking on some more embroidery on that centre panel.