Tuesday, December 13, 2011


busy busy busy..... isn't it always the way at this time of year? We are heading off to Adelaide for Christmas this year and I still have a gazillion (yes, it is a word) things to do. I still have Christmas presents to make (ok ok! I might also still need to DECIDE what to make).., Christmas presents to buy, pack.. (think of what to pack), and Christmas parties to be had.  Oh, and we also have an 18th birthday in the house tomorrow... just a little exciting... and disturbing (I can't be that old can I?).
So, my mother in law has a thing for table runners, so for Christmas, guess what she's getting?  Thought I should make one a little special though, and since I am running a Bargello class next year, bargello seemed liked a logical choice.  I have been having so much fun making this.  Like with so many things quilting, it is never as hard as it seems, so give it a go if you've ever thought about it.  I'm finding it quite addictive and can't wait to get into my sampler for the shop (completely different palette... green and blue batiks). 

Here is the runner in pieces, I called it a night when I sewed two of the strips the wrong way around.  I will post a piccie of the finished product in the next couple of days. 

Enjoy your Christmas preparations,
Michelle xx

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A special quilt for a special teacher...

Well..... Elsie (and I) have been so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful teacher for her first year of school, and since Mrs East is a quiltmaker herself, I wanted to make sure that I made something special for her.
With the help of the wonderful teacher aide, Mrs Wagstaff, all the children drew a picture of Mrs East.  They were just gorgeous!  They all had the big smile and glasses, and most the lovely blonde hair (one cute3 little man even put in a couple of stray grey hairs... how cute!)  I smiled everytime I looked at them and  I loved the way they were so different.  So many of the girls included butterflies, handbags, bracelets, even buttons and rings. 
I then printed these pictures on to special photo fabric, and made them into a quilt alternating with pinwheel blocks.  I held a sewing afternoon at my house and had the help of some lovely Mums matching, snipping and ironing.  It was a huge help as it got a lot of the initial work out of the way. 
We presented the quilt to Mrs East this morning, and well.... she was just slightly pleased to say the least!  The tears were still flowing when we left..  The children had so much fun pointing out their pictures to her and were all so excited.  It was such a joy to make, and to give.  To give a quilt to someone special whom you know will treasure it is just makes it all the sweeter.
Here is a closer up image.  Hopefully I will have some more tomorrow as a lovely Mum took some photos (the couple I took at school were blurry... probably because I was shaking..)

Have a great week,
Michelle xx

p,s,   cant tell how excited I have been to share this!!  I couldn't share this earlier because this special lady does pop over here every now and again!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick and Cheerful table runner.

Quilting doesn't always have to be intricate and time consuming... sometimes the fabric (ok.. maybe a lot of the time!) is just so gorgeous its ok to let it talk for itself. This late shipment of Christmas fabric arrived in the shop the other day, and knowing that I'm quickly running out of time for making Christmas presents, but REALLY REALLY having the need to make something, I decided to make my mother in law a quick table runner. After cutting out the fabric I knew that I just HAD to have one too, so made my 'pattern' even quicker and easier... 30cm of the feature fabric, bordered in the contrast. What could be simpler? Those batting off-cuts are perfect for table runners, and I'm not going to get too fussy about the backing fabric for this one either. I will spray baste, quilt it very simply, and Bob's your Uncle! (or the man next door, or whoever Bob would like be really...) Ok...must.clean.house.so.I.can.quilt (todays mantra..) Have a great week, Michelle xx
p.s. the pattern for the larger 'square in a square runner is Liisa's and available at/from the shop. Gem of pattern, I have made a few already!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our New Little Veggie Box

My lovely husband spent a few precious days of his leave building us a couple of lovely big veggie boxes down the side of the house. All has been going well, the tomatoes are growing, the beans sprouting and we all like going out to see what has changed from day to day.
We have had some very hot days in Brisbane this week so I went out to check on them yesterday afternoon when I got home from work, hoping my little babies hadn't wilted. We had put up a little temporary fence, to keep Charlie out while it was all still new and exciting, and I could see that I had left it open.... OOPS! But then I turned the corner..... Charlie had indeed had a wow of a time..... MAJOR OOOOOPS!!!! He had had a lovely time in the first box, somehow didn't manage to knock over the bigger tomato plants, but had certainly rearranged the other things. He had also dug some monster holes (a little hard to see in the photo). I spent the next hour re-levelling dirt and re-planting, but was just thankful that he hadn't touched the second box with the beans! He looks quite innocent doesn't he? Michelle xx

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I found my way to this great link through Nova, The Bloggers Quilt Festival, and what a great idea! I'm constantly amazed at just how much we can access the quilting world, from our own little chair. There are so many gorgeous quilts with wonderful stories behind them, and those stories, have amazing women behind them.

I 'revealed' this quilt in my last post, but when I thought about what quilt to share in this festival, it took no time decide. It speaks of where I am now, what is important to me and the little touch of individuality I like add to my creations.

'Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!' arose out of my fondness for the Union Jack Quilts there were popping up over the place (perhaps inspired by Wills and Kates wedding?). I wanted to make one, but not wanted to 'follow the crowd' and being a very proud Aussie, I came up with the idea of the Australian Flag. I was excited as soon as I thought of the idea and knew the exact range I wanted to use. It had just come into the shop and I had immediately fallen in love with it. I knew that I wanted to make something with it, so the two (fabric and quilt idea) where a match made in heaven!

There were many attempts to get the dimensions and ratio correct. I had wanted to keep it exact, but from a quilt perspective it just didn't work. The Unions Jacks would either be too small (which I couldn't have as they were foundation pieced and a focal point), or the overall flag too big. The stars are correct however, and I made sure they had the 7 points representing our 6 states and the territories.

My youngest daughter Elsie, (and my husband if I'm to be honest), were a bit concerned with my colour choice (Elsie was confused as to why I could get it so wrong!). But that was one of the things I loved about it, the fact that it was quirky.

Often when making a quilt, you can be slightly 'over it' towards the end and fail to see it objectively as you have looked at it so much. But with this quilt, I loved it just as much, and was so excited to hang it for the first time at the Brisbane Quilt and Craft Fair, with my patterns for it on sale. It got a great response and I'm very proud of it.

Have a great week,
Michelle xx

p.s. nearly ready to put together a new design.. a chunky applique. 74 blocks down, only 6 to go! xx

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

Phew!! We did it! Liisa, Lorraine and I have been working very hard to make the Quilt and Craft Fair happen, and we can now say we have been, conquered, and are alive to tell the story!
It was so nice to see so many of our customers from The Quilters Corner, and thankyou for coming by to say hello. Having not been to the fair for a few years, it was lovely to see what is out there, and have a good look at the beautiful quilts on display.
I had a couple of new quilts on display too, and it was so rewarding to get such positive feedback on them. I had my new version of 'Pyramid Parade' up, which is with the Anna Maria Horner fabric they I have shown in previous posts. I also put together a little lap quilt using a charm pack. I was inspired by the gorgeous range of fabric called Little Apples, so also added a 'apple tree' applique to complete the picture. Quite nifty I think, and sure to find its way into a little 6 year olds room!

The main quilt that I was extremely excited to reveal however, is 'Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!'. I was inspired by the Union Jacks that seem to be very popular, and thought that I could make it a little more 'home grown'. I had a lot of fun making it (including a couple of test runs!) and was thrilled that other people loved it too! (we still have a few kits left at the shop too if anyone is interested).

Here is a photo of me in the corner of our stand which displayed my quilts (Pyramid Parade, Little Apples, 'Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! and my Satchel Bag). Not the best photo, I think you can tell I'm a little weary...

Michelle xx

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brisbane Quilt and Craft Fair....

I think I will label this photo, "the chaos before the calm before the storm" (I'm thinking the 'calm' bit might be just before doors open!)

What an eye opener today was! You should see the boxes, palates, crates, suitcases and CHAOS that was within the convention centre today. It's amazing that all that can fit into tiny stands (well ours is!). Somethings did get culled, but WHEN we sell out of things they can always be brought back up from the car!
It was very exciting to see my quilts on display and my 'lemonjellie' patterns all lined up. It is also an exciting time because as I have been 'forced' to write my patterns (guess what? I think I may have overcome my aversion..) I now have enough patterns to set my website up properly.... so watch this space!
I will share some more photos with you tomorrow.

Michelle xx

Monday, October 17, 2011

Busy busy busy...

1 day to go til set up at the Brisbane Quilt and Craft Fair, and I am madly at it! 2 quilts done, 1 binding done, and this pyramid quilt about one third quilted.
I think today might definitely be a day to wear my wonder woman undies on the outside (just for an extra little confidence boost of course!)
Michelle xx

Saturday, October 15, 2011

No rest for the wicked...

...and... as I was told yesterday, that must make me very wicked! The Quilters Corner will be at the Quilt and Craft Fair, which is starting this Wednesday. Of course, as always, I have set myself much to do, and now with only 3 days to go til setup have VERY limited time to do it...... (its a very good thing I don't chew my fingernails otherwise I would none left). I have 3 quilts to quilt, 3 patterns to write and 2 patterns to modify. Plus the odd bit of binding, photographing, and 'other stuff' to do. This is some of the sewing I have to finish (only showing backings..)
Even though there is much to be done, I am very excited, as it is a golden opportunity to show off some of my work and to have my patterns on sale. Liisa, Lorraine and I have been working madly on cutting and packing kits, so if you are attending the Brisbane Quilt and Craft Fair, please stop by and say hello!
I will have lots of photos to share soon, not to mention the 'big reveal' on my special quilt I have designed. I have had amazing feed back on it so far so am really looking forward to displaying it at the show.

Squeezes, Michelle xx

Monday, October 3, 2011

Delicious fabric!

Well... finally!! This weekend I got to sneak in a wee bit of sewing. I'm madly trying to finish off some projects for the up coming Craft Fair in Brisbane .... and well.... maybe start a new one... or two? (can't help myself). But when new fabric comes into the shop, that screams "sew me!!!" what's a girl to do? Make a new quilt of course! Well that is exactly what Anna Marie Horners new fabric 'Lou Lou thi' said to me so I was forced to obey.

I played with a couple of designs, but in the end the fabric just needed to be made up into a scrappy eclectic collection. So if you come by 'The Quilters Corner' stall at the October 'Quilt and Craft Fair' you will be able to have a look at the end result (there will also be kits available). I laid out this quilt last night, and just loved it, so am dying to put it together.... now if only this housework will do itself....

Have a great week,
Michelle xx

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wonder Woman!

Well, today I received a little parcel in the mail from my sister. I wonder what it could be?? Totally intrigued I opened the little package with great anticipation and was not disappointed! Wonder Woman undies! Of course! Why didn't I know that BEFORE I opened the envelope??

Don't you love the fact that sisters know all those little things about you that no one else could (even if they 'might' occasionally use it against you)? I had a huge smile on face reading her note reminiscing about the wonder woman costume I attempted to sew in the 70's. The pants I made out of an old light blue petticoat (of course!)... see through...mmmmm, that was rather baggy, and I even 'hobby-tex'd' gold stars on them. You can just picture it can't you? Fortunately Mum had some sort of gold braid in her sewing stash, so I even had a lasso. What fun, it made do, but .... no matter how hard I wished and concentrated when I spun in a circle, I never did turn into Wonder Woman!

So, this weekend I intend to be my own version of Wonder Woman (aren't we all?) And to prove that I am striving to be a real superhero, I might even wear my underpants on the outside!!!

I have some serious sewing to do this weekend, so I hopefully I can blog some results of such early in the week.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Michelle xx

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Op Shop find......

Finally!! I get to post of such a find, I am no longer an op shopper blogger virgin! About 50m from the shop is a vinnies, and just as I was approaching 'work' (always feel guilty calling it work when I have so much fun).... out the corner of my little eye I spied my 'little treasure' being placed out the front of vinnies. It may as well have had a red flashing light because my internal sewing senses knew it was there (I'm sure there is such a thing, isn't there?).
So I now have a dilemma... I'm opening the shop by myself, its 9 o'clock... what do I do??? Every second its sitting there, its at risk of falling into the wrong hands.... I start to sweat.... think Michelle THINK!!!! Could I close the shop for 2 minutes to run down?? No, not a good look, and ladies will be arriving for a class soon. Maybe I could ring a friend and get them to pick it up for me? No, too desperate and I don't want to put anyone else out like that (but maybe they might be driving past??? NO Michelle! That's crazy)....mmmmm... Eileen will be arriving shortly to take the Sylvias class, surely she won't mind holding the fort for 2 minutes while I run down, ok... that's the plan. So, in walks the unsuspecting Eileen, the poor lady, she doesn't have time to breathe before I pounce, and try to explain in mono-syllables (can't waste time explaining) what I NEED to do (because in my mind, it is now a life and death situation we are dealing with....).
So out the door I run, crash tackling anyone who dares to get in my way (ok, I am exaggerating, but the story is building momentum now and I don't want to disappoint with a non-eventful ending), I snatch my item from the front of the shop, breathlessly slam it on the counter and expectantly look at the lady waiting for her to say "oh I'm sorry crazy lady, that is mine and was never meant to go out", but instead she says "I knew that wouldn't last long, that'll be $8 please". $8????? I couldn't get my money out quick enough!
So, with treasure firmly in hand (made sure I held on extra tight because I am now a treasure snatching target...everyone will want it!!) I skip all the way back to The Quilters Corner, wishing I had worn red sequined slippers, because I definitely felt the need to do some heel tapping.
Feeling very content I know showed off my treasure to all the ladies who walked in the door. And how lucky am I to be in a place where my find is completely appreciated?
I love my 'job'.

here endeth my tale, (and this was going to be a quick post..)
hope you all have a great weekend,

Michelle xx

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fabulous weekend at Circle Retreat

What a wonderful weekend! I again had the pleasure of going up to the circle retreat at Buderim and was not in the slightest bit disappointed! It was so relaxing, just being able to chip away at a couple of UFO's while enjoying a laid back atmosphere with everything at your beck and call. We even got to Eumundi markets on Saturday morning which was a real treat. I haven't been in a few years and therefore very excited to see some lovely new things. A couple of stalls did manage to relieve me of some money, but a girl can never have too many skirts right? ..... or necklaces.... or fabric brooches.....

A girls weekend away can not be complete without a stop at a Quilt Shop, and The Patchwork Angel filled that brief very well. Again, it had been a few years since I had visited the shop and I loved having a look around ... and I may have bought some fabric..... or even signed on for a Block of the Month..... BUT IT WASN'T MY FAULT!!! I'm genetically designed and created to buy fabric so blame my Mum ok? Another bonus was that I got to meet Penni, the owner of the Patchwork Angel who was so lovely and welcoming.

I thought I took more photos, but obviously not... sorry Stacey. I did take one of Eileen's magnificent version of 'Sylvias Bridal sampler' from the Elm Creek Quilts. She has one more row to go I think, but it looks absolutely amazing as you can see.

Michelle xx

Monday, September 12, 2011


Nope! I didn't learn.. I backed up one serious outbreak with another. 6 days later to be exact... What can I say? It might actually be incurable. Thanks for all your lovely comments, I just LOVE reading them! Tania, I think you are definitely on to something, active procrastination is a waste of time, best I accept my genetic affliction, and be happy with THE VERY LAST MINUTE.... perfectly said!
So, I was teaching a workshop out at The Samford Quilters on needleturn applique. I needed a project, (which of course included a sample), notes and a few other little bits and pieces. I worked all the day before putting together my handouts on technique, tips and hints, and started my project after dinner ... as you do. I had two different designs to choose from and they could be put together into a little journal (which I wrote a little pattern for).
My sewing came together quickly, (little happy dance), I printed everything out and put together little packages for each lady (another little happy dance) and went to bed knowing that I had done all that I could.

In the morning, after a double dose of deodorant (knowing that I would be the victim of nervous sweatiness, yuk...)I was on my way. 22 ladies turned up (delete little happy dance... add nervous shuffle) and we were away. I had a plan of attack and it all went without a hitch. Big happy dance on the way back to car!

The ladies were just lovely and the biggest compliment has been many of them coming into the shop and telling me they had finished their journals. Apparently last weeks show and tell at Samford featured many of the journals, which thrills me.

I have many little things to blog about this week...so stick around...

Have a great week,
Michelle xx

Monday, August 22, 2011


Its a serious disease, and I have it! I believe it is quite possibly genetic, passed down from my mother, but I have managed to mutate the disease to a whole new level, and I fear I will never be cured!

I always knew it lurked within me, I tried to ignore it, but last week I did have a breakthrough, and discovered WHY it has such a firm hold. When there is time to spare (more that a day...), my brain will just not sit still. It wanders, shamelessly I might add, and CANNOT focus! I drive myself crazy with this, I know I SHOULD be doing something in particular, but find myself doing something else, usually the exact opposite. It is not until something absolutely positively has to be done with no time to spare, that I can focus like a genius. I always manage to pull it out of the hat, but get so frustrated with myself for making so much more stressful than it needed to be. But it was a bit of a lightbulb moment, realising that this is why I do it. That because with limited time, it is the only time my brain will not wander.

The story was that I was teaching a paper piecing hexagon class last Thursday night. It was only a technique class, but I still wanted to have a little sample made up of something they could make, and had promised a pattern to go with it. So, about 9pm Wednesday I started stitching some hexies together (after going through fabric... preparing hexies..). I stayed up until approx midnight joining about 25 together. Thursday was student free, so amongst other things, I finished joining hexies about 4pm. Starting making project about 4.30pm, finished about 5.15pm. Then after making dinner and picking hubby from the train station had pattern finished around 6.35pm (class STARTS at 7pm). mmmmmm, no time for printing at home, so email to the shop, run to shop, (drive actually) open, print, greet, teach! See? easy, almost had time to spare too!

So this week, out come the lists again! The strategy being to write very small achievable things on my list. Instead of "write pattern for .... quilt" (which is no small task), I wrote "write requirement list for ..... quilt". A lot more achievable, so hopefully this will head me on the right direction.

Incidentally, this is the project I made. I wanted something a little more contemporary as I could easily show photos of the more widely used way of using hexies. Daughter #1 wanted to know if I had run out of hexies! The cheek! It WAS meant to be this way!

Have a great week,
Michelle x

Monday, August 15, 2011

What makes me smile...

Many things make me smile, but in particular this morning, I am referring to yet another of my little 'Elsie finds'. She plays in imaginary land so beautifully, and as a result I am often treated to these little 'scenes' set up all over (literally!) the house. I try very hard not to think about the day when I will no longer find these as it is just too sad, but in the meantime I will revel in them, photograph them, and occasionally share one here..

This one particularly played into my handmade vintage loving heart. The little doll quilt here, was mine, and was made for me by my beautiful Grandma. She made one for my two older sisters and I, and we each had a different coloured surround. Mine was pink, and I think Jane and Suzanne's were lavender and lemon. The also came with a little matching pillow.

It is so special to me to know that Elsie is playing with something made by her great Grandmother, someone who would have loved her to bits! It keeps that link alive. It is precious, and I could put it up in a cupboard to keep it safe, but then it wouldn't be nearly as special. It was made to use, and love and keep dolls warm, and I couldn't be happier that this gift from Grandma is still living on.

enjoy your week,
Michelle xx

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free Motion Quilting

I have discovered the love of free motion quilting over the last couple of years. And once I got the hang of it I have found it fun, additive and amazingly therapeutic! But I do liken it to going from learning print writing to cursive, and you will not be neat, or consistent without practice! practice! practice! One of the best bits of advise I can give is to doodle! .....What?... yep..doodle! It is a very close relative to free motion quilting, and once you can get your mind into that way of thinking, I think you can relax a little. Like doodling, it will wander from one place to the next, with the odd mistake along the way.

When starting a new project I always 'doodle' on paper first to get the feel for what I want to achieve. If your not sure what pattern or design to quilt, look at the fabric for inspiration. For my "birds in the air" quilt, I wasn't sure what to do, (the last 3 quilts have been my standard 'swirly' design, so I looked at the backing fabric which featured butterflies with loops, so basically went with that.

I doodled a similar idea, and once confident with this, it can be translated to fabric.

Use a practice piece first if your still learning, but the main thing is to relax, and not be tough on yourself. Remember you are looking at your quilting in close up detail and you will be by far your hardest critic. Remember to stand back every now and then and ask yourself "if my friend showed me that, what would I say?". I bet the answer is far kinder than what you say to yourself when you look close up!

So far, this is what my quilt is looking like, and I'm pretty happy with it. I am by no means an award winning free motion quilter, and never will be, but what I do is simple and fun, and I enjoy it. AND! it beats trying to 'ditch stitch' around all those half square triangles any day!

Not too much longer I hope!

Michelle xx

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fairy fun.....

Oh my Gosh!! I survived! But I have to admit, I kind of underestimated what 18 little 5 to 6 year old fairies looked like all in the one place! It was crazy, chaotic but lots and lots of fun and they all had a ball. Arranging a special fairy friend to come and organise the girls was a very wise decision, and the hours and metres of fabric that went into THAT bunting was well worth it. I was so pleased with the effect, and we even now have something special to put up in Elsie's room to remind her of her special day.

She loved every minute, and "party-zilla" didn't once come to visit, not even when it was all over. I had lots of wonderful help from my big girls and my lovely mother in law, which reduced my stress levels immensely.

Am I allowed to admit that I'm so relieved it is all over though? ... now back to my 'other sewing'

Michelle xx

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Creativity explosion....

Well, it sounds good! but what it means is that my mind is going a million miles an hour and my fingers can't keep up! I always keep pen and paper on me for when such inspiration takes hold, but my fingers can't always translate the images my brain is creating. And its not always paper that I feel I need, its fabric! And most of the time I don't have the luxury of time to run to my sewing machine whenever the creation hits.

Yesterday I had a particularly erratic day and counted that I worked on 6 different projects! I'm sure that's one of the definitions of madness!

1. my "Birds in the air" creation, nearly finished, just borders to go

2. my needle turn applique project...

3. a 'new' project (started a week ago), very excited about this one, its been out and about lately, but I have added my own touch (hope to show more soon)..

4. another 'new' project which I'm SUPER excited about, I did NOT need a new project, but my base fabric finally arrived in the shop, so I HAD to give it go and see how it turned out (another sneak peek)..

5. MORE bunting for the party..

6. and lastly, toadstool covers for the fairies to still on (photos to come).

There are also a couple of bag patterns floating around in my head, but I shoo them away when they come to visit, no time for them.

How on earth am I supposed to find time today to make cupcakes for Elsie to take to school tomorrow, and an information evening at school tonight? Lets not mention the appt in town at 12.30pm or the numerous school pick ups!

Squeezes, Michelle xx

Sunday, July 17, 2011

party preparations begin....

... and not a moment too soon really, especially since the "big fairy party" for a very special soon to be 6 year old is THIS Sunday!! Unfortunately my brain doesn't go into action until the last minute. My super organised (/controlling...shhh.... I didn't say that!)17 year old has been on my back for awhile now, so today it was time to start the bunting. I decided I was going to make this instead of using paper streamers, as it is something that can be used again, will look super cool and I can use some of it in Elsie's bedroom afterwards.

So..... picture me standing in front of my 'stash'... can I bear to use that one?? or that one?? I was in pain trying to decide, until I slapped myself smartly and realised that THIS is what 'stash's' are for.. aren't they? Yes, yes of course they are. What's the point of it otherwise? So, very pretty bunting coming up (worked out I need 36 metres of it, which equals 360 pieces! Ok, job #1 started..., 100 to go, (this is one of those times when then super organised/controlling daughter comes in very handy - especially when she's still on uni holidays, yay!)

have a good week,
Michelle xx

*ok, ok, I confess.... I couldn't bear to use the 'Swell', my almost favourite range from Urban Chiks!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A New Pattern...yay!

It's very exciting sliding that new pattern, freshly printed and folded, into a crisp plastic sleeve! It gives me a great deal of satisfaction as it is the last peice to a long process of designing, making and writing the pattern for a project.

This is my new pattern to hit the shelves at The Quilters Corner. The quilt has been hanging for a couple of weeks so you may have already seen it if you have popped into the shop lately. It is made from the gorgeous French General range (from Moda) called 'Pom Pom de Paris'. Hence the inspiration for the name, and the fact that is made from a layer cake and 'gateaux' being french for such yummy things (the edible ones!). PLEASE excuse my very dodgy photo... at midnight it seems like a perfectly sensible idea to prop a pattern up against my sewing chair and it would be artistically brilliant! ..... oops!

I'm very excited as hopefully, very soon, I will have enough patterns written up to launch my website properly...(mmm... note I said "written", the quilts are actually made they just need a certain person to stop getting distracted by certain gorgeous fabric that walks in the door of the shop non-stop! What's a girl to do? Stop and drool and play with new fabric or write the pattern for the quilt you've already drooled over? surely you can see my dilemma?

have a great weekend,
Michelle xx

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thankyou all....

Thankyou to all for the wonderful support and comments you placed. It was so encouraging. I would have posted sooner but it has taken me this long shuffle/limp/stagger to the computer. Those legs, which I DO appreciate, took a little hammering, and due to my very non-athletic style and grace, I have managed to grind my hips to a near halt. ouchies!

Nethertheless! I completed my 10kms, in 62 minutes which in the end, was a pretty respectable time considering. And I have learned a couple of things along the way... and a couple of things I was reminded of.....

1. Stretching is not over rated..
2. running when injured makes the injury worse (who would have thought??)
3. be very specific when ordering coffee in the McDonalds drive-thru at 5am, they are a little sleepy and don't listen very well..
4. your mind is more powerful than you think...
5. there is ALWAYS something left in the 'tank', you may just have to dig to find it..
6. be grateful for what you have (I'm talking those legs again), there is always someone that would swap in a heartbeat....
7. these events are NOT just for athletes, they are for anyone willing to have a go. The atmosphere is amazing, everyone there for the same positive reason!
8. rest and be kind to your body, it is just as important as the hard work...

My husband has likened me to a racehorse and says I now need to go out for a spell.. (at least he didn't suggest I be made into glue!). So now that I'm on an enforced rest, I have even more reason to sit and create!

(my wonderful friend Kath(left) and I BEFORE the race..)

Michelle xx

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grateful for legs that work..

About an hour ago I saw something that in an instant put things back into perspective for me.....
I've never mentioned running on my blog before because I fear that it will set up this false image of this toned fitness freak; one who looks down upon those who sit in front of a sewing machine instead of either being at the gym, or deciding upon which coordinating lorna jane outfit to wear to the gym.

Last year I finally went back to running after a 20 year break and ran my first 10km race. This weekend I am running that same race again. I have been training reasonably hard, and my body (legs) don't appreciate it as much as they did 20 years ago. I am having all sorts of hip problems which have been giving me a lot of pain into fancy sounding muscles in my legs. I can barely get up from the couch at night, and it hurts when I roll over in bed. I have been spending a fortune at the physio who leaves me bruised after he's tried to 'release' the muscles that are seizing.

This morning I went for my last run before the big day. I was feeling quite disheartened as I am really doubting that I can make my goal of running the 10km under an hour, and know that there is no way that I will be able to do my first half marathon this year. So, I am about a km into the run, I go around a bend and there is this brand new little motorised wheelchair swerving all over the path, with Dad alongside, placing his hand over the little hand trying to learn how to steer. I spoke briefly with the Dad, who smiled and said his son had only had his new $15 000 chair for about a week and was trying to get used to it. I look back, and this little boy, only 4 or 5 years old, had the biggest smile on his face and was revelling in the freedom of being able to move independently. What a thrill and an honour to witness this.

So here I was, feeling disappointed that I may not be able to run my 10km in under an hour. I suddenly felt incredibly lucky to have legs (and a body) that works. Ones that take me where I want to go and can function for themselves. They may not be the prettiest, but they work. They may hurt sometimes, but I am able to do something about that, I can stretch and do strengthening exercises, its within my power. It was not in this little boys power to walk at all.
So I am very grateful for legs that work. And I will be proud of my achievement this weekend, whatever that is.

Michelle xx

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Wing It....

..... is a gorgeous Moda range from 'MoMo'. It's been in the shop for a short while now, but I'm hoping that very soon the quilt I have designed, will be up and ready for display. It is an 'old' block called 'Birds in the Air', but I have reworked it to make it layer cake friendly. I'm just loving it and this range works perfectly! I can certainly make half square triangles in my sleep now.. Here is a picture of some of the blocks. They are nearly all finished, so just need to put them all together (JUST I say!! ...like it is JUST a 5 minute job).

And for anyone interested 'The Quilters Corner' is having a stocktake sale starting tomorrow, with a minimum of 20% off fabric, but a fantastic sale table with fabrics at $10/m. The sale also extends to online sales, just put 'stocktake sale' in the comment box and Liisa will calculate your discount.

Have a great week everyone,
Michelle xx

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello old friend....

In an attempt to tidy up my sewing room, which incidentally didn't go too well, I spied a bag at the back of the cupboard. Inside was a quilt top I made just over 3 years ago. It is a traditional style, and one I chose specifically so I could hand quilt the large blank blocks. Very sadly, this is as far as I got.. Initially because I was after a specific backing which was out of stock. But as I waited, other projects took hold and so stuffed into the little bag it stayed. Maybe I will give up on the hand quilting idea and go with something a little more time efficient? It would seem a shame though, because I just love hand quilting, especially at this time of year. It is rhythmic and therefore relaxing. mmmm..... I think I am talking myself back into the hand quilting..

Enjoy the perfect quilting weather..
Michelle xx

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Special Present for someone special..

We had a lovely long weekend here in Brisbane, a little rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning, but not quite the torrential rains all weekend that were forecast.
Elsie, having caught the sewing bug (yay!!) was desperate, as usual, to put her new found love to practice. And what better way than to make her beloved prep teacher a gift for her upcoming overseas trip? And a travel journal seemed a perfect way to put those strips from Liisa to very good use.

So... first we set about sewing those strips together... (she had just been stacking them on top and sewing, but I thought we might as well move on to putting right sides together... and why not throw in a quarter inch foot for good measure?.... never too young to start quilting right?)

oh.. and note that we have now moved on to my 'back up machine'. Again, I thought we might as well since she was doing so well and the little one did tend to slip and jam a little...

... next we quilt the strips onto some batting.... and check out that quilting?! Hand on my heart she did this herself! It was enough to make a grown quilter cry! I couldn't believe how straight she kept it, and so competently finished off each row and started again.. all by herself! (can you tell I'm a little proud?)

... oh.. and note we have NOW moved on to MY machine? (not a permanent move though.. but my walking foot was already on)

.. then we sew on the little hand stitched "mrs East" label...

I then stepped in just to finish off, and Elsie popped the note book inside. She was as proud as punch and could barely get to sleep for the excitement of giving it to Mrs East, whom she "loves so much", in the morning.

The joy of giving is one of those most precious moments in life which feeds your soul immeasurably. To see Elsie experience this is a true joy for me also. We are very blessed for having Mrs East as Elsie's teacher, she is an absolute treasure and we hope that she can record some very special moments in her journal.

Have a great week, Michelle xx

oh... and Mrs East is a quilter! Does it get any better??

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pyramid Parade

This is the class that I'm teaching tomorrow morning. It started off as a quick way for me to put together a range which I just fell in loooove with, the fact that it was a cozy flannel in no way influenced me.... However, once it was spied by some in the shop, I was asked if there was a pattern available and if it was a class. So, "ta daaaa!" the pattern is written, with a good 13 hours to spare (poor time management really, I'm not normally prepared that far in advance..)
Looking forward to spending time with the lovely ladies tomorrow morning for class!! (yes, yes, I know, I'm bragging about my 'job' again..). And since Brisbane had a very unusual 'cold snap' today (a chilly maximum of 12 degrees), and more predicted for the weekend, I have to say that I think this little snuggly delight might just be coming back home with me for a wee visit.

stay warm and snuggle those quilts,
Michelle xx

(Patterns are available through The Quilters Corner.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I am always so grateful that on those mornings when things haven't run so smoothly, I can open the door at work, and be greeted by this....

It is wonderfully quiet and still, and there is nothing better to take your mind off a mess at home, than to surround yourself in beautiful fabric. It gets all your creative juices flowing and makes you feel happy again. I am so blessed to have a job that I love. I am at a place that I love to be and with people I love to spend time with. The Quilters Corner, is a very special place for me..

Have a great weekend,
Michelle xx

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Hills are alive.....

Now, I don't think that I'm alone in saying that as mothers, we don't allow ourselves the opportunity to take 'time out' and spend a couple of hours doing just what we enjoy, as there is always the knowledge that there is something we 'should' be doing. And by enjoyment, I'm not talking about an hour in front of the tv at night, when we are too exhausted to do anything but 'flop', but actual time to sit down and put on a movie,and pick up the stitching, during the DAY of all things! Well, yesterday morning, after having done a ridiculous running training session of 400m and 200m sprints at 6.30am , I did just that!(ok, the 400m were only just faster than normal runs, and yes... its crazy, but necessary if you want to run the 10km at the Gold Coast Marathon in under one hour, a goal I set myself when turning 40). So home I come (after the obligatory coffee with Kath at Maccas afterwards), hubby is at golf, house... mmmmm.. sort of tidy, so I decide it is time to introduce Elsie to "The Sound of Music" ("yayyy" say's Sally, and "noooooo, do we have to?" says Jen, Elsie just looks at me blankly!). In goes the DVD, out comes the applique (blow the dust off) put coffee at the side and we're set! The beginning was a bit boring but Elsie loved singing along with "Do Ray Me"! I just loved the fact that I sat down, guilt (not quilt) free (95% anyway), and got to stitch watching an all time favourite. I think we need to be kinder to ourselves and allow time to 'stop and smell the roses' more often. It was so much fun AND I got to finish Block 5 of my quilt..yay!

The movie obviously inspired something in Elsie too. Now we all know she is a mad keen crafter and can make something out of nothing, but I had to smile when she scurried off and came back with this little piece! I know there were no microphones in Sound of Music, but obviously the whole singing thing got her thinking...

Have a great week,
Squeezes, Michelle xx

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For the love of Binding...

I've never really been able to understand why some people don't like binding... I love it! It's the 'piece de resistance' (make sure you say that in a french accent otherwise you totally lose the effect!). After all those hours of work, you finally get to sit down, and have one last intimate moment with your fabric before it is declared 'a quilt'. It's the 'finishing touch', the excitement that all your work is about to be loved and enjoyed.... oh... and of course the knowledge that you can now move on to your next project with a clear conscience!

or maybe... some might say... I need to get out more..

Michelle xx

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Highfields Retreat...

Last weekend saw the entourage from The Quilters Corner head up to Highfields (just outside of Toowoomba) for one of their annual retreats. It is the fourth I have been on, but I still have just as much fun as the first ! It is an absolute sight to behold when you see (and hear !) a room full of 38 women busily ensconced in conversation, laughter and the odd bit of sewing ! The room is totally abuzz and you can't but help being swept up in it all. It is amazing how much you can pick up from the people around you and how much you can be inspired. I just love to see how much the love of quilting can bring together people from every walk of life.

This year was extra special once again as my Mum came up from Adelaide to spend with me, a quality weekend away. Thanks Mum!

Here is the quilt yours truly was working on.... it was basted before I went, so I was just working on the machine quilting (free motion)... nearly there.

At the end of weekend, we have show and tell, which is a real highlight. It is great to see the product of so much 'hard work'. The room is full of plenty of "oo's and ahhh's" as works of art are held up for the pleasure and admiration of all. Whether it is the colours 'you' would have chosen or not, everyone appreciates all the talent and hard work which has gone into each individual piece. On more than one occasion it inspires people to try something new, and think outside their comfort zone.

So, definitely a thumbs up for the weekend ! If you haven't been on a retreat before, I recommend you give it a go. (You could even get a your own group of friends together and visit The Circle Retreat at Buderim.)

Some people didn't want to stop sewing.......... and who could blame them? ............. Yoo Hoo!! Girls!!! everyone else has gone home.....

Squeezes, Michelle xx