Monday, September 2, 2013


I promised to show you another project I have been working on.  If it looks familiar that's because I have shown a much smaller version of it before.  This is the project that began when I went to the workshop in Sydney with Victoria Findlay Wolfe, and wonderfully inspirational quilting artist from New York (... who has a studio 'loft' in the city.... sigh.....). 

I decided almost straight away that I wanted to have a play with some templates for this quilt and decided on 'Sunburst' being a design I have always loved. 

I still have one border to go, but can't, as yet, find the 'perfect' one.  But this is what it looks like so far.  Wild and out there and I love it!  It has been so much fun to make.

I have another project to share still following the same concept, will show it soon. 

Have a great week,

Michelle x

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hexie Pyramids finished!

I may not have blogged lately, but I have been getting on with a few projects. 

I finished my new version of pyramid quilt.  This time by simply replacing some of the pyramids (triangles) with white (or any 'background' you choose) you create giant hexagons.  I really love the effect. Straight line quilting isn't my favourite, in terms of actual sewing, but sometimes this is all a quilt really needs and I really wanted to accentuate the hexie design.

I will post the other projects during the week, wouldn't want to overwhelm you now would I?

Have a great week,
Michelle x

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pyramid hexies?

I know it sounds weird, but its true!  I fiddled with my 'pyramids on parade' pattern, that's all. In fact, that's not entirely true as it's not the pattern that was altered, just the fabric layout. 

With all the paper piecing I have been doing lately, I realised that my pyramid pattern could form hexies as well, just by adding a background colour which I did. 

I love the end result, well nearly end, if I would get off my proverbial and baste it!  Not quite sure how I'm going to quilt it yet.  An 'allover' is the easy option, but I'm thinking I want to make the 'hexies' stand out.

The fabric is a beautiful range called 'Crazy Love' by Jennifer Paganelli.  I fell in love with it (pardon the pun, but I did) as soon I saw it.  It is so incredibly vibrant and happy.  Not sure if I can let this one sit in the shop for too long, might need to snuggle under it for the rest of winter. And in Queensland, we don't have too much winter so I can't waste time. 

Squeezes, Michelle

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Handprint in time.....

So!.... Sally did a BIG clean out of her room which resulted in 3 quilts being pulled out from under the bed (I know I know, wrong... on so many levels!). 

One of these quilts was one I made Sally when she was a toddler, Bowtie Bears by Debbie Mumm.  So 'in' at the time.  I loved it, and the colours are very typical of what I was making at the time (around 1998 or 99 I think). 

I used to do a lot of hand quilting back then.  I loved it, and I only knew how to machine quilt in the ditch which isn't too good for borders.  So on this quilt I quilted flowers on stems all around the border (which I had forgotten about because they are so hard to see on this print, but more visible on the back... all the little lessons you learn on the way).  Picture shows front and back


My lovely little find?  Well, after washing the quilt I was laying it on the clothes airer, wrong side up, and saw my flowers around the edge.  What was that in the corner??  I little hand print.  Slowly the memory came back, I had hand quilted the outline of her little hand in the corner of the quilt.

I had completely forgotten about it.  It warmed my heart, I couldn't believe it, I just kept looking at this little hand print, thinking of my little smiley Sally Wags.  It also always makes me feel sad, thinking of how quickly time has gone by (but lets not go there, it really does make me sad!)

I wish I had kept this up, what a great way to add to the 'specialness' of a quilt.

Have a great week,
Michelle xx

Saturday, June 29, 2013

postcards from Bali....

Not a lot of words required for this post, I think you might get the picture ;)

My hubby and I were lucky enough to spend 9 days in Bali, taking in a myriad of sights and adventures...... now... back to reality!
So, here is a snapshot of some of those delights, (very hard to choose photos I might add!)


 Enjoy your week,
Michelle xx

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jonty's quilt

Just recently, a dear friend, was transforming her spare room into a nursery for a much loved and anticipated baby.   As part of the 'sorting', she found a phone number on a piece of paper at the bottom of a drawer, mine!   You see, sadly, through the process of me moving interstate and a new baby I had lost contact with her.

 I received a text out of the blue one day asking if perhaps I still had this phone number, which I did.  Through the emails which followed I was so excited to learn that she was a couple of weeks away from having her first baby.  The baby issue was something we had discussed, at great length, many many times, when we had worked together 12 years ago in Canberra.

So here she was about to bring a little life into the world.  Through 'facebook' I got to share many exciting moments before and after the birth.  She did it with such beautiful clarity that I was able to relive so many of those special moments with my own 3 babies.  And being a 'little' older, and having waited so many years she has loved and treasured EVERY moment.  What an absolute joy it has been, sharing this with her newly expanded family. 

I can't tell you how much it has meant to get back in contact with a special friend. 

So if any occasion screams "make a quilt!!!" at me, it was this one.  A simple little quilt (made with one charm square and a couple of borders) but made with the same amount of love.  I received the most beautiful thankyou note from Helen, which made the joy of giving all the more sweeter.

So here is Jonty's quilt........

and a closer up of the applique, for this I always take inspiration from the range of fabric, which in this case was 'bungle jungle'.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Michelle xx

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scrappy trip around the world!

I almost wrote 'finished!', but then I realised it would be a little white lie as it hasn't even been teased by the idea of being 'sandwiched'.  However, the 'top' IS finished and I'm delighted about that.  All blocks (36) were completed on retreat, and slowly the blocks put together last week. 

so.. ta da!!!!  I'm very happy with it, and as usual surprised at how differently it looks in the photo.  Photos always make the pattern 'pop' so much more. 

I realised during the process of this quilt that after 20+ years of quilt making this is actually my first true 'scrappy' quilt, made out of leftovers. (shameful I know!)  I therefore had missed out on a very special trip down memory lane. I found as I stitched those old scraps together that I remember each little (or not so little!) project that had been made along the way.  So much fun!

Michelle x

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Retreat time!

It certainly is retreat time!  One last weekend at Buderim at the Circle Retreat, and one in a fortnight at Toowoomba, with the shop. 

And I love it.  A chance to chat, share, eat, chat, eat.... did I mention chat and eat??  Oh, and a little bit of sewing.  Well actually, there was a lot of all of that last weekend.  I was on a mission and had a pile of pesky UFO's to match it. 

I would love to separate these photos out, and show you some more, but I have literally been playing with this post for over a week now and it is just not cooperating, and frankly, I'm over it! None of these quilts are mine, but belong to lovely ladies I get to call my friends. 

It was a great weekend, weather was perfect, company perfect.. everything really.. except for the 90 minute power blackout that had us chewing our fingernails off in fear.  Not of the dark of course, just the thought of not being able to sew!

Michelle xx

Monday, May 13, 2013

another one nearly down......

I don't have a name for this quilt, so I didn't really know what to title this post (so I came up that highly imaginative little number!).  This is the commission quilt I am making for a friends mother-in-law.  I'm nearly done, just finishing off the quilting now. 

Oh, and Elsie lost another tooth! Pop it in a glass of water??  Under the pillow??  No! Way too simple.  Our fairy set ups are getting quite sophisticated in this household.  Elsie even took the tip out of a pencil so the fairy could write to her... and made teensy little sandwiches.  She left her a comfy chair with a book, and a bed if she needed a little rest. All so sweet and thoughtful... I don't want these days of innocence to end..

enjoy the rest of your week,
Michelle xx

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What am I working on today?

So often, planned or not, I find myself working on a few different things at the same time (and this, sadly, doesn't included unfinished projects out of sight!).

So, today?  Just finished my Fancy Free, a class I am currently teaching at the shop.  A Quilt as You Go quilt by Moonshine Designs. 

I am making more blocks for my 'scrappy trip around the world'.  I have decided on a 6 x 6 block layout.  I have about 15 completed blocks, about another 13 in stages, so maybe I'm about halfway?

I am working on a commissioned quilt for a girlfriend's mother in law.  She loved the miniature civil war quilt I made, so I am making a large version of this.

And lastly, a quick little baby quilt for a dear friend.  She was a great friend when we lived in Canberra, but sadly we lost contact.  She recently found my phone number scribbled on a bit of paper going through things at home (no doubt 'nesting') and contacted me hoping I had the same number.  I obviously did, and am so thrilled.  After 20 years of marriage and at 45 she has just had her first baby, so if that doesn't deserve a quilt, nothing does!

And what is Elsie up to?  Well, as usual there is always SOMETHING going on. When I went outside on this glorious Autumn Sunday morning, I found a little house set up for the fairies.  She has chopped up food for them and placed them in containers (note the crumbled chocolate!).  They even have plates set on the table ready to go, she never forgets a detail!

I forgot to take a photo of the bundle of fabric, but will post a photo shortly.  Just a little charm square quilt.

Enjoy the rest of Sunday,

Michelle xx

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fancy Free!

I'm not sure if I'm quite 'footloose' as well, but it's certainly all Fancy Free around here!  Fancy Free is a QAYG (quilt as you go) pattern by Moonshine Designs, which we are currently teaching at The Quilters Corner.  It is great fun and can be made any size you like.  I'm doing a queen size for my bed and am using a gorgeous moda range called 'Simply Colour'.

Its been on the go for a couple of weeks, but on the weekend I finally got around to putting the sashing cover strips on.  Unfortunately I'm two strips short (grumble grumble), so that will be this afternoons project (grumble grumble... I really don't like 'going back' to do something, can you tell?).

Nearly there,

Michelle xx

Monday, April 1, 2013

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Workshop

Wow!  What an amazing day!  It lived up to all my expectations and more, leaving me inspired and excited.
By 8.00am I had been in a car, plane, train and bus and wandered aimlessly through back streets with my little trolley bag trying to find the venue. Once I found my way the lovely ladies from Material Obsession were literally standing out the front waving me in (I would have given them a thankyou hug but I was too sweaty!!) Thankyou so much Kathy for your warm welcome, it had been a long morning and it was very much appreciated.  The venue was beautifully set up, with individually made name tags, pencils, goodies and we had even had individual design boards. 

In the middle of the room, on a massive table was a huge mound of fabric scraps.  We were told to grab a pile, but!, it had to be colours we would never normally use and things we didn't particularly like...mmmmm.....

Victoria then led us on a wonderful journey, the story behind her book "15 Minutes of Play".  She first shared many of her quilts talking about the inspiration and story behind them.  From there Victoria explained how to begin 'playing' with scraps, joining them to become a larger piece of fabric which we can then use in any way our little creative heart desires.  She is an incredibly warm and generous person and I could have listened all day.
What my scraps started as ...
step 2 of my creation

Probably the main 'thing' I got from this workshop was a sense of freedom.  So often I try to keep my designs and choices fairly commercial, sometimes even stopping myself from going off on a tangent.  Well, this technique not only gave me permission to do this, but very practically showed us how.  So my little mind was just buzzing with thoughts and ideas the whole (long) way home. 

Before heading home however, I did get to drop into Material Obsession, somewhere I've always wanted to visit.  It was just gorgeous, inspiration everywhere you look, amazing colour choices and lots of projects big and small to delight.  Well worth a visit for anyone visiting Sydney. 

So thankyou so much Victoria, for broadening my vision and totally inspiring me.  It was without a doubt a day I will never forget.  Many thanks also to Kathy and the whole team at Material Obsession, for putting the day together and making it possible.  We learned something from you all as you walked around and shared your experience and talents also. 

myself and Victoria
group photo
Here are a couple more links if you are interested in having a look at some more photos,
Michelle xx

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Well, I am just a 'tad' excited!  Tomorrow morning at sparrows, I will be on my way to Sydney.  I'm heading there to take part in a workshop being held by Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Bumble Beans fame.  She is a New York based quilt artist specialising in improvisational techniques, which is what (strangely enough!!) that she is teaching tomorrow.  This is the book which she released at the end of last year.

It will be a mad crazy day, testing my ability to use untested (by me) public transport in a new place, and be back home by dinner (assuming it is a late pizza!).  I had a class last night, one tonight, then a class Saturday morning.  From there take #3 to a birthday party, then pick up #1 from her GAMSAT exam.  I can't even look forward to a nice cold wine on Saturday night as Sunday sees me compete in a 10km event. 

I'm exhausted already, but cannot wait...!!!!!

So check back to see how I got on and have a look at some piccies!  (not sure about post race though, I'm pretty sure you would find it hard to see any facial features through the red puffiness anyway).

Michelle xx

Friday, March 1, 2013

Zac's quilt .... finished!!

Ta daaaa!! Done! And... I have to say... I'm not too proud say I'm pretty happy with it!  I really was concerned to see how all those colours would work out, but I was thrilled.  I normally work in 'pretty' colours, so it was great for me to work outside of my comfort zone. 

I really do love this patterns, it really does work in any combination colours, and is great for putting together a masculine quilt as I have done.  For those who missed the earlier post, this quilt is a for a wonderful young man (sound so 'old' when I say that!) who we (as a family) think the world of.  It was his farewell gift for joining the RAAF, and beginning at ADFA (Defence Force Academy).  The colour choice is a combination of his favourite soccer teams, Socceroos, The Roar and Manchester United.  I gave it to Tammy, Jason and Sara to take down to Canberra for his ceremony yesterday.  They were absolutely rapt which always makes it so worthwhile.  I just hope that Zac likes it too. 

Congratulations Zac, we are very proud of you and love you lots!

Have a great weekend,
Michelle x

p.s.    grrrrrr, I have been sitting here FOREVER!!! trying to turn this photo to portrait and it will NOT do it, even though it is in my edited version!!! So please just turn your head on the side, although you get what I mean...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A different kind of quilting....

I have spent many hours at my machine this week (evident by the very sore muscles in the left side of my neck!), doing a 'different' sort of project.  I was asked to make a banner (= quilt to me) for our church for a theme they are following for the year.  I was given a rough design.  I was more than a little nervous only because I can't draw to save myself, and as it was pictorial, I was concerned about getting the proportions correct.  Well, all was going well, then I met with my pastor to show him my 'mock up', but discovered I had my dates wrong (surprise surprise!!), and instead of a 10 day time frame I had 2.  Oops!! So, home again home again jiggety jiggety jig I went (but a little faster this time) and hit the machine. 

I actually thought I would be able to whip it up pretty quick, BUT, the buttonholing around the lettering was so time consuming!  By 12.30 am I had it together but had only outlined the hand, plate and 4 letters.  I had to work the next day til lunchtime, then wizzed home (no old man driving for me!) and kept going.  I managed to watch an entire series of (12 episodes) of a show just while outlining and quilting.  The machine could only go so fast and I estimated I spent about 8 -10 sitting there. 

I then had to work again Saturday morning, so darling daughter #1 started to stitch down the binding for me and I finished when I got home from work.  So it was finally finished and hanging ready for Sunday service.  I was quite pleased about the finished product.

Elsie, who attends the primary school attached to the church was proud when she got home from school yesterday.  They had chapel in the morning and she was sitting just near the banner and told me how she told all her friends that her Mum had made it... isnt' that cute?

Have a great week,
Michelle xx

p.s. my tip for the week... stretch!  Even though I felt fine while I was sewing (I think there was too much adrenaline to feel anything), I must have knotted everything up and am still paying today.  So stretch ladies, stretch!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Civil War Miniature

I've been working on this little delight for a little while.  I have a huge amount of civil war fabrics left over, from my hexies, so a miniature quilt was a great way to use them up! 

As usual, I go flat out, then once that itch has been satisfied, move on to the next 'to be' unfinished project.  Well, I quilted this over the wet spell (ok torrential rain and flooding) we had in Brisbane recently, and have just finished binding (while watching 'The Help'.. again... love that movie!!) 

I did debate how much quilting to put in.  Quick and easy ditch (which I dont' find exactly satisfying) or free motion feathers.  I'm glad I went with the feathers, I thoroughly enjoy this while it doubles for well needed therapy. I did need to ditch around the little pieced blocks, and for the first time, I free motioned this to avoiding all the frustrating and neck breaking turning and pulling it requires.  It is a lot more time consuming, but again, worth the effort.

This pattern was from 'Civil War Legacies' by Carol Hopkin, and has a finished size of 31" x 36"

Enjoy your week,