Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ricky Tims is Coming to Australia

Ricky Tims from the USA is coming to Adelaide in Australia, September next year as a guest of the Australian Machine Quilting Festival.

I have some of his DVD's and books so it will be great to see him in person.  A whole day!  Just need to book my accommodation and work on a quilt to enter too.

More details are on the AMQ festival blog.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Our macadamia trees have now been in the garden for three years and have set nuts for the first time.  I decided to go looking for "the Bonk",  a nutcracker just for Macadamias.  It was in the bar area of our last home, so we went searching through the packing boxes looking for it.

Didn't find "the Bonk"  but have cleaned out the dry bar room,  Now for Les to store all his empty wooden wine cases somewhere other than the dining table. The carboard boxes will go in the recycling.

Also found the US road atlas, so can start planning my quilting road trip in earnest.

My husband googled nutcrackers and found another easy one for Macadamias, although I didn't appreciate the $85 price tag.  Beats hitting them with a hammer, while the nut is sitting in a hole in the concrete on the porch!

Weekend Purchase

My husband and I had a very pleasant drive to Yandina on the Sunshine Coast yesterday to pick up a coffee machine he had purchased on ebay.

What was even more enjoyable was the drive home through Mapleton, Montville and Maleny.  The views were fantastic.  I am sure I could live on that ridge with views to the coast.  The $$$$$ to do so are beyond me. 

Instead we have a great coffee machine adorning the bench.  Just for two flat whites each morning and cappucinos of a weekend.  It was a really good price!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Back from the South

I've just spent the last week visiting family in Dubbo, then more family in Sydney.  Spent a lovely day in the Blue Mountains helping answer a few question for a new Millenium owner.  Then had to drive home the long way. 
I usually break the trip to Sydney up by staying in Dubbo, on the way down and on the way home, but the flooding in Moree has closed the highway so I had to drive home via Tamworth.  Is actually shorter but it means I need to spend a night in a motel!
Fortunately I was able to keep in front of the storms over NSW and even arrived home before the storms hit SE Qld. 
Now it is back into the piecing and quilting. I have two tops I would like to finish piecing before Wednesday's Morning Tea.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Talking Fabric

As a longarmer we get to see many great tops and then try to treat each one individually.  For a while, when they are on our machines, they beome "ours".  Some quilts we struggle to choose a design for, We search extensive resource books and DVD's to find the right one.

Other quilt tops talk to us.  This quilt was one of those.  This customer uses many different
types of fabrics, her style is often simple piecing, and she only ever wants an Edge2 Edge design.

The fabric in this quilt  was a paisley so I started doodling a paisley on lined paper. 

Then I got out the whiteboard markers and doodled some more on the proper scaleon a perspex sheet.

When I switched on the machine after loading the quilt a better design came from the machine.  No it isn't computerised,  I just draw better with a machine than pencils or markers,  and I listen to what the quilt wants!
I also stitched some flowers in the plain blocks based on this one from the border fabric.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feathered Swirls

A customer quilt that really wanted some feathers allover it.  So I quilted my Feathered Swirls.  Went down really well with the floral fabrics.

Queensland Quilt Show

The Queensland Quilt Show opened today in Brisbane.  After hanging the quilts yesterday I returned today as I had been emailed that I was receiving an award.  They don't let on what the winning quilts are even to the hanger uppers!

My "Serenstar" came second in the Professional Small Quilts category.  All pieced and quilted on the Trusty Janome 6600. So now I have another ribbon for my collection, plus a fabric collection from Moda.

It feels great to have a quilt that you have made yourself hanging for everyone else to see.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Out with the Old

I worked as a Census collector this year and decided I would reward myself with a new domestic machine.  I have had my Janome 6600 for almost six years, and it had always performed wonderfully.  BUT when I attended the Janome Dealers day last year on the 7700 Horizon I knew that I would have to get one soon.

I waited 12 months so I think that was good.  Now I have a Janome 6600P for sale if anyone would like a great machine, it is in having a service ready for a new owner.

So the new machine sits on top of my sewing table awaiting a larger hole to be cut so it can sit a table level.  I have plugged it in , but I haven't sewed with it yet.

I have the perfect project ready for me to Free Motion Quilt.  The top was made just after we moved to Queensland to remind me of the Blue Wrens I had living in my garden.  We have been in our Queensland home now for just over 3 years and the gardens must be established enough, that I am now seeing Blue Wrens coming into my garden, so it is time to complete it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

No Quilting Today

Well I have tried to put two quilts on the frame this morning.

The first one I only had to quilt the borders for a customer but the steam and starch haven't shrunk it back to flat.  That extra 1" or so on the outside does not want to get any smaller.  So back to the csutomer it goes.

I can't quilt out everything!!!!

The second quilt, I rolled the backing on pulled out the wadding and it has been used for a lap quilt previously.  There is not enough for me to even join it to make enough for this large single quilt.

I give up.  Today I will finish off some class projects and notes!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New M'nM APQS wheels

I decided to shout my longarm machine some new wheels.  I have had Edgeriders on it for 18months, and thought it was time I bought the new wheels that APQS now have for their machines.

I was sceptical and did not think they would make much of a difference.

I was wrong.  They make a huge difference to how easily the machine moves on the table.  I had no trouble before stitching feathers, they are now just so much easier to do.
The first quilt I loaded after my husband put the new wheels on was for a customer who wanted flurry of feathers on a hand pieced hexagon quilt.

I really like this quilt top.  Green and beige hexagons stitched together randomly.  There was only one paper left in the back.  Usually there are more.

The feathers quilted easily and smoothly and I enjoyed myself quilting for a longer time than I would normally quilt, as my machine seemed to be working with me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

2011 EKKA Quilts Across Queensland

I entered three of my Quilts in the EKKA this year.  I enter the quilts so everyone else can look at them.  They are not made specifically for a show, just made for me and I share!

Over the River, which was the Champion at Toowoomba show came second in the Representative Quilts Class.

Spring Diamond and Serenstar both came third in their classes.  Now I will have some more pretty rosettes for my wall.
This quilt top is looking really great with all these ribbons.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quilting Makes a Difference

Another customer quilt that will be given to a granddaughter.  I thought I would show a before and after picture so you could see the difference that custom quilting makes to a block.

This is the before shot.  I need to pin any unquilted areas as I roll the quilt so that they don't form puckers.

This is the after photo with a background fill behind the kimono girls.  There was also some stitching across the applique as thes girls were quite large.  Without it they puffed up.

I also put a cherry blossom and leaf background fill  behind the butterflies.

The early morning sun through my bedroom window is a good light to photograph with but I get the shadows of the window frames.

Customer Tractor Quilt

It seems most young boys enjoy tractors at some time.  I have just finished  custom quilting a customers quilt for her son.  I think you can guess his name.

I don't know whether he will see the humour in this fabric.

Of course I had to find someplace to put more tractors. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More photos of the APQS swap quilt

This is the whole quilt, you can see some of the texture that the quilting gives it.
This is a bug I learnt to do in a class with Irena Bluhm at Houston last year.  These are in the alternate side setting triangles.

This the back of the quilt, it is a cream sateen and shows up the different coloured bobbin threads I used.
This is a picture of the detail of the feathers within each diamond block.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

APQS Spring 2010 Block Swap

I belong to the APQS forum chat group.  We regularly have swaps where members make a number of blocks which are sent to a central point collated and them forwarded on to other participants.  Last year I received eleven 12 1/2" blocks.

I put them into a diamond setting so that I could enter it in my State Guild challenge for this year.
I have started quilting it, but had to stop as I couldn't leave work waiting to be done.  It will be finished and bound by the 21st July as I have entered it in a show!

I am also trying to quilt it along the theme of  Diamonds!  The lattice is on the wrong angle - they are diamonds.

Cold Start to the Day

 Today was the first frost for this year, and the first time I have had to put the heater on of a morning.  30 minutes was enough to warm up the family room.  Even the pizza oven had a little bit sitting on the top!

The Automatic weather Station said it was only 3.5 degrees centigrade, but that was under the terrace.  Didn't take long once the sun came up for it to warm up.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Custom Quilting

 This quilt is now on the front cover of a pattern for a designer she loved feathers and asked for them to be a standout on the top.  I had a very wide border to play in, I used the paisley shape from the backing fabric as the spine for these Feathers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

APQS Dealership

 I have had my APQS Millenium machine since February 2008, and am very happy to say that I am now one of the New Dealers that have been appointed for Australia.  If you are thinking of purchasing a longarm machine and would like to try one out, please let me know as I would be happy for you to come and have a play on "Good Golly Miss Molly".

More information on APQS machines can be found at

She has had a few things attached to her since I got her, but they help my job of quilting.  The handiest thing I find is the pin cushion on the handles and the magentic clip I place my scissors on.  There is another pair of scissors at the back so I am never searching for scissors.  The thread catcher on the top is well used.  Once it is full I give the threads to keen embroiderers who use them for "something".

Friday, June 24, 2011


As I am classified as a Professional Quilter (yeah right!) there is only one category I can enter my own quilts in Queensland Quilt Show and this category only has one prize.  Unless I want to do Textile Art or Pictorial quilts - they are art works not quilts!!!!

 So I decided that one of my class samples this year I would quilt on my Janome 6600.  This is the resulting quilt.  Sample of an 8 pointed star.  Called Serenstar as Seren means Star in Welsh and this is a double star!!!  I knew I bought my longarm for a reason.  It is very tiring on the back and shoulders quilting on a table top, but it is completed and I love the back!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Afternoon Clouds

As I took out the rubbish this afternoon I looked up to see these beautiful cloud formations in the east.  They had more of the setting sun colours in them just before these shots, but I had to go back inside to get the camera.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's on My Machine

I have had this customer quilt for too long, knowing that it wasn't due until May.  May it is, so I am slowly working on it.  Stitching charcoal on black hasn't made it much easier so it is definitely a day time task.

Amish type blocks and the customer prefers heavy quilting.  I hope I have it right.

The back of the whole quilt taken with the early morning sun shining from the side.  Otherwise very hard to photograph charcoal thread on a black backing fabric.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Half Square Triangles

When I started quilting I stated that I didn't like making quilts with triangles and squares. I spent two days of instruction with Marti Michell in Sydney and came away with a love of her templates.

Great for accurate piecing and accurate cutting.  Never did figure out how to cut your strips 7/8" bigger than your squares cut your triangle and sew that bias seam neatly and without stretching it etc.  Plus the triming of the dog ears!

So Marti's templates have you cut your strips the same width as your finished squares,  the corners are trimmed on her templates, so no ear trimming and if you put your two fabrics right sides together they are in pairs to take straight to the machine.  Hence the reason Featheration stitched so quickly (well the large stars).

But students don't always have the same gadgets I do so, to cut half square triangles from a jelly roll or a strip the same width as you cut for squares, you can use a normal square.  Etch a line from the 3/8" mark on the left hand side of a corner to the 3/8" mark on the right hand side of a corner.  The first picture shows this with some Omnigrid Glow Line tape.

You then line up the edge of the tape with the edge of your fabric strip.  The 45 degree line of your ruler goes on the vertical line of the fabric. ( Maybe I should have cut this on the example to show you.)

I have also shown the Easy Angle Ruler, all three rulers are doing the same thing.

If you trim the ends of your bindings before joining them this way, it takes all the guess work out of which way do I hold this to join them , or the joins not being straight.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Long Time Between Posts

It has been a long time since I posted as my Husband and I drove to Melbourne so that I could see my "Featheration" quilt hanging at the Australain Quilt Convention (AQC) with the 'best of the best'.

Only five quilts from each state are chosen to represent their state at this show.  There were other exhibits on show as well but I didn't linger long after I had seen my quilt.

The vendor mall was small compared to Houston.  I suppose every vendor mall will be small after that one!

We enjoyed spending extended time with family and friends even Hijacked a Donkey so that it could meet a gorilla.

So if my son ever realises it is missing he may know where to start looking.
 My daughter knows which bed it spent the most time on and  it is happy to be spending time there again!

Almost 5000km in 12 days but well worth the drive.
Got to spend  my daughter's  birthday with her and Easter with my grandson.  Was great to be able to wander the paddocks with him, always on the look out for snakes though.

He enjoys being outdoors and the cows on the other side of the fence fascinate him, as do the birds he constantly chases.

Now it is back to work, to complete a lot of quilts for customers who are hanging them in the Gatton In May 2011 show.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Over the River quilt

I entered the embroidered quilt of my posts from March in our Local Royal(Agricultural) Show.  When I went for a visit to the show today I found out that the quilt had won First Place in its category and also Champion of the Patchwork Section.  My total prize money for the quilt was the same amount as the entry to the show!!!!

But it now goes on to  EKKA in August which is the State wide Quilts Across Queensland Exhibition. I just might try to finish a couple of more quilts to put in other categories in Ekka too. 

I don't make the quilts to put in a show.  I make them for me, then enter them in a show for others to see.
One of these years I may make a quilt purely for the show circuit, but that sounds like a lot of hard work to me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

APQS Machines

I have owned my APQS longarm machine for over three years and have had no major problems with it.  It was great to spend yesterday with two of the Engineers from Amercia and go through the sevicing of our machines.  They are very easy to self service.

AS long as you know the difference between man tight and girl tight.  We even through in a few teenager tights too.

Came home and serviced afew things on my mahcine and it is runnng even quieter.  I'll put on another quilt today and stitch away.

My husband even said I could go ahead and buy some new wheels for my machine, when I order my grease.  Good idea to have him accompany me!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

APQS Mini Swap

There is a box finding its way from Australia to America with some very special contents for a lucky recipient.  I hope nothing gets broken.

Raw edge applique all stitched down in the quilting process.  Teeny tiny feathers, tiny little swirls and some small continuous curves.  The whole quilt is 24" x 24" so all the quilting had to be on a small scale too.

Once I have heard that the box has reached its destination I will post some pictures.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Houston Trip purchase finished.

I showed the pattern and fabric earlier, that I had bought during my trip to Houston. 
I started the embroidery on Friday 10th December, while amusing myself at my husband's work while waiting for HIS christmas party to begin!

Continued the embroideries through the rain of December and then the floods of January while we had no power.  I couldn't stitch by candlelight - I did try to.

Pieced more blocks than the pattern had, as I wanted it longer.  Then played on my longarm with Metallic, Glow in the Dark, Holographic and Polyester threads.
It is a Crabapple Hill Pattern called "Over the River", very appropriate name for this year.

I can't get it to go right way up!

APQS Mini Swap #2

I thought it was about time I did some more work on my APQS mini Swap #2 quilt.

I am trying a new technique and I am Liking how it looks so far.  What do you think?

You didn't expect me to show the whole lot.  It is supposed to be a secret.  So here are the papers from the vliesofix and a paper spoon .

I will have it in the mail before the end of the month.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Back to My Customers

After spending three weeks quilting almost 20 quilts for the Lockyer Valley Floods I have got back to customer quilts.

The these two quilts are for young children and I had a lot of fun playing with them.  The first one the customer asked for flowers, bugs and garden things.  She is yet to applique dragonflies over the top.
The second quilt top is made from a panel from the Storybook "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  I used to recite this book to my own children so I enjoyed now putting a quilt to the story.  I didn't put it one apple, two pears etc but I was tempted!  Of course it had to have beautiful butterflies somewhere in the quilting along with the leaves the big,fat caterpillar ate.