Patchwork & Quilting Feed

So Beautiful

My friend Angela has been quilting her old embroideries and the latest one is quite stunning.  It was a cross stitched embroidery stitched by her late mother-in-law, so it held special memories.  She turned it, from an embroidered table runner

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To a stunning work of art by mounting it on a background and then quilting it.

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This is then an heirloom for future generations.  What a wonderful way of transforming a piece of embroidery.

For the Quilter

Well, I made it through the medical procedure, I was a bit worried about this one, but, looks like I have a bit more time yet.  And that means I can do more stitching.  After taking my knitting to a patchwork meeting, which resulted in mistakes and a big 'unpick', I am really rethinking just what I will take with me to these meetings, both embroidery and patchwork.  The embroidery ones are easy, I have a number of 'simple stitching' pieces to take with me.  It is the patchwork ones that I have had to think about.

Most members seem to take Sashiko, but I need to concentrate to get it just right.  I have an applique runner that needs to be finished and I bought a second hand pattern to make a Claire Turpin Design called Hen House.  It will be a great quilt for my grandniece who loves chickens and rabbits. (Maybe I should look for rabbits as well.) I have all the fabric for the applique but not the background.  So that one will have to wait.Screen Shot 2023-04-30 at 11.14.44 amWhile looking at Claire's website,( she lives in Western Australia), I remembered Ruth De Vos,  who lives there as well.  I was walking this morning admiring all the gum blossoms that are in flower, thinking that my Mother loved these flowers and could never get a tree to grow that flowered and here they are just everywhere on the island and looking wonderful.

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Which brings me back to Ruth.  She specialises in native flowers and has some wonder appliques and

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Screen Shot 2023-04-30 at 11.37.30 amBut, it was all the information that she has on her blog regarding machine quilting and applique techniques that I found interesting.  But, this hasn't solved my problem about what I should take to that Patchwork meeting!!

I think it will have to be that unfinished table runner.  Now where did I put all those pieces of fabric?

The Plush Work

I first saw this work at a antique quilt exhibition in France.  At that point I didn't know about the French quilting tradition, then I saw this post from      .

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Now I have been playing around with the technique. In Cecile's post she also had a link to the same quilts that I had seen and says that the tin templates that were used were sold by pedlars and could sometimes be found in Secondhand Shops.  She made her template from cardboard.  There is also a mention of these tin templates being sold in the USA and they sometimes come up in antique auctions.  There is another very good tutorial at This tutorial has a link to a PDF file of templates.

Looking at those old quilts I realised that they are all made on a wool or wool felt fabric.  I then found some woollen fabric left over from a tweed skirt I had made.  As it turns out this was a good choice because the weave isn't super tight and it is easier to pull the woollen thread through when stitching. Having said this I believe that any fabric that has an open weave should work with this technique.   But, it is still quite hard work on your wrists, mine were a bit sore by the time I had finished. 

The other difference was the wool I used.  I had bought a bag of tapestry wool from the 2nd hand stall at the Guild which only cost $10.00.

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When I looked at Cecile's post I see she was using wool used in crewel work which is a lot thinner than the tapestry variety so there was going to be a different outcome, but not quite a much as I had imagined.

This is Cecile's who has also worked on a wool fabric.

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This is mine.  I tried to keep the stitching the same as hers but I think that if I had used a third colour layer, that would have covered that slight gap you can see.

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The different wool used does affect the finished piece.  I wish I had taken some close up photos of the original quilts but I think that they would have used what ever wool they had to hand so there would have been a difference here as well.  This technique used left over or repurposed wool and fabrics originally and these would have been classed as scrap quilts as beautiful as they are. 

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 I was reading in one tutorial that you should mount your work in a hoop.  Not possible with small scraps of fabric but I will mount another piece of wool fabric in a halo and see what the difference is.  I might try some different shapes but because of the strain on my wrist and time involved in the stitching I can't see this becoming a major technique for me.  Still it was a fun exercise. 

Now what am I going to do with all that wool?



That Bus Trip

So that bus trip.

I bought very little in the way of fabric, just 2 small purchases but we stopped at a farm shop and I bought lots of vegetables.

We first went to the quilt exhibition in Beaudesert.


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This town sits just below the tablelands (The Scenic Rim) and is a hub for the farming communities that surround it.  The quilts were packed in and the following are the ones that caught my attention.

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The quilts were so "packed in" that it was difficult to see some of them and the one I liked the most was tucked away in the corner of the hall.

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It included hand and machine quilting, which was done on a domestic sewing machine, (not a long arm commercial machine) and the piecing was perfect.

There were some commercial vendors there and all were small businesses.  So small that all the sales were 'cash only', no-one had an EFTPOS machine!  There were some great 2nd hand fabric dealers and I found a range of fabrics called "Federation Fairies" that was new to me.  No one had a business card so I am hunting down this range on-line.  So much we take for granted, like business cards and point of sale machines.

From here we headed to Boonah, another small country town.

to be continued.

Some New Threads

Now, I know that these threads are used in the sewing machine and for hand quilting but I have some ideas for an embroidery. The colours are delicious.

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The are Aurafil 12 weight.  It was cheaper to buy them from the U.K. as a set than from a shop here.  That is crazy!!

I am taking a bus trip with my local patchwork group today to see an exhibition of a country group and I am only taking one shopping bag!

International Women's Day

 Friend, Bev Perel, who used to own a Patchwork shop up at Maleny, has held a function to celebrate this day for years, from 2006 actually.  They were always great events with inspirational speakers and rather grand affairs, this year was a lot smaller and "low key".  Each year Bev asked if participants could donate a block, in the International colours of women, which she then made into a quilt.  This was the first one.

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This is one from 2014.

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This is this year.

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And the block that I donated acknowledging my grandmother and her membership of the suffragettes was part of it.

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It gave me a great deal of pleasure to she her here and to know that I have said "out loud" how I admire her and how her example has influenced the course of my life, in a medium that we both love, textiles.


My mug bag

Before my run in with "The Virus" I was working on making a new mug bag to take my mug to Patchwork meetings.  As I said before I have a lovely bag that is somewhere "safe", but , not knowing where "safe" is I needed a new one.  I liked my 'lovely bag" so decided to base the design on that and as I wasn't feeling well when I started I would just use fabric I had in my stash, also, as the mug had an Australian Native Flower printed on it I would look for those kind of fabrics.

The only fabric I could find that fitted this criteria was some Furnishing Weight fabric that was printed with May Gibbs "Bush Babies".  I proceeded to 'fussy cut' out panels of this.

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Then to find the co-ordinating fabric.  Once again, only one match.  This time a small remnant of Tilda fabric I had collected but this was a light weight.

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And them I cam across some stripped fabric that matched, another weight of fabric from the other two.  I immediately knew I was going to have problems putting three different weights of fabric into a project. But, I could handle this.

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This bag design is basically a rectangle, which is then folded into three parts, the 2 sides,  and the base.  You insert the side pieces of fabric on  the base rounding of the corners to make the insersion easier, and then attach  either side of the insert to the sides of the rectangle, Add some handles and then bind the edges with a "quilters binding". " Easy Peasy"   I little more difficult when you are using different weights of fabric.

The size of my bag was dictated by those fussy cut panels but you could just use any fabric and make it the size of your mug.

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I just used a hair tie for the loop to close the top.  An elastic casing at the top of the side panel, that I cut on the fold at the top edge and then stitched the casing holds this nicely.  But if you are not fussy about seeing the underside of the fabric you could just sew an ordinary casing and save fabric.


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I would have made the bag a bit smaller if I was using other fabric but I decided to add a couple of pockets inside to hold extra things.

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So now I am all ready for when Patchwork meetings recommence.  I have enclosed a PDF drawing of the measurements I used to make this bag.

Download Jan Mug Bag

Thinking about a new 'long-term' project.

I like to have some easy hand stitching to take to Guild, Patchwork meetings.  I do have a box of hexigons, that keeps being added to but I was looking through my design journals and came on this quilt that I had drawn.  

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It was inspired by a painting from the "Floating Life" exhibition back in 2009.  The artist was Gulumbu Yunupingu, a first nation artist from Arnhem Land.  Her painting is about the Universe and when I think about the universe I think, stars.

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(I lived in Arnhem Land and got to know some of these people when I was teaching there, so these works have a very special meaning for me.)

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Then I was watching an episode of "The Last Homely House" where Kate was also planing a long term project for hand piecing and her work was all about stars also.   She had found a template on the blog Wild Olive for a plus sign, that looks a bit like a star, and I was wondering if this would work for the design I had drawn back in 2009?

I think that I will have to print out that template and make a trial small quilt to test my idea.  It might work, it might not.

Adjusting to my new life of freedom

I am still getting my mind around the fact that I don't have to do home schooling anymore.  My time is mostly mine.  What a novel thought!  I can visit friends, who I haven't seen for ages or have only seen them just quickly in passing.  Now I have time to spend a whole day with them.  I can call in on my other children for lunch or dinner, which I did this week.  I loved it.  And over the last three years so much has happened that I have fallen behind.  There are new artists and ideas to explore along with lots of new shops and venues I haven't seen.  How exciting.

Now you probably know this textile artists work but it is new to me.  Paula Kavarik.  She uses her sewing machine like a drawing pencil and her drawings are a bit like Shaun Tan, almost "train of thought" type drawing.  (A bit like the pencil drawings Shaun has inside the covers of some of his books.)


The music is a bit circus soleil.  

There is a nice little tour of her studio.

And  her video of 2019 quilts is great.

And if you have time this interview is worth watching.  (She didn't start quilting until she retired!)

This makes for pleasant viewing and I am so inspired that I have just purchased her book.

Some old work

As I am spending so much time at my son's home I thought I would do some tidying up for them.  They are due to move into their new home in a few weeks time and have stuff everywhere.  Amongst this stuff was a quilt I made for him when he first left home.  I was into dying at the time and this was made from the samples that I had made.

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Now this was over 20 years ago but the dyes still look good I'm pleased to say.  I knew I had put a label on the quilt with the date etc on it but...

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Shows I need to sew the details on labels not just write them in fabric pen.

The next thing I found was an old knitted rug I made him.  The colours are really dated but the knitting is good.

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I must say I was very chuffed to think that he had held onto these pieces for so long.

And while I was doing this Nugget gave me the  sweetest look.

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Silly dog.