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

Screen Shot 2022-02-27 at 2.25.31 pm

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

Screen Shot 2022-02-27 at 3.48.42 pm

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

A lost week

This past week has been one of seeing Doctors, filling in forms and making sure that all things are in order, as much as they can be.

My daughter and I had time together.  Somehow or other I bought her a new hat!  (I know she has wanted this for over 18 months.)  Wesley, her deaf dog, seemed to like it as well.

Screen Shot 2023-10-28 at 11.38.03 am

I had morning tea with my quilting friends.  We have been friends for 30 years and I now live far away, but, friendships that old and special are important. (I also got to deliver all my Xmas presents that my friend Kay will distribute if I have to miss the party.) We met at Albany Creek, which is on the north side of the city and near the high school where I used to teach.  It used to be an outer suburb back then, semi rural.  Now there are shops and coffee lounges and one of the nicest Patchwork shops I have been in for some time.  It is called Butterfly Stitches and the owner stocks all the fabrics I love, so I had to buy just a few.  The store isn't cramped but spacious, with a great teaching space as well.  I have a quilt planned for my sister of which I have some of the fabric, the rest is in that shop.

Screen Shot 2023-10-29 at 12.38.54 pm

I would have liked to purchase tons but was very circumspect and only purchased a piece for the background in my "Choock Quilt" and a piece to make a bag as a Xmas gift.

Screen Shot 2023-10-29 at 12.51.12 pm

I was hoping to have the Choock Quilt all ready for stitching when I got home from hospital and although I have prepared all the fabric cutting out the shapes is difficult as my wrist is still inflammed, but I am pushing on. 

Screen Shot 2023-10-29 at 12.51.25 pm

I also have my eye on a book from Quiltmania but it cost $45.00 US which translates to about $110.00AU when landed.  I might just keep my eye on it.

Screen Shot 2023-10-29 at 1.02.01 pmMy daughter-in-law is Dutch and I would like my grand daughters to maybe make one these quilts in the future.

 I will now be absent for a week or so as I turn to do battle with the cancer BUT I expect to win!

An experiment

Twenty years ago I had a small Elna Lotus Sewing Machine which I used as a trade-in to purchase a bigger Bernina machine.  I went looking for another one and found that it would cost me $350.00 for one that needed work doing on it, second hand.

Screen Shot 2023-10-14 at 7.48.19 pm

It was a good basic machine for straight stitch and zig zag.

Fast forward to today.  I have two excellent Bernina machines, and I love them, BUT, they are so heavy and I can not carry them around.  To get the smaller one off the island I have to bring my car over on the barge and that is a $75.00 round trip.  My big machine is electronic and just can't be moved around.  My local quilt group runs workshops and does sewing for charity in our weekly meetings and the cost of getting my machine over and back is just too expensive on a weekly basis.

Then I saw an add at Spotlight for a similar small Elna, cost $150 new.  I found a friend had bought one to take to the Patchwork group.  So I thought "what can I lose?".  (Well probably my $150.00)  So now I am the owner of yet another machine.

Screen Shot 2023-10-14 at 7.45.32 pm

When I went to purchase this one I found that they were all sold out at most of the stores.  In fact all but one store had sold out, so they must be popular.  The sales lady was rather worried that it would not do the job, telling me it is really "just a toy."  But my old Elna machine was great, so, I am going to experiment with this one.  I will have to see how it performs. Watch this space.

Thinking about the 'Tilda Event'.

I wrote about buying tickets to the Tilda event next February and although I love the fabrics and I know they originate in Norway I realised that that was about all I knew.  So I did some research.

( I see that the Melbourne event is sold out but there are some tickets left for Brisbane, but who knows for how long?)

I found an article about Tilda's designer, Tone Finnanger, who also lives on an island!

Screen Shot 2023-10-07 at 12.28.00 pm

I have to say that I am even more impressed by her work after reading this.

Then I came upon this interview on You Tube which gives a really good insight into her design process.


Her design ethic also reaches to the use of a high quality base cloth.  (Many designers have great designs but the fabric it is printed on is cheap.) And the fact that she produced specialised fabrics for her toys is wonderful.  But, I didn't know that there is a backing fabric for Tilda quilts.  I'm going to have to ask about that one.

(You can find lots of free things on the Tilda website.)

Quilts continued

I usually find some work in the regional shows that I find inspiring.  They might just spark an idea or the might be an old design in different colours that makes me think of some other design that I might rework.  (There were so many people at this show I didn't get the names of all the exhibitors.)

I have had this block design in my sketch book for ages and this colour way has me thinking I might pull that out again.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.26.48 am

And the way these colours run into one another I liked.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.25.48 am

This started as a piece of woolen fabric.  The maker saw the opportunity to add Sashiko stitching and made it into something else.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.27.41 am

And out in the regions, where you do get seed sacks this was a great re-use of one.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.27.05 am

All these pieces were from the Toowoomba Show.

(As I was a judge at the other shows it wouldn't be ethical to comment on these but there was some beautiful work here as well.)

Quilt shows and Judging

I'm glad last week is over.  It was full on with a trip to Toowoomba to see the quilt show and then a couple of judging jobs later in the week.  But, having said that, I wouldn't change any of it, even if it wore me out.

The Toowoomba Quilting group always has a good quilt show which they exhibit at the same time as the Carnival of Flowers and the flower gardens were just spectacular.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.07.08 am

For some members of the group who have moved here from interstate this was their first flower and quilt shows and it was a pleasure to see their reactions.

The quilt show always has a couple of pieces from Robin Ginn, and again, her work didn't disappoint.  Friend Margaret and she recognised each other from their early days of quilting.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.23.26 am

 There were a lot of beautifully made quilts but only a few that were original designs.

Robin sustained a serious back injury in her 20's which has left here unable to sit at a sewing machine so all of her quilts are completely hand stitched.

This one was inspired by a piece of furnishing fabric in which she could see the eyes of birds.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.26.32 am

This quilt is for her grandson who was born in Japan and he suggested the Kohi fish.  (Robin has a beautiful garden with many water features.)

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.24.32 am

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.24.50 am

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.25.06 am

Then there were the quilts of friends that I have seen coming together during my visits.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.26.01 am

I bought the pattern for this one but am not sure I will make it.

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.27.23 am

to be continued.




A little research into the materials I will use

After reading about some problems that have arisen with the use of 'bowl cosies' I decided to carry out a few experiments myself regarding the safety of materials used and just what are the problems involved.  Now, I do not have a lab, or have access to one to do this test, just my kitchen, microwave and a box of matches .

Some writers state that

" wadding or fabric that has polyester included  in it's composition can sometimes catch fire in the microwave oven and you should only use cotton thread, wadding and fabrics."

  The problem that I see with this is that although goods are marked cotton that doesn't necessary mean that there is NO synthetic fibre included in the fabric.  Because of modern weaving methods a synthetic component is often added to the warp fibres to give strength to them , otherwise they would break under the pressures that are used by modern machinery, and labeling laws do not require this component  be stated on the label. In other words it could still be labeled cotton.

For this experiment I chose to look at my left over fabrics from my last quilt.  (I thought that they would make good cosies as gifts but I couldn't give them to anyone if there was a danger involved.  I had visions of some teenager putting the item into microwave and setting the timer for 15 mins on high and the next thing you know there is an explosion.)

There were no problems with the outer cotton fabrics.  They got a bit warm but that was all.

As I cut the samples from the wadding I noticed that there was a colour difference between the two I had selected.

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.43.29 pm

I put them into the microwave oven for 10 minutes each and and they became warm to touch but not hot and they didn't catch fire.

I then did a burning test and if they had been 100% cotton the should have burnt like paper which didn't happen.  They burnt very slowly and there was a clear oily residue left on the clay plate.  A clear sign that there was some synthetic content. 

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.42.41 pm

I also tested some wool wadding.  The microwave test returned the same results and in the burning test the fibres smoldered but did not catch fire and there was that smell of burnt feathers. 

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.42.24 pm

I repeated both the tests again and got the same results.

So for this component of the tests and if the time in the microwave was 10 minutes or less there didn't seem to be a problem but if the fabrics were exposed to an open flame there was a problem.     Those fabrics may react differently if they were in the oven for a longer period of time.

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.43.43 pm

I then tested some wadding which had two pieces sewn together, again for 10 minutes in the microwave and this returned clear burn marks where the sewing thread had burnt.  The thread was labelled cotton but it must have been cotton around a polyester core. 

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.43.36 pm

I repeated this and got the same result. 

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.41.59 pm

These results show that in my experiments the most dangerous component is the sewing thread.

For myself, I would heat my food in a container or plate and then put that plate onto the cosie but not put the cosie into the microwave.  I believe there is a real element of risk involved and there is the potential for a fire.

 I will use cotton thread in the cosies and I will tell my recipients they are not to go into the microwave oven.



Not only have I now finished the binding on my scrap quilt.  I made this from the scraps left over from the piecing.

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 6.57.39 am

I have also finished the quilt bag, made from all the left overs.  I like to make a bag for each quilt from the materials I used in that  quilt because when you pack it away at the end of winter it is easy to find in the cupboard when you need to get it out again.

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 6.57.58 am

These include the blocks that I made mistakes on.

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 6.58.14 am


But I am having trouble programing my old sewing machine  (30 years old) to do the label.

I now have 3 queen sized quilts to make so am on the lookout for designs for the other two.  I found some vintage looking fabric for my daughters quilt.

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 5.54.58 pm

I am going to use this French General fabric for my sister's quilt.

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 6.56.42 am

And I have no idea what I will use for my niece.


As I now have 2 machines set up in my workroom I need another machine cover for the second one.  I love this old machine but I think I need to have it serviced again.

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 7.23.11 am

This is the pattern I will use.  I have some of those butterflies on the pocket already made in my stash, I just hope the colours all match. This pattern is a cover and doubles as a mat.

Screen Shot 2023-08-20 at 2.08.17 pmI am trying to not use my hand too much and keep it in it's splint but it doesn't seem to do much.  I now realise that I have been putting up with weakness and pain in this hand and wrist for all the years since I got Ross River Fever, I just blocked it out until the level of pain made itself felt more urgently.

Thinking about a quilt

I was speaking to my daughter about a quilt I was finishing and who I might give it to when she interjected that I hadn't made a quilt for her.  That made me stand back and consider that statement.  Why hadn't I made her a quilt? 

Well, I actually had made her a quilt when she was in Primary School.  It was a cat quilt and we sat together and drew all different expressions on each cat which I embroidered.  We added some dancing mice as well.  I remember she took it school for show and tell and it was a great success.  But, she left it in the shed out the back on the farm and the rats and mice got into it .  This was when she moved out of home.  After all the love and thought I had put into that quilt I was hurt that she thought so little of it, so I think I decided I wouldn't do that again.  Then I forgot about it. 

Now I have to think about it again.  I will make her another quilt to go in the new house she and her husband are going to build on their new cattle property.  I was silly for being so upset about that old quilt. 

So now I am thinking about designs. 

  1. Their bed is King sized, so it will have to be big. 
  2. Their property is up on the tablelands and looks down on the Condamine river.  
  3. The temperature drops below freezing in winter.
  4. The scenery and outlook is just spectacular which means that the quilt shouldn't try to outshine this. 
  5. The house will be very modern in design.

These are some photos of that area.  They have lots of creek crossings to get to their property.


Screen Shot 2023-08-02 at 1.23.34 pm

Screen Shot 2023-08-02 at 1.24.08 pm

Screen Shot 2023-08-02 at 1.24.19 pm

All this makes me think a traditional design would be the best choice.  I found this old quilt at the French General website.

Screen Shot 2023-08-02 at 1.18.46 pm

Somehow or other I think this or a variation on the Flying Geese block will be the one and I think I will use the colours of the surrounding bush for my colour palette and she likes the design.  Now to collect the fabrics.

A bit of a diversion

I have been cooking lots of soups which I have frozen for future use.  The quickest way to reheat is in the microwave but I keep burning my fingers.  I had seen quilted bowls that some of my friends had said are really good so did a search and found some instructions on how to make them.

Screen Shot 2023-07-20 at 3.53.45 pm

Why didn't I take notice of what my friends were saying?

Screen Shot 2023-07-20 at 3.54.02 pm

These are great and I didn't know I needed them.  Also, they are a good way to use left over fabric and especially wadding.  And as well as that they are just the right size to practice my quilting.  Some more of these are on the horizon.  (I have Ikea bowls and found that I needed to start with an 11" square of fabric.)

My Workspace

Oh how I wish I  was a tidy soul! 

I seem to create mess where ever I move.  Not intentionally, it just sort of happens and I find it very difficult to discard things, so they mount up.  I am not a horder more a collector and can dispose of things if I really have to.  Now in my later years I find that I have been living with ADHD disorder all my life without knowing.  I have just thought I was a bit hyperactive, well more than a bit I suppose.  But, that can be a positive.  I have lots of activities on the go all the time.  But now I find my auto-immune problems are catching up with me and I have to slow down.  (My parents were told I wouldn't live past my teenage years, but I'm still here in my 70's.)

Screen Shot 2023-06-24 at 11.04.55 amWhat brought this on?  Well I looked at Christine Kelly's  Gentlework's blog which led me to her  Facebook  page and there was this beautiful workspace.

Screen Shot 2023-06-24 at 10.52.14 am

I wonder if it looks like this all the time, or if like me, it can descend into chaos?

I love the way she repurposes old embroidery.

Screen Shot 2023-06-24 at 11.12.33 am

I keep telling myself to "stop, clean up, be more organised, just finish one thing at a time" .

I have to try and get this room organised.  My cleaning lady comes this week!