Wednesday 11 May 2016

Life from a different angle

Last year Moda designers/families were asked to write about life in the weeks leading up to quilt market.
My husband wrote mine and kept it relatively nice. Tonight I'm being real!!! 
I prepared a lovely dinner, and poured a glass of bubbles for making it through the day and crossing some things off the list...............................but just don't turn around😳

It all depends on the angle

And this is the table we should be eating at. The lovely roses are making it look much prettier than it really is
As I say, everything is not always as it seems

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Tagging gun

This little machine is one of my favourite tools. As you all know I am a hand stitcher but every now and then when deadlines are pressing I dust off my machine. I baste all my quilts for both hand and machine quilting with these little tags. The advantages for hand quilting are, they are light and your thread doesn't catch around them. And if you are wanting to machine quilt the big thing is you can stitch right over the top of them without any problems. No stopping to remove pins.
Here is a quick view of how I use it

I tape my backing fabric down, lay batting carefully on top then your quilt top

Pin lightly, every 12 inches or so. Just enough to hold your layers together. This is an extra step but I find for the 10 minutes it takes it is worth the effort.

Remove the tape carefully, making sure you don't upset your layers

Slip your hand underneath and fire the tags between your fingers. You need to elevate the quilt slightly as the point of the gun needs to penetrate all the layers

And now I groan as I try to ditch stitch!
Not my strongest talent. ( I feel the need to pop a little hand quilting somewhere)
If you would like one go to and they are listed in "new notions" . You won't regret it. I purchased mine in Japan 15 yrs ago and it's still going strong

Tuesday 23 February 2016

The Splendid Sampler

Welcome if you've arrived here as part of The Splendid Sampler. 
I'm so chuffed to be part of this amazing group of quilters. Thank you Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson for including me.
For those who don't know, I'm one of those crazy hand stitchers. I can feel my blood pressure going down every time I pick up my needle and thread. It's like a giant exhale.
Needle turn appliqué is one of my all time favourite things to do
So here are some of my favourite tools

I'm a template plastic kind of girl but you can make templates from freezer paper, cardboard or laminate paper

I trace around my template onto the right side of my fabric using either a grey lead, ceramic lead or silver gel pen. This is totally dependant on the colour of the fabric as you need to be able to see this line

A really good pair of scissors with a sharp point will be your best friend. I love Karen Kay Buckley scissors

I use pins or glue to hold my appliqué pieces in place

A size 11 straw or milliners needle is my favourite. They are long and fine. 50 wt cotton thread matching the colour to the fabric you are appliquing. Aurifil have the most wonderful colour selection

I adore circles, spots, dots ...getting the picture. As you can see by the tatty packaging I love and use my "perfect circles" a lot. So quick and easy and they truly give you a perfect circle every time, even the tiny ones

The last product I can't live without is "flatter" by the Soak Co. Use this with your perfect circles and when making bias tape. It is a fabric smoothing spray not a starch. You get great crisp edges that hold their shape but the fabric will stay soft and easy to needle.
Choosing fabrics is also important for any appliqué  project. You need good quality cotton and if you have a piece that frays, pop it back in your stash to use in a pieced project and choose another for your applique 

And now a little eye candy for you as a reward for getting to the end of this "dry" post"! This is a little sneak peek of my new range with Moda. It's called MOVING ON and I'm super excited about it. It's printed on lawn and I'm enjoying every minute making samples for its release. It is perfect for appliqué 

Tuesday 2 February 2016


I have always known how absolutely hopeless I am at social media!!! But Amy Smart has really shown me just how bad I am.
Last week I was so lucky to be part of Winterquiltfest in Logan Utah.
12 months ago Amy Maxfield emailed me and asked if I would come to Utah. Little did I know when I said yes, what a wonderful thing I was going to be part of.
When I found out Amy Smart was going to be teaching also I was so excited.
I flew into Salt Lake City

And stayed with Amy at Marci's home for the night.

I was so excited when it snowed overnight and I was greeted to this in the morning. 
The girls indulged me to a great day of quilt store hopping on the way to Logan.

Here we are at Pine Needles in Gardner Villiage West Jordan. I was thrilled to see their version of Green Tea and Swet Beans. It's stunning.
We drove through "the pass" on our way to Logan. I could not stop thinking of the movie "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and when I spoke to  my husband he asked " are you stopping to pick some sorrel" ?? I know for those of you who are used to snow this is so silly, but for me it was just so special!

We arrived in Logan and met up with the amazing Amy Smart

The attention to detail and welcome by Amy M, Dallin and Jake was fabulous.

Now here is where I get really bad.
Classes were great with everyone getting lots of things done but I always just forget to get the camera out. So here is my very poor effort....thank goodness for Amy S who has lots of photos on her blog!

Here is Lisa Garlick ( who also taught) and her friends. The teaching line up was impressive. It was so great to meet Lisa, Melissa Corry, Jen Alexander, Carol Armstrong just to mention a few of the talented teachers
If you wish to see the trunk shows of both Amy and I go to Thank heavens she is a superstar and has some pics for us

The food was amazing, the company superb and it was just an all out great weekend.

I am so grateful to Amy M for asking me to come, looking after me so well and treating me to a family dinner at her home which was a highlight. ( thanks for the snow ball fight girls) 
The following morning before heading to the airport we crossed the state line into 

and visited the girls at Suppose quilt store in Preston ( the home of Napoleon Dymanite). Kathy and Jo have supported me since day dot. It was great to see their beautiful store.

Such a lovely week. I must say, for me who has not spent any time in the snow I was totally fascinated by the "quiet". It was truly amazing.

Monday 18 January 2016

Row, row, row your row

Today it's my/Betsys turn in the Moda all stars blog hop (technically it was the 26th)

Last year I was super happy to be asked to be part of this great collaboration between Moda and Martingale.  
A book containing 24 rows and a selection of filler rows for you to create your very own masterpiece.
Something I really loved about this bright idea was that all royalties would be donated to charity and in this case NoKidHungry was chosen.
Throughout this week each of us have been partnered with another designer and "challenged" to make each other's rows. I use the word challenged for the following reason

It's summer here in Australia and this is my back yard ( well not quite but only a 5 minute walk) As I'm sure you can guess it's been hard for me to commit to anything but a swimsuit, sunscreen and a towel!! 

And this is my back yard!!

But I did make a last minute dash before boarding a plane to Utah ( in my thermals)
Here is Betsys row ( 
Here is my row
And here's my "Betsys " row!!

I made my Bitty Basket row using my new fabric lines "behind the scenes" and "lollies". I'm so enjoying these
Here is a few more images from the book

Hope you enjoy making your very own row quilt
Tomorrow (today for some) will be Kate Spain and Sandy Gervais mixing it up

Sunday 17 January 2016

Blog hop

All the good folk who participated in the making of rows are having some fun this week with a blog hop

Here is the schedule for you to follow along
Brenda Riddle  Carrie Nelson
Corey Yoder  Janet  Clare
Me & My Sister  Barbara Brackman
Pat Sloan  Edyta Sitar
Camille Roskelley  Kathy Schmitz
Sweetwater  Blackbird Designs
 Anne Sutton  Laurie Simpson
Lisa Bongean Joanna Figueroa
Betsy Chutchian Jen Kingwell
Kate Spain  Sandy Gervais
Kaari Meng Kansas Troubles


It's been a while but it's all ready to go.
LONG TIME GONE is the name of the 2016 program. This reflects the years I lived in the Middle East and the fact that this poor quilt was "lost" twice. Packed in the container it had a slow trip back home then was packed in a box when I moved house!! 
It's one for machine lovers and all the details can be found at

As you can see it's a little breezy here today