Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A new Shop and an Open Day

I'm thrilled to be able to announce the opening of a new Quilt Shop in the heart of Mornington (Victoria, Australia)! Yesterday Treehouse Textiles opened their doors and began trading.

It was wonderful to walk into such a fresh, charmingly fitted out space which was warm (it was freezing in Mornington yesterday), friendly and filled with colour and inspiration!

The team that is Treehouse Textiles, Emma and her Mother Sarah, have put a lot of thought and creative touches into their beautiful new shop.

They will continue to run their fabulous quilting, crochet, knitting, etc classes, see their website for details here.

The girls will be having an open day this Saturday from 10am-2pm which will be a great time to pop in, experience their wonderful new space for yourself and say Hi. There will be bubbly and nibblies, I'm definitely going!!!

You can find Treehouse Textiles at 2B Empire Street, Mornington. See  you there. xo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Mandala

Hubby and I have just returned from a lovely small holiday down to Phillip Island. It's nice to get away for a bit from the house, the phone and other day to day distractions. We didn't have any internet coverage either so we really had a break!! And while he surfed, I read and stitched (of course!). For a long time I've wanted to stitch up a Mandala, so I have started...

 The pattern for this is from this lovely book, Liesels Funfecke....

This book is written in German, however all I needed were the templates, and I was set.

Part of the Mandala is shown on the back cover.

I decided last minute to take this away with me, so I had about 10 minutes to grab some fabrics to play with. I had a few old repro fabrics, to which I added a few newer brighter fabrics. I threw them all in my roomy Bolga basket and I was ready to go!

I don't know if these fabrics are going to play well together, but I'm not sure I mind. I'm using the hand piecing method (rather than the english paper piecing as shown in the book) and it is so therapeutic just to sit down with a needle and thread and lovely fabrics. Next round done, now to get some stars made. xo

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Unpicking again!

The quick unpick, or seam ripper, and I are good mates! We go back a long way. Mr Unpicker and I have worked on many quilts together, for better or for worse!! Lately, Mr Unpicker has been helping me to perfect my kantha-like quilt... the Flower Garden!

Mr Unpicker is not fussy, he is happy to rip out both machine stitches as well as hand stitching. He was happy to be able to make quick work of these beautiful, handquilted perle 8 threads, he really enjoyed ripping them out!

The problem became apparent as I worked my way around the border of my quilt. I had been quilting every 1/4inch horizontally across the quilt, however when I came to the border I decided to do vertical stitching. I had finished two borders when I realised the change in direction was really pulling and puckering up the quilt. Alas, all that work had to come out!

So here I am beginning again on my borders, this time going back to the horizontal stitching! It's looking better already.

I've been using a crease marker (she is pretty good friends with Mr Unpicker, there might be a little romance going on in the sewing basket!!) to mark out my 1/4 inch lines before stitching. I tend to just mark out a section at a time.

I've been using six different coloured perle 8 threads to hand quilt this quilt.

I tend to stitch anywhere from 3-7 rows using the one colour before I change to the next (click on photo to see closer detail).

This quilt will be celebrating it's third birthday this September, I am hoping it will be finally completed for that date!! xo

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Improv Quilted

The final post of my mini tute improv quilt series...quilted and bound! (picture heavy post)

I quilted my improv quilt using the free motion quilting method on my domestic Janome sewing machine. The quirkiness of this improv quilt leant itself very well to using many varying fmq designs.

Because it is difficult to capture the fmq that I've done across the quilt, I have taken some close ups to show. Simply click on any of the photo's to take a closer look....

If you missed earlier posts (here, here, here, here, and here), this quilt is created using the beautiful Oakshott cottons impressions range, with a couple of Keiko Goke fabrics and some black and white text thrown in. The sashings are a white with a lovely grey dot.

I take this quilt to my Free Motion Quilting classes at Treehouse Textiles (next class in August) to give an example of how you can use many different fm quilting styles across the one quilt.

I would suggest to only quilt this heavily on a quilt you will be hanging on a wall, rather than sitting or snuggling up under. The heavy quilting does make the quilt rather stiff!!!

It's a lot of fun to let your imagination go and 'colour in' the different blocks with thread. The thread I used here was a variegated Signature thread. It stitched up beautifully.

I used a white Rasant thread in organic straight lines over all the white sashing strips.

The strip of fabric I front basted (see this post) barely stands out as an applique now...

For the back of the quilt I used an older classic Kaffe Fassett fabric, with a row of leftover fabrics from the front...

Overall I am thrilled with how my improv quilt turned out. I will definitely be creating another quilt using the improv method in the future.

Over the next few weeks I am going to pick a couple of my favourite fmq designs that I have used on this quilt and show a step by step process of how to quilt them, stay tuned!! xo

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fun at the Fair...

But first, I wanted to show a gorgeous Lotus fabric I found at Fabricmade on Etsy the other day (and is now living with me!).

 This piece is roughly 140cm x 145cms (or 1 1/2 yards x wof)

Isn't it rich and delicious. I have a plan for this lightweight linen fabric, I cannot wait to get started. I've been inspired.

Back to the Fair. The Australian Craft and Quilt Fair in Melbourne that is. Wrapping up today, it opened Thursday. Emma and Sarah (Treehouse Textiles) had a stall there this year (so good) and I went and worked there with Em on Friday. I had a great day meeting old friends and meeting new ones. Our new BOM Ginger Crush (see back wall in photo) which was released on Wednesday has had such a great response and is now almost filled.

Our BOM from last year Citrus Sweet Love is now in booklet form and available for purchase. Send Emma and email if you are interested (

While I was there I didn't get much time to shop (too busy chatting!), however being the bookworm that I am I made sure I picked up a couple of buys at the Quiltmania stand.

Michelle Yeo's new book Of Needle, Thimble and Thread
Lots of great projects in here

'Godharis' by Geeta Khandelwal
A wonderful resource and heavy coffee table book!
Lot's of inspiration

Of course I had to buy a sweet bag to put my heavy books in!!

Next time, I obviously need to go back a second day to do more fabric shopping!! xo

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Block of the Month Release

Emma (Treehouse Textiles) and I have been very busy working on our second BOM (block of the month) quilt. We are so thrilled to be able to show it to you it is...Ginger Crush!

 Ginger Crush
A Block of the Month
Treehouse Textiles & Cabbage Quilts

At last!  We have finished our new Block of the Month, and we just love this quilt and hope you do too. The name says it all "Ginger Crush".... we have chosen muted colours & pastel shades with bright pops of Raspberry, Cerise and Navy.

For those of you who love hexagons we've added a few, and we just couldn't resist adding some whimsical appliqu├ęs... Great fun!

For the traditionalists we have "framed” pinwheels & made a drunkard’s path or two.   Applying a fresh, contemporary bent on patchwork & quilting, we have used fabrics that reflect our aesthetics and taste. Designing the quilt blocks was rewarding and enjoyable, we loved the whole process (although there was one or two moments!!), we hope the finished quilt reflects the fun and enjoyment we both had bringing this to you .

  • Limited places – Mail out first week August, 2014
  • $45 per month (postage included) for 14 months (Australia)
  • $55 per month – international (postage included)
  • Finished Quilt Size 79” (2m) x  86” (2.2m)
  • To the best of our ability we will give you the exact fabrics seen in our quilt however on some occasions we may need to substitute, you can be confident that our fabric substitutions will be gorgeous.

To register your interest in ‘Ginger Crush’ please email Emma, with your name and phone number so she can contact you -

Monday, June 23, 2014

Putting it Together and filling in a hole!

It's still Sunday somewhere in the world right?!!! Continuing on with how I made my improv quilt. If you wish to see more detail in the photo's below, click on the photo's to enlarge.

Ok, so I had all improv blocks made up, but how was I going to put them together. Firstly I placed my improv blocks on my design wall and played around with them until I was happy with the design and felt that the edges of all the blocks nestled in with each other. It was at this point I added a couple of extra strips of fabric onto some of the blocks here and there to help square the blocks up a little.

I decided rather than just sewing the blocks to each other, I wanted to have some sashing strips in between to help each block stand out on its own. I chose the fabric for the sashing strips, then cut various strips (using scissors rather than the rotary cutter) by the width of fabric.

Once the selvedges were cut off, I was able to then lay the strips around the blocks. I needed to keep in mind that I would need to sew this quilt in sections to avoid as many y seams as I could.

The black lines I have drawn onto the photo (above) show the sections the quilt was sewn in and where one y seam landed. I haven't done y seams for a long time, however they really are not difficult (that might be another mini tute for another day!).

When the sections were all sewn together, I added on the final border. Once it was done I stepped back, and realised I didn't like the size of the large empty space (see the arrows).

Filling in a hole
I decided the best way to fill in that large empty space was to applique a strip of colour over it! To do that I sewed up a strip to fill the space using leftover fabrics and included a pretty little dotty selvedge piece for interest. I then pinned the strip in place.....

....and, using my sewing machine and the quarter inch foot, sewed the strip onto the quilt top.

This method of applique is known as front basting and it is very simple and quick. I then unpicked a few my machine stitches and using an applique needle and neutral thread began to needleturn applique the strip in place.

Continue to remove stitches as you go (about 5 or six stitches at once, you don't want to unpick too far ahead).

Because the strip has been machine sewn, when the stitches are removed the fabric 'remembers' where the stitch line was and easily turns under to this point underneath the needle.

I continued all the way around until it was done. I really liked the slightly wonky colourful strip and once the quilt is quilted, you probably won't even notice it was appliqued on later!

Once the strip was appliqued on I was finally happy with the balance and design of the quilt top.

My final mini tute in this series will be to show how I quilted my improv quilt. See you soon. xo