Sunday, 6 October 2013



Since life is life and we are none of us perfect, there is an update to the originally listed fabric requirements for this gorgeous quilt.

Let's just call it an opportunity... to go buy more of this splendiferousness!!


Did you know I love fabric? I like the feel, the colour, the subtle movement. I can, and do, pat it. Be honest - you do too.
If you don't, why are you here again?  ;-)

Because I have the best friends in the world, IRL and Interwebmaginary, I get to see and play with things in secret.

This Friday you will get to play with something as well.  For a while now I've been fiddling about with some lovely fat quarters of Sarah Fielke's new range for Spotlight called Millefiori.  The range is available in Spotlight stores across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore now.


I've been getting a bit of a head start on the pattern as well, just checking and reading stuff, because I do that a bit for designing people sometimes.  They have other stuff to occupy their brains you know - much more interesting and colourful stuff than maths!!

I've stolen one of Sarah's instagram shots for you to get a sneak peak...

And here are a couple from my work room... 

Don't mind the cat, I found a little set of felines that fitted in beautifully with Mille and asked if they could play as well. Sometimes that's just how it is. 

So, pop into Spottie, grab some Mille and set yourself up for a gorgeous Mystery Quilt. 

Overseas customers can only order it direct from Sarah. But she's a good chic and she's always happy to fill your orders, so if you're not in one of the three countries listed (Australia, New Zealand and Singapore), then hop on over to her online shop http://www.thelastpiece.net/ and she'll fix you right up.

Have fun! 

B. x 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Busy Busy Changes

Hello again!

The inevitable factors of modern life (small 'm') have kicked in and there are some changes on the Hand Quilted With Love Blog Tour, so rather than having you wander all over the intertubes (thank you Joe Hill) I thought I'd post an update here:

SewTake a Hike - 4th May
Belinda Stitches – 5th May  (see previous post)
True Up - 6th May
LilysQuilts (UK) - 7th May
Creative Dabbling (Australia) 8th May
Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA)9th May  
I'm A Ginger Monkey (UK) - 10th May 
Petits Elefants -(Australia) 10th May
Prints Charming (Australia) - 11th May
RedPepper Quilts (Australia) - 12th May
HandMade by Alissa (USA) - 13th May
Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) - 14th May
Sew Mama Sew (USA) - 15thMay

Please take the time to visit these ladies.  Some of us have made quilts from the book already, some of us (**ahem**) have a couple of them in progress.
Whatever you do, just be sure you're ready to enjoy some colour.
Cheers and happy Tuesday!


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Hand Quilted With Love Blog Tour - Day Two.

When Sarah asked me to be a part of this blog tour for her new book I said "Why?, I never blog." If I had the time to scroll through a zillion conversations I could tell you her exact response, but I haven't, so I won't but it was obviously convincing; because here I am.

In truth I was honoured to be asked. After all, I love her quilts and despite the fact that we've never actually met, we've developed an online friendship that swings from the sublime to the ridiculous. If we ever do meet you should all watch out because in true Aussie woman fashion - we'll be 'wrecking the joint'.

Firstly, a little bit about my quilting.

It developed from my love of sewing (dressmaking) and embroidery. A natural progression if you will.  But unlike both of those where I had relative confidence in my colour choices, in quilting I was a play it safe girl. I'd buy a kit if I could, or I'd buy a fat quarters from a range. If I was completely stuck, I'd just try and match the colours on the pattern as best I could.  Most of my quilts were pastels, civil war repro or prarie/grunge type colours.

Then, one day, as I was sewing a sample quilt in pink and blue (which I still love Helen) I decided I liked it so much I was going to make one for myself.  But because those two colours were stuck in my head, I went for a selection of bright variegated floss, then I added some Heather Bailey and some Amy Butler fabrics and 'BOOM' my brain went "yes! this is you" but even here, looking back, I can see a safe palette.

It was around this time I received Material Obsession and was completely bowled over. Then Material Obsession 2 and Quilting from little things endorsed the fact I was a changed woman.  Colour was now my 'thing', and I've been slowly developing my sense of it in quilting ever since.

Anyway, on to the point of this post...

I was lucky enough to be involved in the process of Hand Quilted With Love along with a couple of other ladies, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Sideline:  I'm going to put on my cowgirl hat, get on my high horse here and say, if you ever find an error in a pattern, any quilter's pattern, just drop them a quick line in an email or a DM if you know them, and ask if they could check it please. Don't post it all over Facebook and Twitter or Blogs - frankly, that's just rude and makes you look like a nob.  Pattern writing is not an easy task, particularly when you get caught up in the creative process and adapt and adjust things as you go. This much awesome doesn't come easily.     Rant over.

Looking at the notes, diagrams and photos I was sent brought me to appreciate the connections between the colours and the overall look of these quilts, the eclectic choices that contribute to the impact of a quilt as a whole.  During this period, Sarah was de-stashing and I bought a couple of bags of scraps from her. Opening those bags was a master class in colour, and in fabric itself. I've only ever used quilters cotton for quilting. Here was drill, a hankie, upholstery fabric!! I asked her about these and in a nutshell her reply was "if it's cotton, and I can make it work, it's in".  Holy cow! This woman's fearless!!

After the mathworks were done, I got to play with Lady Marmalade.  I harassed Sarah until she sent me the template drawings and began...

From this
To this

A bit of this...

Then this.

Apart from the background, which I really loved and is similar to the original, I've tried to learn and expand my thinking.Yes, there are all types of fabrics in there. My advice is take a chance, expand yourself.

I've also begun Millefiori.  I need to have hand-work to carry with me in the car for waiting. Waiting for Mum at appointments, boys at work or training, generally killing time. It cuts my phone data bill and stops me getting impatient.

In truth, I could prattle on about this book for ages, basically because I used to do it for a living.  Booksellers will tell you I was far too honest in my sell-ins; I would talk up the fabulous, discuss the ordinary and not say too much about the crap, and believe me, there is some crap out there. Publishers would probably say I was a terrible rep, but I got to walk away with my integrity intact and that's okay by me.

Now, I just go into book stores and do this.

Face out? Sitting with Quilting from little things and some Kaffe?
Oops. ;-)

My point here is you can trust me when I say;  to fully appreciate this book, you need to have it in your hand, a beverage of your choosing in the other (coffee, tea, martini, wine - whatever) and read it. Truly look at it, and you'll find something you need to start immediately before you even reach the end. Go on - I dare you!!

Since we all get something different from every experience I'll give you the other ladies on this fabulous blog tour and you can check out their take on Hand Quilted With Love.

Sew Take a Hike (USA) - 4th May http://sewtakeahike.typepad.com/

Me - you're already here! (Australia) May 5 http://belindastitches.blogspot.com.au/

True Up (USA) - 6th May http://www.trueup.net/

Lilys Quilts (UK) - 7th May http://lilysquilts.blogspot.com/

Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) - 8th May http://meetmeatmikes.com/

Sew Mama Sew (USA) - 9th May http://sewmamasew.com/

I'm A Ginger Monkey (UK) - 10th May http://imagingermonkey.blogspot.com/

Petits Elefants - (Australia) May 10 http://mespetitselefants.blogspot.com/

Prints Charming (Australia) - 11th May http://www.printscharming.typepad.com/

Red Pepper Quilts (Australia) - 12th May http://www.redpepperquilts.com/

Hand Made by Alissa (USA) - 13th May http://www.handmadebyalissa.com/

Creative Dabbling (Australia) May 14 http://creativedabbling.blogspot.com/

Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA) May 15 http://mrsschmenkmanquilts.wordpress.com/

Sarah also has a class on Craftsy, it's a bargain. Don't have a 'pop' at her about leaving her rotary cutter open,  once,  in hours and hours of filming. She knows!! Okay?!   

I hope you've enjoyed my post, have a lovely day and I look forward to seeing what you all make from this gorgeous tome.

Happy Sunday,

Belle. xoxo

PS: next time I will discuss the contemporary approach to traditional and modern quilting with special reference to capital letters, making and the psychological effects of over-thinking your stitch length. :o)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

On The Pond

Hello again,

I'm just popping in to share some excitement with you. Something I've been holding in my vault for ages. It's been hard, but now I get to finally say...



Picture sourced shamelessly pilfered from the Spotlight Blog:

It's an absolutely gorgeous new fabric range from my friend Sarah Fielke http://www.thelastpiece.typepad.com/.  

She's super clever at this sort of thing, and if you've not seen her books, fabric ranges or patterns, my only response is...
Why Not!!  Get on it!!   Right Now!

Back to the fabric.  The colours are stunning.  The feature prints are exceptional (I may have done a couple of embroideries of them) and the blenders will be used for as long as you can keep getting the range.  I particularly love the Rainbow Eggs (far left).
(hereto and before referred to as #rainbowfrogspawn).

Photo-2  Photo-1

There's a great pattern in the new Spotlight Get Creative Magazine and Sarah has a new book coming out this year as well.  So if you're looking for inspiration you won't be caught short.

Sarah has spent the last year slothing around the globe travelling and teaching, had some sick days, made quilts to a deadline for the book, created pieces for magazines and filmed classes for Craftsy.  Check out her blog for more on all of that.

I really hope she buckles down and does something constructive this year. 0.0

In the meantime, start saving your pennies and stalking your local store, the fabric is due in store on January 30.

See you soon,


As an addendum to this post:  This fabric is now present in some Stores!  Early Bonus!!!


Monday, 14 January 2013



A long time ago in an occupation far far away, I sold books. My blog reflected small bits and pieces of selected parts of my life.  Books, quilting and a little bit of family.

In the last year or so, lots has changed, but lots has stayed the same.

My boys:
One has graduated College (Yr 12) and will be starting at UTAS in the next month or so, the other has moved into High School and will be starting Yr 8 soon.  I feel ancient, and most days, I look it.

My work:
I was given the opportunity by some friends to work a few hours a week in their training company, turns out, I like the work and they like having me there, so it's sort of grown from  a few hours to a bit more.

My quilting:
Has moved on in leaps and bounds. I love making other people's designs, but every now and again I pop one of my own under the presser feet.  It's fun.

My cooking:
I still love to cook, but given that I only have my boys every second week (the Family Law Act in Australia is ...   a topic for another time, when my blood pressure isn't as volatile), I tend only to really cook on those weeks.  Me? I'm happy with a cup of soup or a sandwich.

What can I say? Online selling and digital books have cut a swath through bricks and mortar book stores and the people who service and run them over the last 2-3 years.  I loved 90% of my booksellers, and 80% of my publishers.  They know who they are.  I'll still promote their books and stores if I like them.

My cats:
My sanity when the boys are away, they keep me warm.

My sidelines:
I still test patterns for various designers, check their quiltmath, and share their wonderful designs with you (when I'm allowed to).  Sometimes secret squirrel stuff is just that... Secret.  Shhhhhh!!

What else can I tell you?


About Me

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Quilt, Sew, Cook, Read, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Font of all knowledge. #Bwahahahaha!