Baby quilt with Tonga Treasures fabric

28 09 2015

I won a pack of Tonga Treats 5″ charm squares a couple of years ago when I was in Texas. Having just made a small quilt from 5″ charm squares, I figured I’d make another one while I still remembered what I did!

The 40 charm squares were in gender-neutral shades of blue, green, and yellow, so I added a yellow batik as the sashing. 40 is a bad number for a quilt — you can do 8×5 or 10×4, or another combination with some left over. I opted for 6×6 with 4 charm squares left over that I used in the back. On the back I used a green/blue batik that had what I call a crocodile motif. For the border and binding I used some blue/green batik I had in my fabric stash.

I stitched large spirals for the quilting to counter the geometric shape.

The finished quilt is 36 x 36 inches (~90 x 90 cm), and is perfect for a cot/crib quilt, baby play mat, or a small lap quilt (it’s all cotton, so can be thrown in the washing machine). It’s available for sale in my Etsy store:







Threads used:

  • Top: Superior King Tut ‘Nile Delta’ (40 wt, cotton, colour 934)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Interplanetary Space #1 and 2

27 09 2015

I’ve had fun this weekend. I had in my mind to turn some of my scrap fabrics into circles (using my AccuQuilt Go! circle die) and then make a space-themed art quilt. I ended up making two! If they meet the OMG Guidelines, I’ll submit them as OMG Quilts, but if not, then I still had fun making them. And I was really pleased with how they turned out, especially #2.

Almost all the circles I die-cut were from batik fabrics, with a couple from a small sheet of sheer gold metallic fabric and some white satin, and a few from a heavyweight bright orange felt. The trick with cutting circles on the die cutter is to stabilise the fabric with fusible first, otherwise the edges will fray. I used MistyFuse on the backs of each; even so, the gold fabric would’ve frayed had I given it any more time before stitching it down. And I used fusible Pellon for the batting.

Update: These art quilts were accepted as OMG #54 and #55 respectively! And are both now available for sale from my Etsy store: and

Interplanetary Space #1

The background fabric for this one was a piece of upholstery fabric I’ve had for decades — I re-covered two 2-seater sofas with this fabric back in the 1980s! I had about half a yard left, and so used it for the background and the binding. It was nice and strong so was perfect for lots of stitching, but a bit thick for the binding. No matter. It’s almost all gone now — yay, busting the stash!!

I made the quilt sandwich from the background fabric, the Pellon, and a cream backing fabric I had plenty of. Then I quilted it graffiti-style, using a variegated thread in cream, purple, and pink. After quilting it, I arranged various circles on the top and fused them down with the iron. Next, I stitched around each (and in some cases, inside each) with either invisible thread or gold metallic thread. Then for some of the large circles I stitched rings (like Saturn’s) using gold metallic thread. Finally, I fused on some more circles and raw-edge stitched them down, before trimming the art quilt and adding the binding.

Final dimensions: 15 x 20 inches; can be hung vertically or horizontally — there’s no top or bottom.


Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glisten ‘Gold’ (metallic, colour 60088); Wonderfil Mirage (30 wt, colour SD 32)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Interplanetary Space #2

For the second one, I used black as the background fabric to get that feeling of deep space. I made a large circle of gold metallic fabric (lame?) the focus, arranging the other planets and moons around it but not touching it. After fusing everything down, I stitched around each circle (and inside some) with invisible thread.

I also stitched around the gold circle with gold metallic thread, and then started coming out from the ‘sun’ with some flame-like stitching. I was originally only going to do a couple of layers but then figured why not continue this flame stitching out to the edge? So I did! I liked the overall effect of the gold metallic thread on the black. Finally, I went around the gold sun a couple of times with some gold metallic couching yarn — the purpose of this was two-fold: to hide a couple of fraying edges, and to give even more emphasis to the ‘sun’. I finished off with plain black binding.

Final dimensions: 20 x 20 inches; can be hung any way.




Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glisten ‘Gold’ (metallic, colour 60088)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

New babies!

15 09 2015

One of my nieces (I only have two) had her first baby last week, and yesterday I saw some new ducks (11 was the most I counted!) on the drive into town, as well as a kangaroo with a joey leg sticking out of her pouch. Spring has sprung!





Update 15 August 2016: This breeding pair is early this year! I saw the new babies following Mum and Dad today, a month earlier than last year. No photo as we had traffic behind us.

Update 22 August 2016: Two pairs of ducks now have babies. The first pair (those I saw last week) have about 10 babies, and the other nearby pair have about 6 (photo of that family below).


Here’s looking at you, kid

13 09 2015

Some neighbourhood cows (and a horse) decided I was interesting enough to stare at as I was walking by…







Memories of Canada…

13 09 2015

Some 30 years ago I lived in Canada for a year. One weekend a group of us went to some fresh produce markets in Ottawa (I think) where cut flowers were also sold. We were gobsmacked to see some plants we Australians considered to be noxious weeds or fodder plants being sold as ornamental flowers! Flowers such as lupins and arum lillies. In Australia, lupins are grown as a fallow crop to put nitrogen back into the soil, and as fodder for livestock. Arum lillies (known as calla lillies in North America) are a declared weed pest in Western Australia — all parts of the plant are dangerous to livestock.

So every spring when I walk past the arum lillies on my walk around the neighbourhood, I’m reminded of Canada and the $5 a stem they were charging for these noxious weeds!! (remember, this was 30 years ago, so who knows what a single stem sells for there now)




Baby quilt: Improv

7 09 2015

When I took out fabrics for the Kaffe Fasset baby quilt, I realised I had quite a few bits and pieces of solid colours in various fabrics (including some pink linen!) that matched each other. So, spurred on by the improvisational technique I used for my Challenge piece for 2015, I hunted out more, including small, awkward pieces from my stash boxes and started putting them together.

Much sewing, slashing, rejoining etc. later, and I had the improv blocks for this quilt. I added a border of the same aqua blue fabric from the Kaffe baby quilt, and a maroon and aqua binding. The backing fabric wasn’t quite big enough so I used a fat quarter (also slashed and rejoined) to join the backing fabric. Then I quilted it in an all-over spiral to counteract the geometric lines of the blocks, with a wave pattern in the border.

The end result is a small lap quilt, a large crib quilt, or a floor quilt for a baby to play on.

Click on a photo to view it larger)






Threads used:

  • Top thread: Robison-Anton ‘Mint Julep’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2310)
  • Bobbin: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound (white)

Baby quilt: Kaffe Fassett fabrics

7 09 2015

I received a bundle of 5″ charm squares as a gift (Kaffe Fasset fabrics from the Rowan Spring 2014 collection by Westminster). I’m not a fan of charm square packs as I never know what to do with them. So I laid these out and auditioned some fabrics as sashing strips, deciding on a clear aqua blue cotton I’ve had for decades. I used an offset arrangement, whereby I added sashing strips to only two adjoining sides of each charm square, then arranged them so they looked wonky.

I quilted this quilt with a square meander, and added a mixed fabric binding using offcuts from the aqua fabric and some coordinating maroon fabric (also from my decades-old stash). The backing was also fabric from my stash.

The end result is a small lap quilt, a large crib quilt, or a floor quilt for a baby to play on. And I’m no longer scared of charm packs 😉

(Click on a photo to view it larger)



Threads used:

  • Top thread: Robison-Anton ‘Mint Julep’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2310)
  • Bobbin: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound (white)

Community Quilt 227

7 09 2015

This was almost a whole-cloth quilt! I starting by stitching in the ditch around the lovely applique, then measured out an created a border with a quarter-inch echo around it, and another similar border further out. This framed the applique and gave me a defined area in which to quilt. I use McTavishing inside this fake border area and left the borders free of stitching.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)





Threads used:

  • Top: Rasant (40 wt, cotton, colour 0861) for the stitch in the ditch; Fil-Tec Glide ‘Cream’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 20001) for the McTavishing and the border lines
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)


Community Quilt 226

7 09 2015

Busy fabrics/prints/colours and busy pattern, so the only way to quilt it — in my opinion — was to use an all-over design in a rounded shape to soften the geometric nature of the quilt top.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)



Threads used:

  • Top: Robison-Anton ‘Raspberry’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2426)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (lead gray)