Monday 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Another year has flown by and as usual I look back and see what a busy year I have had. This year I taught on the cruise to New Zealand, recorded 3 episodes of the TV show Susan is Craft, I was the Coordinator of the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show and I also coordinated the Waverley Art Quilters Group and I kept up my duties as a quilt valuer with Victorian Quilters.

I taught quite a few classes on crazy quilting and machine quilting and was busy at home because I have my daughter and son in law living with us while they build their house and my two sons also still live at home. Running a household with 6 people and doing everything else made for a busy year.

I am not complaining, I have a wonderful life and the most exciting thing to happen was the birth of my first grandchild, Savannah. She is now 6 weeks old and is keeping everyone delighted but busy.

Savannah 6 weeks old

Thank you to the kind readers who have taken the time to comment on my blog, you have made my poor attempt at keeping up to date seem worthwhile.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and let's see what 2015 brings to us all!

Bye for now,

Thursday 18 December 2014


At the beginning of this year I looked around my house and decided that it needed a bit of updating. We built this house 21 years ago and that was before I started or had even heard of quilting.

Once quilting took over my life I hadn't given the house or decorating a second thought. It was time for a change.

I started with the family room which had been a salmon pink colour. We painted the walls a creamy white and gave away our lounge suite. When I ordered new furniture and curtains I had the bright idea of keeping everything a neutral palette and using colour for the accessories, that way I could change the colour when I wanted.

The funny thing is that after I had changed everything I realised that I had lived with the room the same way for 21 years and had never taken a photo of it. It was too late for a photo and I could only see snippets of the way the room had been by looking in the background of some family photos. The photo below looks a bit bare because I had already taken away the old accessories.

The old style room

When I first suggested the idea to my family they liked it but said that I would never be bothered changing it! That made me more determined.

For winter I went with a red theme and I picked up red things here and there that were mostly on special so it really didn't cost very much.

I especially loved how I could use my red quilts to decorate the walls for the first time. I really enjoyed the having a change.

Summer is here now in Australia and so it was time for a colour change and I packed away the red accessories and chose a cooler teal theme.

My quilt, Star Crazy that is behind where I sit and sew every night is not teal but I think I get away with the blue quilt.

We also repainted and got new blinds and bed covers for our bedroom and next year we plan to do the bathrooms and the kids bedrooms.

It didn't take much effort to make the change and it feels so much better.

Do you use your quilts for decorating?

Bye for now,

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Crazy Quilting with Silk Fabric

I am making a new crazy quilt and I am using silk fabric for the bases. Silk works well for crazy patchwork and gives a subtle glow to the blocks. When I use cotton fabrics I have no problem marking the occasional guidelines for the stitches using a blue water soluble marker or white chalk pencil depending on the colour of the block.

Base block using silk fabric

I cannot usually use markers on silk though because the silk seems to resist the marks and they don't show up or the silk seems to retain the mark after I have erased it.

In the past I have occasionally used a product called Tiger Tape, which is a masking tape with printed lines on it but I found that it had too many marks and was just confusing.

I had the bright idea to use some blue painters tape and mark lines a half an inch apart on one side and three quarters an inch on the other side. It worked really well and because I don't usually mark the stitches very often, the same piece of painters tape has lasted for months.

Stitch guide using painters tape
Here are some cute little birds I ended up putting on the block in the first photo.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Teaching 2015

I will not be teaching any classes in 2015 because of family commitments except for a few classes that are organised for term one.

On January 12th and 13th I am teaching Crazy Patchwork at the Embroiderer's Guild of Victoria's  Summer School. You do not have to be a member of the Guild to participate in the classes and there are a wide variety of subjects to be enjoyed. Here is the link to the Summer School classes.

I am also teaching a Beginners Machine Quilting Class at the Lyrebird Community Centre, Carrum Downs, Victoria on the 31st March. Please contact Cheryl Billing Smith on 9782 0133 or email

In the Beginners Machine Quilting class you will learn how to correctly baste your quilt and learn basic free motion quilting to finally get started on those quilt tops. Managing and quilting a  quilt on a domestic machine is possible and can be fun.

I am also teaching my Crazy Quilting Journal Cover for the Westernport Quilters on 3rd March 2015.

I am not planning on giving up teaching and my plans are that I will be back in full swing in 2016. Who knows, I might get a quilt finished next year!

Bye for now,