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New Banner for Christmas..

I hope you like my Christmas banner, I have spent ages playing with the pictures and could probably go on forever but I have sewing to do! Anyhow I hope you like it? If you are still seeing the old banner try clicking on the refresh button...hopefully that will bring up the new picture for you.

PS. Hugo wanted to join in the fun but I think he picked the wrong hat!
Christmas hat Hugo

Reworking this pattern..

The Butterfly Collection as you can see it here was originally done in Civil War fabrics, the fabrics tied in beautifully with the same era that butterfly collections were made. I added the narrow log cabin strips to emulate the boxes that the pinned butterflies were put into. The pinwheel border somehow pull the whole quilt together.

Butterfly pattern

I have been wanting to remake this quilt in lighter, fresher fabric for a while now and the gorgeous Aviary fabrics from Moda are going to be just prefect.
Here are the squares cut ready to make the pinwheel blocks for the border, so pretty...
Buuterfly pinwheel
The strips ready for the narrow log cabins....
Butterfly strips
I am using the fusible web method of applique as I like the texture the blanket stitch gives to the finished item, although as you can see I havent done the blanket stitch yet as I am undecided what colour thread to use.
Butterfly block
I will show you more as the work progresses but I think its going to be stunning and the wonderful thing about this pattern is that you can make the quilt any size you want, it would look so pretty on a girls bed.
Happy stitching

Maine Coon in the blood and Circus tickets..

Look what came today, our tickets for Cirque Du Soleil, I had almost forgotten we had decided to go we booked it so long ago. About three years ago we went and I was amazed at the costumes and spell bound by the amazing performance and I am so excited that we are going this year. 

Circus tickets
Does Felix have Maine Coon blood in him?? Thats a good question, yesterday the lovely Marielle wrote to me suggesting that maybe one of his parents may have been a Maine Coon? Have a look here (second picture down)  and see if you dont think that Felix is more than a little similar, he has the typical Lynx-tip ears, fur between his huge feet, long whiskers, a very bushy tail and long fur on his body....Hmm and he has a very placid personality. I think Marielle may be right and in any case its fun thinking that he may be even more special than he already is.
Fluffy tail
You have to admit he looks very comfortable on the back of the chair! Although if he does have Maine coon blood in him then he wont fit on that chair for long as they can grow to 1m in length from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail (his tail is already longer than our other cats), he may eventually weigh up to 9kgs! guess I had better enjoy picking him up now while I can still lift him!
Let me know what you think and maybe you will be the lucky winner of one of these limited edition Hugo and Felix pins. I will have some for sale soon once I have set up my paymate account.
They are only about an inch big and are so cute, go on leave me a message.
bye for now

Felix buttons..

Thank you everyone for the wonderful messages that you have all left and really I think you all deserve to have a Felix button but I only have two to give away.
I tried to get Felix to come and help choose the lucky recipients of the Felix buttons but he was too comfortable on his chair! 

Cute Felix

So thanks to the random number generator... 

How weird is that, it chose two numbers one after the other! Ah, well maybe it was comfortable in its chair too! Ladies if you would like to email me with your postal address I will (probably without the help of Felix) get your button in the post to you.

Last night we invited my ma and pa over to share some food with us.
They had been to our local farmers market and come home with yummy bread, cheese, sausage, pate etc and we decided to cook prawn fitters using a recipe that we learnt to cook at The Spirit House cooking school last year or maybe it was the year before! 
It was such a lovely evening we ate outside and instead of cooking indoors we took our $10 gas camping stove out onto the table, it was such fun. do you like the lights up the palm trees? We think they look great.
Outdoor dinner
We had a fabulous bottle of wine, chosen because I liked the name and we like pinot gris....now we just need to remember where we bought it and hope they have some more as it was lovely. Hey ma if you are reading this, its to jog your memory to go and look for this label!
bye for now

Where did it all start?

One of the many questions I get asked is 'how did you get to be a designer?' Well, it all started along time ago, I was about 4 years old when I took my first few tentative stitches. One of my first early finished pieces of embroidery was a cross stitch place mat that was made when I was about 5-6 years old, it still graces our coffee table today (although now I take a good look at it, it needs a good wash!

Cross Stitch
One of these days I must collate all the photos and stories that I have to show and tell and perhaps I can come to your place and give a slide show and talk?
Today, if your interested to read more about my journey why not pop over and visit The Jolly Jabber for a bit more of my history, dont forget to leave them a message as I will be popping over to see what you thought. For those ladies who live in the US or for those of you who like to shop online you will be thrilled to hear that The Fat Quarter Shop is now stocking a range of my patterns.
bye for now, enjoy the reading!
PS. If you havent left a message on the post below for your chance to have a Felix button of your own there is still time. I will draw a couple of names from the hat on Monday.

Felix has his own button...

Felix now has his very own button and I think you will agree the button is just as cute as its namesake!

Felix Button
To get to a finished button takes a couple of months, first my friend Leanne May translates my drawings into a something the wood man can cut out, she plots where the engraving lines will go to give the effect we want. We discuss colours and possible markings for the button and then Leanne goes ahead and paints the prototypes, once we have selected the one we love best Mary then handpaints and finishes them all. If you pop over to Leannes blog you can see a picture of Mary at work.
I have also been playing with some ideas for another fabric bundle that I picked up at Quilt Market, this one is called Avery by Three Sisters and as you can see the first stitchery is almost completed, I just need to decide if its going to be part of a series or just a single design!

Felix stitchery

I hope you are all having fun today, I am...
PS. I will let you know once the buttons are available in quilt shops, wont be long BUT in the meantime for your chance to win one of these cute Felix buttons, leave me a message.

Australian Quilt Market...

What a wonderful weekend we had In Melbourne at the Australian Quilt Market, I just love catching up with everyone. Heres a picture (thanks Gail) of my things on display in the Creative Abundance booth, the girls did a great job of setting the display up, not an easy task to coordinate nine different designers samples in a 3 m booth!
2008 stand
Amy Butler and her husband David are here in Australia, we were lucky enough to get a seat in Amy's presentation on Saturday evening, where we were treated to some insights into where Amys inspiration comes from for her fabric lines. Of course I had to buy the book and Amy was kind and signed it for me.
With Amy Butler 2008 
The pictures in this book are just fabulous, Amy allows us a peek into her personal spaces, she has three gorgeous kitty cats who are very much a part of their family, a snapshot of where her design inspiration comes from and how it gets to be on fabric. I also managed to twist the fabric guys who distribute her fabrics here in Australia to let me have a small sample of her latest fabrics. They are not the colours that I traditionally work with but they will be perfect to make a quick quilt for the beach house.

Amy Butler

We flew back into Brisbane on Sunday night having just missed one of the worst storms in the area for 20 years, the storm has left a path of destruction and about 30,000 homes without electricity, many with severe damage. Its still raining hard today but I imagine the wonderful clean up crews are hard at work.
By contrast all that I have managed to do today, besides catching up on the washing is clean up after these two....
Toilet roll trouble1
I have never seen such finely shredded toilet paper, the floor was covered in it and then they moved onto the bed! Now they have a taste for toilet roll fun I think I may need to keep the bathroom door shut! 
PS. Does anyone know of a good home for a lovely well mannered dog and his kitten friend? Only joking, we love them the way they are.... I think....well, maybe when I have finished picking up all the tiny bits of toilet paper up from everywhere I may need to reconsider that statement!

Hugo and Felix...

Poor little beetle, Hugo thought it would be fun to catch it but I dont think he liked the way it tickled his whiskers!


After beetle hunting the inseparable pair decided they should choose a book for bedtime reading, they couldnt agree what to read and so decided to play hide and seek instead.
Reading which book?
Eventually I got them to bed...
Sofa love
Today is haircut day as tomorrow morning, at the crack of dawn we are heading to brisbane to catch a plane at 6am to Melbourne for the Australian Quilt Market. What was I thinking, to catch a plane at 6am certainly means we will be in Melbourne around 10am but it means leaving home at 4am....EUK! Ah, well its done now and I love this weekend as I get to catch up with store owners around Australia whom I really only get to see once or twice a year. Its a fun time too as a big group of us will hopefully go out for dinner together and swap news.
I hope that your friday is going to be good.

The Quilt In...

Sunday morning found us in Melbourne, helping to set up the room for 150 very excited ladies who have all been eagerly awaiting 'The Quilt In'. Here you can see Marilyn, owner of The Patchwork Teahouse in Warbuton giving instructions for the display set up!

Getting ready

Marilyn and I pause for a moment before the crowd arrives!
Marilyn and Lynette
Everyones busy stitching chattering.... 
The day begins
I had some gorgeous pens printed with my blog address and logo to give out to each lady attending.
Giving out pens
Catching up with friends is one of the lovely things about my job, here I am with Joy whom I had not seen for almost 5 years, which was when I last taught a few workshops at various stores in this area. I really should do this more often!
Lynette and Joy
I met Liz from Teddlywinks. Liz designs the most gorgeous quilts, all with the theme of teddy bears
Liz and Lynette
We had afternoon tea...
Afternoon tea
We had some show and tell, there was a superb variety of quilts and amongst them was this.....
Friends For christmas
and this. This is 'Rainforest' a quilt I designed a few years ago just as a workshop quilt, Annemarie has done a lovely job of hers.
Anne Marie's Rainforest 1
There was time to smell the roses......sigh.....
Smell the rose
There was also time at the end of the day for a quick visit to The Patchwork Teahouse, where I did manage to do a bit of shopping and had a much needed cuppa.
Patchwork Teahouse1
Time also for a couple more photos..
Photo shoot
Happy group
Thank you ladies for a wonderful day and I look forward to visiting you all again sometime in the future,

Teaching and Ark block....

This morning I am off to Melbourne where I have been invited to do a trunk show at The Patchwork Teahouse. Marilyn and I have been friends for many years and I am looking forward to catching up on all the news, the area where they live and have their store is so beautiful. marilyn is offering my BOM A Kittens Tale as a monthly program through her shop and I hear many of the ladies are looking forward to seeing my original quilt.

This is what you have all been waiting for.....the next pair of animals for the free Noah's Ark BOM. Mr and Mrs Penguin, inspired by the fairy penguins that we saw when we were on our holiday in Tasmania last year...so cute! The downloadable file is in the 'other pages' section in the left hand column of my blog.
Thank you to so many of you who have written to say just how much you are enjoying the blocks and that you eagerly await each new months pattern. I guess I had better start thinking what wonderful new thing I can think for you all to join in with when this has finished! I have a couple of ideas already which I know you are going to love.
bye for now