AGM and ‘Applique In’

Saturday 25th of Feb saw us all gathered in Melbourne for our annual AGM and a day of sewing, chatter and lots of fun. My goodness we have some talented members and some of the beautiful projects that were being worked on around the tables were stunning. It was a brilliant day and our thanks go out to all who attended and helped to make it such a fun occassion. There is nothing better than spending the day with a room full of happy, like minded people, sharing tips, ideas and the love of applique. Thanks also go to all the committee members for all their hard work and planning to make sure we had a great day and a special thank you to Irene Blanck as she leaves the committee after lots and lots of hard work and inspiration over the past few years...we are all sad to see you go but do hope we will still see you at lots of our gatherings. And not to forget thanks to our four fantastic and generous tutors, Margaret Mew, Veronique Diligent, Jo Lawrence and Ros Devine....four brilliant tutorials that really did prove 'you learn something new every day'. We had an amazing 'Show and Tell'.   We have a newsletter coming along soon with pics of the stunning quilts we saw on Saturday, but we couldn't resist just a little sneak peek here, from just a few of the dozens of talented members that brought their quilts along to share.  Keep your eyes out for our next newsletter for lots more pics of a really great day.   Read More


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Girls just wanna have fun.

There is no word sweeter to an appliqué lovers heart than "Retreat". There is so much to love about our quilting retreats and it is great to get together and compare notes, try new venues and talk about our old favourites. A few of us have been away on retreats this week and it us got us thinking about all the great places there are to escape too.   To start off, Just look at where our Membership Secretary and all time fabulous designer and teacher Irene Blanck from Focus on Quilts has if that doesn't look like heaven on earth we don't know what does. It looks tropical and warm and perfect for those in the colder states to enjoy a mid winter break... It is so easy to search for cheap airfares online now so is easier than ever for us to get together with our favourite group of hard core appliqué fans and spend a few days sewing in luxury. Another group has been enjoying the delights on offer at Millrose retreat this weekend and there is nowhere lovelier for total luxury. And as if luxury and beautiful interiors are not enough....Millrose retreat is right next door to Millrose fabric retreats don't get anymore temping than that. But it is not all fun and games and heading off on retreat does come with some hard decisions that we have to make....we would love to hear from you all about the places you love to go and your handy tips to make retreats fun. Do you like self catering venues or do you like to have your meals included....there is so much more time for sewing if all meals are prepared for us, but it is great fun to all get together and share some cooking and swap some recipes. And then there is wine o'clock...does happy hour start at 3.00pm or 5.00pm, or does the sound of champagne corks start at lunch time. Now we have to talk about packing the car...good grief.  Military logistics officers could learn a thing or two from a frenzied sewer packing for a retreat. Do Read More

Well we can’t talk Threads without talking Needles.

We has such a lovely chat last week about the threads we love to use.  A big thank you to lots of you for leaving comments on our blog post..the more the merrier, let's get chatting and get to know one another... We are still swapping stories about the threads we love but guess what....can't talk about threads without talking about that got us chatting around the sewing table again, sharing tips about our favourite needles. Maybe at your next sewing day there will be lots of needle swapping going on around your sewing tables as we try out each other's favourite needles. When a group of us first started talking about needles we were lucky enough to have a few real life appliqué superstars on hand to ask about the needles they most loved to use. We would like to thank Judy Newman for taking time away from her class to have a chat with us about what needles she uses. And thanks also to Irene Blank and Margaret Mew for taking time away from their latest projects to answer our questions.....what needles do you love to use and why? Judy Newman says she uses Jeana Kimball’s Redwork No. 9 needles for everything, from piecing to quilting. She likes them for quilting because they are long and she can load lots of stitches on them. She also doesn’t use the rocking method when quilting, but prefers to work the needle, gathering as many stitches as she can.  She uses perle cotton 8 or 12 for hand quilting. The Redwork No. 9 needles have a large eye and slim shaft – the large eye is good for threading perle cotton. Lots of people love these needles and they are chosen for their large eye alone, but once you try them they are not just easy to thread but really lovely to work with and they are not at all bendy. For English paper piecing she uses a Jeana Kimball Redwork No. 10. Irene Blank told us she uses Jeana Kimball No. 10 or 11 straw needles. She says that No. 10 is more sturdy – No. 11 is a bit bendy and soft so its difficult when trying to Read More

Thread…Thread…which Thread?

  When you get together with your friends or sewing group for a sewing day...well that is sewing, chat, coffee, tea and lots of you ever notice how many different types of threads are being used around the table...we all have our favourites, and once we find a thread that we love we seldom change. Do you also notice that if you ask your friends about why they use a preferred thread they always say it is the best appliqué thread they have ever used. Around our table the other day I think we covered nearly every type of thread available but now we are relying on you to tell us of any we missed or why you love the thread you use...maybe even convince us to try something new. We have two machine appliqué junkies in our group and they use two completely different types of machine appliqué methods and thread.  One machine fan in our group swears by invisible monofilament for a result that almost looks like needle turn...she uses two colours, smoke for darker colour fabrics and clear for lighter shades and she will always match her thread choice to the appliqué, never the background...not only does she handle the machine like a boss, but she makes it look easy... Read More