#thisweekiam :: 27/52/15

Going Slow :: for all the things. The children are on school holidays and I’m enjoying their company and PJ days so a few deadlines have come and gone and I’ve had to let go of being on time for two weeks. It’s so nice to have these foggy winter days with the fire on and no excuse to leave the house. Except for necessities, like chocolate for the brownies…IMG_2103

Eating :: Chocolate Brownies with Sour Cherries (200gms dark chocolate, 200gms butter, 1tsp vanilla, 1 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup plain flour, 3/4 cup sour cherries – prunes work just as well). Melt chocolate, butter, sugar and vanilla in glass bowl over pot of simmering water, cool. Whisk in the eggs then add flour and cherries. Pour into lined square cake tin, bake at 180C for around 20mins – be sure to remove from oven while still fudgy, do not be tempted to overcook).


Making :: quilts with the girls, they each have such a strong sense of what they want to make and how to do it, I’m again finding myself having to turn a blind eye and walk away so their expression is true to themselves. And, of course, my Panegyric Quilt which seems to be taking over my mental space – every time I sit still anywhere, I can’t stop stitching this one.

Working :: on a new quilt design for a class in Brisbane in late August – this is one of the aforementioned deadlines. I’m feeling super anxious about getting a class sample to the store so this will be priority one the day school goes back, hopefully it won’t take too long (insert raised eyebrow here!).

Researching :: places to visit in California, Arizona and New Mexico!

IMG_2106Do you have suggestions? Where to go? What to see? Where to stay for a family of five? We aren’t really the planning kind of travellers but more the kind who have a list of things we’d like to do which is flexible enough to accommodate discoveries along the way – I’m looking for suggestions of things we simply MUST see (like Yosemite, San Francisco, the Grand Canyon, etc.).

There’s lots more but I’m often so caught up in the moment of whatever it is I’m doing that I forget to capture it in an image! Mental note to self – take more photos.


#panegyricquilt :: a tribute to inspiration

A while ago, I had an idea that I’d like to make a quilt for our bed. Nothing unusual about that right?

Except that our bed is King Size. What exactly is the issue here, you see no problem with making king sized quilt? Neither did I.

Until… I decided that I’m going to piece and quilt a king sized quilt by hand. Yes. All. By. Hand.

For a while I’ve been longing for a handwork project to stitch while I wait for the girls at activities and appointments, to take with me while travelling, something to have that I can do while on the go. I’ve made a few English Paper Pieced items but I’ve never caught the hexie bug quite like the rest of the quilting world seems to have. So, in a moment of lunacy (otherwise known as cabin fever from being bed-bound while having pneumonia), I decided it was as good a time as any to begin. Here is the story behind the project (and it’s completely ridiculous name).


For a really long time I’ve been wanting to make a quilt that reflects my beginnings in this craft. When I first started quilting, the perfectionist in me found it so very hard to ever finish a project as I was never at all happy with my finish. My dear friend Mrs Jones*, who makes exquisite quilts and is a dressmaker with impeccable attention to detail**, introduced me to the work of Denyse Schmidt and Gwen Marston.

Through this seemingly simple act of mentioning the names of two quilters she had been reading about, Mrs Jones activated a passion and drive in me that would determine the future course of my life – that’s not an exaggeration! If she had not been so generous with her support, sharing and most importantly, her insistence that I persist, I would not be doing what I do. I would not be pursuing the career path I now find myself following.

It was through the discovery of these two artists that my whole perspective on quilting changed. I found people who made the quilts I wanted to make and never thought were possible (at least, not allowed). I found the permission I needed to take this thing I loved to do and follow my instinct, to make what I love to make without the anguish about what others would think of my work.

I found joy in my making.

While she could never have know it at the time, the sharing of those names activated an enthusiasm in me that I’ve never been able to curb, and nor do I wish to! Her encouragement was inspiring in and of itself but to discover the work of these two artists, well, you’re a quilter, you know what it is to discover the work you identify with.

This quilt has become somewhat of a tribute to this trio who have heavily influenced the path I am taking – although I imagine none of them would realise it, the impact of the inspiration I have found through them is significant, so the Panegyric Quilt*** willed itself into existence, it needs to be made.

When I think about making a quilt that is a reflection of where I began, it is with these three women in mind. And so it is that I have begun what I would normally and rationally think of as a preposterous idea. I want to hand piece (tribute to Mrs Jones), using only solids (tribute to Gwen) and completely improvise the piecing (tribute to Denyse). And you know what? I’m really enjoying it. Much more than I’d have thought possible even a few months ago. Timing really is everything!

The quilt requires nothing more than the most rudimentary supplies. With fabric, scissors, needle and thread, I can go anywhere. My supplies are all in a handy box so wherever it is that I happen to rest for a few minutes, I can stitch. The biggest surprise is that it’s therapeutic like I never thought it could be. It’s relaxing and the tactility of handling so much of this quilt is something I’m relishing. With each stitch, I am capturing the emotion of the moment. Joy, fear, anger, humour, sadness, grief, satisfaction, anticipation, excitement… Each stitch with care and love. Each stitch with consciousness and clarity.

This will not be a fast project. It’s unlikely I will finish it this year however it is happening. Small pieces, one stitch at a time.


*Not her actual name but as I’ve just been overtaken by the need to write about this quilt I’m going with the pseudonym of Mrs Jones because I don’t have permission to use her name.

** Side Story :: I know that Mrs Jones is a dressmaker with impeccable attention to detail because she made my wedding dress for me. At that time, she had two young daughters – this is a feat I now appreciate more than I ever could have when I was without children of my own. Mrs Jones, thank you.

*** Thanks to :: Panegyric (noun) : 1. A lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing; 2. formal or elaborate praise. So the title of the quilt doesn’t entirely grab me but for now, I’m going with it. Maybe you have something else I could call it… a name for a tribute to a trio?

#thisweekiam :: 26/52/15


Anticipating :: School Holidays!!! The Winter break is probably my favourite in terms of relaxation – sure summer holidays are long and relaxing too but the cold weather gives us permission to have jammie days where we don’t have to leave the house for anything! This holidays, I’m going to make us all some new flannelette jammie pants just so we have to lounge around and wear them! (Four pairs of Anna Maria Horner Flannel and a pair for the Mr in a cotton plaid from ModernQuiltStudio).

Celebrating :: participants in my classes who give themselves over to the process and place their trust in me to help them free up their creativity.

Wishing :: I’d taken photos of their efforts!

Procrasticraft-15-06-23-05Thanking :: a gorgeous, kind and generous friend and her equally lovely family for hosting me. Their hospitality has been such a gift. Also for organising drinks with the outrageous Vee! Such fun hanging out with those two over the weekend – although some topics of conversation have left mental imprints I could do without!

Procrasticraft-15-06-23-06Sewing :: with the smallest of my smalls, those little hands kill me with the cuteness! She’s only three but she loves nothing more than sitting on my lap and guiding fabric under the needle.

Eating :: Brisket – I change the recipe around each time I cook it as not all the ingredients are readily available here and I’m not very good at following recipes (a bit like sewing patterns, or any instructions really) but oh my this is sooooooo good!

Reading :: aside from the airplane magazine… nothing at all… must remedy that, I need a good novel recommendation???

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