Archive for January, 2011

The Gidday Quilters Great Aussie Shop Hop

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Tour the great quilting shops of Australia

If you have already registered and looking for the hidden button here is a clue:
a place where you can find cakes, rolls and turnovers.

Happy searching and hoping!

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Tch, tch, tch, tch, tch.”

“What’s that, Skip? You’d like to go on a hopping tour of quilting shops across Australia? Well read on, coz one of your relatives has organized one and it’s just about to start.”

Okay, we can’t confirm that Ms Patch-de-Roo (pictured above) is actually related to the somewhat expressionless (but incredibly dexterous) Skippy, but it’s true she’s about to embark on an exciting virtual tour of quilting shops across the nation. And she wants you to come with her.

The Gidday Quilters’ Great Aussie Shop Hop kicks off (or rather, springs off) next week on 1 February and for the following three months you’re invited to visit the websites of each of the participating quilting stores. As you go, you’ll be filling in your travel card, checking out each shop’s quilting goodies and availing yourself of their bargains and specials. You’ll also be putting yourself in the running for some great quilting prizes.

Oh, and you have to find Ms Patch-de-Roo while you’re there. She’ll be hidden somewhere on the website of each store. It’s a bit like Where’s Wally?, but much cooler. And much more fun.

But what’s the point of all this exciting virtual activity? “It’s intended as a marketing idea we can all work together on to introduce (or re-introduce) Aussie quilters to our great Aussie stores – with a bit of fun thrown in,” explains Helen Stubbings from Hugs ‘n’ Kisses in Tasmania.

Helen is the brains, heart and soul behind the Great Aussie Shop Hop, doing all the work behind the scenes to make sure your journey is as much fun as possible. She’s brought together some great sponsors, almost 40 quilting shops from right across the continent and generally tied all the loose strings together into one fabulous package of quilting (and shopping) fun.

She’s also designed some truly Aussie stitcheries specially for the Shop Hop, adding her own personal touch to some great designs which you can download to create your very own Aussie quilt.

During the course of the journey, each of the participating quilting stores will have their turn in the spotlight (watch out for Blueberries on 12 and 13 February). You’ll meet the store owners, learn about some of their goodies on offer and also a bit of local facts about their own unique part of Australia. See, it’s educational as well as fun.

Registration is absolutely free, but you might want to set aside some kind of spending budget for yourself, just the same. We all know how addictive shopping for quilting stuff can be when it’s at just one store – let alone 38!

The Great Aussie Shop Hop combines our love of all things quilting and patchwork-related with our love of this wonderful broad, brown land. This is surely a pretty winning combination.

“Celebrate our unique and special traditions, enjoy our freedom and, of course, our great Aussie quilt shops,” says Helen.

Click here to learn more about the Great Aussie Shop Hop or to register.

Show and Tell

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Show us the item and tell us the story

Mary Elward’s two years of Insanity

What attracted you to this quilt?
I saw it in a magazine and I thought it was fun. It’s called ‘Insanity’. I liked the fact that it’s in small bite-sized hexagonal pieces, which meant I could make the hexagons at almost any time, like watching TV or travelling. It’s a very portable program.

Did you stick strictly to the pattern?

Yes, but I chose my own colours and put my own personality onto it. I went with green with a white spot to create the actual framework. In the original pattern it was pink with the white spot.

How long did it take to complete?

I worked on it for two years – a few hours each day. I just have to put a final flat border on it then it’s ready for the backing. It wouldn’t have taken nearly as long if my husband had helped me by learning how to cover the hexagonal papers instead of snoozing in the easy chair.

How long have you been quilting?

I’ve actually been interested in quilting since I did a course at Wyong TAFE about 23 years ago. I’ve made about ten quilts in that time, although I was working full-time for 15 of those 23 years, so that slowed productivity quite a bit.

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Pattern Princess

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

What’s hot in the House of Blueberries

Well my loyal subjects, it’s been a while since we last spoke but I’ve been busy scouting around for more gorgeous patterns.

Today we have ‘Flower Garden’, which is the latest offering from our Kim McLean pattern range. Once again, this pattern features some of the fabulous fabrics from Kaffe Fassett (whew, try saying that fast after a couple of gins and tonic).

This isn’t Kim’s most recent pattern but it’s Blueberries’ most recent addition to her range that we stock.

‘Flower Garden’ has 24 large scale flowers in the centre and a fun and surprising feature border. It’s a great pattern for anyone who loves traditional, floral-styled motifs.

Click here to order ‘Flower Garden’.

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Material Girl

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Jackie’s tips, hints, advice and info on products and fabrics

What: Flower Sugar 2 range

By: Japanese company Lecien

“In true lecian style this range contains large rose prints along with smaller coordinating florals and of course lots of dots and paisley.”

Jackie says:
Blueberries currently has thirteen of these high quality Japanese fabrics in stock. They’d be great for your next summer quilt with their fresh, bright, summery colours. They’d also look good for the retro kitchen as cushions, aprons, tea towels, etc.

Click here to view or order from the Flower Sugar 2 range.

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Show and Tell

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Show us the item and tell us the story

Kathryn Thorburn’s pillowcase adventure

What was your inspiration for these pillowcases?
Blueberries had a visiting tutor, Kellie Wulfsohn from Don’t Look Now. I did her two-day workshop and learnt how to do the free motion appliqué. The pattern we were given was Pretty in Pink, which is the florally pattern I’ve used on the larger pillowcase in the photo. The smaller one has a dump truck from Kellie’s Peak Hour pattern.

Why pillowcases?

They were easy-to-make Christmas prezzies for friends and family. I’ve learnt the value of spray baste (something else from Kellie’s workshop) which also made the job easier and quicker.

What techniques did you use?

It’s mainly free-motion, which for some reason I find comes fairly easy to me. Jackie thinks I’m crazy, because free-motion is supposed to be one of the more difficult techniques. And, like I said before, I spray basted before sewing the patterns on.

How long did it take you to complete them?

As I work part-time I couldn’t get to them every day. It took me about six months to complete twelve pillowcases, so that’s roughly a fortnight per pillowcase.

How long have you been sewing?

Not very long compared to some of the other ladies you speak to. Only about five years, which was when I bought my first machine.

What’s the next project?

One of Kellie’s quilts, called Meg’s garden. I’m about halfway there. I didn’t feel comfortable tackling a quilt until I’d done the pillowcases first.

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