Archive for April, 2012

Morris Meadows Fat Quarter Pack

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

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After many requests, we have now cut a fat quarter bundle of the Morris Meadows by Michelle Hill range of fabrics.

The pack includes 32 fat quarters.  One of each of the fabrics in the range excluding the three border prints.

Limited bundles have been cut and are now available to purchase from our store or click here to purchase online.

Sew ‘n’ Sews Part 1

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

A brief and roughly stitched together history of the people who invented the sewing machine

Thomas Saint – Big on words, small on action

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This London cabinet-maker holds the distinction of being the very first person ever to take out a patent on a ‘sewing machine’.

Very little is known about him, except that his machine, which he patented in 1790, was intended to be used mainly on leather and canvas with a notched needle and awl for a chain stitch.

Saint was obviously more of an ideas man than an action man, as he never got around to actually building a prototype for his invention.

The other thing working against him was the title he gave his patent – “An Entirely New Method of Making and Completing Shoes, Boots, Splatterdashes, Clogs, and Other Articles, by Means of Tools and Machines also Invented by Me for that Purpose, and of Certain Compositions of the Nature of Japan or Varnish, which will be Very Advantageous in Many Useful  Appliances”.

Understandably confused staff at the patent office incorrectly filed the patent under “Glues & Varnishes” where it languished, unnoticed for another 83 years.

Part 2 – the quest jumps the channel to France…

Peak Hour

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

We have just received Kellie Wulfsohn’s first fabric release “Peak Hour”. Based on her very popular pattern by the same name Kellie has designed this gorgeous little boy fabric which includes Australian road signs and even a newspaper print featuring classifieds for cars and trucks for sale in the suburbs of Victoria. “Go! Kellie”

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Click here to purchase your very own piece of history.

Quilt a Gift for Little Ones

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

22 heart-felt projects quilt-a-girf-for-little-ones

In this book you will find a collection of items perfect for the new baby’s arrival. The projects designed for the little ones are suitable for a variety skill levels, from beginner through to advanced. These beautiful gifts include bottle wraps, cutie booties, flower cot quilt, nappy stacker, memories board, rocking horse quilt, play blocks and many more cute projects.

While this book is bundled for a baby, you will also receive tips for embroidery stitches, techniques for fabric and wool felt applique. There is plenty of help to assist your sewing and expand your capabilities while creating sweet treasured gifts for the little one.

Available from our store or click here to purchase your copy online.

Master your Bernina 440 with Deborah Louie

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Due to popular demand we will be holding another class on Mastering your Bernina 440.bernina-440-title200

We will address all of the features of this great 440 Bernina sewing machine that a quilter will need. Looking at the walking foot, BSR free motion foot, threading tensions, care of machine, appliqué and decorative stitching.

This class will be held on Friday 18 May.

Click here for more details or to book a spot now.

Big ‘n’ Bizarre

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A road trip of Australia’s fibreglass monuments

The Big Appleapple200

It seems a bit of an anticlimax to finish our epic road tour of concrete and fibreglass with a Big Thing we’ve already seen several different versions of – but there you have it… life’s messy. Introducing our very last Big Thing: the Big Apple in the southern Queensland town of Thulimbah. We’ve virtually come full circle. We’re now only a three-hour drive to Byron Bay in NSW, where our journey first began many moons ago with the Big Avocado.

As well as being one of several Big Apples in Australia, this particular Big Apple has had several different lives, been painted in different colours and lived in different towns. It’s also constantly being confused with that other “Big Apple” on the other side of the world – the City That Never Sleeps. If there was ever a Big Thing that was a prime candidate for an identity crisis, this was it.

First constructed in 1978, the Big Apple is made of steel and fibreglass and is 4m tall with a 4.5m diameter. It was originally a bright shiny green Granny Smith, and lived outside the local servo in the town of Stanthorpe, about 20 minutes down the road from Thulimbah. When the site was developed in 2003, the Apple took a redundancy package and a temporary retirement, reappearing not long afterwards as a dark red Royal Gala, in Thulimbah. This move also pushed up the Apple’s socio-economic rating as its new position was promoting a business called Vincenzo’s – an upmarket deli/wine/gift shop showcasing the region’s produce. A far cry from being outside a BP servo.

Meanwhile, it seems that the town of Stanthorpe has never quite gotten over the loss of its very own Big Thing. Ever since the Big Apple relocated, Stanthorpe’s local Chamber of Commerce has been talking about installing a Big Thermometer, to celebrate the fact that the town is officially Queensland’s coldest place. In June 2011, Southern Downs Regional Council invited local artists to submit designs for its “iconic Climatic Art Piece”.

It seems that there’s almost no place in our wide brown land that can resist the prospect of having its very own resident Big Thing. And there’s almost no limit to the lengths (or logic) to which they’ll go to realise their fibreglass dreams.

Fairholme Quilters Quilt Show 2012

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

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From Friday 20th through to Sunday 22nd April the talented sewers of Fairholme Quilters  will be holding their annual show at Thornleigh Community Centre, Phyllis Avenue, Thornleigh.

You are invited to attend and have a good old fashioned sticky-beak!

The show features an exhibition of members’ quilts, 2 raffle quilts,  a ‘hand made’ craft stall, and market stalls. And, yep! Jackie’ll be there!

Delicious refreshments will be available including coffee, tea, sandwiches,and slices.

For more information click here.

Big ‘n’ Bizarre

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

A road trip of Australia’s fiberglass monuments

The Big Redback Spiderredback-spider

If there’s one thing Aussies fear more than boats full of traumatized refugees, it’s spiders. And the infamous redback reigns supreme as Australia’s king of eight legs. Imagine then, how terrifying people must find this week’s Big Thing, an enormous fibreglass arachnid perched on top of an old outdoor dunny, attempting to devour it.

This charmingly Australian (and deeply disturbing) tableau can be found in the suburb of Eight Mile Plains, in Brisbane’s south. Yes, that’s right, folks – we’ve finally hit Bris Vegas, which means we’re coming very close to the point at which out road trip began.

But back to this week’s fiberglass guest of honour. In Slim Newton’s famous 1962 song, the redback was on the toilet seat, but this one is considerably more ambitious than that. No doubt her impressive 3m x 3m dimensions have certainly helped, allowing her to virtually encase the entire outhouse, making it look like breakfast. For sheer dramatic effect and creep value, this Big Thing often makes it onto the ‘Best Big Things in Australia’ lists that the internet is awash with. It’s certainly more memorable than a banana or an orange.

It therefore seems amazing that no-one knows for sure who originally created the Big Redback Spider or, even more intriguingly, why. She first appeared in 1996, almost overnight and has since become a local icon. In 2003 she was relocated a couple of metres due to widening of the adjacent South East Freeway. These days she’s missing one of her legs and has rust on her fangs, but she’s still as eye-catching as ever, so it hardly seems to matter.

There’s no doubt that this Big Thing conjures up images from those cheesy B-grade horror/drama flicks from the ‘70s. You know the drill – a colony of mutant spiders turned enormous from radioactive waste… a hapless group of second-rate actors trapped in a nearby resort with nothing but their wits to survive being eaten … one of the gusts slips outside to use the toilet and suddenly come the screams… and the horrified hand-wringing, head-clutching and bad acting of the survivors as they realize another one of their number has been eaten…

It really does write itself, doesn’t it?

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