Archive for March, 2011

EQ7 for Beginners

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011


Anne Sommerlad’s popular EQ7 classes come with a special warning, straight from the lips of Anne herself:

“Once you see what the program does, it’s so exciting and addictive that you could become a ‘virtual’ quilter, never taking your ideas beyond the laptop.”

And of course, the whole point of the EQ7 program is to do just that – take your ideas from the computer to the sewing machine, so Anne’s tip is certainly worth bearing in mind when you’re doing the class.

The EQ7 program may look a bit complex and daunting but it’s incredibly easy to use once you get the hang of it. “The class is designed to show people how they can actually utilize the program to get results,” Anne explains. “You don’t need any particular tech expertise. All you need is to have the program loaded into your laptop.”

We can provide a laptop for a limited few on the day, please email [email protected] if you would like us to provide a laptop for you.

The success of the classes lies in the fact that it’s always a more effective way to learn something by having someone show you what to do instead of having to wade through an instruction manual. This is especially true of creative people. “The “ooh” and “aah” factor once people begin to see what the program can do is immensely gratifying,” says Anne. “People just love exploring the potential of the program, all the icons and features.”

The other thing about the EQ7 program is its incredible versatility. It’s good for a simple nine patch quilt, as well as something of incredible complexity, such as recreating the Elizabeth Jefferson Coverlet.

Upcoming EQ7 Beginners classes are on 9 April and 1 July. Click here to register.

To purchase EQ7 click here or to purchase the EQ7 upgrade click here.

Click here to find out about the EQ7 Advanced class.

Staff Profile

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The stories behind the faces behind the counter

Name: Emily Lamplough

How did you start working at Blueberries?

I was sick of my regular job so I sent Jackie an email explaining how I love sewing. Then about a week later when I was in the shop, she asked if I was Emily and offered me a job interview.

How often do you work?

I’ve been working there for about a month now, just on Saturdays, and possibly Thursday nights as well when night classes are on.

What do you enjoy most about working at Blueberries?

It’s such a great environment to be working in. It’s so clean and organised and relaxed. It’s a great job because you’re busy all the time but the work is so interesting, the busyness doesn’t matter. It’s fun.

How long have you been a sewer?

I was bitten by the sewing bug when I was about seven and haven’t stopped since (I’m 16 now). Grandma bought me a sewing machine for my 15th birthday so I’ve been doing even more sewing than ever. At school I managed to top the year in the final report of textiles. I love making my own clothes and stuff like that.


Big ‘n’ Bizarre

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A road trip of Australia’s fiberglass monuments

The Big Wine Bottle

This 7m high bottle of Tyrrell’s Long Flat Red has certainly seen better days and comes with an extremely potted and hazy past. This is pretty much how you’d feel yourself if you ever attempted to drink 850 litres of a smooth and nutty red wine in a single night in front of the telly, so it’s a strangely fitting connection.

But the mysteries surrounding its existence and career are very real. For a start, the Big Wine Bottle is nowhere near the Tyrrell’s winery in the Hunter Valley, but located in the grounds of the Mangrove Country Club on the NSW Central Coast, about 80kms away. But even more bizarrely, it first arrived under mysterious circumstances, appearing literally overnight as the result of an April Fool’s Day prank in 1974.

Back in those days, the Bottle bore a Penfold’s label and at the time of its unscheduled relocation had been lying forlornly in a paddock, ignored and unnoticed, after a brief career as a billboard for Penfold’s. Then, in the early hours of 1 April, a group of inebriated locals thought it’d be hilarious to move the Bottle to a new location in the grounds of the Mangrove Country Club. This would’ve been quite a feat, considering the Bottle’s 7m x 1.5m dimensions and considerable weight. Like the mysterious stone statues on Easter Island, no-one knows exactly how the bottle was moved or even who was responsible as no-one ever owned up to the prank.

In the morning, when country club staff discovered the bottle, instead of being annoyed and inconvenienced, they decided to give it a permanent home. They gave it a good once over with some Spray and Wipe, replaced the tatty Penfold’s label with a brand new Tyrrell’s label and erected the new look Bottle in a commanding position at the club’s entrance, where it’s stood ever since.

Unfortunately, the club was handed over to administrators in September 2010 and at the time of writing, appears to have ceased trading altogether. The big question is, of course, what will become of the bottle? Tyrrell’s don’t want it, as they sold their Long Flat Red label to Cheviot Bridge in 2003. Country club staff have suggested using the bottle as their new clubhouse, but this was never a viable option, considering there’d only be room inside for one pokie.

However, all is not lost. It’s April Fool’s Day again this Friday, and there’s always a chance that a group of mischievious locals wil once again go on a nocturnal adventure. Who knows where the Big Wine Bottle could end up on Saturday morning?


The Autumn Flower and Quilt Festival

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

St James Anglican Parish of Wyong, 27 Byron Street Opening 7pm Friday 1st April and 9:30am to 4pm Saturday 2nd April.
$5 entry includes Devonshire Tea with light lunches available.


Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Now available instore and online.

Jelly Rolls Layer Cakes and by meterage…click here to buy now.


Just Wing It

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Now available instore and online.

Charm Packs and Layer Cakes click here to buy now.


Pom Pom de Paris

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Now available instore and online.
Charm Packs
Jelly Rolls
Layer Cakes
and by meterage…click here to buy now.


Pattern Princess

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

What’s hot in the House of Blueberries


Well, my loyal subjects, I have a real treat for you this week. It’s the Cuddle Blanket, specially designed for Blueberries by the versatile Susan Carr.

No matter how many years ago it may have been, we all seem to retain a deep, almost primal memory of the special blankie we had when we were two years old (okay, thirty-two).

Kits are available in various colours for only $40.00 and contain all requirements and pattern to make your very own Cuddle Blanket for that someone special.  Click here to order your kit.   The cuddle cloth (a soft and sumptuous downy fabric) is available to also purchase by the metre in various colours.  Click here to view.  You can also order the Cuddle Blanket pattern as a downloadable pdf version for just $8.00, or if you still prefer a hard copy just click here and we will mail you a copy

The instructions are very easy to follow and are accompanied by colour photos.  I made one myself over the weekend and it was a very easy project, and one that was very gratefully received.  In short, it’s an ideal project for a beginner or if you need to whip up a little gift in a short space of time. Perfect for that baby shower the day after tomorrow.

By the way, there’s actually a real name for a special blankie. It’s officially called a snookie. Your challenge now is to use the word “snookie” in a sentence before the end of the day.

Big ‘n’ Bizarre

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

A road trip of Australia’s fiberglass monuments

The Big Mosquito

Introducing what must be, without a doubt, Australia’s weirdest Big Thing of all. And the creepiest.

The Big Mosquito resides in the marshy, stagnant suburb of Hexham, in the far northwestern outskirts of Newcastle. This neighbourhood isn’t exactly brimming with possibilities for Big Things, but local residents haven’t let that get in the way of their quest for fiberglass fame. They’ve drawn inspiration from the fact that Hexham proudly boasts the biggest, meanest, most ferocious mosquitoes in the country, the Hexham Greys. This normally wouldn’t be the most compelling sales pitch for local tourism, but as you can see, they’ve taken a different approach, turning an undesirable feature into a selling point.

The Big Mosquito (or Ozzie the Mozzie, as it’s more affectionately known) was designed and built locally at an initial cost of $17,200. He was officially “dedicated” in March 1994 by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle at a moving ceremony in the Hexham Bowling Club car park.

In the 17 years since, Ozzie has only been off duty twice, when he’s been taken down for necessary maintenance and repair work. In 2004 he suffered the indignity of having his “unbreakable” polycarbonate wings snapped off by strong westerly winds. Additionally, his continued exposure to the harsh Newcastle sun has resulted in extensive discolouration of his fiberglass body. This is in spite of being regularly coated with 30+ sunscreen twice a week by faithful Bowling Club staff using a large soft-bristled broom. (Actually, that bit might just be a myth, but the images it brings to mind are too good to ignore).

In spite of the fact that Ozzie looks like a giant prop from a cheesy 1950s sci fi flick, many Newcastle residents have formed a strong affection for him. So strong, in fact, that when he was dismantled to have his wings fixed, the Bowling Club received so many concerned phone calls that The Newcastle Herald had to run an item explaining that Ozzie was having a facelift (or rather, winglift) and that he’d be back within weeks.

However, the winglift actually ended up creating some dramas of its own, stretching from three weeks to three months and costing almost as much as Ozzie’s initial construction. The dismantling of Ozzie also managed to black out out all of Hexham plus surrounding suburbs (including the giant Oak factory up the road) when some overhead cables got in the way.

But these vexing local trifles were obviously a small price to pay for the ongoing glory of being home to one of Australia’s most unusual Big Things. There have even been rumours abounding lately of Ozzie being rebuilt twice the size and with a terrified woman clutched helplessly between his huge prongs, but this may just be another urban myth.



Material Girl

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

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


Moda owner Mark Dunn may not make quilts, but he certainly appreciates them. Twice yearly he selects an antique quilt from this substantial collection and reproduces its fabrics for his Howard Marcus lines. The proceeds from these fabrics, known as “Collections for a Cause” benefit charities that touch Moda customers and employees, including support for breast cancer, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more.

Inspiration for this beautiful range entitled “Faith” is from an 1840 – 1860 quilt that was found in Massachusetts. The gorgeous brown and pink tones make it a dead set winner, especially for a lovely autumnal mood. This range is already selling fast, so don’t miss out!

Click here to order “Faith”.


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