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Christmas Family Traditions

Christmas time is filled with many different family traditions, ours are very simple… but…, this Christmas my daughter Kimberley decided to start a new ‘tradition’. We have talked often about making a Gingerbread House and this year the time was right. Isn’t it beautiful! The gingerbread was made and cut to shape, lots of lollies were attached and a few more consumed during construction. Look there are even gingerbread men, red(?) snowmen (we forgot the marshmallows!), mini christmas ‘bushes’ (the supermarket was all out of mint leaves) and soft snow on the roof. Kimberley had a lot of fun making the house while I watched on busily finishing the binding on a quilt for my brother-in-law for Christmas. 

Since I was a small girl my family have had a bit of a Boxing Day Tradition. Santa would bring my sister and me a ‘creative’ gift like a new jigsaw puzzle or craft pack or ‘doing thing’. We would amuse ourselves with these activities while Dad sat and watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race or the Boxing Day test match, and mum would have some time for herself. I have continued this practice over the years to start a new project, dressmaking as a teenager, joining new Lego pieces together as a mum, encouraging my children to start something new too! These days the theme is usually start a new quilt! Last year it was Mrs Billings, the design plans had been in place for a while and the fabric selected, but, the serious stitching started between Christmas and New Year. This year I have had a few important things to finish first… 2 overdue wedding quilts and one for my brother-in-law for Christmas. 

They are now all DONE… so… what do I start next! I have headed back to Kings Crown and drawn a design for the centre applique. I treated myself to some lovely threads awhile ago and have now found a use for them. The day has been spent quietly stitching, watching the cricket and planning the next major project for the year in my head. (I must get that down on paper soon!)

Oh no, while I wasn’t looking a little mouse has come along and nibbled at the roof of our Gingerbread House…mmmmm. It’s a shame they can’t last for ever, I do think this will definitely be a new tradition for our family.

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and restful Boxing Day. Did you get a chance to start a new project too!

Until next time,


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Summer School class samples

The class samples for Summer School are in the shop now. Here is a quick look at whats on offer this January 2012! Oh that sounds so strange… where has 2011 gone to! The classes are filling fast so don’t forget to look at the class list and give us a call if your interested.

‘Kings Crown’ class… this quilt is moving along quite nicely, except for the group Christmas festivities that keep getting in the way of my stitching!

‘Kings Crown’ – this is the centre block…still a few more stars to go, then they will be appliqued onto a large square.
There are a number of these pieced blocks surrounding the stars in the centre. 

‘Nearly Insane’, what was Salinda Rupp thinking when she made this quilt in 1870’s Pennsylvania? I know some of you have begun this gorgeous quilt, maybe you would like to continue, or would you like to start? We have copies of this book for sale if you can’t make it to a class.

Gail Pan has created this lovely wall hanging for a class at Somerset. Perfect for beginners or advanced applique lovers alike. The project has lots of basic applique shapes to learn and/or perfect.

This is Linda Bears ‘Carpenters Square’. A large 40″ machine pieced block x four, creates a very interesting two colour finished quilt. The fabrics appear to interlace with each other.

‘George Town Circle’ with Michelle Yeo. Michelle will show you how to foundation piece this large circular block or you can piece this one by hand.

The ‘Friday Sewing Girls’ had a break-up Christmas luncheon last week too. Even Santa came for a visit! There was lots and lots of lovely yummy food. I think this was the last of the celebrations for now. Mmmm Jan’s Meringue Roll was absolutely delicious!

Until next time,

When in doubt, wear red shoes!

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WOW!!! Look what arrived this week!

Wow! The John Hewson panels arrived this week. There are birds, birds and more birds, butterflies of many sizes, the large central ‘Floral Urn’ panel and two borders, one large and one small. These panels and prints are beautifully recreated and are very close to the original colourings. To see the complete John Hewson range visit the Somerset Patchwork website.   

And as promised…what did I do with those fabrics? Here is the start to a quilt that was originally made by Susan Lorinda Brigham (Munroe) Shepherd in 1850. She had named her pieced quilt ‘King David’s Crown’. These tiny stars are only 3 inches in size!

After making the stars they are set into an interesting circle. It constantly amazes me how these women from our past could think up these intricate designs and transform them into the wonderful quilt tops we know today without the use of modern tools and just a little basic math knowledge! I admire their perseverance to get these quilts to work and sit flat! This circle of stars forms the central design and is surrounded by pieced ‘Kings Crown’ blocks. Keep watching…

This week I will be collecting lots of photos of the class samples for our January 2012 Summer School, and will post them as they become available. 

Until next time,

When in doubt wear, red shoes!

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Christmas Festivities have started at Somerset Patchwork!

This week Christmas arrived early at Somerset. There has been a party nearly everyday!  Linda Bear’s Wednesday morning girls had a ‘Mad Hatters Christmas’ party with all of them wearing stunning headgear creations for lunch. There was even a glass or two of sparkling…mmm…something with strawberries and little umbrellas for special effect. Plenty of food was consumed to diffuse the bubbles.

Linda on the right with her ‘Wednesday girls’

Kim Bastiani’s Monday group, played ladies and had a sit down meal at the end of their class, there was even a place set for me! Thank you Anne and Jackie for making our delicious lunch. 

Please note the fine china and perfect cutlery…lunch in style!
One of Anne’s specialities…homemade strawberry sponge and cream…yummmmmm
Since finishing Mrs Billings I have had a bit of a creative dry spell, but I think the drought has finally broken. While playing with fabric the other day I came across this colour combination. A selection I have never worked in before. The books came out and the drawing started and now I have begun to stitch. There will be lots more photos to follow soon.

Until next time,

When in doubt, wear red shoes!

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Mrs Billings x 2

Jenny from NSW came for a visit to the shop this week and brought along her beautiful version of Mrs Billings for show and tell. She has chosen a collection of lovely florals. Check out the fussy cut hexagon rosettes! Well done Jenny we hope to see more soon.

This stunning brighter version of Mrs B belongs to Mary… some of you may have seen this one in progress a few months ago. Mary is relatively new to hand piecing, but, I think we have her hooked now!

Don’t forget to bring your quilt in for show and tell if you’re passing through Melbourne this summer.
Keep an eye on the Mrs Billings’ Coverlet page for lots more of these beautiful works in progress.

When in doubt, wear red shoes!

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Sue Daley is in town!

Sue Daley came to visit us at Somerset Patchwork last weekend. We had a wonderful evening on Friday with Sue showing us all of her gorgeous quilts from her new book she recently launched at Houston. We will be getting lots of these in store as soon as they are available, keep on eye on the website for more info.

On Saturday Sue, Michelle Yeo and I taught a class called ‘Triple the Fun’, in this class the three of us taught different techniques all of which could be used in one quilt.

Some of the girls working hard! mmmm…  they were fondly named ‘the back of the bus girls, you know the ones, always in trouble and up to mischief!

On Sunday we had a more restful day playing with ‘Clamshells’ & ‘Apple Cores’.

Working hard again! I think some of these girls were in ‘ that’ group from Saturday!

Carolyn and Amanda’s Apple Cores… Sue makes this traditional shape so easy using modern techniques

And Shirley’s Clamshells… these wonderful shapes are all the rage at the moment.

A good time was had by all. I can’t wait to have a little time to play with these shapes myself! Call in to Somerset for a visit to check out these shapes and many more of Sue’s English piecing papers from Patchwork with Busy Fingers.

Till next time, yours in quilting, 

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New Fabric… Morris & Company

There were lots of boxes…lots of heavy boxes…delivered during the week. We couldn’t wait to open them all, so a quick peak was in order. Look what was inside!

These lovely florals are from Barbara Brackmans new ‘William Morris’ fabric range, Morris & Company. The beautiful florals come in large, medium and small sized prints in fabulous autumn tones. I think I can feel a quilt coming!

Lots and lots of heavy boxes…
All out of their wrappers and ready to play with…

Now which one will I choose!

Keep watching and see what I make from these,

Yours in quilting, Karen

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Welcome to my new blog…

Hello and welcome to my new blog. The time has finally come for me to branch out into new technology – well, new for me, anyway! So here goes….

There has been a lot of activity here at the shop lately; we have been preparing for some interstate and local Melbourne shows, planning special activities here in store and getting this months mailout of the Fabric Samplings Club ready for posting. 

Loads of cutting, collating and packaging, turning piles of fabric into lovely parcels ready for the postman to deliver. I thought you might like a sneak peak of whats coming this week. It takes a little while to organise and we are always pleased when its finished!

Step 1 – Piles and piles of fabric ready to be packaged…

Step 2 – All ready for processing….

Step 3 – All done, now off to the Post Office with it!

This weekend we are hosting a special guest artist …… Sue Daley is coming to town! 
Sue will be presenting a trunk show this Friday evening with lots of projects and quilts from her newly released book. 
There are still a few spaces available if you would like to join us.

A little bird told me that there will be some new fabric arriving on Monday or Tuesday this week, so…watch this space!

Happy stitching, Karen