My life is full of excitement

5 01 2011

just when I thought my life was overflowing with excitement, a tree came down next door.  Out I go to alert the neighbours, and it became apparent we had a problem.  While Glenn rang the SES and then Belconnen Police Station, I flagged traffic down.  Traffic which goes around our street way to fast at the best of times.  The tree was cutting off the whole left side.

To the D#$%head idiots (sorry to my US friends, that is less offensive here) who speed up when they saw the wet crazy lady flagging them down (otherwise known as me).  Thank you.  Your contribution when you crashed into said tree helped Glenn and the neighbours and some very generous passers by to get the tree off the street.  Too bad about the damage, which could have been avoided, to your cars. 

To the Belconnen Police station who did not even bother with our address if we did not need an ambulance for the two cars who had crashed into the tree, thanks for nothing.

My husband, our neighbour and the neighbour across the road who took to the tree with saws, pure bulk and then rakes.  My heros.  No one else will crash in my front yard tonight.  I now need a glass of wine.

Colour Sale at

15 11 2010

For those of you who do not get emails from my website, I am copying an extract out of my recent email.  I am having a short sale on colour products.  Here are the details:

I have a heap of stock bought before the dollar dropped that I want to clear out to make way for new products and better pricing, so am having a short sale on Colour products currently in stock.  From today until the 25th of November, you can receive 20% off on any fabric paints, pencil sets, Shiva stik sets, and rubbing plates currently in stock.  Some items have low numbers and probably won’t last very long.  Individual pencils and Shiva stiks are not included.

To redeem your discount you need to use a Discount Coupon. The code is “Colour”.  There are instructions for using discount codes that you can read or down load from the home page of the website:  Email me if you have any difficulty.

Regrouped after Houston

14 11 2010

I have been home for a week now and have managed to regroup and get sorted.  Glenn and Andrew did a great job of keeping everything ticking along beautifully and there are only a couple of outstanding issues I am still working through.

I really enjoyed the trip and can’t wait to do it all again.  Staying for Festival was worth every second and participating in classes was a lot of fun, but the best part was catching up with some of my US friends and making new ones.  There are a number of great opportunities I will follow up over the next few weeks.  Very excited. 

Market was as I anticipated, but I went there with different expectations than previous years and found that I looked at a number of different suppliers and products with different, longer term objectives.  This year was very much about relationship building and consolidating.  Festival was fascinating.  As I have already reported I was happy to discover that there was nothing revolutionary or astounding that we were not already doing up to a point.  There were a couple of noticable things though.  First is obviously the price of the fabric.  Fat quarters at or below US$2.00 was astounding but the range was also something to behold.  We can never meet that sort of price.  I don’t want to start the buy online/buy local debate, because I am very happy to let grown ups make their own decisions, but I know from my own experience the cost of freight is exorbitant.  For every $100 I spend on stock, I find I have to add about $50+ for freight and then another $10 for GST at the point of entry.  Even though, intelligently we know that the cost of products is so much lower there, to see it first hand was amazing.

Other things I found really interesting was the breadth of options.  If you were looking for an ironing system or quilt hanging system, there were heaps of both to choose from.  There was also a large number of pain relief / ergonomic support vendors that we don’t see at the average Australian show.  Every time I walked past these stands, there were people getting massages, using heat packs and all sorts of thing I would only do in the privacy of my own lounge.  They seemed to be enjoying it though.  The other really big area of products that surprised me was clothing.  Some was beautiful and very classy.  A lot, not so much.  There were three or four stands showing you how to convert a fleece jumper into a creative masterpiece, but my all time favourite was a stand with hundreds of garments that can best be described as straight of the set of Little House on the Prairie, except BRIGHT.  Oh My.

The final thing (that I can think of now) was how amazingly specialised many of the vendors are.  Here, we need to be specialised generalists, able to teach, promote and use a range of different products and techniques.  At Houston, there were some who made their living specialised down to a type of block.  Remarkable.  Imagine if I only did, say log cabin quilts.  How quickly would we be bored?  Gosh, how quickly would I be bored.   If you ever get the chance to go to Houston, don’t even hesitate.  If not, you can always get the Interweave magazine show casing the event.  I have it on the website!

I have a HEAP of new stock on its way.  There are three or four deliveries currently at various stages of customs clearance as I type and a number in transit.  The first few to arrive should be a range of deColourant discharging products, silk fabrics and kits, and all the new Shiva products from Shelley at Cedar Canyon.  The rest will arrive as they do.

As you know, I love discharging colour and have been showing the Jacquard Discharge Paste for some time.  The new deColourant comes in two different applications and two different types of product.  There is a range of gels which you can paint on, stencil, stamp, screen print, sponge etc.  There are also a range of sprays.  The sprays give you a very different finish to the pastes.  In both application types, there is a discharge equivalent but the really exciting part is the very large range of deColourant Plus.  These products discharge the colour your fabric has and then replaces it with new colour.  SO COOL.  This sample shows Black Homespun with four of the deColourant plus colours plus the straight discharge gel in the middle.

The ease of bleaching and colouring in one go is fabulous.  But, can you imagine getting these colours on black with most other products?  Love it.  Click for the full deColourant Plus colour chart .  The kind people at Kandi Corp have done a comparison of their product to other similar ones.  Bearing in mind that they obviously like theirs best, the comparison chart is very interesting.  I certainly found it easy to use and it does smell like citrus when applied, but a little like egg when heated.  It will not discharge from synthetic fabrics or heavily treated fabrics.  I will add the products to the website once I physically have them here.

Over the weekend, I made a quick and easy quilt for a grand nephew.  He is over one now, so a cot quilt was not an option, so I made a bigger lap quilt from some novelty fabrics I had in the stash.  It is amazing what you find in the cupboard when you look, isn’t it?   I have put photos on the Unique Stitching Facebook page.  It is not my best work, but I am pleased to have made and delivered it.  I have five family quilts to make, some very overdue, so if you want to watch the progress the place to be is Facebook.  They will be traditional utilitarian quilts, but I hope you will enjoy watching the progress.  Please drop buy, like the page and/or leave a message.

I will be shortly having a short sale on colour products on the website, only on stock on hand, so some items will not last long.  I will post the details of this later once I have sorted it all out.

Day two in Houston

31 10 2010

Today began early with a class with Shelley Stokes using her Design Magic templates.  It was fun and although I had used them before, it was good to hear what Shelley had to say.

The rest of the day was spent talking to my many existing suppliers.  It was nice to see them again and to catch up on what is new.  I have made a number of new contacts today also, details of which I will share as I get new things in.  I have loaded photos on Facebook if you would like to have a look.  Remember “like” my page and you will get my posts straight to you page.

Tonight I joined about 20 others to play with the Liquitex paints and inks.  Again, it was lovely to play and meet some likeminded people.  Also it was great to put a face to the people I email all the time at C&T Publishing. 

Tomorrow I am going to try to visit the quilts as well as finalise a few other things.

I hope you are enjoying sharing the trip.

In Adelaide, finding pigs

6 09 2010


I am in Adelaide for the National Mediation Conference, as part of my “other life”.  long story, but I am presenting a paper tomorrow, which is really what I should be focussing on right now.  However, as we walked back to our apartments today, we went past these copper pigs in Rundle Mall.  I could not resist taking a couple of photos, much to the horror of some of my companions who did not want to appear as tourists.  Anyway I had time for photos, as one colleague had raced into Country Road to deal with a cadigan, or lack there of, crisis.  These are very cute.  There is a lot of street art in Adelaide.  I will try and capture a few over the next few days.  I have also taken photos of the amazing old facades and lace work.  Beautiful.

Here are my pigs.

I think this one was called Oliver


A side view of "Oliver"

This one is a slightly blurry photo of Carol sitting on “Truffles”

Carol on Ruffles


Glenn and Andrew are at home filling orders and dealing with questions.  Glenn tells me that the Fall Stitches magazine arrived today.  I am still waiting for some more Spring editions, but they seem to keep forgetting me.  Glenn is going to load the Fall edition on the website, so check it out and purchase one if you don’t want to miss out.  We have significantly increased our standing order of these, so there should be heaps, but don’t hesitate or you may miss out!

I will post details when I have them.

One block of the 36 made

29 08 2010

For those of you who have been following the progress of my surface design fabric project, I will show you the first block I  made.  I have now made all 36, but here is the first one.

The blocks are 10 inch squares so the quilt top will be 60 inches square.  At this stage, I am not planning much in the way of a border, but that might change when I get them all together.

How do you buy fabric?

15 08 2010

My recent survey attracted a lot of responses and some surprising results.  In relation to the question of what people are likely to purchase, fabric came in third.  The top two were easy for me to process, but fabric made me think and that just lead to more questions.  One should never think too hard.  At uni, when doing my law degree, they taught us that when in court we should never to ask a question without knowing what the answer is.  These surveys have shown me I have little idea of what the answer is, which probably explains why I never saw the inside of a court room.  Anyway, back on task, fabric intrigues me.  There was a time when I had many thousand bolts of commercial patchwork fabric and I spent over a year selling out of these, but I miss it.  I miss having a stash the size of a shop.  It is a real luxury to be looking for something just right and having dozens of options at your finger tips by the bolt.  However  I will never go back into the full on patchwork fabric but feel it is time to expand my fabrics.  I already dye a lot of cotton fabric for kits and packs and classes, but have avoided going down that path in a commercial sense for a range of reasons.   I also already dye non cotton fabrics such as velvets, silks, wools and felts.  I also am very attracted to the textural impact of Batiks, especially when mixed with hand dyes and have found myself over dyeing batiks for personal projects.   Anything I do in this space will need to fit in with what I am already doing, so I continue to toss ideas around in my head, which makes me think and leads me to questions.

So, I am again calling on the generous participation of my cyber friends.  I have three questions, well two plus an enticement.  If you don’t mind answering the two questions and would then like to add your email address into the third question, you can go in the draw for 3 metres worth of the most popular hand dyed fabric option.  Won’t it be fascinating to see what that turns out to be?  So here are the questions:

I will draw the winner of the fabric in four weeks time, Sunday 12 September.

August Quilting Arts and Fall CPS Studio Magazine

26 07 2010

I came home to an enormous pile of boxes containing magazines today.  Good Grief.  I knew that both would be coming out at about the same time, but did not expect both to arrive on the same day.

Subscriptions are now packed ready to go in the post tomorrow, I have loaded them on the website.  They officially go on sale on 3 August for Quilting Arts and 10 August for the Fall Studios.  Both covers are gorgeous.  I have not had time to have a good look through, so can’t comment on content, but I liked what I saw.  Let me know if you would like a copy of either or to commence a subscription.  You get to be one of my VIPs if you have a subscription.  Why wouldn’t you want that!

Here are the covers:

On sale 3rd August. Subscriptions and pre orders in the post.


On sale 10 August. Subscriptions and preorders are in the mail.

Why are they different sizes?   Honestly I don’t know.  Never mind.

Blown away by your input

22 07 2010


I have been amazed at the response to my survey. Thank you everyone who has voted so far or have subscribed.  I am going to put together something special for everyone who has subscribed to say thanks!!

Tell your friends, keep voting.  The results have surprised me and I am pleased I asked the questions.  Again THANKS!

Little Boxes on a hill side, little boxes made of tiffy taffy

9 05 2010

What is tiffy taffy? Anyway, that song has been going through my head for the last week and is starting to drive me insane.  Hopefully now I have finished the little boxes class sample, I can find a new song.  The fabrics I dyed yesterday are now a quilt.  I need to add some embellishment, but for now it is done.  This is a class that I expect to teach at the Textile Art Festival in Brisbane in June.  Come and join me if you like.

65 applique pieces cut from the fabrics produce a lot of scraps.  Here is some of them.

The design is a rough colourwash.  Here I have done the first cut sort of the values.  To sort in value, you need to look past colour and see only how light or dark the fabric is compared to the other fabrics.  I use this as a rough guide, then mess it up. 

Here is the quilt top.  It is a long way from finished, but it is now quilted and bound.