Friday, 24 December 2010

Mum's Xmas Quilt completed

Just completed Mum's Xmas quilt, including the label. Feel happily accomplished.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Pressies for my Patchwork Friends

My little patchwork group had our Xmas lunch on Tuesday and swapped lovely pressies. These are the bonbon pressies I made for my friends. Inside a rolled piece of cardboard hides a colourful mouse pin cushion and the bonbon is made using a fat quarter (naturally) in a fabric I thought each friend would love and use, tied with ribbon from my ribbon stash.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Binding for Mum's Quilt

Just finished making the binding for Mum's Xmas quilt. Am picking the quilt up tomorrow from Sky Bay Quilting. I love binding - it means the quilt is nearly completed.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Love Letters quilt no finished

Last night I finished the binding on my Love Letters quilt. I bought the kit from The Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton, and had it quilted by Sky Bay Quilting in Werribee South. As it was a project without a deadline I have thoroughly enjoyed it, being able to work on it when I pleased, slowly enjoying every stitch. Bliss.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Stashing the Fabric

I have been trying to clear my sewing area, but it all ended up on the floor for quite a while. Finally, yesterday I washed all the unwashed fabric purchases and ironed half. Today I completed the ironing and have a beautiful stash of fabric that I now need to store somewhere. My space is limited so I have a problem. Guess the answer is to get sewing and turn it all into quilts. =)
Am having a good day. Sold 30 books to Angus and Robertson, Knox store where I am doing a book signing tomorrow from 11:00 am. Sold another 30 copies to DA Information Services and then to put some icing on my happy cake, I received a phone call inviting me to be a guest speaker next year at the Australian Quilters Association. The date is 7 March. Am grateful for the day's blessings.

Friday, 3 December 2010

New Fabric always fun to get

I never used to like paisley at all, in fact hated it with a passion - but that was in the 1970s. Taste does change over the years. Or maybe I have become more tolerant as I age. I love the movement in this fabric. It swirls and flows, like the ocean. That's very appropriate for Mum's Xmas quilt for her house by the sea.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Sewing Room Mess

Life has been so hectic preparing for our daughter's move interstate (and first time away form home) that my sewing corner has become a dumping ground. In a last minute rush a CD case was needed for daughter's movies so my genealogy discs have been unceremoniously tossed onto a project box. My recent birthday increased my stash with some lovely new fabrics that are now sitting in a pile on my desk waiting to be washed. Even some books I received for my birthday are still sitting on my ironing spot.
Well - it's sewing day today. Let's see what I can do.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Book Signings at A&R - Living the dream

 Signing some books for the Glen's store manager. The place was awash with posters of varying sizes advertising my presence.

 Putting price stickers on my own books in a real bookstore. Wow. That was a buzz!

A break in the traffic allows hubby to take a nice shot of me living the dream.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Book singings at Angus and Robertson

I was sent a sneak preview of the posters going into the Angus and Robertson store at The Glen Shopping Centre, Glen Waverley (Melbourne) and wanted to share it here. It is a very big leap forward for my career and I am keen to meet lots of new people on Saturday when I am at the store to sign books. My upcoming signings for The Caroline Challenge Quilt are:
The Glen, Saturday 13 November from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Forest Hill Shopping Centre, Saturday 13 November from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood, Saturday 4 December from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Knox Shopping Centre, Saturday 18 December from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon
All three books in the series will be available. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fairy Penguins

I had a fantastic weekend. Scrapbooking all day Saturday with old school pals, non-stop chatter, followed by a night out in St Kilda with daughter and a young friend who took us to Mamma's Soul Cafe near the St Kilda Baths. It was vegetarian which was an unusual experience for us meat lovers but extremely good food that we thoroughly enjoyed. We also had fun watching all the young people drinking and laughing and dancing in the courtyard below. The music was different for us too, but good. I was sad to see how many young people smoke, knowing how hard it is to give up eventually, and how damaging it is to one's health. But they were having such a good time and I didn't see any unpleasant behaviour at all.
Being so close to St Kilda pier it was inevitable that we took an impromptu stroll down said very long pier. We nearly didn't go all the way as my husband suggested turning back but I pulled him along a little further - much to our delight. We found the fairy penguins at the end of the pier. They are so lovely. We stood about one and a half metres from a little fella who did not seem frightened of us at all. Plenty of people were making their way down there, and I hope with all my heart that the penguins are never harassed by humans, but treated with the respect they deserve. We stood very quietly and quite still for a while, then left them in peace.
It was something I had on my private bucket list to see those penguins, and I am so glad it happened through serendipity rather than planning. It made me very happy.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Caroline Challenge Quilt

Everything is changing, whether the quiltmakers want it to or not. Nothing stays the same as the group of friends continue to take up the challenges presented by the Glenvale Patchwork and Quilters Guild. Isabel makes some changes in her life by choice, but the others are presented with difficult times as they learn to cope with new phases and forced adjustments to their lives. Their president, Jane Campbell has to deal with the biggest change of them all. But what does any of this have to do with squatters and shipwrecks? As The Australian Challenge Quilt Series continues with The Caroline Challenge Quilt the five friends learn more about their Australian history, taking their lessons of the past to find ways of managing in the present. A warm story in which the values of friendship are cherished.
Now available direct from the author, Margaret A. Rowe. Contact me by email

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Blue and Yellow Quilt together

It didn't take long to put this together. It is the disappearing nine-patch, which began as 6" squares sewn into one large nine-patch that is then cut vertically and horizontally to create 4 blocks. These smaller blocks are then turned about different ways to create the pattern. Now that this much is completed I think I need to add a border to it. Have been looking for fabric that suits and decided on blue.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Mum's Xmas quilt

Here on my design wall is the beginning of Mum's xmas quilt. Her house is all blue and yellow, which determined the colour scheme, and she once admired a quilt with birdhouses on it, so that's where the theme came from. Now that I have the stitcheries a certain measurement I will be filling in the gaps with disappearing nine-patch blocks. I saw the idea in a magazine a short while ago and thought it perfect for this project, however, I am actually flying by the seat of my pants with this one, and am not sure how it will turn out. Keep posted to see! Could be fun.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bucket List Brigade

With much help from my daughter I have put up a little picture of a bucket for The Bucket Brigade. If anyone would like to join me on this adventure, please do. We can all support each other, inspire each other, share ideas and be winners. Copy the pic if you wish, and put it on your own blog site. If you have a list of goals, put them on your blog, then work your way through them one by one. Before you know it you will have obtained your goals and YOU'LL FEEL GREAT.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Love Letters

Here is the completed quilt top called 'Love Letters'. I bought the kit at The Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton, after first seeing it on the Fabric Frolic when I frolicked with a friend in 2005.  I have had a lot of fun making this quilt because there has been no time line, no desperate need to finish it by a certain date, so I have plodded along with it as I please, enjoying the process. Instead of embroidering the lovey dovey sayings according to the pattern, I chose to address my 'letters' more personally. One has my maiden name and childhood address, another has my husbands name and childhood address, and the third is addressed to both of us at our current address. I found a fabric with stamps on it, albeit U.S. stamps, cut them out and blanket stitched them in place. I had to make my own monograms too, which I dud using Derwent pencils to colour in the letter and embroidered around the letter with floss, finishing them off with a couple of embroidered flowers. Since doing that I have learned that the pencil will probably wash off.
Now I will send it off to be machine quilted, then I will have to complete it with a prairie point binding.

Friday, 15 October 2010

52 Week Bucket List

I've wasted 15 minutes trying to get this photo to stay rotated and refuse to spend more time on it so here it is, albeit sideways. This is my 52 week bucket list all worked out. It has turned out to be more of a 'finishing' plan for the nest 12 months, after which I should feel pretty good about myself. I think what is holding me back at the moment is the large number of unfinished projects I have. They make me feel guilty, so dealing with them all will clear my way to move forward onto bigger and better things. I feel good about the list.
Now - to work out how to put the list on this blog properly.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Bucket List Brigade

I had to post again! I'M SO EXCITED. I was talking about writing my bucket list and then discovered that Frazzledsugarplum has already done it. How inspiring! I have to keep using exclamation marks to let you all know how excited I am! This is great stuff. Congratulations Frazzle, that's a fantastic list and so much of it is already ticked off as done! Now I have the inspiration I need to do mine. I will spend time today writing my list and perhaps the first thing on that list has to be "Work out how to put the list on my blog". (Am so computer illiterate)

Maybe we could start a group - the Bucket List Brigade.

I was TOLD to buy fabric!

You may not believe this, but this morning my husband phoned from work to say the US exchange rate was so good I should buy some fabric. How wonderful is that!

Thanks for your comments re the book idea ladies. I so agree.

Am thinking of putting up a list of things on my bucket list, here on my blog, then marking them off as I achieve them BUT, I'm really scared to do it because it would make me so accountable. I thought it would be interesting to have one thing per week for a year. Maybe the first thing should be "overcome the fear and enjoy life!!"

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Craft Fair inspires book idea

Here I am at the Blue Willow Cottage Stand at the Craft Fair, Royal Exhibition Buildings Melbourne, with my two books, The Maria Challenge Quilt and The Elizabeth Challenge Quilt. I was also handing out invitations to my upcoming book launch on 30 October for The Caroline Challenge Quilt.
While sitting there I was able to observe the public at close hand and it was while doing so that I was inspired with an idea for a book - A Guide for people on how to Behave. Instead of left and right pages I would have right and wrong pages. The wrong page would demonstrate the bad behaviour, such as gaping yawns without covering one's mouth, children who don't know how to say 'thank you' - so mummy does it for them, people leaving the public toilet in such a state no one can use it after them. Do you get the picture? I'm sure you do. I think the problems come from a variety of reasons - some people are just lazy even though they know the right thing to do, others don't actually know what the right thing is, and some are just pigs.
I wonder what your thoughts are?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Craft Fair

Back to the Craft Fair today to do book signings. It has been a busy week with plenty of work to do. I have finally taken my book to the printer (yes - I do leave things to the last minute) and have the proof to read this weekend, but I have also been working each day at the Craft Fair. The plan is to complete the proof reading tonight after the fair, go back to the printer tomorrow and organise everything with them, and spend this coming week trying to catch up.
Somehow I have a feeling the plan may not make it into my world of reality.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

I'm back! And will be at the CRAFT FAIR

Phew! What a long three weeks this has been. Someone used up all our internet gigs in the first 10 days and we have since had to go without. It has been most inconvenient, to say it nicely. At last I am back, though, and heading into another busy two weeks. In fact, I will be working the next 12 days straight, as I do my usual paid job Mon-Fri and from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 I will be at the CRAFT FAIR doing BOOK SIGNINGS. I will be at the Blue Willow Cottage stand from 10am to 2pm. The fair is at the old Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton. Perhaps I'll see you there.

Friday, 10 September 2010

A bit more of the holiday

Terang Cottage Crafts at the Courthouse

Finally I worked out how to upload a photo to my blog, so now I can share more of my holiday with everyone. Purrumbete is in a previous post - take a look. Beautiful. Our second day I got to the patchwork shop at Terang, which is in the old courthouse building. It's really lovely with plenty to look at.
We spent the night at the Lighthouse Lodge, part of the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum complex. At 4:00 am the plasma TV on the wall opposite our bed turned on, waking us from our deep slumbers with surprise. We had to conclude that a ghost was playing tricks on us.
we saw the laser light show, the Wreck of the Loch Ard, at the museum - fantastic. We would recommend it to everyone. They are doing a good job at the museum.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Back in the Steeplechase

With the demise of our PC last week we took the plunge and bought an imac that is most beautiful. I am glad we decided to make the change. However, it has meant some other major changes that have created some hurdles I need to find my way over. Whilst there is a Mac version of the Microsoft programs Word and Excel, there is not one for Publisher, the program I have always used. I've had to buy a Mac compatible desktop publishing program and having installed it I sat down for a play. Nothing is going to come easily to me with this one and I find I am quite overwhelmed by the task ahead of me. Having chosen the date for my book launch I now have a timeframe to work within and it's going to be tough.
Further to all that, I still have a lot of tidying up to do on the manuscript and I find myself avoiding it each day. This is just the usual 'fear' problem, and once I work out what I'm afraid of I can overcome that hurdle too.
So, it's going to be a steeplechase this week.

P.S. I haven't worked out how to add photos to my blog either!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Another thing ticked off the bucket list

We have just returned home form our annual holiday which was around the western district: Camperdown, Warrnambool, Portland, Mount Gambier, Penola, Hamilton, Ballarat - home. Naturally being winter it was very wet and extremely cold, but we did what we could between showers and managed to see most of what was on my list of things to do. It would be easiest to share a little at a time, so beginning with our first day:
We made it a slow start by arriving early at our accommodation, the beautiful Purrumbete Homestead. Purrumbete was settled by the Manifold family who were originally squatters in the district and became quite successful. The homestead was refurbished and brought into its current magnificent state in about 1901 (I think) and is an excellent example of the art nouveau style. Gorgeous. Every room is BIG. And the detail in the woodwork is a joy to see (and quilt designs in my head).
We spent our time there winding down in readiness for the rest of our holiday. I sewed hexagons while hubby read and we received superb attention form our host.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Learning to let the little bird fly

It's nearly a week since my baby girl hopped on a plane and headed for Germany. It was a very emotional time, having been sick with a cold, busy working the Craft Fair, doing talks and fitting in the 'paid' work I also do. So I suppose the emotions were everywhere. I didn't go to the airport, prefering to say goodbye and go to work just as we would on a normal day.
We had major communication difficulties during the first 24 hours, meaning we did not hear of her safe arrival as soon as expected. We still can't receive texts from her, but we have facebook and email working.
All is fine her end. She has had to deal with travel sickness, missing the tour and a booking not being made as she thought it was, but has come through with flying colours. And all this in a country that speaks another language. Thank heaven for those wonderful Germans who speak English - I applaud you. You make people feel welcome in your country.
The first couple of days my girl was away I felt sick in the stomach, constantly. Letting the baby bird fly from the nest is not as easy as I thought it would be, but I'm glad it has happened, because now she is soaring like an eagle. The world is her oyster (mine too, for that matter) and she is grabbing it with both hands.
I'm so proud.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Way too much going on in my life

Naturally I meant to blog immediately after the Craft Fair but I have to say, so much has happened I feel like I'm running but not going anywhere.

The radio interview was fine - there was plenty of room for improvement on my part. I didn't even mention the titles of my books! However, I did learn plenty about the process and what I will and won't do next time around.

The Craft Fair was fantastic. Again, I did have a down side, which was that I was very sick with a cold. It came on the first day, Thursday and on Friday the headache was quite bad. I did manage to see the doc and get antibiotics, because of course, I had ears and throat infections. I was so chilled to the bone it took me 5 hours with the heater on full, doors closed and a quilt over me before I warmed up.
Enough of that. The gals at Blue Willow Cottage looked after me very well and I met and spoke with so many people. I did my talk every day, mostly winging it, and felt quite happy with how it all went. I get very nervous about speaking to numbers of people. That's why I chose writing as a career and not public speaking. On the last day my husband taped my talk and looking at it later that night was extremely surreal. The way I appear on the video is not one bit like the way I feel on the inside. It's not how I see myself at all. But it must be how others see me. It's quite a strange feeling. The fair was great, and I wish I could have seen more of it for myself, but I concentrated on meeting my readers. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat with me, and those who purchased my books. Enjoy. Have fun. And don't forget to work on your bucket lists.
If anyone missed out you can email me direct to buy the books at

This week we put our baby girl (age 20 mind you) onto a plane to Germany for a holiday. It is her first time overseas, and her first trip alone. She was met in Germany by a male friend (thankfully), but I was anxious about the flight with a stopover in Dubai for a change of plane. Her instructions were to text us as soon as she arrived so we knew she was there safely, but 24 hours more passed by before we knew anything, and that came via someone else. SO we are having problems with our phones receiving text from Germany and one phone company is blaming the other provider. Aaagh. We rang our daughter and spoke with her so know she's fine, but she was very sick on the flight over. Poor kid. It's hard being a mum. Now I know how my own mother felt when I went overseas on my own age 23 (a couple of years ago, lol).

So with all this happening and fitting in my paid work hours (as opposed to writing hours which are as yet quite unpaid) I received news this morning that an auntie is in palliative care.

So many emotions.

By the way, The Caroline Challenge Quilt was finished last week, and this week I have gone over it to make any alterations and corrections. Today I will send it to my friend for editing. Even that didn't go according to plan - the printer wouldn't do as commanded despite half and hour and several pieces of paper attempting to make it print on both sides. Technology! aaagh.

Gotta laugh.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Going on Radio!

Wow! This rollercoaster ride has some real hot spots. Last week I was interviewed by a lovely young journalist at the Leader newspaper and had my photograph taken for an article that will be in the paper coming out tomorrow. Yesterday I was contacted with a request to go on radio. How exciting ... and a little bit nerve-wrecking.

I will be on 3RRR, 107.2FM at 10:00 am Wednesday 21 July.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Speaking at Melbourne Craft Fair

I have been very fortunate to have two wonderful things happen to me: The lovely ladies, Chrissie and Rhonda at Blue Willow Cottage have again invited me to be a guest at their stall at the upcoming Craft Fair in Melbourne. Through these good ladies I have also been given a spot in the workshop programme to give a talk at 12:30 each day. I will be in Workshop 3, 12:30 pm each day Thursday to Sunday the 22-25 July, Craft Fair, Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Before and after my talk you can catch up with me at the Blue Willow Cottage stall, E35, where I will be doing book signings. You will be able to buy both The Maria Challenge Quilt and The Elizabeth Challenge Quilt, as I recently had both books reprinted. They sold out at the Quilt Convention in April! Wasn't that great! Thanks for everyone's support.
Now, time for me to go and do something with these buckets - they will be at my talk at the Craft Fair. See you there!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Do People Change?

Recently I have been confronted with the concept that 'people change'. It has had me thinking very deeply about whether or not I believe this statement. Initially my heart wanted to believe it is true, that people can and do actually change. Sometimes it is even possible to provide what appears to be evidence that change has occurred. In the end I came to a conclusion:
People do not change - but life provides experiences that reveal a person's essence.
The basic essence of a person doesn't change. What occurs is a layering of events as one travels through the multiple experiences of life and these experiences allow us to reveal our essence. For example, someone who survives a major traumatic event does so because they essentially have the ability to do so. They reveal to themselves and others the power to overcome, which was within them all the time, untested. What we see as positive events, like being shot to stardom as a singer, for example, will also reveal the essence of a person in how they handle the experience. The result will always come from whatever was within that person anyway.
So no, I don't believe people change. I believe what we are capable of will unravel naturally when faced with different experiences; that we can only react to things in ways that come from deep within us; that we can even surprise ourselves with the way we pull through a situation, calling on energy from deep within that we didn't know we had, until we were tested. This can be perceived as change, but it is not change, it is something that was there all the time and just needed the right 'experience' to bring it out. I don't believe people can do more than they are capable of doing, but most of us don't know the depth of that capacity.
But it's all semantics.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Weekend away

The view of the Otways from where we were staying
It's always nice to get away from the city for a break, even a short one. Three days in the Otways, even in winter, is a superb place to be. The weather was very cold, but I have to admit I did not go outside at all, preferring to stay indoors and sew, knit, read and eat. Bliss.
I wish I could show you the project I am working on but it is a surprise for the eventual recipient. It feels like I am carrying a lot of secrets this year - all nice ones though. I do like to make things for people and see the joy on their faces when they receive them. More bliss.
This week it's back to work and I am extremely busy now. Every day is full to the brim with something to do. Most important to me is my writing, which is going well enough at the moment. The third novel in the Australian Challenge Quilt Series is half way there.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Fear Passed

My recent fear of sitting down at the computer to write seems to have finally passed. Thankfully. Now I can move forward and complete the novella I am working on.
This tree is at Fernshaw, at the bottom of the Black Spur, where a pleasant barbeque area is located. The tree was planted in commemoration of a visit to Fernshaw by the Duchess of York on 15 May 1901 - we were there on 15 May 2010. Love serendipity.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Writer's fear

Writer's fear. What is it?
Lately I have had immense difficulty in making myself sit down at my computer to write. I will do anything to avoid it - clean the bathroom, clean the toilet, loads of washing, washing floors. Then there are the more damaging, less useful ways to avoid writing - play computer games, watch TV. I haven't even avoided my writing by sitting and sewing! There is a serious problem afoot!
In trying to work out what my problem is, I can only conclude that I am fearful this third book in the Australian Challenge Quilt Series will not be as good as the first two. I'm afraid I will let my readers down. Anything I do type I feel unhappy with.
So I asked my husband to read what I have written to date and give me an opinion. He said it was as good as everything else I have written. Why don't I believe him? How do I overcome this immense brick wall in front of me?
I should take a leaf from the gum tree I photographed at Marysville last weekend. Despite the raging firestorm of Black Saturday last year, and even though the outside of the trees are all charred black as night, the leaves are growing wherever they can, strong and green. I need to be like the burned trees, and the people of Marysville - fight back with confidence and cheerfulness; keep on going and in the end I will succeed.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

AQC at Royal Exhibition Building

I spent three days at the Australasian Quilt Convention at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne and met lots of wonderful women who came to talk to me and buy my books.
It was an honour to sign everyone's copies and I do hope they enjoy the stories I tell. There was no point in me attending the convention on Sunday - I sold out of books!
Thanks to everyone for their support. And a big thank you to all the gorgeous ladies from Blue Willow Cottage who looked after me.
Isn't the Exhibition Building beautiful? I think they have done a wonderful job of doing it up and it is one of Melbourne's jewels.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Day at the Convention in Melbourne

It's a happy kind of tired I feel as I sit to write this. I've had one of those days indulging in the pleasure of the quilters' world and it fills my heart. Coming home, it is difficult to concentrate on driving when my head is spinning with a multitude of possibilities - that quilt kit I'd like to buy; that book I'd like to purchase; those threads all displayed in wonderful rainbows of colour that draw you in. Isn't the Convention just SO inspiring?
Speaking of inspiring - I spoke with Jinny Beyer today. I am sitting at the Blue Willow Cottage stand (194), directly opposite Mrs Sampsons Drapery where Jinny is busy talking to people about her fabrics and her new book. I decided to give her a copy of each of my novels, The Maria Challenge Quilt and The Elizabeth Challenge Quilt, as a way of thanking her for being inspiring and taking the time to come out to Australia and share her knowledge with us. I'll tell you a secret: one of the reasons I've chosen to be an author is because I am pretty good with the written word ... and hopeless when it comes to speaking. I think I blurted out something barely intelligible to Jinny before scurrying away. This is called "stepping way out of one's comfort zone." I know she's a regular person like you or me, but speaking to someone you admire, and who is well known, is not so easy for me.
So to all those wonderful people who talked with me today about my Aussie patchwork novels, thanks for taking the time and making me feel good. I hope you enjoy your books and look forward to catching up with you again some time.
Meanwhile, I'm back into the Exhibition Building tomorrow (May-day).

P.S. My daughter has just walked in the door with some lovely news. She works at Angus and Robertson and reports that a customer came to the store in a state of excitement about The Maria Challenge Quilt and was desperate to buy the second novel, The Elizabeth Challenge Quilt. She said she couldn't put the first one down and even though she hadn't quite finished it, she needed the sequel immediately, and had to know when the third one was coming out. Wow! That makes me feel fantastic. Thank you.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Korowa Quilt

Way back last October I told you all about a new project I was working on for the 120th birthday celebrations of my old school and felt it was about time you got to see the finished result. This quilt is a replica of a large mural we painted on the wall of our common roomm but which was pulled down only a few years later when the school expanded.

The project proved to be one of those where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and I subsequently spent a solid two weeks trying to finish it in time. I had trouble printing on the fabric (headmistresses photos in the stars; Korowa crest on the sun; 120 memories of my time at Korowa on the orange strip of land). The fabric kept catching in the printer, messing up several pieces. However, as each problem presented myself I simply had to work through it and resolve it. The quilt is certainly not perfect, but it's done. I hope you like it. It's different.

Don't forget I will be doing book signings at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne for the next three days. Find me at Blue Willow Cottage, stand 194. See you there!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Book Signing at Australasian Quilt Convention

I will be attending the Australasian Quilt Convention for three days to do book signings, and am really looking forward to the whole event. You will find me at the Blue Willow Cottage (stand 194) with Crissie and Rhonda. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Book Signing at Angus and Robertson

I will be doing a book signing at Angus and Robertson, Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre, Canterbury Road, Forest Hill VIC, this Saturday 27th March 2010 from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to come and chat with me about my novels. The store is having a children's day as well, so there will be entertainment for the kids.
See you there.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Manuscript Rejected

Prattle House 1415 was rejected by Harper Collins. However, the rejection letter was an extremely good one in that they told me why they felt it was not suitable. Now I have the option of taking that information on board and changing it.
I always need some time to sulk when I receive a rejection. That has been done now, and put in the past. The important task ahead is to decide what my next proactive step will be. I always find it difficult for a while, because there are so few publishers to approach. All the best publishers are either not taking manuscripts at this time, only accepting manuscripts through agents, or I have already been rejected by them. This then leaves the not so good publishers to approach, and I have approached some of those too. Finally there are tiny publishers that have little clout in the competitive world of book selling - do I really want to go that route? Probably not.
I have an idea but I will have to step a mile out of my comfort zone and do something dramatic!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My Book at Angus and Robertson!

I am extremely happy. My first experience of having my book in a real book shop - here is a photo of The Maria Challenge Quilt on the same shelf as Philippa Gregory. It is the Staff Recommends section at Angus and Robertson, Forest Hill, VIC. I'm stoked!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Book Signing at Quilters Bazaar

My, the days and weeks fly so quickly. There is so much to do - I need to slow down to enjoy it all more. It's just that I'm frightened I might miss something!
Sunday 7 February I went to Quilters Bazaar in Gisborne to help them celebrate their 1st birthday, which owners, Jim and Lorraine did with great style - and plenty of fantastic bargains for their shoppers. The shop is full of candy for quilters, with many different styles of fabric to appeal to all tastes and beautiful displays to catch the eye. They looked after me very well indeed, and I had my own spot near the front door where I was able to meet and talk with people, some who had already read my books, others who were learning about them for the first time. It's really nice to be able to chat with other quiltmakers and share ideas - I took quite a few ideas home myself.
Many thanks to Jim and Lorraine for looking after me and giving me the opportunity to share their birthday celebrations and meet lots of new people.
And as a post script, it was also the anniversay of Black Saturday which did not go unthought of in my mind.

Friday, 5 February 2010

No picture today. I've popped into bloggers' world to let you know I will be at Quilters Bazaar at Shop 5, 50 Aitken Street, Gisborne Victoria this coming Sunday, 7 February 2010 from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon for a book signing. I will take both my Maria and Elizabeth challenge quilts to display, and for those purchasing the books on the day you will receive a special Glenvale Patchwork and Quilting Guild instruction sheet for the Elizabeth Challenge.
For more info check out the shop's website at
Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The applique quilt

I'm back after quite a break beause I have not been particularly well, ever since I had blood poisoning last November - things went downhill from there. But now I feel better, and rattle like a pill bottle (is that supposed to be a sign that I'm okay?). It has been all I could do to get the basics done. Now it is a new year with new plans and new hopes, plus a lot of old ones still in the dream mixer. I keep adding things to my bucket list. How is your bucket list coming along?

I thought today I would share with you the photo of the completed applique quilt top that I teased you with so long ago. This was a secret project at that time, being a gift for a friend's 50th birthday. Now she has been presented with it I can reveal it to you. The quilt was made by 4 of us who patchwork together and is currently being quilted by the 5th person in the group. As the birthday girl was originally from South Africa, where so many flowers are quite similar to Australian natives, and as she is now very much an Aussie, we decided Australian native flowers would be the best choice. I designed the quilt and each of us completed one strip. The centre strip is actually narrower now, and will be filled with quilted gum leaves and gumnuts. The outsde strips of foundation pieced blocks represent waratahs. The brthday girl was very surprised, and very happy with her new quilt.