Category Archives: Quilt Groups

‘Rail Fence’ quilting

Fences and Clamshells …

I love using domestic machine quilting rulers and get to play with them on charity quilts. At Essendon Quilters, we have a program called ‘Quilts for Others’ that supports many people in the community both near and far.

I choose to participate by doing the quilting, as it challenges the decision-making process. What design would suit a quilt, or how can I use a particular ruler on a quilt.

A ‘rail fence’ patchwork pattern easily lends itself to walking foot quilting. Thinking outside the ‘square’ opens up limitless options, as there is no right or wrong way to quilt any quilt.

So for this little quilt, it’s clamshells! This time it’s with ‘Yutien’ rulers.

QFO ‘Rail Fence’ showing the clamshell pattern.

‘Yutien’ clamshell quilting ruler.


‘Yutien’ wave quilting ruler used to create a ‘ropey’ border pattern.

Back showing the overall clamshell pattern.

Lots of fun, quick progress and keeps the brain active too!


Challenge blocks …

My local guild – along with many others Australia wide – hosts ‘The Biggest Morning Tea’ every year to raise funds for cancer research.

As part of the gathering, a challenge is issued to create a 12.5″ block in a specified colour in any technique. This year, Lavender, was the chosen colour as it represents all cancers.

All the blocks are gathered and put together into a quilt, or quilts, or runners, dependent upon the number of blocks received. These are then used to raise funds at the following year’s Biggest Morning Tea.

Last year the colours were blue and yellow, the colours of the Anti-Cancer Council of Australia, and this is one of the small quilts.

There are no surprises, that the two corner Patchwork of the Cross blocks are my contribution – as I enjoy collating Patchwork of the Cross on a Pinterest board.

Two of my other blocks also made it into this quilt, the two Dresden Plate blocks on the opposing corners.

I recently came across the book ‘Distinctive Dresdens’ by Katia Marek,

It became an opportune moment to have a go at making a couple of these intriguing versions, using this year’s theme colour of lavender. A bit later after some fussy cutting, a play with light and dark, and appliqué… these two blocks were ready for the challenge.

Inserted plates, opened out and ironed flat, form the pointy triangles.

Now as to next year, there are many more in the book to try – wonder what the colour will be and which style to try!


Are you going to collect them?

You can’t have enough thread, and now there’s a new fine cotton Aurafil 80wt that just has to be added to the thread stash.

How do you now about it – just pop along to an ‘Applique-In’ run by ‘The Applique Guild of Australia’ of course! Belonging to a guild has many benefits – finding out about new ‘stuff’, and learning new ‘stuff’!

If you are like me and find using the 100wt silk threads a bit of a challenge, and have been using the Aurafil 50wt instead for hand applique, then this thread is a must have. A fine smooth cotton that disappears when sewn.

Aurafil 80wt thread

Aurafil 80wt thread

Four applique demonstrations, willingly shared by members, whet the appetite for having a go at different techniques.

No I’m not starting anything new this year unless I’ve got something in the stash for it – and just as it happens – there’s a reverse applique pattern lurking in a box somewhere…

Plus sneak peek’s at WIPs (Works in Progress), and some Show and Tell.

Val Lewis's hand applique laptop work table

Val Lewis’s hand applique laptop work table

Another gadget especially for fine hand work – even has a magnet to hold your scissors.

Boro applique stitching by Helen McQueen

Boro applique stitching by Helen McQueen

From Japanese traditional stitching as a modern art form, to needleturn applique of the ‘c1835 Caswell Quilt’ as designed by Corliss Searcey of ‘Threadbear‘ in Castlemaine.

A 'Caswell Quilt' block by Maureen Jones

A ‘Caswell Quilt’ block by Maureen Jones

A 'Caswell Quilt' block by Maureen Jones

A ‘Caswell Quilt’ block by Maureen Jones

Last block in the 'Caswell Quilt' by Susanne

Last block in the ‘Caswell Quilt’ by Susanne

TAG caters for all applique technique enthusiasts, and Sue is our resident champion of ‘stick and sew’ machine buttonhole quilts.

Applique quilt by Sue Cheney

Applique quilt by Sue Cheney


At the Guild: Until… when?

At the P’s & Q’s Guild, there were the beginnings of an underground movement, muttered words included ‘finish, UFO, never done Show & Tell before’, which became a common theme.

Here’s me thinking I had a corner of the ‘this year I’m going to …’, instead I’m becoming a groupie!

My ‘no matter how small or large, old or new’ improving my UFO finish rate and not starting anything new (unless something was already in my stash- that’s the quilter’s out clause!), was quickly old hat – at least until my resolve was challenged by a “I’ll give you until June!”

Yay! Another UFO done, but DH sprukes ‘When it’s finished, find somewhere else for it – not here.

'Checkerboard Blues' by RobynsPatch

‘Checkerboard Blues’ by RobynsPatch

This UFO was an ‘ugly’ piece of fabric where I experimented with fussy ‘kaleidoscope’ piecing, whilst at an early step along the patchwork path. The fabric background had a checkerboard pattern – that does not line up when rejoined, so a bit of appliqué helped cover some of it over. All that needed doing was the binding. So another ‘sunscreen’ quilt for the car!

Meanwhile amongst the PP’s

Pascoe Patchers

Yummy Banana and Blueberry cake Sue C brought to share with PP’s.

Sue L was knot happy!

Sue L was knot happy!

Pauline now has time to hand piece!

Pauline now has time to hand piece!

Carolyn's expertise with silk thread showed as she added to her cross stitch with subtlety shaded silk thread.

Carolyn’s expertise showed as she added to her cross stitch with subtlety shaded silk thread.

Sue C - our stitchery expert - shows how it's done with another completed block.

Sue C – our stitchery expert – shows how it’s done with another completed block.

And I’m still working on that UFO … ‘Affairs of the Heart’, adding the embroidery while at Guild meetings – and no, it will not get finished this year!

Another of the blocks of the 'Affairs of the Heart' quilt stitched by RobynsPatch

Another of the blocks of the ‘Affairs of the Heart’ quilt stitched by RobynsPatch

But that’s another story.

Happy stitching …