Chenille Workshop with Wilga.


  • Use 4,5 or 6 pieces of fabric
  • Top two layers can be a repeated pattern or a panel. they must be exactly the same.
  • Applique can be used for chenille too. Glue applique to the top layers before stitching and cutting.
  • Stitch diagonally about 1/2″ apart.
  • Use a chenille tool to cut the layers or scissors.

Chenille Bag: Chenille


Vest by Fay and bag by Marlene.


Applique chenille.

Deborah Louie Workshop – Decorative Machine Applique

14th and 15th June 2017

We have just finished two wonderful days with Deborah Louie and our sewing machines. There were two projects on offer – Glam Clams and A Little Garden. Both can be made into colourful cushions.Deborah is a terrific tutor who is very generous with her advice and sharing her knowledge. I know a lot more about the features on my sewing machine and the tricky things it can do. The advice about threads, needles and stabilizers will be invaluable. Many thanks Deb for coming to us. Deb has a website and blog where you can buy her patterns and classes. Well worth a look. Thanks also to Mary for organising the workshop and to Linda and Heather who gave up their time to serve lunches and teas.


Mary busy with her stitches.


Robyne sewing down bias stems.


Three happy stitchers – Ursula, Gail and Diane


Two more happy stitchers – Helen and Janet.


Beth and Helen G. share a joke.


Deborah in tutoring mode.


Some of Deborah’s lovely quilts.


Linda and Heather cleaning up the kitchen.

Star Border Templates with Wilga Bolton:

The templates come on 4 sizes – 3″ 4″ 5″ and 6″. There is also an istruction sheet.

Three fabrics needed – a pattern, a plain contrast and a background.

  • Vliesofix the pattern and contrast fabrics together and fold in half lengthwise. Press.
  • Place the template on the fold and use a craft knife to cut along the template grooves.
  • Move the template along the size required and keep cutting. (4″ star move 4″)
  • Release the stars with sharp scissors where needed. Press away the fold.
  • With the background under place the stars along the border with points matching.Top points to top and base points to base(see photo).
  • Sew the raw edges with a fancy stitch- pattern stars first then contrast ones.

    The star border before stitching.

More ‘Boro’ photos:-

Maxine's lovely piece.

Maxine’s lovely piece.

Maxine's cute boro owl.

Maxine’s cute boro owl.

Elizabeth's boro wallhanging.

Elizabeth’s boro wallhanging.







Mary's boro bag.

Mary’s boro bag.


Postcard mini workshop with Elizabeth Buzzell. Fabric Postcards

Postcard workshop in full swing.

Postcard workshop in full swing.







Postcard workshop from other end.

Finished postcards.

Finished postcards.








Boro Workshop with Jane MacDonald

Heather's bag

Heather’s bag

Joan's zipped purse.

Joan’s zipped purse.

Penne's cushion

Penne’s cushion

Robyne's boro with a tartan effect.

Robyne’s boro with a tartan effect.















Boro is the art of Japanese patching – remaking and recycling.


  • On your background fabric layout your patches to make a pleasing design. Overlap by at least 1/4 inch.
  • Light hold down your patches with a glue stick.
  • Tack lightly to further hold patches in place.
  • Using a long sashiko needle and thread of your choice stitch running stitches down or across your work bringing the fabric to the needle.
  • Stitch rows or circles or diagonals as close as you wish and until satisfied with the look and patches are firmly held in place.
  • Finish as a wall hanging or purse (with pattern) and enjoy.

    Colleen busy at Boro workshop.


    An interesting layout


    Janet, Sheryl, Colleen and Cheryl all getting started with Boro.


    Happy Boro stitchers at day’s end.

Hand Quilting with Helen Granleese

  • Pin or baste your quilt. Move pins to accommodate your hoop as you move around the quilt.
  • Helen prefers to mark with chalk. Mark as you go to each section.
  • Helen uses a hoop by Narelle Grieves. It fits together and is easy to manage.
  • Needles – Use size 10 or 12 called Betweens or Quilting. Use a good brand so they are made from strong steel. John James and Piecemakers are two such makers.
  • Thread up all your needles so you can keep working. XLI thread 40 which is glazed not waxed is a good one to use. Other threads need to be cut shorter to avoid shreading.
  • Thimbles- needs to have a divet for your needle. Choose one for yourself. A good idea to have one for summer and another size for winter.
  • Wadding- 100% cotton is best with the scrim up.
  • To start tie a knot and pull it into the layers from the top.
  • Working from the top insert the needle until you can feel it with your underfinger so you know it is through all layers. Rock the needle to the top and go down again in as vertical a position as you can. Repeat this for four stitches and pull through. About 6 stitches to the inch is okay.
  • Stab stitch through seams.
  • To finish bring the needle through to split the thread or tie a knot on the top and bury it in the layers.
  • Many modern quilters are using larger stitches and thicker threads as a feature.
  • Remember it is the regular stitch length not how small they are which makes hand quilting look great.

English Paper Piecing with Janet Hall

  • Start with easy shapes such as a square and make a simple ball.
  • Sue Dayley’s website has a lot of wonderful information.
  • For straight edged templates you can cut your own but buy ready made for curved shapes. Try matt photo paper or 160 wt paper for templates.
  • Keep you paper templates in zip lock bags with the size on the front.
  • Use hexagons to finish off other projects such as a bag with a zipper pull or some embellishment on a table mat.
  • For ease of stuffing cut your bottom shape in half and stitch each end. Much easier than sewing up a curved seam that shows.
  • Stuffing tip ” When you think it is full put in another handful”.
  • Fabric can be attached to papers by stitching or glue. Not too much glue! Use a contrast colour thread if stitching.
  • When stitching hexagon flowers sew on each edge around the centre hexi so the pattern is secure, other seams can then be done at your leisure.
  • It is often easier to join shapes in a rows but not too long so you can mix and match scraps more easily.
  • There are many tools to help you so give them a try and you will find the most useful. Wonder clips are great for holding pieces together while you sew.
  • Stitch Guide: 20 – 25 stitches per inch straight across not angled and picking up only a couple of threads. Use a thread colour that will not show on the front. Fine threads and needles are best.
  • Seam allowance of 1/4 ” or 3/8 ” is recommended but cutting the fabric is not as important as cutting papers accurately.

Fibre Art Bowls

On Saturday 1st August nine members met at the Maclean Showground for a creative day. Led by Marian Brown and her friend Barbara the workshop started with a demonstration of the process using wool caps and lots of bits and pieces. All this wonder was held between two layers of solvy. Next we were shown how to pin and quilt the bowl makings. Mostly this was done free motion although some opted to use their walking foot. Then the fun really started when we were shown how to dip the fibre into warm water and squeeze out the excess moisture. Finally we were ready to shape the fibre over our glass bowls to get a good shape. Some of us opted to do this at home. 24 hours later we have BOWLS!!!!

Everyone had a lovely time and the creative juices were certainly flowing. The serendipitous nature of the outcomes made it all the more enjoyable. Hopefully we will have some bowls to show and tell this week.

Many thanks to Mary for organising this great workshop and to Robyne for her input too.

Diane's great bowl in green and red.

Diane’s great bowl in green and red.

Helen Mac has finished her beautiful green fibre bowl.

Helen Mac has finished her beautiful green fibre bowl.

Elizabeth's Bowl in green and brown.

Elizabeth’s Bowl in green and brown.

Liz Imrie's bowl in blue and green.

Liz Imrie’s bowl in blue and green.

Thanks to Chris Philp for the following images.



These sample bowls were made by Marian and Barbara.

These sample bowls were made by Marian and Barbara.

Marian with Mary and Liz.

Marian with Mary and Liz.

Claudette and Elizabeth.

Claudette and Elizabeth.

Diane and beth.

Diane and beth.

Robyne busy at the workshop.

Robyne busy at the workshop.

Tuesday 14th July

Today Wilga and Fay showed us some old techniques to use as decorative features in our patchwork. Here are a few brief notes I made but old books and magazines are a rich source for this kind of work.

Tortured Tucks:

Use the pleater to pleat a piece of fabric. Stitch down each side and through the centre. Now stitch down in the middle of each side turning down the tucks as you go.

Cabbage Rose:

Start with a five sided piece of fabric and sew on strips as you would for crazy patching or log cabin. For a differnt look iron vliesofix to centre piece. Cut organza 1 1/2″ bigger and pin to the corners. Apply iron for a scrunched up look. Then add strips as before.

Checkerboard Seminole:

Cut strips and join long edges. Cut and piece alternatively. Cut strips wide and narrow and do the same. Can be cut straight or on a 45 degree angle. Can also be pieced as a zig zag.

Ventian Blinds:

Cut background and top strips the same width. Background could be a pictorial fabric. Top strips are usually two colours. Join the top strips then insert between the background strips. The tops will all be facing out and the background flat. Sew across the bottom and then across the top turning the top strips the opposite direction.

Planned Wrinkles:

Cut one piece of fabric 14″x14″ for the backing. Cut top fabric 17″x17′. Immerse the top fabric in water. Scrunch up and twist into a ball. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Secure with a rubber band and allow to dry. Undo the top fabric and place over the backing. Decorate with threads, cording, ribbon, silk, crochet cotton, etc. Stitch in curves, circles, straight lines and zig zags free motion.

Other ideas:- Pintucks done as a checkerboard pattern, Loops and knotted loops added to seams. Thank you Wilga and Fay for sharing this “Blast from the Past”.

On Tuesday 9th June Colleen demonstrated Free Machine Embroidery. She says with practice we can all achieve good results. Here are Colleeen’s directions and tips.

  1. You need: Wash Away that looks like Chux and is available from Nel at Sew Excited.
  2. An embroidery hoop that fits the width of your machine throat.
  3. Put the Wash Away, with a sketched or traced outline, into the hoop upside down so the fabric is against the bed of your machine.
  4. A thread with a sheen gives a nice finish. Match with bobbin thread.
  5. Free motion foot with feed dogs down.
  6. Needle down and pull up threads.
  7. Straight stitch the design outline with every line of stitches meeting another.
  8. Zig Zag over first straight stitching lines.
  9. Straight stitch features of the design again joining up to another line so no loose ends will appear. Zig Zag these lines as well.
  10. Fine lacy features can be straight stitch only but join them up!!
  11. You can change thread colour to do leaves for example.
  12.  You can add bits of thread, Angelina Fibres, tiny bits of fabric or tulle and catch them down as you stitch.
  13. Other ideas – draw a shape and stitch around it a few times. Cut out the shape centre. Stitch from edge to edge across the empty centre until you have a design. Finish the edge with satin stitch.

On Tuesday 14th April Mary showed us how to use Shrinking Fabric Texture Magic. Here are her simple to follow steps.

Shrinking Fabric Texture Magic

There are two grades of Texture Magic – 15% and 30% shrinkage.

  1. Cut your top fabric to size. Cut the Texture Magic to fit. Place the Texture Magic on the back of your chosen fabric and pin together  and sew around the edges with a straight stitch.
  2. Quilt the two fabrics together in any way you fancy – crosshatch, stiple or other. If using decorate thread have it in the bobbin if quilting from the back so it will show on the front. If you use the fabric’s design as a quilting guide then quilt from the front obviously. Close quilting will give you more texture so think of the look you are aiming for.
  3. Have your iron ready on a hot setting with lots of steam. Pin your piece down at the corners with the Texture Magic upper most. Now hover the steam iron over the Texture Magic until it curls inward. Check the right side and hover again if needed until you are happy with the shrinkage.
  4. Draw or trace your pattern or shape on the back. Stitch around the lines and cut out close to the stitches.
  5. Apply to your project with machine or hand blanket or zigzag stitch or any fancy stitch you prefer.

On Tuesday 10th March Alison showed us an unusual binding method, using her new Juki machine, which is described below.

Quilt Binding with Piping Effect

Cut main colour 1 1/2 inches x required length.

Cut piping colour 1 3/4 inches x required length.

Join the 2 strips lengthwise and press seam towards main colour. (narrow strip)

Sew onto wrong side of quilt with main colour downwards towards the quilt. Use a 1/4 inch seam. Fold over in the usual way and machine stitch in the ditch between main and piping fabric.

Binding and piping in one. What a clever trick.

Binding and piping in one. What a clever trick.

Early this year we had the great pleasure of a two day workshop with Liz Scobie. The first day we explored “Tiny Treasures” which were enticing pieces of layered textiles with embellishments and quilting. These treasures can be used to decorate a number of items or used as decorative statements.

The second day we went mad with rich and embellished “Crazy Patchwork”. It was interesing to see how a colour choice could give such a unique look to everyone’s work.

Liz was an excellent tutor, very patient and giving. With her encouragement we all had a successful two days of blissful sewing.

Now some months later we have had a sharing time to see just what our ladies managed to produce. I think the finished items are just amazing and also quite beautiful.

Many thanks Liz for inspiring us to sew such varied creations.

Janet's journal cover is the deep red one which looks very rich.

Janet’s journal cover is the deep red one which looks very rich.

Sonia made her tiny treasures into a narrow hanging. Lovely colours!!

Sonia made her tiny treasures into a narrow hanging. Lovely colours!!

This is Fay's lovely Crazy Patchwork in soft creams.

This is Fay’s lovely Crazy Patchwork in soft creams.

And Fay's Tiny Treasures also in soft cream. Beautiful work Fay.

And Fay’s Tiny Treasures also in soft cream. Beautiful work Fay.

Elizabeth's crazy patchwork bed runner in green.

Elizabeth’s crazy patchwork bed runner in green.

And Elizabeth's Tiny Treaures in a frame to display.

And Elizabeth’s Tiny Treaures in a frame to display.

Heather's great crazy patchwork in cream and tan.

Heather’s great crazy patchwork in cream and tan.

Chris' Crazy patchwork in creams.

Chris’ Crazy patchwork in creams.

Helen loves purple and she chose it for her crazy patchwork.

Helen loves purple and she chose it for her crazy patchwork.

Ursula gave her crazy patchwork a modern twist with bright colours and matching embellishments.

Ursula gave her crazy patchwork a modern twist with bright colours and matching embellishments.

Two journal covers embellished with tiny treasures. The left is from Colleen and the right is from Marcia. Just lovely girls!


One Response to Workshops

  1. Liz says:

    Well Done!!! I am really impressed..

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