Monthly Archives: July 2014

Flutter your creativity

Another Kiwi connection has been having fun with Lakes, log cabins and butterflies!

I sat down with some scraps from my Lakes bundle and sewed a wonky logcabin version of my butterfly pattern. It was unlike any version of the pattern that I had sewn before and I immediately fell in love with it all over again.

Lakes, logcabin and butterfly

In fact, so much fun she’s come up with a fantastic Butterfly Challenge for everybody to participate in.

As I looked at the block, it got me thinking about how much I love playing with established patterns and giving them a new twist. I also love seeing what other people do with my patterns, so I threw the two ideas together and spontaneously decided to run The Butterfly Challenge on my blog in the month of August.


Full details on her Tartanwiki blog. Thanks Juliet

(who said: your awesome fabrics have yet again inspired me!)

and we look forward to featuring the results (whatever material is used!)

 I have recently completed a quilt in Oakshott cottons which did very well at the quilt show in Melbourne – I thought you might like to have a look at it. This quilt has also been juried into the Houston Quilt Show later this year. It was a pleasure quilting the Oakshott fabrics

We’ve got a small detail to show you that highlights the wonderful Trapunto work:

Detail from Sanderson's Apprentice, First in Longarm category at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair 2014
Detail from Sanderson’s Apprentice, First in Longarm category at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair 2014

Sneak preview



All we know now is it is:


a table runner using 4 eighths … very closely quilted -matchstick quilting – a la modern style. It’s designed to use almost all the fabric, cutting two blocks from each piece, and shuffling the colours.

pallets-smallMore will be revealed at the 2014 Festival of Quilts [7–10 August] by Heather Hasthorpe of Without Pins.



Designer Chatt: SusanClaire of Gourmet Quilter, NZ

When we heard that SusanClaire – the fantabulous designer and maker of the Lock Gate quilt – had forsaken her idyll in New Zealand for a few months exploring English waterways and visiting the Quilter’s Haven we grabbed the chance of a chat.

To begin at the beginning:

  • she’s been sewing since she was five years old, but the teddy she embroidered and the doll’s clothes she made have long gone;
  • as part of a travelling family she covered the globe (on holiday from boarding school, which she went to aged eight); but got off the family train in Australia, where she met her husband with whom she emigrated to New Zealand aged 20;
  • she’s been teaching sewing and quilting for 30 years and lives over the shop/studio/classroom south of Wellington, where she still runs classes on demand;
  • her small shop offers fabrics and patterns (and has been online for patterns some years now, so don’t despair that she’s not actually there).
GourmetQuilter SusanClaire on the roof of her barge in Paddington Basin
GourmetQuilter SusanClaire on the roof of her barge in Paddington Basin

Inspirational bits:

  • have machine will travel; SusanClaire uses a Bernina 550QE on a SewEzi sewing table (see picture, looks like a giant quilt hung up behind her), and she obviously wouldn’t be without it [anybody out there travelled further with their machine?];
  • she loves to use a whole variety of new fabrics, no old bits in her stash then; and isn’t it great when passion and business come together?
  • a notebook with square paper accompanies her everywhere and she is forever scribbling and doodling – especially when she wakes up at midnight and wants to do something;
  • she’s also a great fan of  Electric Quilt software when it comes to designing.

Why is SusanClaire the Gourmet Quilter? Because her chosen craft is:

Fat free, sugar free, cholesterol free and full of fibre.

A summer herringbone top

Lizzie Lenard has just become a fan of the new Calluna Herringbone (“it gives a very smart look to a garment”). Her aim was to make best use of a metre to make an adult’s garment, and she had just the tiniest amount of the Harebell material left over.

“It has been a great pleasure sewing with it. It was because I knew the cotton would hang well in gathers that I made a point of testing it with pleats.  Top marks, it holds a beautiful crease.”

2014-07birthday tops 022

Read all about the process in detail on her vintage sewing website and see more chat about the top, and vintage sewing more generally, on the fascinating We Sew Retro blog.