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Housewife Desperation Time

Housewife Desperation Time:

When Jane first asked me to contribute a block to the Desperate Housewife’s Quilt, I jumped at the chance.  You see, I often get to see and do things before they hit the gate, but they’re always for other people.  Don’t get me wrong!  I love the opportunity to test patterns, make samples or just plain help friends out.  But this is different, I have to think about it! And make my own choices. Not to worry, we women do it every day.


So here it is:

Flights of Domestic Fancy

I’ve had this fabric for ages;this project gave me the inspiration to CUT it!!

I loved the domestic ladies on this print as soon as I saw it, but when it came time to take the rotary cutter to it, well, practical considerations had to be made.  Because the designs are printed randomly I was concerned about stretching. So, I sprayed it with starch. Lots of starch. Pressed it, and pretended it was like any other fabric. Denial you say? Why yes!!


2            4 ½”  squares               Fussy cut from something you love.

4            4 ½ x 2 ½” rectangles        From a pretty something that looks lush

8            2 ½ x 2 ½” squares      From something contrasting.

Firstly, flip over the 2 ½” squares and rule a line diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner

Then place one 2 ½” square on top of each of the 4 ½ x 2 ½” rectangles,

and stitch as shown.

Trim the spare triangle away ¼” from the stitching line, leaving the bulk of the rectangle and the square intact.  Press the seam, then flip the triangle out and press again.

Take another 2 ½” square and place it on the other side of the rectangle to form the next wing. This means the diagonal line from each square will meet at a point in the centre of a long edge of the rectangle.

Stitch, trim, press, flip and press again.

Do this again and again and again, until you have 4 flying geese. These are your flights of fancy.

Really, you can play with them until you find a combo that you like.


This                                                                            this

I stitched mine like this

To reduce bulk I unpicked the few little stitches in the seam allowance of the centre and then pressed the seam this way.

There you go…

All done … 8 ½” unfinished.

Remember, please be gentle if you’ve fussy cut your large squares at an awkward angle.

Enjoy your domestic desperation!

Belle  x


Checking In

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Greetings Blog Buddies!!
I just wanted to let you know that I’m crafting away on several different things at the moment.

Firstly, I finally finished the signature quilt for our visiting Pastor. Colton came to us in June last year as the School Chaplain. Sam unwittingly introduced me as ‘Mum’ and from that point on we sort of just fell into an extended family. It turned out that Sam and Colton shared the same birthday although four years and half a world apart. Their sense of humour and music were quite similar also.
Anyway, I decided after a particularly bad week for Colton last year, that he needed something warm and special to remind him of Tassie when he went home. Thus, the signature quilt was born.

It started life on the Moda Bakeshop site (I love this site, by the way) as this…

and ended up like this…


Signature Quilt

So this week I finally finished quilting and binding this quilt and had a few more signatures added and gave it to my third son.  I hope it reminds him of the warmth and love we have for him.

I’ll sign off now by saying that I hope Moda and Stefanie Roman are okay with me posting the link, but I really wanted to show my inspiration for this quilt and also how I adapted it to suit the needs I had for it.

Happy Quilting!!


The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt

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Yesterday I completed the first two blocks of the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt for the #FWQAL.

I’d already hand pieced some blocks, because when I started it some time ago, I decided to hand piece it.

Well pfftt! to that.  The blocks I did yesterday took me longer to prepare than they did to sew, and now I’m really looking forward to moving along with all the other participants (the list is growing rapidly) and also to dragging my mate Julie into the cyber fray.

Here are my first two blocks:

Attic Windows and Autumn Tints

Attic Windows and Autumn Tints

I’ll have the next couple of blocks done this week.

Don’t forget if you’d like to join us click on the Flickr Group listed in the sidebar of this blog and get rolling.

Happy tuesday.


New Crow’s Nest

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I have to quickly share some pics (not the best quality, but you’ll get the gist) of the new Quilted Crow nest.

These wonderful ladies recently took up residence in a converted church at the corner of Cross Streets and Main Road New Town. The atmosphere is wonderful, the light is gorgeous and as for the fabrics, patterns and other goodies – WOW!

Still Here!

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Hi Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my blog, but for now, I have something to share so I’ll pop it on here.  Maybe I’ll work out what I need to do while I’m on here.

I’ve joined a couple of Flickr groups recently.  One is The Misfit Quilters Swap ( and the other is The Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long ( 

The first swap of The Misfit Quilters is a doll quilt.  I’ve all but finished the applique on this and then to the task of quilting it.  The original is from Sarah Fielke’s latest book – Quilting from little things.  My version is a little different and I’m not promising to hand quilt it, but I certainly worked on my needleturn applique technique.


The next group are working on a project I had already started.  The Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt is from a book I sell into Tasmanian Stores for the Aussie Distributor Capricorn-Link Aust.  As a book person and a quilter – Do not photocopy this book, the templates or ‘borrow/share’ it.  This is a breach of copyright and I really don’t want to have to call out the book police.  Go and buy it.  It’s not expensive, it’s useful and an interesting read to boot. 

Besides the awesome book and the stories contained within it; there is a CD which has the templates for the blocks.  You take the CD, load it into your computer and print the templates.  No Muss, No Fuss!!  How cool is that??

Now since some of the templates are used several times throughout the process of making the blocks I decided to make them a little more durable by glueing them onto template plastic.  I get it from Spotlight, but I’m sure you can get it at your LQS or chain craft store.  I use a gluestick to marry the two.  Just make sure it works for paper and plastic, obviously!

I also decided to share a sort of mini tutorial for people who haven’t done this sort of stuff before.  So here you go…

Print and Trim

Firstly print the templates from the CD.  You can either print as you go or print them all at once.  Be warned there is only one template per page, so be prepared with plenty of paper.  Then roughly cut around the template just outside the dashed line.

Flip and Glue

Flip the template over and apply your gluestick all over the back, being sure to go right to the outside edges.

Next flip it back and apply it carefully to the template plastic.  Gently smooth out any bubbles.  When you apply the pieces, sit ’em close.  Be frugal, tight, whatever you want to call it.  Plastic doesn’t grow on trees you know!

Glue Drying

When you’ve glued all the pieces in place. Leave it!  Go have a cuppa, mow the lawn, read a book, whatever.  If you cut it now, you’ll just make a mess.  Let it dry.  The amount of time this takes all depends on the gluestick.  Be patient.
When the pieces are dry, cut carefully on the dash line.  You can use NON SEWING SCISSORS!!  Scissors you use to cut paper, or chickens, whatever.  You can use a blade, and if you do –  At this point I will stress – BE VERY CAREFUL!!!  This tutorial doesnt have public liability, accident and injury insurance. So again, for the cheap seats – BE VERY CAREFUL!!


 And finally, you have your sturdy templates, ready to use.  Be sure and keep them somewhere safe, lots of them are used in multiple blocks.


Finished Templates

I hope this has been useful, and that you have fun working on your quilt.  I know that I, for one, am looking forward to it!!


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Happy Saturday,

I’m going to make an effort to spend a little more time updating my blog and keeping you posted on what I’ve been up to. I know I’ve been totally slack but I’ve sort of converted to Twitter as a quicker faster way of communicating. I can do it from my phone with pictures attached in no time at all. The downside is that I’m limited to 140 characters. Some may say this is a good thing, particularly for me, and I probably can’t argue with that!

I’ve been doing lots of quilting and stitching since my semi-unemployment. I’m looking for new part-time employment without much success at this point. Seems there’s not much market out there for single 40something mothers of teenagers who haven’t worked in the outside workforce for 10+ years. Who Knew?!

Something will turn up soon I daresay.

Lets see… I’ve been totally besotted by Leanne Beasley’s new magazine Vignette. The Block of the Quarter is divine and I started in on it as soon as i got my copy from The Quilted Crow. I also spotted the paper pieced hexagons on the back cover of the mag. Careful stalking of Leanne’s Website resulted in my learning that they were 1″ hexagons, so I spent some time over the Christmas break making lovely rosettes from 1″ hexies. I confess I’m now utterly and inexorably addicted. Small, large hexes, dresdens, I’m GONE!

Well, enough from me today and I shall fish out the iPhone cable and bring you some pics in the next couple of days. Also, I’ll try and add some of my Tweeps onto this page.


Belinda. xo




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Hi everyone – all 3 of you out there!!

I attended a fabulous sales conference with one of my lovely publishers the week before last and met some wonderful people from all over.

I have to say a special hello to Rachel from David and Charles who was very patient with my enthusiasm for Australian designers and my feedback from booksellers and crafters in relation to all sorts of matters.  There are some fabulous quilting and stitching titles coming from D&C in the next 12 months and I don’t think its any secret to say that a couple of them are indeed, AUSTRALIAN!!   WOO HOO!!

Don’t hesitate to get your local bookstore to order them in for you.  If you buy online from overseas I’m sending the boys ’round!  OKAY?!?!?

I did get a lovely surprise while I was pushing the Hugs’N’Kisses boat to find photos (and some comments that made me blush) of a sample of the gorgeous Life Is Beautiful BOM quilt I did for Helen in the Pink and Blue colourway she was planning for her booth at Spring Quilt Market.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside 😉

So heres a link to Helen’s Blog and

I hope that works and I’ll eventually learn how to add this stuff in a neater fashion.

Off to another conference tomorrow – this one is Australian and always has beautifully produced volumes.