Card Stars

November 2004

Tree Trims 030

‘Tis the season to start letting the Christmas decorations out of the box. In our case, lots of boxes, not to mention a four door floor to ceiling cupboard. And some in a case or two.

I save and recycle my Christmas cards each year.

Glue front to back before cutting for the following

Cut star shapes, or circles or ovals. Make some simple templates, trace around them onto the front of the card, positioning them to get the most suitable design within the shape. Cut them out,

You will need about 60 shapes to decorate a four foot tree.  I tied them on with white crochet thread, and there were enough of them to look good by themselves. They could also be used as fillers between other tree trims.


2004 – The year that was ….

Moved out of Kadina, March 1st,

into Bordertown on the 2nd.


Started 15, finished 10,

and Glenice finished two I had already started for charity

String of Beads Table Runner

Making a Quilt Panel

Mist Below the Mountains 2003

Sailing A Quilters Retreat 1999

Nine Patch Leftovers (Runner)

My Lucky Stars (Can’t See the Forest for the Trees) 1997

Table Topper, the last of the Batch 2002

String of Beads Runner

String of Beads

Bath Sheet Applique

Also started

Holly Wreath Table Topper and Tablecloth

String of Beads Runner

You Can’t have too many Friends…

Double Wedding String of Beads

Blue Lattice

Nigel’s First Formal

Monet’s Garden in Close-Up

Monet’s Garden in Close-Up

9 Patch Table Runner


Baby Butch

B C Bear


String of Beads


I first saw this block design soon after I started quilting,

but have never seen it made up,

probably because it would have been very tedious to do as a hand appliqué.

It was described as ‘modern’ in 1920s—1930s.

In June 2004 I pieced together 16 background blocks using creamy fabrics from the stash.

The beads were added at the Hi-fibre Retreat, August 2004,

then I tackled the machine buttonhole stitch around the beads on 11-12 Sept,

machine quilted 13-14 September,

and started hand quilting around the beads the next day.


The binding was completed on September 27th

and the quilt was shown in the

Golden Harvest Quilters

‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’


over the first weekend of October 2004

58 inches square

Machine pieced, appliquéd, machine and hand quilted.

Pattern published by Judy Butcher, 2005.

Released as printable PDF in 2010, the first pattern made available through the

Virtual Quilter’s Pattern Place



Cedric was born up the River Murray,

on the houseboat ‘Un-wined’ in August 2004.

He was my second bear design,

though the next design, B C Bear, was completed before Cedric.

He is a composite of Baby Butch and B C Bear designs,

looking more like Baby Butch

but made from the same fur fabric as B C Bear.

B C Bear


B C Bear

‘Brian Charles’ or ‘before Cedric’

When I told Brian who this bear was he said ‘He looks nothing like me!’

I had no intentions of making a Cedric,

though there was another white bear cut out ready to stitch,

and a body left over from this one, as I redrafted the body while making B C.

B C Bear is the bear shape I have loved for some time, but there are not that many around as either patterns or bears.

I was quite chuffed to get this result so soon after making my first bear.


My Lucky Stars




The star and tree blocks for this quilt were made by members of the

Golden Harvest Quilters

in 1997 for a lucky draw at their Christmas party,

which was held a Corny Point.

I made one of the blocks myself, but had to reverse the design because the piece of fabric I was given for the background had a flaw in it.

I attached a note the block for the winner of the blocks explaining that it was reversed and why there was a seam in the background of the appliqué.

The pattern came from one of the quilt shop series of books,

‘Piecemakers Country Store’,

by the Piecemakers staff members,

published by That Patchwork Place, 1993.

The pattern name is “Can’t see the forest for the Christmas Trees”,

and in 1997 we purchasedour first outdoor lights,

and put large Christmas tree shapes on the front of the house

and the side of the garage,

aiming at having our own Christmas tree forest amongst the gum and pine trees which were growing around the house we were living in at the time.

The blocks were pieced together late on January 16, 1998.

It was too hot to do anything else.

The borders were added the next day when it was even hotter.

(Seems I do most of my quilt tops when it is too hot

to do anything I don’t like doing!)

I almost followed the pattern exactly,

but I used about a dozen each of red and brown fabrics

for the sashing instead of one of each, and made first border slightly wider, and added an extra border.

This is the only time I have followed directions so closely for about 10 years!!

(I also found a mistake in the directions.)

The plan was to button it or use large utility quilting stitches,

otherwise it would join the collection of UFOs on the shelf,

and 1 do want to use this one in my lifetime.

It waited until 2004 after we left the house at

Kadina with all the trees around it and moved to a house with a water tower to hold a large tree in lights before it was quilted with utility stitches

and completed to be included in the

Golden Harvest Quilters exhibition in October 2004.

It is the ultimate Christmas decoration to have a Christmas quilt on the spare bed.


A Quilter’s Retreat

A Quilters Retreat

A Quilters Retreat

2000 – 2004


In 2000 I issued the first part of a challenge at annual Hi-fibre Retreats at Port Hughes.

Participants had to make a house block before the next years retreats,

when the instructions were to add a path border, then in following years

a garden and finally a fence.

Almost every technique available was used in this wall hanging,

and hand made buttons were purchased from Llewena Newell,

who also ‘retreats’ each year.

No fabrics were purchased for this project, they all came out of the cupboard.

The finished projects were gathered together in July and August of 2004,

by which time a new challenge was underway.

Baby Butch – A Guide to Bear Making

This is the story of the birth of one little bear.

He is not the best, the cutest or the most lovable little bear,

I have a special place in my heart for my first born bear, Baby Butch.


Who Needs Help from a friend?

Judy Butcher

I asked a friend, who probably wishes to remain anonymous, to make me a bear, but she told me she would teach me to make it myself. We both had busy lives and other things to do, and it didn’t happen, and so she was asked to run a workshop at a quilt group meeting. For whatever reasons that didn’t happen either, but even if it had, I wouldn’t have been able to attend because we had moved half way across the state. I decided to make a bear anyway. Surely it can’t be too difficult!

First up, pick a pattern. Finding the collection of books and magazines was easy because they had just been unpacked and put on the shelf.

There was a head in the first book I opened which I liked. So! It’s meant to be a brooch and there’s no body, only a head. OK. Look at more patterns, pick a body, make it a bit longer, a bit fatter and add a couple of darts.

The arms which belong to the pattern will do the job, but without the separate paws. I thought I’d like to try just clipping them.

Next, legs, preferably bent ones, but the only ones I can find are too big. To fit the body, head and arms already chosen the leg has to be about the same size as the foot on the pattern. Freehand is the quickest way to scale things down if you can draw a bit, but in this case it would have been quicker to find a photocopying business in our new hometown, including the explanation of why it had to be just a smidgin smaller than the third copy, and bigger than the fourth to fit the body.

I am a quilter so making templates is easy, so is marking fabric. I even remembered to reverse pieces as required, then cut it out. I only re-cut the bits I marked sideways on the fabric. And the upside down gusset, though the latter would have been better if I had re-cut it before I had started joining it to the side head.

Stitching the head together was fun, and I stuffed it to check the shape. Then removed the stuffing because I couldn’t find the glass eyes and had to use safety eyes, which need to be inserted before stuffing.

Stitching around the arms was so easy! But it wasn’t so easy to stuff until I had unpicked a bit. Then almost forgot to leave openings in the legs. And of course, ditto the body. Some people learn from their mistakes, but not all, not straight away anyway! Eventually all the bits were stuffed and openings closed.

By now I was feeling like an experienced bear maker. I remembered my friend explaining that any fur caught in seam lines should be eased out with a needle. Did that.

I clipped the nose, paws and bottom of the feet. The last two were my own innovation, and I was really proud of that.

If you are going to use button joints with buttons from your collection, allow about 3 hours to find four matching buttons. It took no time at all to actually attach the limbs after I found the buttons, though I had to guess the placement, as I had so carefully marked the positions on the inside and not used a tailors tack to mark the position on the outside as I have since learned to do.

At this point, if the arms and legs had been longer I had a great looking monkey. Something was missing, and it took a while to work out what. Ears! Something else was missing too, some felt padding behind the safety eyes, but the head was very firmly attached to the body so I made a note to remember that in the future.

Oh help! I have made thousands of rag dolls and their faces are just so easy. Why aren’t bears faces that easy? I finally got something resembling s nose at the pointy end of the face, and discovered by mistake that if you pinch the sides together with a few firm stitches from side to side it made it look half presentable. I’ve since read directions for a bear pattern which includes just that instruction and I wonder if other bear makers have learned their trade by mistake.

All done! Without any help from a friend! But judging by the look on Baby Butch’s face he would have appreciated the presence of a competent mid-wife at his birth. Or is he just worried about what sort of brothers he will get? Baby Butch is one of a kind and nothing like the bears I have seen and loved and wanted to make. However, he has got me hooked on making bears. He has two brothers, and more on the way.