Curved Chimneys and Cornerstones



At the retreat I attended last weekend I had a lovely surprise.

One of my Curved Chimneys and Cornerstones designs, which I shared with those who attended the 2014 Hi-Fibre Retreat, has been made into a quilt top by one of the attendees, Ann.



I love it when a plan comes together!

I look forward to seeing the finished project next year.

Jeans for Josh

9th October 2010

Earlier in the week I went op shopping in Berri, Loxton and Pinnaroo and came home with denim, in the form of jeans and a skirt, along with three bedspreads and a tablecloth.  Two days of cutting twelve and a half inch squares, and making up more squares from smaller sections and I had over 50 squares of denim! I only needed one quilt!

11th October 2010

The blocks started becoming quilt tops … and this one was first cab off the rank. It was also the top lot of blocks laid out on our bed today, so I had to concentrate on getting the bed cleared by bedtime. Others were on the spare bed and the lounge room floor!

November 30 2010

Backing pinned in place.

December 1st 2010

Machine stitched the binding around the outside.

December 9th 2010

Binding hand stitched down at Jack and Monica’s while Dad was in hospital.

The quilt was given to Josh on Christmas Day with instructions to empty his pockets! He found assorted cars, pens, pencils, an eraser, pencil sharpener, dice, note pad and a hand full of stones from Great Grandpa’s garden … all the sort of stuff you would find in an eight year old boys jeans pockets.

Patches for Paul

18th September 2010

After cutting and piecing together the Blue Jeans quilt top I had to get out the denim scrap box. Scraps left over from Blue Jeans for the Limousine which I made for Megan when she got her first car (the car was far from a limousine!) had been joined by some op shop jeans when I was making bags from jeans many moons ago.

Before I cut the border for Blue Jeans I sorted out enough bigger pieces to make two more quilt tops not quite as big as Blue Jeans.

23rd September 2010

The top went together reasonably well untill the last couple of seams, which involved four patches of stretch jeans in the corners. All the stretch runs across the quilt, so joining the vertical seams was fine …. the horizontal seams of the corner blocks stretched way out of shape, but eventually managed to get it under control.

14th October 2010

Pieced together binding strips cut from some dark, lightweight denim pieces I acquired several years ago from an op shop.

17th October 2010

Stitched binding on. Now I want something worth turning the tv on to ignore so I do the hand stitching. The backing is a bedspread donated by a friend. This will definitely be for the father, with another one in the making earmarked for son!

26th October 2010

Finished stitching the binding down!

The ‘quilting’ is a few scattered areas of  ‘darning’ by machine in grey thread … the sort of thing I would do on a pair of jeans to make them wearable for another season in the garden.

The quilt was handed over on Christmas Day, and Paul was instructed to empty his pockets of fishing gear, pens etc!

The feet belong to Paul, and so do the hands … well, one pair!

Wonder where Sala was when the photo was taken!


PS I am not the only one who has used the pockets ……… The Cozy Quilter did too!

Made in Fiji

9th October 2010 – 19th October

Started cutting assorted jeans and an ankle length skirt. The skirt is a real bonus! Will be able to colour code the various shades of denim into several quilts.

11th October 2010

The second quilt from the purchases made in Berri, Loxton and Pinnaroo op shops, including the long denim skirt which was made in Fiji … the label was inside the band, but have removed it to be stitched to the front later. All the pieces are laying on the spare bed. This one has a predetermined home to go to because of that label!

12th October 2010

Quilt top together by lunchtime.

17th October 2010

Binding ready to be stitched down by hand. Backing is a chenille bedspread purchased from an op shop a few years ago. Price was about $5 …. looked brand new!

19th October 2010

Binding completed, and first photos taken.

The centre row of buttons came from the long denim skirt, and the label will be attached to the back. The details of the quilt will go on the front with a permanent marker, along with signatures of well wishers when the quilt is handed over to the new owner.

I have already started stuffing stuff into the pockets. Items will include a packet of chewing gum, chocolate, odd coins, a pocket packet of tissues…. and a scrunched up loose tissue …. all the things you might find in the pockets of jeans when you are about to put them in the washing machine.

Completed on the eve of  Count your Buttons Day!

The quilt was handed over on Christmas Day and Sala was instructed to empty her pockets of earrings, pens and pencils, pencil sharpener and eraser, note pad, head band, purse and scarf  ….. the sort of things you might empty out of the pockets of any teenage girl.

Swinging Blue Jeans

18th September – 18th October 2010

After cutting and piecing together the Blue Jeans quilt top I had to get out the denim scrap box. Scraps left over from Blue Jeans for the Limousine which I made for Megan when she got her first car (The car was far from a limousine!) had been joined by some op shop jeans when I was making bags from jeans many moons ago.

Before I cut the border for Blue Jeans I sorted out enough bigger pieces to make two more quilt tops not quite as big as Blue Jeans.

21st September

Quilt top is together, and it looks like this.

There are a lot of what looks like grass stains …. they don’t show up near as much in real life ….. but maybe some bits of school boy jeans.

(I knew one who spent a lot of time creating grass stains on clothing!)

14th  October 2010

Layered the top with the backing …. part of the doona cover which was used for the back of the Washed Denim Quilt and cut the strips for a raggy edge.

15th October 2010

Stitched the strips around the edge for the raggy finish, and put it in th almost finished pile ….. I chased the vacuum cleaner around yesterday to remove all the little bits of thread which have come off the raggy bits of the quilts, and it is too cold today to go outside and snip the edges.

19th October

Clipped the edges and it is now washed and raggy round the edges.

Some of the grass stains have come out in the wash!

Finished size 44 x 60 inches

No wadding, denim top, poly-cotton backing.

Washed Denim Quilt

Started 9th October 2010, completed 13th October 2010

Started cutting assorted jeans after an op shop spree in Berrie, Loxton and Pinnaroo.

11th October 2010

The third quilt top from amongst the pieces, using some well washed jeans. No plans for this one at this time.

Pieced together before I went to bed as the pieces were laid out on our bed …. the spare bed was taken up by another lot of pieces!

13th October 2010

The backing is part of a doona cover which was found in one of the op shops. I added two strips of navy fabric around the raw edges of the quilt instead of binding the edges, giving it a raggy edge ….. a fun, easy finish for a fun quilt.

I might use this edging again, but bind the top in the usual way, as the raggy edge could look good around the other sides of a bed quilt, particularly in a pink and fluffy girls room!

Finished size 34 x 44 inches

Raggy Jeans Rug

Quilt in a Day 13th October 2010

Twelve squares of dark denim …. cut from near new jeans …. backed with a cream fabric which formerly backed a bedspread.

Pieced together before breakfast …. my morning exercise was walking from the spare bedroom carrying two blocks correctly aligned to the sewing room down the passage, stitching, then returning for the next piece! This was before daylight, so working, or walking, outside was not an option at that time.  After the event realised I had stitched within a hairsbreadth of a stud ….. an extra cup of heart starter was required with the bowl of muesli!

Life returned to more normal activities for the morning, but still managed to get the snipping of seam allowances done by lunchtime, after thinking it was done soon after breakfast, but finding a few seams waiting for the snips just before I was going to put it in the machine.

Finished size 36 x 45 inches

Santa and Sack

christmas-cave-oct-2008-059-5This was a very cheap Santa sack I got in the after Christmas sales, when it was even cheaper, but it was an awful sack with a very sub standard back.

The back was used as the backing, but it really needed the wadding to add some body to the whole thing.

Santa’s Advent


Purchased panel with fabric trims fused to felt and cut out to hang on the tree.

The Red Black and White Quilts.

On Australia Day, 2007, John Hector asked me to make a quilt for

his wife, and my best mate from high school days, Viv.

I asked him what her favourite colour was, and being a typical bloke,

he had to go and ask her.

He came back and said, ‘she’s playing silly buggers, she said St Kilda!’

I came home wondering what I would do in red, black and white,

and found what I wanted already in the TIS pile.

TIS stands for Top in Storage.

And there wasn’t just one red white and black top, there were two!

Both were made in 1993, when I was experimenting with Patchwork Jigsaw patterns.

This was the first time I had gone out and bought fabric specifically for Patchwork Jigsaws, and I bought them from Lyn Uphill, Riverlea Quilts.

Red, Black’n’White was the first one cut out in August,

with the leftovers cut out for Minaret for Medina 2,

and both were pieced over three days in September, 1993.

The other two Minaret’s have long been finished

but I never had a place or purpose for this version.

Both served me well quite a few times, as Patchwork Jigsaw samples when I was teaching workshops .

But now there was a reason to finish them both!

I bought a bright red and a black and very dark green check from Almond Grove Quilts, Loxton to add borders to turn both cot size wall hangings into lap quilts for grown-ups.

One would be the one John asked me to make for Viv,


the other I would give to Viv so she could give one to John in return.


Finally started hand quilting Minaret using Perle Cotton No 5 thread around the more dominant shapes in October, 2007,

then machine meandered over the background spaces.

Red, Black’n’White was almost all hand quilted in November.

Both bindings were attached in December, 2007, with Red, Black’n’White completed on the 20th, and Minaret for Medina 2 on the 21st.

Dad and Sue took the quilts when they came down for Christmas 2007,          and delivered them to Viv and John early January, 2008.

Dana Dimpling

dana-dimplingOnce upon a time I was trying to work out a project using pieced background blocks, and another featuring 3D dolls which could become a workshop and/or series of classes.

Dana Dimpling is one of my favourite original doll designs, and she makes an easy 3D applique too.

This little picture was started way back when, and the binding was added in 2007 so I could take photos of the corners and the join to use in my patterns.

The binding was stitched down in December 2007.

Sharmaine’s Shelf Elf


Lyn Fullgrabe’s fostered daughter in law does pottery,

including elves, pixies,

or whatever.

This one usually resides on my sewing room window sill,

but he found himself amongst the

Christmas decorations one day.

Printed the photo onto fabric, added a border,

with hand and machine quilting.

A Christmas present for his ‘mother’ in 2007

Australia’s Favourite Car

December 2007


During our trip to Canberra in 2006 I found a post card

to send to Nigel.

However, I didn’t send it, but scanned it, enlarged it,

printed it onto fabric,

added borders and some quilting!

I found the Holden fabric at the

Barossa Quilt and Craft Cottage,

so had to work around the colours

in the printed postcard and the fabric.

Completed in time for Christmas 2007

Travelling Man


December 2007

Lyn took this photo of John in Europe,

and I just liked it.

Printed the photo onto Miracle Fabric, added borders, and hand quilted a few of the interesting lines.

Given to Lyn for Christmas 2007

Posted it in such a hurry that I forgot to take a photo.

Holly Wreath Table Topper

Pieced background blocks from the stash of creamy background prints,

rather than put them away after moving to Bordertown from Kadina.

Started in June 2004,

along with four other projects because I got carried away cutting up fabric,

and borders were added before the appliqué was started.

The holly was fused on in October 2004

Another Cot Quilt for Joan Bunny

June 2007

Joan was obviously impressed with the first quilt,

or perhaps the fee I charged,

because soon after I got another bag of fabric

from her to make another quilt

for another baby.

This time I added borders to the length she provided, and once again I didn’t take a photo!

Palms, Pineapples and Peonies

Designed by Judy Butcher © 2006,

the first project I have started which has been entirely designed in Electric Quilt 5.

Having a colour picture as a guide saves lots of time,

as there is no need to audition every shape, or even fabric.

I looked for fabrics with similar value to the ones illustrated and just went ahead.

All the fabrics were in the stash, just waiting to be used,

and there were enough background blocks pieced together for another quilt.

Started with the intention of using hand buttonhole stitch

around all the appliqués at Gumtree Quilters meetings,

I decided that the other new project using the leftover blocks from this one,

Bush Garlands 2 in Red and Yellow, would be the one done by hand,

and did the appliqué on this one by machine, using machine embroidery threads in zigzag stitch.

I have to admit that the ‘palm’ leaves started life as acanthus leaves,

and look very much like Monstera Deliciosa leaves, but neither of those botanical names

or the common names of the plants quite fitted in the title as well as palms!

The overall effect is quite tropical!

Wadding (Matilda’s Own Cotton) and backing (purchased at Bankhouse Quilts, Millicent, on 22nd Nov, two days after the applique was finished) was cut out 1st of December 2006.

Sandwiched in January, machine quilted in February, binding completed 1 March,

began a little hand quilting on the 5th, quilt completed on 24th march 2007.

Pattern was completed just before the quilt!

Echidna, Tea Towel Art

echidna-424th October 2006 to March 5th 2007

Mum bought this tea towel as a Christmas present for me

when I took her to Broken Hill in 1994.

Vicki asked me what I had got for Christmas that year,

and she stated that a tea towel wasn’t the most inspiring gift a mother could give to a daughter, but then she hadn’t seen the tea towel.

Sadly, neither Mum nor Vicki saw the finished product.

echidnaThe art work is signed Stewart Merrett,

and this was one of a series of tea towels by the same artist.

The project finally got underway when the tea towel and narrow border fabric came together while I was making a quilt top using Australian fabrics and some printed blocks which were 10 years old.

The nearest the tea towel will get to drying dishes

is hanging on the wall in the kitchen.

27.5 x 32 Inches 70 x 81cm

Machine pieced, Machine and hand quilted.

Linen and Cotton Fabrics, wool/polyester wadding

Christmas Gold


14th January 2005


2.25pm, 16th December 2006

The blocks were made for me by members of the

Golden Harvest Quilters

as farewell gift, and came with a piece of fabric to match, a plant

and Life Membership,

all presented one after the other when I visited them on a meeting day in August, after the 2004 Retreats.

As those who were there on the day I received my blocks should know, I was thrilled, and challenged! I had to think about how I would put them together while I unpacked, and for some time after.

The first problem was that here were so many blocks that I would have to make lots of wall hangings. Or a quilt! And if it was to be a quilt, how about queen size for our bed, and leave out the wadding so we would actually use it during summer.

(The spare bed was covered when I won the ‘Can’t see the forest for the trees’ blocks all those years ago at Corny Point.)

The techniques used include applique, foundation piecing, embroidery and cross stitch, and there are buttons of all sorts and other trims added!

The special fabric was purchased from Seymour Crafts, so I visited Ally to add some other matching fabrics to the stash, just in case I needed them for this project.

Before the blocks became threadbare from me playing with them,

I put the small borders around each one in Jan 2005, and got them together, though still ragged around the edges two days later.

The quilt was put together one piece at a time, using those fabrics from Ally and others from the stash, and the time spread itself over two years.


The project was left a bit rough around the edges for more thinking time while I planned the border.

It came out again in May 2006 and but it was not until the day the Golden Girls celebrated their 20th birthday on Wednesday 13th September 2006 that it became less ragged.

On that day Glenice, Vonnie, Marlene S and Ruth C

joined Helen, Joy and me as Life Members.

Finished putting the top together on the day the Golden Girls were celebrating our 20th birthday, (13th September 2006)

Bought the backing in November 2006, and did the bulk of the machine quilting

on Dec 13th, 2006, while the Golden Girls were celebrating Christmas together

at the home of Judy Neate, Hardwick Bay.

The binding was stitched on, and partly stitched down, on 15th of December,

and it was on the bed within five minutes of the final stitch going in

at 2.25pm on December 16th 2006

It looks absolutely wonderful, and every time Brian wiggles a toe bells ring! (I’m not telling you what is going on when the bells ring for extended periods of time, but we will have to curtail that sort of activity while we have guests!)

I am delighted with the results, and will be sad to put it away during the colder months, but what a thrill it will be to get it out when the Christmas decorations come out for their annual airing.

It is unlikely that I will ever forget the Golden Harvest Quilters, but I have no doubt that the memories will come back every Christmas despite age and old timers disease!

Flat quilted (no wadding) by machine

and used on our bed during the Christmas season.

Nine Patch from Boston

The blocks were started using scraps from Boston is not so Common as soon as the pieces of that quilt were strung together, and these blocks were completed the same day, 29th October 1997.

The remaining scraps were saved for the border, but plans were changed. I think they are still in the stash, but perhaps have found their way into another project.

In June, 2004, I pieced the blocks together as they are now, but with a different fabric, but didn’t like it, so practised reverse stitching. The pieces if the fabric I didn’t like in this quilt are still in the stash, as I saw them not long ago. I also decided to leave out three of the completed blocks, and they were made into a table runner, which was completed in July 2004.

The borders were added to this project on July 5th, 2004. Over two years later I bought backing, made the quilt sandwich and quilted it by machine, added binding and stitched it down, October– November 2006.

It is badly quilted because it was badly sandwiched, as I used spray basting and did it in a hurry. I tell people spray basting is only suitable for small quilts, and to take their time! I stretched the blocks on the diagonal in the first attempt to get them flat after adding the spry, and they got worse with every attempt to straighten them out. So please do as I say, not as I do!


Nine Patch from Boston took nine years one month to complete,

even though I probably only spent a week working on it over all those years.

Size 55 x 66 inches, 140 x 165 cm

Donated to Bushfire Appeal 2009