Double Wedding String of Beads

2005 – 2015 (Quilt top only)


This quilt top was tossed into a corner many moons ago because I was not happy with the method I chose to stitch those beads on. It came out of the corner to go to a retreat in May when I spent time cutting and fusing the last beads in place, then spent a few part days stitching them down between the end of May and the end of July so it could be part of Show and Tell at the Hi-Fibre Retreat.

I love the design, love the colours, love the result, but will never try buttonhole stitch on Strings of Beads by machine again. From now on I will go back to zigzag! I prefer hand buttonhole stitch where there are so many meeting points … or having to alternate the direction of the stitch so often. I may have the patience to be a quilter, but that patience doesn’t last long at the machine.

I had also wondered if it was feasible to machine applique onto more than an average block so the beads were fused to a large piece of fabric, and yes, it is feasible, and using zigzag stitch quite easy.

So, a couple of lessons learned!

Started cutting 23rd May, 2005, fused the first beads in place at the 2005 Hi-Fibre Retreat.

Border fabric was purchased at Maney’s of Mundulla.


The quilt top has been given to the Stitching Sisters to complete, and it was their Father’s Day raffle prize, 2016.

I didn’t put my name in the draw, but sort of would have liked to win it back!

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.

More Things I Have Learned about Making Denim Quilts

Joy said in a comment:
October 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm e

Another hint..discovered accidently!

Stitching over those thick intersection seams is even easier with the walking foot on.


And another one learned accidentally …. and I have to admit to learning this one!

The amount of fluff in the washing machine after washing one of these quilts for 15 minutes is enough to block the pump! Butch said he had never seen so much lint in the lint catcher, let alone the pump! Ooops! From now on a quick rub in the wash tub followed by a quick spin, then into the dryer …. it is easier to remove the lint from that!

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



I have started covering all the old scrap books in the filing cabinet, and filling up any empty pages. This one just needed the cover.


I got my first computer in 1992 and I suspect this book was full a long time before that. Wish I had thought to date all those books which still fill a drawer in the filing cabinet after me rescuing quite a few earlier this year to fill and/or cover.


It contains 82 quilt layouts to use with various assortments of blocks, and I started out with a piece of wrapping paper to show where the blocks would go in each layout.


The wrapping paper ran out a long time before the ideas stopped flowing. A long term plan now that I have found them again is to add these layouts to Electric Quilt. I am sure the Virtual Quilter will like that!

Christmas in July Scrapbook

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This is an old book which was partly filled with designs started soon after I started quilting with the intention of making a Christmas Quilt. The quilt was made, the book was never filled or covered. It now holds a small part of the scraps saved from a pile of magazines.

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An article about Christmas cards, with a few secrets hidden under the loose leaf on the right hand side.

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These two designs were not used, and I am so glad I didn’t use that snowman! He would give me the creeps there as well as here! Note to self …… change the eyes before using this fellow in the future!

The pattern pages have been given a touch of colour with a few small pictures added.2009 Scrap Books 023

I don’t know that these two are much better, but they were used. What was I thinking with the back view of the angel? (I was trying to avoid doing a face, as this was before I was designing my own dolls.)

Starry Starry Night

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Tone on tone, with three stars cut from scraps of fabric fused onto a seeded homespun cover. The book has been stiched with gold thread and a bell added to the top of the spine.

Everytime you turn the pages bells ring!

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Inside are bits and pieces saved from more magazines from 1990 – 2005, and sometimes I slowed down gluing stuff onto the pages to do a sort of collage instead of fitting in as much as possible.

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And sometimes I still crammed them in loosely but with an eye for colours which didn’t actually scream at each other.

Quilt World, Pieced and Patched

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Quilt World contains some recently culled pages from copies of Quilt World issued in the 1980s.

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This is an article by Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham, and I am still in awe of those how-to sketches. I wanted to draw like that for class notes and magazine articles I was writing at the time. Would still like to draw like that!

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An article about Bonnie Leman.

2009 Scrap Books 010Pieced and Patched is a collection of pieced blocks I designed about that same time, with the idea that they would have applique added after being pieced. Decided that even though there were lots of simple square and rectanglar shapes they would be better all appliqued!

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.

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

French Onion

Designed the quilt and liked it so much I went to the patchwork shop in Loxton while we were staying in Berri to buy some fabric for background and borders. The remaining fabric was waiting patiently in the stash for something to do.

Tha name for the quilt came about because I couldn’t remember the name given  to the shape I have used.

I think it looks like a very elegant onion-like bulb, so it became French Onion, but usually is labelled as a Fleur De Lys, or iris.

I even followed the pattern as I had already written the instructions,

and I published the pattern about the same time as the quilt top was completed,

and included quilting designs.

(The quilting was done later and the designs in the pattern were modified

slightly on my quilt.)

Machine appliqued and pieced, hand quilted, cotton fabrics and wadding.

60 x 60 inches

The one in which I made all the Mistakes …I hope

Monet’s Garden in Close-up 2

monets-garden-2-bFabrics came from the stash and Stitch and Time in Naracoorte, 2004, so I could make a workshop and pattern sample quilt.

The fabric requirements for a twenty five block quilt would have been less than half a metre. I started with a metre, and ran out with just 20 blocks made!

Two days after I started the final episode of Friends was TV, and all the episodes of the program had titles starting with ‘The one in which…..’ I was already running short of the light green fabric after several cutting mistakes, and had already started reverse stitching as well. I had hopes that I would find all the possible mistakes I hadn’t made in the first, still un-quilted top, with this design in this one.

(It worked, because in the third I couldn’t find any more mistakes, unless cutting nearly 50 blocks instead of 25 is a mistake!)

Had it’s first airing as a workshop sample in 2006, was sandwiched with an awful polyester wadding in 2007.

Started quilting in Berri while on holiday, but it needed to be in the hoop on a stand, so most of the quilting was done at home, and at the July 2007 Hi-fibre Retreat.

Binding completed at a Gumtree Quilters meeting, 3rd September 2007

It may be awful batting to quilt, but it is sooo soft!

50 inches x 58 inches

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!

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.

Moonta Bay Jetty

18th July 2005 –4th December 2006

Printed the picture of Moonta Bay Jetty as an experiment,

did the quilting as a practice before starting to quilt a large quilt,

then found it at the right time to add binding and call it a placemat

for the gift swap at the 2006 Gumtree Quilters Christmas Party.

Of course, I did the binding at the last minute

and had to find the wrapping paper,

have a shower and get to the party in a hurry, and forgot to take a photo,

but with the wonders of modern technology I have put together

something like it for the sake of these records.


The seagull was photographed at Office Beach, Wallaroo,

and was added to the picture after borders,

and in the real thing it is larger

and placed partly over the border..

13.5 x 11inches Designed by Judy Butcher © 2006

It’s all in the Wording

Completed on November 25th 2006

In August, 2005 I borrowed a book from Glenice called

Quilt Treasures, which documented The Quilter’s Guild Heritage Search.

I saw a quilt featuring a monogram which included all the letters of the alphabet,

and started playing with the idea immediately.

It was twelve months before Glenice got her book back!

In July 2006, at the Golden Harvest Quilters Hi-Fibre Retreat,

I started cutting fabric to try the ideas in a wall hanging.

The panel was completed that weekend.

It was bordered, sandwiched, quilted and bound in November 2006.

The title came about because people wanted to know what it said.

My answer is that you can read into it whatever you like.

Every English word is there, even the swear words,

if you look hard and find the letters in the right order.

15¼ inches x 21½ inches (39 cm x 54.5 cm)


Glenice was laid to rest soon after we moved from Bordertown to Crystal Brook,

Michelle called me a few weeks later to let me know that there would be a garage sale to clear some of the contents of the stash. 

I selected a variety of items from what was on offer, including the book!