Saturday, September 20, 2008

ATC's received

Beaded Cards set of 4. Mine, Pam C, Delwyn R, Lyn Keller Black and White with a Bright Button Delwyn R, Sue McP, Lyn K, Mandy C, Julie D and mine Butterflies; Mine Wendy Z, Sue McP Pam C, Maree C, Roselie v V
Chocolate; Roselie v V, Pam C, Sue H, Mine, Shirley M, Dot R.

ATC's next lot

1 on 1 swap sent to Shirley M.

1 on 1 swap sent to Christine McK these two cards were practice ones.

Cheer me up Swap ATC's received top row
Mandy C, Cinzia W, Lyn D, Sharon B.
Middle row; Annemarie S. Janet W, Glenys F. Christine McK.
Bottom Row; Del R, Carol McG, Karen P, Eric S.

Cute Cats received from Cathy S, Lyn K.
Pam C. mine
Sue McP. Petra G.

More ATC's

These ATC's are themed 'Lucky 7's' we used 7 different embellishments on this set.

This set was named 'Purple People Eater' I crazy patched 6 different purple fabrics then machine stitched with a lurex thread over the tops finished off with a purple shaggy wool.

'Oriental' was the thee for this set. I had this lovely Japanese fabric which I fussy cut to get the Geisha's and then embellished with silver thread.

Forgot to photo this set before I posted them, these were Ric Rac where we had to use 3 different type of Ric Rac braid. The braid was hand sewn on this set.


Artist Trading Cards are small quilted items 3 1/2 X 2 1/2 inches in size. they are made the same as quilts having 3 layers top, wadding/stiffener/back. These cards are swapped with other enthusiasts around the world. These are the sets I have made so far.

This theme was White on White

The topic for this set was 'Cuppa Time'
Cute Cats was the theme for this set
This sets topic was 'Holidays' I printed a photo of the sunset at Mindl Beach Darwin layered silver chiffon over top and added an embroidered border.

The next 3 photos are the sets I made for the original 'Cheer me Up' swap for the scquilters who didn't go to the retreat in Perth W.A.

This set was made for the theme 'Black and White with a bright button'
This set was Chocolate and as I am a Tasmanian I chose Cadburys.

Postcards sent and received

This postcard was made using Angelina Fibres and threads under organza stitched down by machine and satin stitch endges
This postcard I made by piecing a Log Cabin Block stitched on braid and machine quilted with a silky thread
These cards were a set of three where I posted 2 and kept one. I posted my card to myself. The theme was patchwork. I pieced pink brown crean and blue fabric in small squares and sewed braid onto the lines.
This is a beautiful cross stitched card I received from Liz N
This colourful card was received from Eleanor F-W
As was this lovely butterfly card with beaded wings
This was the first card I received from Linda R in Brisbane it is actually all mauves and purples but didn't photograph well.
This is another card from Liz N a lovely pieced Kimono intricate work on a small scale all postcards are 6 X 4 inches.
This is the card I sent to Liz N all blue squares with blue satin ribbon stitched on top.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My daughter and her husband are both Essendon supporters and I had been collecting red and black fabrics for a while with the idea of making them a quilt to take to the football. DD asked at one stage if I could make them a cushion as the plastic seats are uncomfortable to sit on. I had bought a pattern for a ½ square triangle quillow of twelve blocks and decided to kill two birds with the one stone, so to speak.

I cut the fabrics into the squares and made the windmill blocks then decided to add six extra blocks so both of them could cuddle under the quilt if the weather got too cold. I sashed the blocks with red and black fabrics and added a black border. I machined quilted the quilt by following the lines of the windmill blades.

Next step the pocket!!!! I went to the AFL web site and downloaded the logo for the Essendon Football Club, the size of the logo that I downloaded was only around 2" square so I drafted it up to the size I needed for the quillow pocket and reverse appliquéd the design using three layers black, red and white. I then stipple quilted the pocket and stitched it to the quillow adding the label to the inside of the pocket. DD and her DH were very happy with their 'cushion' to take to the football.

The quillow has had a lot of use over the past three years and has been to many football games, I have been asked to make quillows for other football fans but have declined because of Copyright regulations.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Song Title Wall Hanging

The LPQ Presidents challenge one year was "A Song Title" the quilt was to depict the title of the song. Many came to mind and I procrastinated over the months trying to decide which to choose and how to depict it. The Presidents challenge entries are displayed at the November meeting each year and by October I still hadn't decided what song I would do. Two days before the meeting I finally chose my song "The Age of Aquarius". I made a small wall hanging with the astrology symbol of Aquarius on an Osnaberg background and machine quilted an oasis around the water gatherer.

Row by Row Swap

My group in Launceston regularly hold quilting swaps, one of these was a Christmas Row by Row there were eight participants in a group and the row size was 6 ½ X 36 inches. Each participant could include fabric that they would like to be used in each row. My row was a blue background with a Nativity scene on it and in late February our RXR started its trip around to collect their extra rows. We received our rows back on the last Thursday of October and the quilt was supposed to be completed by our Christmas luncheon in early December. I did an extra row for my quilt as one row needed another to help it get on with the other rows. I added three borders cream, gold and dark blue then machine quilted it with a pattern of freehand stars and Christmas bells.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Surprise Quilt for partner

My dear husband is a cat person. When I met him he had a lovely black Persian cross named Bono, Allan hand reared Bono from three days old as the mother cat died from post delivery problems. Bono was a very spoilt cat and definitely a man's cat, he tolerated me and after a year or so would jump into my lap if Allan was not at home. When Bono was around 8 years old he died suddenly one day in early 2002, he had an accident inside and the urine was blood stained so I raced him to the vet, unfortunately he died there a few hours later as he had an advanced bladder cancer which up until that day showed no symptoms.

In the June I decided to make him a quilt featuring cats and cat fabrics. I found a fabric that had different breeds of cats in different poses on it, using this fabric I cut around different groupings of the cats and appliquéd them onto quilters muslin. I put a resting cat onto a basket fabric, had two cats looking through lace curtains and I included one piece of dog fabric. Someone gave me a scrap of fabric with Persian cats on it from which I fussy cut the cats then appliquéd them onto the background sitting them on blankets and cushions. The work on this quilt had to be done while Allan was not at home which became impossible as Allan had a health breakdown early August and was off work for 12 weeks. When he went back to work I was able to do more work on the quilt, when I gave it to him at Christmas it was still a WIP, the top was complete and it was basted but not quilted. I made a special label for the quilt by printing a photo of Bono onto muslin with all the quilt details. During 2003 I machined quilted the quilt with diagonal lines with varying widths. Allan loves his quilt and it is travelling with us around Australia.

Quilting Progress

Amongst the workshops I completed from 2000 – 2002 were ones covering Stack and Slash, Hidden Wells, 3D Flowers, Pictorial Embellishment, Reverse Appliqué and many others. My confidence was growing and quilts were being finished. In 2001 my first granddaughter was born Chloe Nicole, I made her a colourful floor quilt using the Stack and Slash method, the quilt was reversible with a different colourway on each side. As this quilt was made pre-digital camera I don't have a photo of it with me it is packed away in our boxes in Launceston. Chloe now uses this quilt for a doll 'blanket'. Each time we visit she shows the quilt to me and remarks on how pretty it is.

Using some of the flowers from the 3D workshop I made a wall hanging for Carlene as a Christmas present. My friend Marie was an avid collector of frogs anything that had a frog on it or in it. I found a pattern for a lap quilt that had four big frogs on it and decided to make it for her. The colours were mauve, purple and emerald, I also made a cushion from 1 block. The photos of these were lost when my computer crashed in November 2006, I will have to take more when we return to Tasmania.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

During this year I also started a quilt for Chloe’s first big bed, which was to be a quilted bedspread. I found a lovely fairy fabric range all with a pale lemon background. One fabric had alternating strips with fairies standing and younger fairies sitting ideal for fussy cutting blocks from, the other fabric had small posies of flowers on it, the colours we bright pastels. I found a half log cabin pattern in a very old Quilt World which the parents loved. We sourced coordinating Home Spun for some of the strips and alternated with the posy fabric. I machine quilted this by following the lines in the log cabin part of the quilted in the squares I quilted a simple flower design. Chloe ‘helped’ me finish the binding on this quilt by moving the clips for me, when we had finished stitching down the binding, her bed had to have clean sheets and pillow case and all the family came to her room to watch the quilt go on her bed, this was Christmas 2004.

In 2002 LPQ had a ‘Fat eighth swap where we cut 1 metre of fabric into eigths and gave them to the swap divas, who them sorted them and handed each participant back a mixture of 8 fat eighths to use for a quilt to be finished by the November meeting of that year. We were allowed to add a background fabric and I think 1 other. (a good reason for a quilt journal to help you remember what occurred when you made your quilt). For my quilt I made a medallion style quilt with an on point centre with machine appliquéd blocks I sourced from EQ, the background I used was a light coffee coloured Home Spun and the other fabric I added was the Fossil Fern featured in the outer squares. The flowers in the centre basket were made from gathered strips of fabric to give a 3D affect. I machine quilted the quilt using a garden themed pattern, in one of the plain blocks I quilted in an arched garden gate, which gave the quilt its name ‘Through the Garden Gate’. On the backing I included all the left over swap fabrics around the printed label which I stitched into the backing. I gave this quilt to my sister for her 60th birthday in May 2006.

Gaining Experience

To broaden my knowledge of patchworking I attended as many workshops as I could to learn different technique and patterns. One of the workshops I did in 2002 was 'Hidden Wells' technique, for this workshop I used an assortment of 'cat fabrics' that I had sourced from many quilts shops and which unfortunately has closed its business, I added a motley fabric which had a wavy look to it that bought all the colours together. In the workshop I completed two of the blocks, later I finished all of the blocks for a single bed quilt and the top languished in the UFO box until 2006. This quilt was one of the quilts I finished in TGQ's UFO Challenge and as I had one too many blocks it became a quillow. Pam Jarman of Burnie machine quilted it for me and the quillow was given to our granddaughter Chloe for sleepovers and too use in their caravan.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mystery Quilt

A member of scquilters was hosting a Mystery Quilt the instructions where to be posted on the Internet one Saturday. We were given a list on fabric requirements and a short time later we were given the cutting instructions each lot of cuts were given a name. I had difficulty with the colours as I didn't have a finished article/photo to refer too and I wasn't confident with choosing colours. I persevered and followed the sewing instructions on the day completing the top the next day.

I was never happy with the top and it languished in the UFO pile for quite a while. In September 2001 I attended a retreat outside of Mansfield Vic. where Dawn (Gypsy) Isherwood was the tutor for the weekend. Gypsy was teaching us her technique for embellishing and making pictorial quilts on pieced backgrounds. The top I started in this workshop is still a WIP which will be worked on in 2009.

2005 saw me delving into my UFO pile and looking at the MQ top I came up with an idea to embellish it with an ocean theme. I added coral, reeds, mermaids, fish, dolphins, whales, yachts and a lighthouse with a sun shining down from the top corner, then I machine quilted it in a wavy pattern to represent the waves. The completed quilt was given to our eldest grandson Connor on his 10th birthday in 2006 and he loved his fishy quilt.

Memory Quilt

My mother was celebrating her 80th birthday in January 2001 and I decided to make her a memory quilt. My mum had her hair done every Friday morning and I took the opportunity to go into the house and copy down the names and addresses of her close friends and other family members. I contacted them all and asked them to make embroider, cross stitch or paint a 6 ½ " square of quilters muslin which I had included. Expecting only half to complete the task, I was pleased that all but one returned the blocks. Luckily I had holidays over the Christmas to get the quilt together. I printed photos onto fabric of our family and mums brothers and sisters and the centre piece was mum and dad's wedding photo. I machine quilted it and it was ready for mums birthday on January 10th. We went to dinner at a local hotel and I had let everyone know the time and place, mum was expecting 8 people to be there and was pleasantly surprised to see 50 of her family and friends waiting to celebrate with her. The staff at the hotel had set up an area covered by a curtain where I could hang mum's quilt and while we were waiting for the birthday cake the quilt was unveiled. Mum was thrilled with the quilt and it gave her great comfort in her final months as she wrapped herself in it when she had her afternoon nap. As mum's final Christmas neared she wrote a goodbye letter to all and asked me to include a photo of her and the quilt that everyone had contributed to. Later I froggy stitched the quilting and re quilted it as I was not happy with the quilting. My sister in Queensland is looking after it while we are travelling around.

Christmas Blocks

At the Launceston Patchworkers and Quilters Christmas lunch December 2000 I was lucky enough to win one of the set of Christmas Blocks. Each year members of LPQ make a 8 1/2 " block with a Christmas theme to go in the draw. The committee divide them into sets of 9 and the blocks are displayed at the Christmas lunch. The names of the members who haven't won a set are put in a hat and then draw to see who are the lucky winners for that year. The winners are supposed have their quilt made to show at the lunch the following year. In January 2001 my mother was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease and in March I gave up work to become her carer. Over the months I assembled the top and decided to hand quilt it. As time to quilt was limited I didn't get the quilting finished in time for the luncheon. I completed the quilting in December and January as I sat with my mum in the hospice. It is a very special quilt for me as my mum was able to see the quilt finished.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Year quilting

When I look back at the photos of the quilts I have made it is hard to remember in what order I made them. I did not keep a journal of my quilting progress which I am now sorry for and some of the first quilt photos were pre digital camera.

The first challenge quilt I made was a Launceston Patchworkers and Quilters Presidents Challenge 'Portrait of a Country'. I chose to do a wall hanging of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves in New Zealand. It was one of the photos in a Readers Digest book of scenes, after contacting Readers Digest for appropriate permission I started on the wall hanging.

For the background I went through my dressmaking leftovers and found the black pieces they were satin, taffeta, gabardine, velvet and crinkle taffeta. These were cut into squares to make the background. I found a piece of silver and bronze lamé to make the roof of the cave and a few scraps of tan suede for rocks. From the lame and suede I cut pieces to represent the rocky roof of the cave, I then satin stitched them onto the black background stuffing the pieces as needed to enhance the rocky look of the ceiling. The next step was to baste the hanging, then I machine quilted it freehand to represent the darker rocks in the background. Once the binding was finished the next step was to reproduce the glow worms from the ceiling of the cave used a variety of silver threads, embroidery and machine, plus crystal seed beads. I was very pleased with the finished wall hanging.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Real Quilt

This quilt top was started in 2000 and I finished it in 2006.

The first quilt I made from 100% cotton fabrics was started in a ‘Stack’N’Slash workshop at Launceston Patchworkers and Quilters. The colours I used were Khaki, blue check, cream, dark green and variations on these.
We did one block in the workshop as it was to teach the technique only. After the class I went home and made the other 11 blocks and added 3 borders.
The next lesson was to sandwich and baste it which I did the next week and the quilt hung on the back of my sewing room door for 5 years.
In 2006 the then President of the Tasmanian Quilting Guild issued and UFO Challenge, members had to list their UFO’s and nominate to finish 4 for the year. To qualify to enter you had to have 20 or more UFO’s. When I counted mine I had 35, this is one of the quilts I finished before we packed up our house and started our nomad trip. The reason I have so many UFO’s is because I try to learn as much as I can about our craft/hobby/addiction so a lot of UFO’s can be classified as workshop samples.

I machine quilted this quilt by following the lines in the blocks. A few of the blocks have the slashed star look to them, in the other blocks I made too many cuts, a good learning curve.

Friday, January 11, 2008

About me.

I learnt to sew at my maternal grandmothers knee. Nana had been employed by the local tailor as an outworker when her husband died in 1920 leaving her with 2 small boys to provide for. Firstly Nana taught me hand sewing and I remember the first doll’s dress I made out of Nana’s scraps. When I could reach the treadle I was allowed to use the Singer in Nana’s room. When I took sewing in high school the teachers would not believe the work was my own. By 1962 I saved enough from my pay to buy my own sewing machine on which I made all my clothes basketball uniforms and ball gowns. When I married in 1968 the sewing machine got a lot of use making curtains, cushions and chair covers for our army house in Seymour Vic. As the children came along I made the majority of their clothes and bedding. I have always sewn for myself and others over the years I made extra to help with the family budget undertaking various courses and workshops to learn new techniques
After the breakdown of my marriage in 1982 I studied Fashion and Design at TAFE learning all the basics of design, pattern making, use of colour, fashion accessories. After completion of the two year course I worked for a local designer making up her design for clients. One of the clients was a news reader on the local TV station and it can me a buzz to see her wearing garments I had made while she read the news. Then I branched out and went to work for a fancy dress costume hire firm, here I could let my imagination run wild making all types of clothing, Scarlet O’Hara type dresses, Edwardian Styles and fantasy outfits. This job ended when David bought the stock from a rival.
Then I started a baby Manchester business of my own, making quilts, sheets etc all from 100% cotton, this was not a roaring success as I did not have the capital to rent premises etc.
Eventually in 1998 I discovered patchwork and quilting and became a devotee. My first patchwork quilt was a cot quilt made from poly cotton with poly wadding, a simple design of plain and printed squares in pastel colours with Teddy Bears Rocking Horses and Hearts had quilted with embroidery floss. Unfortunately I can’t find a photo of it, the quilt is packed away in our boxes we left in Launceston. I joined the local quilt group did as many workshops I could read every quilt book in the local library and absorbed all the information I could on quilting.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

This is me

I am Fran Cox a quilter from Tasmania. At present my husband and I are residing in Melbourne.   We have been here for the past 8 1/2 years.   We traveled Australia in our caravan for 18 months.  Then came back to Melbourne to help out family for a few months, then did some house sitting.   Then found a live in arrangement with a person with special needs we stayed with her for about 6 years and now I work as her case manager as she is now in Aged Care.   Still quilting and crafting and loving life.