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January 2007
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March 2007

First art quilt!

You haven't heard from me for a few days because I've been at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne. What a great show! My friend Melinda and I took a two day class with Beth and Trevor Reid - the most amazing art quilters. We had SO much fun! This is what I made (in only 2 days!):


This was certainly outside my comfort zone! It was the first time I had ever attempted anything of this nature (even though I had admired art quilts for a long time). I had never done any machine quilting before and I am quite pleased with the result.

Beth and Trevor were not only inspirational but encouraged each of us on a personal level. No two quilts at the end of the weekend looked a bit alike! I took my inspiration from a photo that I shot at Ubirr, Kakadu National Park, in the Northern Territory of Australia (you can have a look at the inspiration photo if you have my latest book, 'Romancing the Roadtrip' on page 28).


Here's Melinda's quilt:


We had so much fun - no 1/4" seams or rotary cutters - rip and tear and paint if you want to! I loved being outside my comfort zone!

But don't worry girls - today I was back to 1/4" seams and rotary cutters. I'll save my art quilts for the weekends but don't be surprised if you see a few on the blog from now on.....

Have a go at whatever you've been dreaming of,

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. Sneek a peek at Beth and Trevor's work.

Girls night out!

What a day! Went into the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne this afternoon with my friend Melinda and we had a ball! What a fabulous quilt exhibition! I stood infront of so many quilts and just went "oh wow!". Then there were all those quilt shops and fabric studios to buy from!

This was followed by a great dinner at a little Thai restaurant in South Melbourne, 'Sugarcane'. And with the weather we have in Melbourne at the moment (31 degrees/99% humidity) it felt like Thailand!

A fabulous meal but the best thing was a great girls night out. Here we are (left to right): Robyn Ahern (Editor - Patchwork and Stitching magazine), Melly, Lynelle Slade (Editor - Country Threads magazine),Rosie,and Melinda from Around the Block Quilting. And in the front row, Gail Pan - Designer and Teacher, and me!


It was great to meet Robyn and Lynelle from Express Publications. Of course we talked quilts and fabric all night and just laughed and laughed!

Sweet Dreams (it's 2am now!),

Leanne Beasley xxx

Do you like butterflies?

I really hope that you LOVE butterflies because that's the theme for my next Block of the Month Quilt! It's called 'Butterfly Garden'. The designing sketches are almost finished so I thought that I'd give you a bit of a peek. After all, this is my journal:


All the flowers in the quilt are flowers that attract butterflies. This stitchery has an applique pail and stitchery flowers. The quilt has very simple patchwork piecing, applique (any sort will work) and stitchery.


These are some of the sketches of pieces of the quilt.

Now I know the next two questions so here are the answers:

1. The main range of fabric that I am using is the new 3sisters, 'Sanctuary' range by Moda. Due into Australia at any minute! I am working with fat quarters and scraps of other fabrics (got to use up some of that stash!).

2. I don't have a date that the quilt will be available. I'm working on a few other projects at the same time, so give me a few months (there's a LOT of stitching in this quilt!).

If you'd like to check on my progress though, just keep looking here!

All my best (how exciting is the start of a new quilt!!!!),

Leanne xxx

Bags and things...

Okay, in case it wasn't completely and utterly obvious - I LOVE FABRIC!!!And when you stroll (okay -in a frantic rush in the middle of the day) head down to the local patchwork shop and find out that the new Robyn Pandolph range, 'Sweet Dreams', is in, this is what happens:


You end up making another bag! The bag looks small here because it's photographed on the huge birdfeeder in my back garden that my brother made for my birthday (some years ago!). It's actually quite a big bag and fits a whole big quilt in it.

If you like this bag, you can make one too. The pattern (The Easiest Bag You'll Ever Make) is listed in the left hand column under 'Free Pattern'. This version in the photo is a big one! I used the bamboo bag handles in 30cm (12") and made the bag fabric and lining fabric 24" x 38" (you'll understand what this means when you look at the pattern). The pattern is also on page 28 of my latest book, 'Romancing the Roadtrip'.

Thankyou to all the girls that have emailed me photos of their versions of 'The Easiest Bag You'll ever Make'. I LOVE them all!!!!. You've all inspired me so much I can't stop making them!

Hope you get a chance to stitch one up!

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. I've just ordered my first lot of 'moo cards' (thankyou Trudy) and there'll be more explanation when they arrive!

Bendigo was great!

Wow! Sometimes you just have one of those days that you know you'll be reminiscing over for a long time. I had one of those yesterday in Bendigo at my book signing at Donna and Tina's shop, Attic Crafts.


Thankyou to all the wonderful ladies who came to the signing, I was very touched because it was SO hot (almost 40 degrees!!!! - about 110 degrees!!!) and it must have been an effort to make it (although the air conditioning in the shop was great!).

A huge thankyou to Tina and Donna who treated me, and my Mum Doreen, and my little Georgia, like Princesses (they wouldn't even let me drink out of a foam cup - it had to be china!):


It was also like any other Road Trip full of funny little happenings! We left at 7am so we could be there by 9am but a huge tram/truck accident in the city of Melbourne had us gridlocked in traffic and we got there at 10:30am with half an hour to set up all the samples and get ready! But we did it!

On the way home we stopped at a beautiful little lake in Malmsbury (divine country town) where Georgia (5 years old) decided to find the only muddy puddle (In a country in serious drought!) while feeding the ducks, and get her best shoes and dress COVERED in MUD!!! After many "Oh Georgia!'s" from me, and my Mum bathing her in the local basin, she had to drive back to Melbourne in a 'sarong'  made out of a meter of lovely pink fabric that I'd purchased at Donna and Tina's!

Glad I bought that fabric,

Leanne Beasley xxx

I'm on my way....


Well I'm not quite on my way yet but I'll be there on Wednesday, that is - I'll be in Bendigo, Victoria, for a book signing of my latest book, 'Romancing the Roadtrip'. I'll be at Attic Crafts (98 Queen Street, Bendigo) between 11am and 1pm on Wednesday the 14th (yes, I know, Valentine's Day).

I can't wait to be there and see all the lovely Bendigo ladies again. I will bring all the samples from the book so you can have a snuggle with the quilts and a peek at the projects. I'll also bring my first book (it seems to be having a huge second wind - don't worry we won't run out - we did a reprint!) and the samples from that.

And for the rest of the readers you can enjoy the photos when I get back!

To a safe journey...

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. for more photos from the books have a click on the left hand photo albums.

Today in the mail....

Oh I LOVE the mail! I'm not sure why, but is is SO exciting when things arrive in the mail. Well today I got a double helping of fabulous mail. Who wouldn't be excited about this coming:


The latest range of fabric from the '3sisters' designers at Moda fabrics called 'Sanctuary'! A fat quarter of each fabric in the range! You'll probably see a bit of this coming up in my work!!!!

And then the next exciting package was from Rebecca in New Zealand (you may remember she was the lady that won the 'Quilter's Journal Package'):


Thanks SO much Rebecca! Rebecca enclosed a postcard with the 'New Zealand Christmas Tree' on it, a piece of fabric with the same tree, and a beautiful bookmark made from the New Zealand Paua Shell. I was just so excited when I opened this because not only was it a very thoughtful thankyou but it really represents where Rebecca lives and her beautiful country (which I will see one day I'm sure!).

Oh how I love the mail! What's one of the best things you've ever receivied in the mail?

Can't wait to hear...

Leanne xxx

Time to reflect...

I had a wonderful night at Foothills Fabric and Threads in Tecoma with my Tuesday night class:


(L to R): Pam (who made her quilt and had the curtain man match the new bedroom curtains to the quilt!), Elissa (who still made it to class against all odds), Me!, Lisa (30's fabric lover like me), Alison (who came to class all finished with her quilt basted and everything!!!!!), and Willy (the blue and yellow girl!).

It was one of those happy and sad classes because we've been together for two years now as a class! We first did 'Leannes House Block of the Month' and last night we finished off 'Journey of a Quilter'.

This has been an incredible journey of a whole bunch of quilters. When we started 'Journey of a Quilter' Willy's Mum joined us in class. Sadly, we lost Willy's Mum to cancer not far into the quilt. Willy finished piecing her Mum's quilt and it was quite emotional for all of us when Willy brought the quilt to class. So, Willy, as you sit and do the stitchery on the quilt think wonderful thoughts of an amazing woman who you were lucky enough to call Mum (or 'Boss' as she was so affectionately known!). She is sadly missed.

This reminds all of us how precious our quilt making is. Not just in the quilts but in the wonderful women we get to meet. It never ceases to amaze me that you can take a group of women of all ages, from all walks of life, and they form a bond through making quilts. How privilaged we are to be on the journey of a quilter.....

Leanne xxx

Remembering Paris...

Have been working on a quilt for hubby's birthday! The idea came from my 'P.S. Don't Forget the Chocolate' quilt in my new book, 'Romancing the Roadtrip' (available from patchwork and quilting shops worldwide including Honeysuckle Cottage):


I've made hubby's a bit bigger than this using 6 x 6 blocks (directions and requirements are in the book under 'Travel Quilt').

Using blues and greens and no 'flowery fabric' I've added a special element - some map fabric. Hubby and I were lucky enough to spend our honeymoon in France and Spain, so Paris, being the first stop, is pretty special to us. I've had this 3sisters by Moda fabric, which is a detailed map of Paris, for quite some time, just waiting for the right moment to use it. I've incorporated it into the quilt, and I hand drew around significant places to hubby and I and then simply backstitched in DMC thread over my drawing:


(you may notice I've circled a cemetary here - don't despair! - we visited Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris because we wanted to see the graves of Heloise and Abelard, famous lovers from around the eleventh century. To this day lovers still visit their graves and lay roses!).


You could use a similar idea by scanning in a map (or photographing a map) of your own holiday area, and transferring that design onto fabric (I also cover this in the book). Then just cut out and incorporate into the quilt.

Anyway, back to stitching!

Leanne xxx

P.S. If you love all things France visit Tongue in Cheek for a lovely lovley blog.

Last of the journals...

I wasn't sure if I was going to share this journal or not, but hey, here we go!

Many of you know my best friend Rosalie Quinlan has been fighting breast cancer for the last six months. We decided when she was diagnosed to each start a quilt that wasn't our own design so we could just do it for fun. This is what this journal is about - the journey through it all - but in relation to making the quilt. The quilt we selected is called 'Friendship's Garden' by Blackbird Designs.

There's no cover on the binder yet - I'm not sure what I'll do, maybe an applique?

I have four dividers in the journal so far: photos, fabric, bits and pieces, and journal.


I've kept it simple using basic pages. I'm not fussy about a fabulous photo, I just take the photos on my work bench and stick them in!:


In the fabric section I've stitched in fabrics that I've used in my version of the quilt. Rosalie and I have been buying fabric together for over 20 years (!!!!!) so many of the fabrics have a story about when or where we bought them and I've scribbled these in:


In bits and pieces I include anything that I like! Rosalie and I love going to the movies but always seemed to be 'too busy'. One of the things breast cancer makes you realize is to not be 'too busy'. Now we go to the movies, so I wanted to remember which movies they are. I used a fold up pocket page for this so I could keep my tickets and postcards etc. about the movies.


The journal is simply basic pages and using a line template I draw pencil lines for journaling (I don't rub them out) and just journal away:


I must admit that I find journaling very much like therapy. What I really love about the 2 ring binder is that if I decide not to keep the journal section later, I can simply throw it in the bin without having to rip out pages!

One of the best things while making this quilt has been getting to meet Alma and Barb from Blackbird Designs. Five of us quilting girls embarked on a Road Trip, and did a workshop with Fragrant Cottage, and Barb and Alma, in Warrnambool (Victoria, Australia). Rosie had moved house, had surgery, and had her second chemo treament the week before we left - she still made it!!!

Barb and Alma both signed our quilts and loved to hear how much their designs mean to us:


So go on, start a journal just for a specific quilt. Keep it simple so you'll feel motivated to complete it!

Hope you're inspired!

Leanne xxx

P.S. Rosalie has just released her latest block of the month quilt called, 'The Joy of Life'. She also started this and worked on it in the last six months. It is a beautiful quilt - see her blog for more details!