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March 2007
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May 2007

Time for an update...

First, to announce the winner of the most recent giveaway (see April 19 entry) for one of each of my books and the DVD: Asa Holmer from Sweden! Congratulations Asa and could you please email me your mailing address and I will ship your package on Monday.

Update from my little Australian garden:


The weather has been amazing with so much warm weather still right into Autumn. I took the above photo this afternoon of the raspberry patch. (They'll be nice for tonight's dessert along with some double cream!).

Thought you might also like an update on my own version of The 365 Challenge Quilt:


Anzac (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is pretty special in our family because my husband's Dad fought in the Australian Army. It's particularly special because it is also a day we think about him quite a lot and what his life was and what he gave for our country.

Maybe someone dear to you has been in (or is in) the armed forces of your country and you'd like to include that in your quilt. You don't necessarily have to put it on a national remembrance day, maybe just a day that you're thinking about that person.

And don't forget to include typical days:


My Mum keeps reminding me that these days that seem so 'ordinary' are the ones that you look back on with the fondest memories.

I have already seen quite a few of The 365 Challenge Quilts while out and about. What I am loving the most is how each quilt relects the author and they don't even realise it. For example, Karen from Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop (who used to be a school teacher) has ruled lines for her writing and her writing is just perfect - being a school teacher is in her blood!

I hope that you are enjoying the journey of The 365 Challenge,

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. Yes, I realise that I had a spelling error on the quilt but I've decided to leave it, as if it was my own journal, and not unpick errors or things that didn't quite come out right.

A trip to Tasmania...

Here I am back from teaching in Tasmania. It was just fantastic!

DAY ONE: Rosalie Quinlan and I took off in the plane and were in Hobart by early morning and ready for fun! We headed off to see the shop, The Quilted Crow , owned by Leonie and Deirdre: After LOTS of ooohhhing and aaaahhhhing there we drove over to the Campania Town Hall to set up for the 'Autumn Gathering' the following day. Here's the shop:


Leonie and Deirde treated us like a couple of princesses and had us staying at 'Mrs.Curries House' , a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in Richmond (highly recommend the fully cooked breakfast!). In the afternoon and evening we wandered around Richmond and took it all in. A real highlight was getting to see the oldest bridge in Australia, the Richmond bridge.

DAY TWO: This is what we woke up to:


Yes, a great start to a great day! It only got better from there when we headed over to the hall to meet a bunch a great ladies from Tasi:


We all enjoyed a day of stitching, giggling, delicious food, sharing ideas, demonstrations, and lovely projects to work on. Joining Rosalie and I was Lenna (on the left), a wonderful local teacher from Tasmania:


Deirdre and Leonie had everything so organised that they got to have a really enjoyable day too:


DAY THREE: Deirdre and Leonie gave us an extra day to just enjoy Tasmania. So we did! We had a girl's day in Hobart and just explored art galleries, coffee shops, book shops, the local area, and lots of craft shops! Looking at this you can see why we had so much fun:


And (of course) there's even more photos in the little album that I've made up on the left hand side! Wish that you all could have been there to share in a really wonderful time...

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. Will do an update on the winner of the giveaway next post, so keep leaving comments to be in the draw!

Lots of things today (and a BIG Giveaway)!

Hi everyone! I have lots that I'd like to share with you today because I'm headed off (with my best friend and fellow designer Rosalie Quinlan ) on a quick flight across the ocean to Tasmania to teach at The Quilted Crow for a few days. Yes, very exciting, and can't wait to catch up with all the ladies down south!

So first, the competion (I did mean to post this yesterday but when hubby said "are you going on that computer AGAIN?" I thought I'd wait until today!) So the winners are Francisca (NL), Cheryl (USA), and Marina (AU). So ladies if you'd each like to email me your postal addresses I will pop your starter kits for the 365 Challenge in the mail!Congratulations!

While we're on the topic of the 365 Challenge I really have to share my entry for yesterday, I think it's self explanatory:


Out on the shelf today is the latest issue of Scrapbook Creations:


So for those of you who missed my DVD on how to make a Quilter's Journal when it was on the front of Australian Homespun magazine now's your chance to pick up a copy with this issue of Scrapbook Creations. For more pictures about the DVD click on Homepun Magazine DVD photo in the left hand column.

This week was my last class with a great bunch of ladies. We've been together for a few years now at Foothills Fabric and Threads doing my Block of the Month Quilts. Here we are:


Left to right: Sue, Anne, Me, Helen and Sue (missing from the photo: One more Sue, Karen and Marion). I am truely blessed by everyone who loves my designs and this group of ladies has been special - and they've even signed up for my new Block of the Month class (for which I haven't even finished the quilt yet!).

Now to the next Giveaway. Because I won't be able to do a post for a few days I have an idea. The number of fantastic suggestions for the 365 Challenge Quilt that I have received are wonderful and incredibly inspiring. So I would like you to leave a comment, and in the comment write an idea that you can share with everyone else doing the quilt.That idea can be anything! It might be an idea of what to write, how to write, fabric colors, anything! It can be as simple as "I'm going to record the weather for 365 days" or as complex as "here's another way to put the quilt together".

Have fun, I will miss you all (is there such a thing as blog separation anxiety?) and think about the Giveaway prize: a copy of each of my books, 'Living the Dream' and 'Romancing the Roadtrip' and also my DVD.

Leanne Beasley xxx

365 Challenge Update...

Wow girls! I am incredibly overwhelmed and touched by your amazing response. Not only have there been lots of great comments but the number of personal emails with very moving stories have been incredible. I have laughed and cried as I have shared some of your stories. This is going to be the most wonderful collection of life stories!

Thought that I'd share a few of my recent journal blocks which might inspire you. This was SUnday:


This was Monday:


And today:


Take note of todays block. It is messy - I was in a hurry. I made a mistake on the word 'bunch' - I left it because that's real - I often make mistakes. The words didn't come out exactly as I'd planned - but that's life. Get the idea? Just do it and don't fuss. When the entries are all done it will look fantastic. It doesn't have to be a graphic masterpiece - it has to tell a story. It can be a graphic masterpiece if that's what you want - but - it doesn't have to be.

Some of the clever math girls will soon realise that 16 columns of 23 blocks equals 368, not 365. There are 3 'extra' blocks to make the quilt balance. You will notice that in todays journal entry I wrote over two blocks. If I do this 3 times I will use up the extra three blocks! See, it all works in the end. Oh, and just to let you know the finished size of the quilt will be 64" wide by 93" long, without borders. We'll get to borders later on. This quilt will be about Queen Comforter size.

Remember - it is the journey that counts - have fun creating!

Leanne Beasley xxx

This is out of control (yeah!)...

I am really overwhelmed by your response! Lots of girls have emailed me asking if there could be a kind of kit for the 365 Challenge quilt. Well guess what? I have just found out that Honeysuckle Cottage is going to do the following following 365 Challenge Packs:

1. The Starter Pack inc. some fabric and freezer paper and permanent pen.

2. The 'It's Growing Nicely Pack' inc. plenty of fabric and freezer paper and permanent pen.

3. The Full Year Pack inc. all the fabric and freezer paper and permanent pen.

I cannot wait to see how many quilts we can all make between us!

Note: Please give Honeysuckle Cottage some time to get organised as this will be lots of work. You can also contact them by phone on (02) 6824 2083.

Thanks girls,

Leanne xxx

365 Challenge Give away...

I'm really excited to see such a great response to the 365 Challange! You girls had so many questions before I could even get everything up on the site - WOW! If you look up in the top right hand corner you will see the 365 Challenge Tutorial. You can follow this step by step if you like, or make up your own version as you go along. The only 'rules' are that you should have 365 entries and that they are on fabric that can be formed into a quilt top.

I'm so inspired by all your enthusiasm that I've decided to make up three give away packs:


Each give away pack is a starter kit with fabric, freezer paper and a Zig 08 Permanent Fabric Marker. To enter, simply leave a comment before Wednesday lunchtime. I will draw three names out of a hat and get the winning packs in Wednesday afternoon's mail!

To answer a few questions:

1. The Zig pens  can be purchased from many patchwork stores or from . These are permanent pens that are fully washable. I like to heat set with an iron just to be double sure! You can also use the 03 or 05 (this is how thick the pen writes - higher the number the thicker the pen). You can use different pens on the quilt if you like.

2. Yes, use your own writing! It is part of you and one day you will be glad, as will your children, that the journal is in your own script.

3. Please please please record the everyday stuff of life. Imagine walking around our exhibition reading about life on a dairy farm, life in the outback, life in Italy, life as a full time working Mum trying to juggle some time for herself, life as a shop owner, life going through a crisis, life with a disability, etc...... I promise you that your life is important - this is the whole purpose of the quilt! We can show through our quilts the importance of being women and what we contribute to society. Who knows in 100 years maybe someone will re-do our exhibition and really see what life was like in 2007 for women.

4. If you get stuck think about what you wish you knew about your Grandmother's life. Do you want to know what she cooked for dinner, what she wore, if she drove a car, if she walked the kids to school, where she purchased fabric, why she loved grandpa, etc... I bet she didn't have a mobile phone, computer, or credit card!

5. Use any medium you like. Maybe you want to stamp on your fabric using fabric inks, draw using crayons, add stitchery, just write, paint, applique little bits, anything you can think of!

6. Why not start a 365 Challenge Group. Just keep your journal entries on paper for a month (notebook in the handbag works well) then meet monthly and transfer it onto fabric as you wish.

Hope that this gives you some ideas!

Leanne Beasley xxxx

The 365 Challenge

I have been playing around with the idea of journal quilts for some time now. Then all of a sudden it came to me: here we are in 2007 with pens and inks and dyes that write and draw onto fabric just as if it was paper. Why not treat the fabric just the same as if writing on paper!


365 small quilt blocks. Each with a journal entry. Stitched together to place one year of life onto fabric.


Above are my first three journal entries. And a close up:


So I have decided to begin The 365 Challenge! Watch closely, and if you want to be part of The 365 Challenge I will have a tutorial that you can click on for a pattern. You can start any day you choose.

Go on, record one year of your life. You can add bits of history, the weather details, what you ate for breakfast, where you went stitching, what books you are reading, your favorite magazines,etc, etc.....I will give you hints and tips for the next 365 days to help you!You can make it very personal or very factual - you can do anything because it is your journal!

My personal goal is to see enough of you wonderful ladies that read my blog make a quilt so we can have a '365 Challenge International Quilt Exhibition'. How wonderful to display to the world what we do as women and how we see the world! Your view counts! I have in my mind a vision of LOTS of people walking around OUR exhibition reading the intricate details of our lives......

Are you up for the challenge?

Leanne Beasley xxx

Fantastic Weekend...

Okay, I love my life. Not only was it Easter this weekend with a four day family break, it was my birthday!

On Saturday, my girls and I got to go for a spin in my sister-in-law's convertible!!!!!:


Of course, we had to stop for afternoon tea, so Coonara Springs in Olinda was the spot. With a view like this I remember why I enjoy living up here so much:


My Mum and Dad came over and gave me a divine box of goddies for my birthday:


I got to go out for dinner on the day with my friend Rosie, to Reel Cafe in Belgrave, and she gave me an artwork from Beth Berst called 'One and the Same' (you can see in her Etsy shop on her blog).

AND... the Easter Bunny came!:


Yes, I am a lucky girl!

All my  best,

Leanne xxx

Ahhh the thought of Paris...

Okay this probably doesn't come as a surprise - but I love to spend time reading other people's blogs. One of my 'must read as often as physically possible' blogs is Corey's site - Tongue in Cheek.

Corey lives in France (I hear you ooohhhhing and aaaahhhhing right now). Well since March 30 Corey has been delighting us with postcards of Paris. Please note: Should you dare to sneek a peek at her site allow a minimum of one hour to simply indulge!

This got me to thinking that I really needed to complete my darling hubby's birthday quilt. The theme of the quilt (you may remember this from a past entry on my blog dated Feb 5) was Paris, where we spent part of our honeymoon a number of years ago.


When I presented him with the quilt I had just circled and arrowed the significant places. He asked me if I could also stitch the name of those places onto the quilt, and here's the results.


To get a lovely French script for the writing I simply selected the French Script in Word and typed out what I wanted to stitch.


Does a little bit of your soul linger elsewhere? Far from home?

Dreaming of Paris in the Springtime,

Leanne xxx

What a weekend...

Spent the weekend teaching at Candleberry Country 's 'Making Memories' Workshop Days! There was fun and food and stitching and painting and mainly - a lot of laughter!!! Here's the evidence:


Photo left to right: Tania, Amanda , and Natalie (standing infront of one of the quilts from my latest book). Then there was the serious photo:


I took so many photos (this of course will come as no surprise) that I've made a little photo album on the left hand side. But here's a few:


See we did do some stitching!

This was one of my projects:


Show and tell was (as always) one of the highlights of the day. Here is Lyn with her version of my 'Leanne's House Block of the Month Quilt':


Natalie sent us Designer's home with a bag full of special treats (as always) full of things like chocolate (there's a few left today), peppermint foot creme (did my feet ever need that!) and bubbly soap and flowers! Wow!

A great weekend!

Leanne Beasley xxx