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August 2007
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October 2007

Velkommen (welcome)...

Hi girls! Yes, I have been practicing my Norwegian! I am feeling really comfortable about going to Norway now that I know how to say quilt in Norwegian: "quilt"!!!! What can go wrong if we have the common love of the word quilt?

And I have been working on mine:


What has really given me encouragement is that all the girls that know Norwegian seem to know me VERY well. How? Because they have given me the words for:

1. Can I have chocolate? - Kan jg fa sjokolade?

2. Hug- klem

3. Butterfly Garden - sommerfugl hage

and most importantly:

4. shoe shop - sko-butikk

I have also been frantically updating my 365 Challenge quilt from my diary (more photos soon).

My dearest friend Rosie and I have been teaching my smallest one to stitch:


We have her making enough 'yo yo's' (Suffolk puffs) to make a caterpillar:


Note: This is the chair where I spend most of my time stitching. I love this chair. Yes, it is from IKEA (home of all great furniture) and is called the POANG (my husband has another name for it though!).

More tommorow...

Leanne Beasley xxx

All I have been doing is...

sewing!!! (Thanks for the photo Mum!).


Talked to myself a lot today. It went like something like this:

"Of course in my 'Butterfly Garden' quilt there are lots of butterflies. This is how I drafted the design. I imagined lots and lots of beautiful hand appliqued butterflies. I drafted them. I started stitching them (big ones first). Then I arrived at the little ones. Hhhhmmmmm???? How can you hand applique a tiny little butterfly that measures about 3" across? Answer: not easily. Forget that idea. Stitchery? No - enough of that. Okay what about raw edge applique? Not very traditional Leanne, more the area of the Art Quilter. Attempt other possibilities - nothing works. Try raw edge applique. Oh - it works!!!!! And so easy to do - and quick. Yes, this is good.


What about washing the quilt when it's finished? Have I EVER washed a wall quilt? No. Well, you don't wash paintings so why wash a wall quilt. Justified. Okay - raw edge applique stays."


You can see the three little butterflies raw edged today flying around the center of the quilt (above).

Now on another point I have only a few weeks before I'll be teaching in Norway (very excited!). I know that the ladies that will be coming to meet me will speak English (gee - I sure hope they all do!) but I really think that it's only polite when traveling to a foreign country to learn, at a minimum, a few basic words. So months ago I started hunting down Norwegian dictionaries. Couldn't find one anywhere here so I ordered one from amazon. Only to discover late last night that they've never received my order!!! Thank goodness for express shipping! I should have my dictionary in about a week. (Do you think I can do a crash course in two weeks and finish my quilt?).

And if you are one of the lovely ladies from Norway I would love you to leave a comment with a basic word or two to help me practice until my dictionary arrives!

Leanne Beasley xxx

Back to Blogland...

Yes girls - I am here! Thanks so much to everyone who has said, "What's wrong? Where are you? You haven't blogged for a while!" Simple answer: I've had everything from that flu that puts you under a quilt for a week (and not stitching it at the same time) to food poisoning!

I have however continued to stitch (well, a bit anyway). Here's what I've been up to:




So the 'Butterfly Garden' Quilt is really coming together and the top is almost finished. I've been journalling as I go along:


Above is a photo of all the fabrics that I've used in the quilt top so far (still haven't decided on borders yet!).

Work has been done, however, my studio looks like this now:


Never mind, there's always time to tidy up later...maybe in December?

Nice to be back,

Leanne Beasley xxx

Life is good...

This is ALL that I have been doing:


Yes, working like crazy trying to complete my next quilt, 'Butterfly Garden'. I must admit it seems ridiculous to call it 'working' because I'm just having too much fun!

It does help when you get to spend days with Melinda and Gail at Melinda's 'working' together. Here's me doing a bit of applique:


and Melinda (Around the Block Quilting) doing some long arm quilting:


and Gail doing a bit of stitchery:


Gail was also kind enough to 'obtain' for me:


Yes! The BRAND NEW IKEA catalogue!!!!!! You see, I live too far from IKEA to be in their mailing zone so I rely on the goodness of my friends to 'organise' a copy for me.

I'm not sure how it works overseas, but here we get a catalogue annually. So every August I patiently (that's not true - I'm never patient about it) wait for the release of the next catalogue.

Anyway back to that quilt:


This is what looked liked about an hour ago.

I really hope you're enjoying following my journey of making this quilt. It's great fun being able to share the whole process with you. It's a bit like having you in my studio just sitting on the couch having a cuppa and a chat while I stitch away...

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. To anyone who has one of those emails in my inbox - I promise I'll get to that tommorow!

Stitching like crazy...

Yes, that's what I've been up to. I'm frantically trying to complete 'Butterfly Garden':


I've been playing around with a few different things, like incorporating some stitchery into a floral fabric (see above), and some raw edge applique (oh, should have taken a photo of that!), and just regular needle turn applique too:


Lots of fun. But my deadline is looming closer because I am doing a workshop for the quilt in less than 6 weeks in Norway !

I am really excited about this workshop because I have left lots of room for personal design to come into the quilt and this is one of the things we'll play around with in the workshop. So, to all the lovely ladies from Norway (and surrounds) that are coming to the workshop bring along some ideas of things that you might like to add into the quilt to make your own individual version. Maybe you like ribbon embroidery, or you like beading, this can all be incorporated.

Oh what fun we are going to have!

Leanne Beasley xxx

The 7th Question...

Okay I had good intentions to do the 7 questions in 7 days but, well, as always, life happened. And  I love my life, even if I do go at a million miles an hour! Which brings me to the 7th question:

"What do you do for a living?"


Like most people I get asked this question all the time! But I find it SO HARD to answer. Whether it's at a corporate event for hubby or with a new bunch of school Mum's I don't ever really know how to answer it. Oh I have an answer, it usually goes something like, "I design quilts and other things with fabric and  write patterns for them and books and things." And most people say, "Oh, that's nice." And I know what they're thinking.

But what I want to say is that "I have the MOST INCREDIBLE JOB YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE! I get to do what I utterly love every single day of my life, for a living! I get to play with fabric and draw designs and go and meet women from all over the country and even all over the world who love EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS!I have boxes of letters from women who have made something that I've designed that they've enjoyed so much, or helped them through a troubled time, or helped them celebrate something important, and those letters often make me cry."

Maybe I don't actually want to say this to people who don't understand. I don't want to give them my heart and who I really am. It's too sacred, and knowing that they wouldn't understand, I just can't reveal it to them.

I remember when (my now good friend) Ramona came to a class that I was teaching. While chatting in the class she explained that she'd had dinner guests (people she had known for a long time)and when the husband saw another quilt she was working on, said, " Why would you want more than one quilt?". She just couldn't answer the question. Ramona realised that if someone asked that question you couldn't possibly explain the answer to them. There would be no understanding.

It's the same dilema - they just wouldn't understand. It's not really about the quilt. It's about the sisterhood. It's how we all understand each other, regardless of race, religion, political views, distance and language. It's the creative spirit that binds us together. It's the feeling of expressing yourself through craft and creation. It's that hidden fat quarter in the supermarket shopping bag (because it was the grocery money that we 'borrowed' for that 'perfect' fat quarter). It's tucking in your loved one under something you spent so long creating and put so much love into. It's working together on a healing quilt that says so much more than any words could. It's that perfect range of fabric that you will need at least a fat quarter of each one of. It's you. It's me. It's us.

So this is what I REALLY do for a living...

Leanne Beasley xxx