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February 2009
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April 2009

Leanne-Jane 4, 0, 0, 62!!!

What? (I hear you cry out to your computer screen). Well that's if you're not a DJer (or Stickler)! Yes, I have been converted into joining the huge number of you out there brave enough to take on 'Dear Jane'. We have been to two classes so far but today was the day I started stitching. Here I am at Foothills on our first (or second?) class:

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After purchasing the 'Dear Jane' book (by Brenda Papadakis) some years ago I have finally taken the leap and started! Of course this crazy idea to begin yet another project was encouraged by my friend Gail. We simply couldn't resist when we found a 'very beginners' class to start 'Dear Jane' and learn all the different ways (and techniques required) to put the quilt together. As I am sure many of you can back me on this - the Civil War reproduction fabrics are enough on their own to drag you in:

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I now know all about cheddar and poison green!

Gail and I both purchased the computer kit (well you know - in an inch in a mile) so we can learn all about foundation piecing:

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The computer kit also come with printable journal pages (okay - this is what got me in!):

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I am keeping mine in a folder as suggested and adding in relevant historical cuttings from right now:

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So I have completed four blocks today! This was my first:

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I now completely and utterly see the attraction - I am addicted! It may take me 20 years but I am addicted!

Leanne Beasley xxx

Winners And A Trip To Nundle!

Firstly, the winners of the blog giveaway! The five random winners are: Poppy, Meri, Karen Reid, Eva from Denmark, and Nancy. I have emailed each of you to let you know that you have won a copy of 'Sweet Christmas Dreams' and asked that each of you email me your snail mail address to pop them in the post as soon as possible!

Meanwhile while you were busy leaving some lovely comments, Rosie and I were off once again to teach. This time we were on our way to beautiful Nundle in New South Wales for Kerry at The Cottage On The Hill. I thought that I should share with you that while Rosie and I both do a lot of flying in our job neither of us are very good at it (then there's Melly who's worse than Rosie and I put together!):

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Rosie will kill me for showing you that photo but it's payback. She just loves to give me all sorts of statistics and data to settle me (she says). Data like "this is the brace position should you need it." So I ask her, "Why do you think they want you to do that?" Her answer, "Oh it's because it holds your teeth in with your body and they can identify you when you crash. Well, if that's all that's left that is." Oh very funny Rosie. Not.

Anyway, when eventually we got to Nundle we had a fantastic time! It was great to get a chance to catch up with some of the girls at dinner on Friday night before we were really into it on Saturday morning:

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Kerry had set the hall up to look just like a wedding (as her hubby did describe it!) and there were lots of excited ladies ready to get the day started:

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Rosie and I had such a wonderful day meeting new ladies and catching up with some we'd met last year that I really didn't get much chance to snap lots of photos! Here's one of me, Kerry, and Rosie:

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Here's just a few of us on the day (there were 108 ladies so a group photo was a bit hard to organise!). Bet you recognise a few from blogland:

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Before we knew it it was back on that plane to Sydney and onto Melbourne:

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I had to put that photo in because Rosie always says, "I don't know why you always take photos out of plane windows. You never use them and you can never remember what they're of."

This was flying out of Tamworth.

I'm still snowed under with other projects today so over the next few days I'll show you a few photos I took while around Nundle and especially some photos of the fantastic show and tell that the ladies came along with.

Until then,

Leanne Beasley xxx

Time To Start Getting Ready (And a Giveaway to Help)...

Yes, last December arrived and with it that wish that I had fulfilled the promise I make myself each and every Christmas - "I will start getting ready nice and early next year and be organised!"

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We all say it (well, except those of you that have actually reached that wonderful point in your life where you are actually REALLY organised with the Christmas thing).

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So my contribution to help those of you who would like to get organised nice and early is a Christmas Pattern Giveaway. Better yet, it's something to make for yourself (or a close friend) for Christmas. The pattern is called 'Sweet Christmas Dreams' and I hope that you might take time to make something just for yourself for your bedside table:

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I also thought that many of us are blessed to have loved ones stay at Christmas time and it would be such a sweet thought to make a doily for the 'spare room' bedside table.   

You can see that the stitches are quite simple. The ribbons are worked by outlining in Backstitch then filling in with Backstitch, you could also use Satin Stitch if you prefer:

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So simply leave a comment below before Tuesday (24th March) and I will randomly draw out five lucky people to be sent a copy of the pattern.

The pattern includes instructions for the doiley, framed stitchery, and the Christmas journal cover.

As far as comments go I would love you to leave a hint or tip on getting ready for Christmas, or a special tradition you have at Christmas (maybe glogg!), or a special memory of getting ready for Christmas...

Until next time,

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. Some of you may have already received this pattern if you were part of the 'Honeysuckle Cottage' Christmas Club, if so I hope that you enjoy stitching it. If you were part of the club it would still be nice to hear from you! If you can't wait to get stitching, you might like to order one from .

Inspired Stitches...

This weekend I am off to teach at the wonderful 'Girl's Day Out' retreat with Rosalie Quinlan. The retreat's hosted by Kerry Swain of 'The Cottage On The Hill' in Nundle, New South Wales. Last year Rosie and I had an absolute ball with all the ladies who came along and I'm sure that we'll have just as much fun this weekend! I can't wait!

Here's Rosalie and I with a few blogland girls that came along last year (bet you know a few!):

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Then, the next little trip I'll be off on will be to teach at 'Inspired Stitches' in April. I'll also be teaching with Rosalie, Melly, and Janelle. The retreat will be hosted by Sarah from Quilt Fabric Delights. Sarah has organised a wonderful time for everyone! When she asked if I'd be part of her very first retreat I was thrilled and immediately started on my 'Inspired Stitches' theme. This photo from my Spring garden:

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Became this:

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I can't give away what my project is (oooohhh, I wish I could. You know I'm so bad at secrets!). I will say that I have loved every minute of stitching it and as well as the project for the weekend you'll receive a few bonus projects in my pattern to work on later at home. Sarah has organised a great band for the Saturday night as well as dinner. What fun to be had!

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There will be lots of girls that I know who are coming to enjoy a great time and lots of new ladies to meet and catch up with:

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If you'd like information about this weekend in Nundle you can contact Kerry at 'The Cottage On The Hill' or if you'd like to be a part of 'Inspired Stitches' in beautiful South Australia you can contact Sarah. There are ladies coming from every state and Territory in Australia (except Tasmania I think) to attend 'Inspired Stitches' - what a gathering!

Love you to leave a comment if you're attending either weekend (or maybe catching up with me in another part of Australia or overseas this year). I will have more information about lots of other places that you'll be able to catch up with me this year very soon...

Leanne Beasley xxx

Two Days With Jane Sassaman!

I was very fortunate at this year's AQC to participate in Jane Sassaman's two day 'Pattern Play' workshop. It was so much fun and Jane has a wonderful way of teaching that brings out each student's individual talent with guidance from her. Jane also had loads of samples to demonstrate from which was just such a help for us 'visual' people:

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The first day was all about design and pattern (yes, I was in heaven!) and Jane had us using some very simple and highly effective techniques that got us all thinking. My pencils were sharpened so many times and I almost ran out of paper!

We also had a huge amount of fun (while learning at the same time of course) with cutting out some shapes from coloured paper and using this as a design tool. We had to just keep making designs and photograping them as a record of what we could do using just three simple shapes:

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Then we got to quiltmaking!!!!!! Day two began with taking three simple shapes and turning them into a design. Of course, any of you out there that know me just know I can never resist a tulip! So my shapes became a tulip:

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I decided to make five tulips (I always love to design with odd numbers) and then to play around with composition, as Jane suggested. This was such a free way to design, I usually have every inch of a quilt designed and mapped before I even touch the fabric. So again I spent quite a while just moving the tulips around until I was just about happy:

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Then with some suggestions from Jane, stems were added and a sprinkling of little yellow flowers. I also overlapped more of the tulips for real cohesion:

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Then the toughest decision - where to chop and cut the final design:

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Well, now all I have to do is stitch it! I hadn't intended to actually turn the workshop into any more than some technique samples, but, well, I like my little quilt so much I just have to finish it! Jane spend a lot of time sharing some of her wonderful methods of sewing as well, and I need to practise those!

Chat soon,

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. Head over to Jane's website for a real treat and inspiration and then see what she's up to on her blog!

Being a Student for a few days with Velda Newman...

The Australasian Quilt Convention is my opportunity to get to be a student for a few days and explore new skills and other methods of teaching. This year I was particularly fortunate to spend two days with someone I admire greatly, Velda Newman, and two days with one of my long time favourite designers, Jane Sassaman.

Velda Newman is known for her amazing big quilts (she literally works in meters x meters) and was a great teacher for two days. My friend Melinda and I were so tired at the end of each day and our minds were just going crazy with the new possibilities of the new techniques we learned each day we could hardly stay awake. Velda did not waste a minute and we learnt so much as she freely gave us lots of advice and hints and tips that she's delveloped over many years:

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This was a techniques class and so the brain had a great workout and we came away with loads of wonderful samples like the melon in the photo above and the basket in the photo below:

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The classes were so much fun and I even learnt to make a lemon!:

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Velda works her large quilts in sections which is such an 'easy' way to do a huge quilt. So this one lemon is one of three on a quilt. We made the object, be it a lemon, melon, shell, petal, or leaf, using various techniques and then spent a lot of the second day painting them. You can see my lime green painting on the plain yellow fabric in the lemon.

I must admit I went to this class because I love Velda's work and knew she'd be inspiring, thinking how much fun it would be to explore her techniques. Well I've come home and now I'm working on a lemon quilt! It's just too irresistable to simply put away for a later date!

Oh the inspiration!

Leanne Beasley xxx

Home from AQC...

I have just arrived home from the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne! (Had so much fun I feel like I need to sleep for a week!). The event (probably the biggest quilting event held in Australia) was fantastic! The building it was held in, The Royal Exhibition Building, is just a work of art in itself:

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Beautiful from the outside too:

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Incredible hand painted walls:

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And apart from great classes that I got to attend (more about that later) lots of wonderful shops had stands too:

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Threads in any colour you can imagine:

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Just a really pretty venue to hold a wonderful quilt event. Speaking of which, the quilts on show were just magnificent. It was wonderful to see such a wide range of styles, from traditional to art, at such a high standard of work. It made me feel very proud to be part of the Australian Quilting Movement in this day and age. I think we are really going through a revolution in quilting at the moment with many new styles gaining respect and creating a new excitement.

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Lots more to tell you about this great event...

Leanne Beasley xxx