Squeee!  Urban Chiks, through Moda, is releasing these vintage sheet prints, in quilting cottons!  (dance dance dance).  They’re not all in stock at Sew, Mama, Sew, but you can find them on Etsy too and I’m sure these will be a hit, with yardage coming soon.  I am THERE for a layer cake — that’s enough of each print for my little hexies and for my Dear Jane too.


Thank you so, so much to all of you who bid and commented on my quilt auction for the Victorian bushfires.  The response was really humbling: so many of you, from such disparate places, made such generous bids.  Nettie was successful with a bid of $380 plus postage for a vintage sheet cot quilt.  It’s made to order in blues, purples, and pinks.

Extra surprises came from Josie, who threw in $50 just because she’s a sweetheart, and Dan’s aunt Ange, who offered to donate $200 for a tiny scrap quilt she could use as a wall hanging or on the table.  How could I say no?

And that’s how I managed to donate more than I earn in the average week — certainly not something I’d be in a position to do without your help.

Nettie and Ange’s quilts will be in the mail today, along with copies of the thank you letter sent by the Red Cross. Thanks again to all of you for your kindness.

All the fat quarters went out today.  I’m hoping just as hard as I can hope that I haven’t made any serious mistakes: it was much harder than I expected to keep track of everything.  Also, apologies to those of you who sent me such neat and lovely little bundles.  There was a lot of flannel-type fabric in the mix so by the end I was jumping up and down on your Australia Post satchels, just hoping to squeeze in one more fat quarter!  Ribbons and c. fell by the wayside, and I hope you’ll all agree that more fabric is better than more wrapping.

If I did get it wrong, let me know, and thanks for swapping!

There are some mornings when I’m very glad to own a camera. Mornings when I walk into the room where I was quilting the previous night, and find it’s grown sunbeams.

Mornings when packages arrive from the nursery with bare-rooted roses, and from Ebay with 57 mismatched Golden Hands magazines:

Did these magazines come out anywhere outside Australia? My guess would be that they started in England, as so much Australian media did in the sixties and seventies, but I could be mistaken. My Mum and Grandma always seemed to have a few kicking around, and they still pop up in Op shops around the country. Now that I have 57 of them, I have the perfect excuse to op shop until I have them all!

I love them so much, but [because] they’re so very uncool. They tell you how to make a pomander and how to remove any kind of stain. They have useful hints on quilting your man an elegant waistcoat (mine would die of shame) or crocheting matching outfits for you and your daughter. Have an old jumper and want to refashion it into excruciatingly ugly pants for your toddler? Golden Hands can help.

For some reason it’s important that I own these: not just because they give me so much pleasure, but in case one day (far, far, far away) I become a mum myself. To raise a child without adequate pomander-making information would be cruelty.

Can you see why I love them? Here’s a macrame bed jacket:

“God, I hope my boyfriend never sees these pictures.”

And of course, a knitted caftan for those icy days of summer: I think this one’s using the palm tree as insurance against fainting.

Some of you out in blogland and Flickrsville have been enjoying oh, fransson‘s Vintage Sheet Swap. I had a lot of fun with it myself, but I’ll also be the first to admit that postage to and from the US turns those pretty little fat quarters into some pricey vintage.

Would anyone care to try an Australian version? If you would, I’d be happy to co-ordinate it. Rules would follow oh, fransson’s general model:

You should send me as many fat quarter (18” x 22”) sized pieces as you want to swap, with a limit of 50 this time (this number may be highered or lowered depending on the number of responses). Fat quarters can be from pure cotton or a mix up to 50/50 percale; they can be from yardage or pillowcases or wherever you like, as long as they’re still in good condition. Fat quarters can be of any style and colour, but try to keep it clean and vintage (70’s and earlier, no solids or quilted fabrics, nothing overtly 80’s, no licensed comic/tv character sheets please). Please include a postpak with full return postage. Once I have everyone’s pieces, I’ll send each swapper a new package with the same number of fat quarters she sent. I’ll try to honour as many requests for certain looks or colours as I can, but you should expect to get a mixed bag back.
Of course, swappers from outside Australia would be very welcome, too. Let’s say, leave a comment here (make sure you tell wordpress your email address so I can find you), by September 1. I’ll send out my details to you soon afterwards. Fat quarters would be due by October 1, leaving everybody lots of time to collect and cut.
For ideas, have a look at the lovely pictures in oh, fransson’s dedicated flickr group. My own first try at a vintage sheet project is in this post. Are you in? Good. Let’s swap! As far as I’m concerned, if we have more than 10 swappers, we’re good to go.

This is a quilt for my Grandma’s 83rd birthday, which is today. She of the teaching-tiny-me-to-sew. Happy birthday, Grandma!

But first, an admission.  You all know how little I use the sewing machine, especially when it comes to patchwork and quilting.  I only started using it again when I started playing with vintage clothing patterns.  Well, maybe I was hasty.  You see — and wow, this is embarrassing when I think of how many of your quilty blogs I read, o crafty readers — I didn’t actually know that a person could quilt properly on a domestic machine.  Oh, sure, I’d quilted on mine, mostly straight line ditch quilting on low-stakes blankets for myself, but it was always a bit of a mess, and I thought that to avoid that, one had to pay a professional long-armer to do the job.  Not having too many hundreds of dollars just lying about, and enjoying hand-quilting anyway, I chose to do everything by hand.  Needless to say, quilts took years not days.

Well.  During an editing session for Vic Quilter, my co-editor Jan had much to say on the subject! So, I dutifully went out and bought a darning foot. The arrival of this marvellous new toy coincided with a delivery – of fifty gorgeous fat quarters of vintage sheet fabric from Oh! Fransson’s swap.  They had such pretty patterns, it would have been a shame to do anything much more complicated than cut them into large squares.  In less than a weekend, I had them pieced together, quilted, bound and delivered.  Oh, the bliss of scribbling waves of quilting stitches all over pretty patchwork!

Some more photos, if it interests you — Mum and I binding:

The quilt itself:

And the Masculine Quilt Advisor getting comfy while he has the chance:

I didn’t get a shot of Grandma’s room in full, because the sun was all wrong, but she has a big window onto the garden where she’s living, and I’m really pleased with the way this quilt brings the garden inside.

Only problem – Mum’s just put in an order for two more, so I have to find some more pink and green sheets from somewhere! Still, when Mum and Dad keep welcoming us home with this kind of thing, I have no real issue: