Sunday, 19 September 2021

A story about a quilt I found many years ago made by unknown.

 This is a little bit of my past that I would like to share with you. A tale of a quilt made by unknown .

When I was only 21 I was saving to travel to Europe I used to hand paint t- shirts and earrings to sell at Balmain church markets in Sydneys inner West on a Saturday morning to supplement my income . These were very popular.

This was a lovely hobby and well before my quilt making days. Mind you I always stitched and made all of my clothing from an early age. 

Well one Saturday at the markets before the customers started to arrive I stopped and browsed at a neighbouring stall. This chap had everything!!! Junk everywhere, old hammers, tools, toys, shoes whatever you could imagine.

Well, up in the corner of his stall I noticed something textile and asked could I please have a look please. 

I asked how much and he said $20.00. SOLD... Thank you.

Brought it home and it was the first time I had ever touched or seen a hand pieced hexagon  quilt top. This quilt top must have been stitched in the 60's as the fabrics were from the late 50's and 60's. So many of the fabrics I could imagine my mum wearing dresses from that era.

What a find. 


All hand stitched. The maker lovingly made her own template as the measurement of the finished hexagons is not equal on all sides. Seem to remember a few newspaper templates still in place. That I love... Not being perfect, just being made to love.

The maker used very thick cotton thread I think even an upholstery size 12 or even 8 weight thread. Each stitch was perfectly placed. The seam allowance fold over was large. The hexagon shapes started with a square of fabric and then folded over and met at the centre with overlapping long tacking stitches. ( photo above) 

The quilt was not finished as it was never square or the sides even straight. I wonder why it was never finished? 
For many years we had it over our lounge just as it was. For some reason I never finished it. I don't know why, just didn't seem right for some reason till now.

My loving daughter Claire recently got engaged to her love. We are thrilled for them. 
Claire has always had a passion and a love for vintage textiles, this love of textiles we share together. 

It came to me that night of her engagement news ( which was a day before Sydneys latest lockdown) that I will finish the quilt for Claire.

So after such a long time I knew what to do. 

Firstly I had to replace lots of hexagons. They were so deteriorated full of holes etc. That meant unpicking her stitches and replacing the older fabrics with current fabric. I even cut up one of Claires old daisy print dresses to add to the mix. We also share a love of Daisies. The happiest flowers in the world....

That was all so moving. I don't know who she is but I could feel her love in the stitching... Maybe strange but so comforting to me during this latest lockdown. I did this at night, quiet stitching by hand. Hand stitching is not my thing, believe me, but what can I say except I loved it. Her stitching was small and delicate and mine is large and cumbersome. You certainly can see the difference in our styles.





Then I blind hem appliqué it onto a base of light grey homespun for stabilisation of the old fabrics. Then sandwiched it and free motion quilted it with continuous curves.
I know hand quilting it would have been better but really!!! I wanted finished for Claire this year not in 500 years time......






After quilting and binding I did hand quilt around the outer edge of the hexagons and luckily very naive large stitch quilting is a hit with Claire. I used 12 weight cotton thread and do you know I have not hand quilted since 1991. 

So its done . This unknown makers quilt from the 1960's will have a new existence, a new life. A new family to keep warm and cosy up with. They are setting up their new home and this quilt will be very much loved and with a renewed purpose that will last a very long time to come. 
This makes me so happy and contented. 
💖 With Love 


I hope you and your family are well.
Take care 

Happy stitching

Deb and Miss Molly 

Miss Molly is very happy having her Pippy girl staying over for a few weeks, and here besties at the beach together. 



Friday, 20 August 2021

Zooming classes are fabulous.

 Just a quick Hi everyone.

I have had some zoom classes lately. Wow they are terrific.....


Gee it felt good being useful and taking quilters to the next level again.

I am using my IPAD in 2 locations. The first with a front on view for a chat to see their needs and questions then on to a tripod looking at the machine.Very simple technology but it works.

All brands of machines and away we go. 

I talk you through YOU sitting on your machine, step by step at your own pace in your own home. Your stitching and I get to see your set up of the machine etc. 

Problem solving, get to know your machine, decorative stitching, free motion quilting and walking foot quilting questions these are just some of the ways I can help. 

These classes are available Monday to Thursday while I can't physically teach face to face, and who knows may be this could be a regular option for the future. Cant get to one of my classes learn at home .....

These can be a one off or a regular fortnightly or month meeting, all up to you.

I am here to help.


Interested? pop an email to me and we can then work out what day and time suits us both , I send you some requirements needs and tools to have ready. I generate a zoom meeting by email and away we go.....

deborahlouie@optusnet.com.au

Hope to see you soon
Stay well and safe

Miss Molly cuddling in while I stitch binding on last night while watching Batchelor (Ha ha..... )

X Deb and Miss Molly 




Monday, 9 August 2021

Learn one on one zoom lessons with me....

 Monday 9 th August , a sunny winters day and I thought I would try something different.

I am now offering one on one zoom teaching.

Yep, trying something new. With lockdown here in Sydney till at the very least end of August, but expecting this to drag on for a while I thought why not.

I really can't see shops or groups being allowed to open up to teaching any time soon.

I really miss sharing my skills with students.

So let's try this .

Im not as techno giant that's for sure so we will try to give it our best shot. I will have my iPad on and you will be on your machine depending on what question or skill you would like to learn. 

All brands of machines are welcome.

Perhaps you would like to perfect your machine blanket stitching, or satin decorative stitching?

Maybe you have a quilt that needs quilting and you are not sure what would suit it best. 

Not sure how to use your walking foot properly. 

Free motion may be scary for you lets' work together.

Im up for the challenge !!!!!   

Classes start at 30 mins - 1 hour . 

 $35.00 for a 30 minute class and 1 hour class is $65.00. 

All Australian dollars and open to Australia and New Zealand to start. Very reasonable. 

All enquiries through my email to start and we can chat about your needs, and if working I'll pop a booking form on the web site.

I will email you regarding what to have ready so our time together can be very productive.

This could be a one-off or a regular class for you.



My book Let's Quilt- The theory of Walking Foot Quilting is a fabulous resource book for all quilters . Im getting fantastic reviews from shops and readers. 

Suitable for all brands of sewing machines 

A few of the chapters include :
  •  Essential Tools
  • Warp and Weft.... so important 
  • The 8 steps to sandwiching your quilt
  • Understanding needles, threads 
  • Machine tension
  • Walking foot perfection
  • Stitch in the Ditch
  • Textural quilting
  • Theory of how to quilt your quilt
  • It's cool to be square pattern.

Could be a perfect gift for your quilting friend. 
Sensation information for new quilters. 

Here is a direct link to my web site 
https://deborahlouie.com.au/product/lets-quilt-walking-foot-quilting/







My second new quilt in the series of 3 Children's quilts is called Let's Go Go Go ....  machine appliqué is just about completed.  The is Quilting next . This one is really fun and cute I have enjoyed stitching this enormously. Each quilt is a learning quilt and I work through each technique with you. 

I am aiming for the set of 3 quilts be available by Xmas. 




Long walks on the beach and the bush with Miss Molly in the mornings is my sanity in this crazy crazy time. Be safe and if you are struggling call a friend or family member for a chat... I do ALL the time xx 


Take care 
Happy Stitching 
X Deb and Miss Molly 






Sunday, 25 July 2021

See you soon.

Once again lockdown is happening in many parts of Australia. Stay well and safe everyone.

So with this all classes are on hold.

All once a month and speciality classes will be once again rescheduled.
This we can do, it will be okay.
Look forward to being together again learning, stitching and laughing as quilters do. 

Im going well. I have a routine down pat with a long walk with Miss Molly first thing in the morning then upstairs and working away on the second in the series of 3 children's quilts.




If you are stuggling I urge you to reach out to someone and have a chat. 
I like to check that friends of mine are okay. Most of the time its a quick are you okay?  text or messenger. Sometimes its a lovely long phone call. It calms me to know my friends are doing okay. 
 I had a lovely phone call from a student from My Sewing Supplies on friday just out of the blue to see if I was doing okay. That meant a lot, very sweet to be thought of.

I have a once a week Face-time chat with my Friday Princesses.  This is a regular once a month class of wonderful , crazy women where we stop and connect with each other. A truly beautiful, funny, supportive , happy time where we share our thoughts, and latest ditching progress.  This is all we can do at this present time and it means so much to all of us this virtual way to connect.  

Another book of mine has been added to the web site www.deborahlouie.com.au

A Stitched Mandala -The Collection 

5 beautiful slow stitched cushions. 
All using 12 weight cotton thread , the walking foot or dual feed and decorative stitches.
Of course all details of the stitching and 5 full size pattern sheets , and quilting instructions are included.
I have popped in an error sheet where I have made a few machine stitch number errors. I apologies, this does not effect the designs in any way . All my fault. I see numbers jumbled up at times...... 



This is slow stitching on the machine. A truly lovely relaxing technique for those who are after a hand stitched look but on the sewing machine. 




                                                                                                      



 

Ill be in touch again soon, till then say well and stay covid safe 

Happy quilting 
x Deb and Miss Molly 







Saturday, 3 July 2021

Everything was going along so well.......

 Yep classes were going along so well..... then bugger lockdown again.... Hi Hope you are doing okay.

I have no reason to complain as so many people are under much stress and anxiety from the latest lock down but BUGGER..... Take care everyone . Reach out if you need to chat to someone.

Classes are ticking along so well. Lovely to be in class , it will happen again soon I know  in the mean time keep stitching everyone. At the end of each class I ask everyone do you have enough work to go on with for the next month?... yes plenty is the answer every time. So that's great happy stitching on your machines.

Due to the covid situations many events have been postponed. 
One of these was Rosemount Patchwork annual workshop at Mogo NSW. Now December 3-5th 2021.
My annual classes at Bernina Tauranga New Zealand are postponed to 2022 now.

I am currently designing blocks for a young boy's quilt with trucks, cars , bikes etc with my new AQA (Appliqué, Quilt and Applique) technique . The girls quilt has been completed and so pretty Im thrilled  Fingers crossed that a new book with the 3 children's quilts I hope to have by years end. 


I design the old school way drawing on paper with pencil to sketch first then black felt tipped pen. Each block is drawn to size and then reversed and the individual applique shapes or units are drawn up. This all goes then to my graphic designer and she does her magic and I get them all back as PDF for printing.  A lot of work but I love this designing stage. 
"Miss Mollys Flower Garden" , the boys "Lets Get About "quilt and "A Day At The Beach" which are the 3 quilts have the same size blocks . Each can be transferred and built into your own quilt layout. 
More info later.


I have made a fun quilt called Eye Spy with My Little Eye - Bubbles of fun. This is for our special friends first grand baby. Such a special time for them. 

You know the old eye spy quilts well this is using the funnest ( is this a word ????? or do I know this word from the movie Legally Blonde !!) fabrics and instead of piecing them into a block formation I have used the Covid Clams technique of blind hem appliqué in 3 different circle sizes.

The Covid Clams Book will now come with a 3 page instruction leaflet on the Eye spy version inside the book. This technique is so enjoyable I have made 2 eye spy quilts and on to my third... Very addictive . Cute bubble quilting and bubble ditching explained too.  A fun quilt to make with your friends and perhaps swap fabrics. 

Quick link to Covid Clams on the web site for you.  https://deborahlouie.com.au/product/covid-clams-book/.  Covid Clams Book only $27.00 . 





Workshops are booked for this quilt or can me made in my once a month regular classes. See teaching schedule on my web site 

2022 looks more promising and a few retreats have been booked already.

The first is the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in Adelaide February 10-13th. I have proposed many domestic sit down quilting and appliqué classes to teach.

March 14-20 th In Brisbane with Whacky Jacky a 6 day retreat with me . Gee we can really have some terrific learning in that time. The classes are  A stitched Mandala and Covid Clams. Contact Jacky on https://wackyjackys.com.au/australian-retreats/

Here is some beautiful students recent work. So proud of their success, talent and diligent hard work .




















Miss Molly having a wonderful time playing with her fur cousins Pippy, and Ngarra. 
Life is good 


Till next time 

Happy Stitching 
X Deb and Miss Molly