Wednesday, 9 July 2008

farewell from Blogspot

The time has come to say farewell to my trusted friend Blogspot. Yes I have finally had the time to move myself over to here. It gives me many more tools and options and the opportunity to offer more in the future. Don't worry though, everything has been copied over and is all there in the archived posts. I am still working on it and have much more to do yet but I think its ready enough to move now.
And to say a big thankyou for visiting me here and for joining me on the new blog there is an exciting anouncement over there. So hop over now and please leave a comment to say hi in my new home..
If you have been subscribing through feedblitz I have changed the settings but think I need to fix something there, so will get onto that now

hugs to all

Monday, 7 July 2008

back to stitching

I feel like it is so long since I've had time to just sit and design and stitch so over the past few days I have madly gone into finishing and stitching mode. For those PIF friends who are being so patient, things are happening and I did promise at the time that something would eventually arrive on your doorstep and as you would have long forgotten it would be a lovely suprise :)
So here are some photos of what I have been up to. Now, just to write some patterns for them and send to the appropriate recipients.... This one is a big secret....shhh.. .watch this space for some exciting FREE projects from your favourite designers soon....

mmmm..... maybe a special package on its way...

This is for those of you who have joined up here. I think I am the September girl?

Just for fun, getting in early for some upcoming Gatherings..

This one is for another blog project coming soon to here. Remember the Last Minute Gift Countdown in 2007, Karen is doing a Summer gift project again with some fantastic and varied well known designers..... Watch this space for more info....
a little end note of apology here... not sure why but Blogger is spinning my photos randomly, I am sorry.... a big move is afoot here so hopefully wont be a problem much longer.

so what have you been stitching?
hugs, Helen

Calendar Girls

and the winners are from the trusy Random Number generator

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 11 7
Timestamp: 2008-07-07 00:33:21 UTC

so that makes it Lurline and Maggie a. Please send me your snail mail addys so you can get the most use out of your calendar..... who knows maybe you too will be a featured Calendar girl one day.

Monday, 30 June 2008

in the mail

My letterbox seems to be bringing lots of print surprises lately. This book arrived last week from Country Bumpkin. I have never before worked for Country Bumpkin but I got a hasty request for this project earlier in the year. It was only ever designed and stitched as a teaching project and wasnt meant for mass publication but they begged! and they drew up the design from my sketches so it wasn't a lot of extra work for me... Of course I have always loved how they photograph everything so beautifully - thats why I have every single issue of Inspirations, quite a few Smocking and embroidery and many many A-Z titles in my bookcase.... The photos are just to drool over. I am so excited to have finally made it into one of their beautiful books.

Anyway, I think they have done a lovely job of photographing Victorian Virtuoso although I dont know that I'd hang it in MY bathroom!

So watch out for it at your newsagents or visit Country Bumpkin if you want to see more. I am assuming it is available now.
Dont forget there is still time to leave a comment a few posts back to win the AQS calendars. I will draw the winners on Friday.

We have been busy being inspired at the Tasmanian Guild exhibition and craft show over the weekend. I think the girls fell in love with Stamp it up so looks like a party happening here soon!

I was a very proud mum seeing my girls first quilt entry in the junior textile exhibition. Molly (11 at the time) had done all of the cutting, Tess (now 10) all of the machine piecing and their cousin Sarah (9) had quilted it with a panto on her mums longarm machine. They used the Turning Twenty pattern and the fabrics I had brought back from Des Moines 3 years ago - yes it took them this long to finish it but it looks great. Sorry I dont even have a pic of it finished as it was a rush to the end to deliver it. Sadly it did not win a prize but the school quilt - if you remember me blogging about it, did win an Honourary mention from the judges. yay.... well done kids.
hugs, Helen

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Jo's Boobie buttons

You may remember that my lovely stitching friend Jo spent one week madly stitching some Boobie Button samples for me before I headed to the US. They were a hit and really helped to showcase the boobie buttons and how they can be used. Thanks heaps Jo. Here are some pics as promised....
hugs, Helen

book update

Well the Neenie's Garden pattern and shop kit is finally finished and patterns are being folded and packed as I type. So my head can come up for air and I can reaquaint myself with my family, my garden and my blog friends. It seems so long since the US trip which I know I have not told you much about and my last book update. That is because nothing much has happened there! However, there is now some movement and some evidence of progress. So back to the beginning of this instalment.

When we arrived in Salt Lake City last month for HMQS Peggy (our host) received her copy of the latest Unlimited Possibilities magazine. She strategically left it near my breakfast - imagine my surprise...
The article was actually on my sister Tracey who quilted Blessed Baltimore but it my first big cover and was very exciting! And the photo looked fantastic showing up the quilting so well. So Vicki hung the quilt in their booth for the show which was perfect as I was teaching the technique at the show and students could see it up close and personal.
When browsing the internet at Peggys Tracey discovered this. Scroll down to 'upcoming releases'. Yay its really happening...
Moving on: next we moved onto Portland for Quilt Market. Now I had had suspicions that something was going on at AQS as all mention of my Editor had disappeared from the website so when I ran into her on setup day my suspicions were confirmed when she advised me that she had left AQS and they hadnt yet replaced her with an Editor - eeek - my book is supposed to be out in 5 months and I havent seen a thing to proof nor sent anything for photography. However she also told me that she had released 24 books in her 12 months there so they do manage to get a lot of books out in short time spaces so hope was still there...

I then met with Marge the Marketing and Sales Director and picked up a copy of this which was handed out to all stores at market-

eeek... there I was in all my glory (and I must say several people said I looked much different and should re do my photo - I really dont think I've changed that much in the past 10 months but I did appreciate one person who said I looked much younger in real life :) )
That brings us to this week. I have heard from the new Editor and projects and products have been requested for photography so it really is moving along now.
This process has been so different for me having previously been a selfpublisher and been so in control of the process. Also having very short deadlines - when I have finished a quilt or project I want it out there now - not two years down the track, so it has really taught me about patience.
So - preorders are already being taken on the site, I will soon have something to 'see' and then the fun starts I guess.
Thanks for following on and for being so patient - I will keep you updated still as to future outcomes.
hugs, Helen

Calendar girls

having a little cleanup here and have come across two spare half used calendars. It was so exciting when these arrived in the mail seeing us as Miss December's -we had no idea they were coming or that our quilt was even going to be in it. Grandmas got one, dear quilting friends got one - but one can only have so many calendars and I hate to see them go to waste.
So there is still 6 months use to go and of course after that you have some spectacular quilt pictures to drool over and inspire... So.... yes I am leading up to it....... leave a comment and mention this on your blog to be in the running for an American Quilter's Society 2008 Quilting Calendar.
Hugs, Helen

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

just a quick one again

Instead of writing the pattern I have wasted some more precious time looking at this great new free online magazine called 'Inspire'. Go take a look and spread the word. I think it looks great, Nicole of Buzzy Bee Buttons is the Editor and she does lovely work. Download, have a read and see what you think.

home again to stay

Well I am finally home to stay awhile much to the delight of the girls. Its tag team here however as my DH left this morning for the first of two trips with his work.

Market was wonderful in Sydney over the weekend albeit a little slow and quiet. Wonderful to catch up with not only friends and my store customers but also other like minded passionate and very fun designers.

It was great to meet (for just a minute or two) the lovely Natalie at her first show - I hope to get to know her better, you would all probably know her as she has been around for some time, I have just never been close enough to meet her. I also met Lisa from Megelly bears- and I have to admit not being a bear maker did not know her bears but look at her blog, they are gorgeous, to die for bears.

I had the chance to really talk to many as 'everyone' wanted to sit at my table to colour a free boobie button - yes, they were a hit! and I ran out by Sunday lunch time but I am sure you will see them in your local stores soon.... its so refreshing taking grown women back to their childhood and watching them really get absorbed in colouring in the lines.... silly me however, did not get my camera out so I have no pics to show you of either the booth or boobie button colouring this time.

On the Saturday night this year the organisers arranged a dinner to present the inaugural Quilt Industry awards. I did have my camera there to take a quick snap of Australia's best quilt fabric rep (well it was actually QLD title but we all know she's Australia's best) and she really does deserve this title with all the extra effort she puts into her job. Congratulations Di.

and do you think we could stop Lilian talking after she won a most unexpected award for Tasmania's best merchandised store. Well done Esmes...

I can show you what I finished Wednesday morning before leaving after a marathon quilting effort on little Bernie. 6 hours Monday, 14 hours straight on Tuesday and she was ready for binding. Now I have to write up the patterns and shop kit so if I am absent for a little while again I have my fingers glued to the keyboard and my head pointing towards the monitor....

Presenting - Neenie's Garden

It will be on the website with local store listings very soon

hugs, Helen

Sunday, 1 June 2008

just checking in

just a quick note to let you know I am home safely and the trip was full of exciting and fufilling moments. I have so much to share with you but must keep my nose to the ground until I get through Quilt market in Sydney this weekend. I hope to catch up with many of you there. Until then you can see some pics of our trip here, here, here, here (yes she is sitting in my booth colouring a boobie button!) and here.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Quilting in the USA - Portland here we come

hi all, and Happy Mothers Day - belated for all Aussie Mums but today for those of us here in the US. We are cooking an Aussie pavlova for our Salt Lake City hosts for a Mothers Day dinner but I do miss my kids on this special day.
Whilst I have just a few hours to sort things before moving onto Portland tommorrow I thought I'd share some peeks at the final products you've been watching grow over the past few months. Ready to go this week are our fun and friendly Boobie Buttons and the Stitcher's Takeaways. I think they came out quite good and the quilters of Salt lake City HMQS show loved them. A huge thanks to Sarah for taking some great pics for me very quickly before I left Australia. And to Jo who had a week to make some great models for me which I'll show you later - she has some pics here.
Talk again soon, I'll show you some pics of our Tabernacle broadcast this morning soon.
hugs, Helen

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Summer in Salt Lake City

I sit here writing from Peggy's dining table with this view out of the window. I am sure that someone is following me around holding up a big stage backdrop. It is so beautiful yet so surreal. In every direction you see snowed topped mountains, something we rarely if ever see in Australia. It is actually quite warm, about 80degrees (I think about 22C) so of course I have packed all of the wrong clothes after finding out it snowed here last week. But we have arrived, safely and severely suffering lack of sleep but we have one more night to adjust before setting up for HMQS tomorrow.

We have the lovely company of Derek and Peggy for 5 days, wonderful hosts and lovely people including the use of their internet hence my post today whilst I have a minute to spare. I shall try to get pictures of the shows for you all so you can join in the fun. You can see some more of our cuter hosts here.
til then, hope you are stitching
hugs, Helen

Monday, 28 April 2008

neenies garden update

This may be my last post before leaving on Sunday as I finish the packing, printing, pricing and preparing for our big trip to HMQS and Quilt market. It is all very exciting but as always a little scary and nerve wracking.... Thankyou for all the lovely messages of support and good luck you have been sending.
I resigned myself to the fact a couple of weeks ago that my new BOM was not going to be ready for release in the USA but as I still want it ready for release in June in Sydney I have been stiching in the wee hours and am getting close. I will have just enough stitching left to do on the plane trip there and back. It is coming together nicely and I am really loving the softer fabrics again.
a few more peeks for you to keep you drooling.... start collecting those pretty fabrics girls...and I just looove the pink spot... hugs, Helen

busy busy

Sorry for my absence from blogland, I am still preparing for the big trip, leaving in 5 days time. I feel very unprepared but I am sure everything will turn out okay in the end. I have had so many people sending me photos and emails so I am going to mention just a few here to say a big thankyou to them all. It is so nice to get photos and emails regarding patterns that people have finished, it doesnt happen that often and I can understand why but I think blogland is making things easier for people to share. So please feel free to brag and send in your pics. You are very clever and special to finish a project and we all love to see your efforts.

So Jenny from Country Blossom Patchwork in Queensland has used every Huggette in this gorgeous wallhanging. She has made up a pattern for it and has the fabric kits in her store. It is so cute, don't you think?

Wendy from Iddy Biddy has finished her version of Nice People Nice Things. I just looove the soft colours, just my style..
And Aldona from Germany who recently won one of my new patterns quickly made up the little extra suprise I put in her packet. She has many more pics on her blog, I wish I could read German but I am sure she has said 'nice' things. Her work looks beautiful. And she is obviously a big fan of Aussie patterns.Thankyou so much for sharing,
hugs to all

Monday, 21 April 2008

Boobie Buttons is it!

Hermione, you win the prize... I am going with the Boobie Buttons after a resounding yes from all who were surveyed (which means my family and friends:) ) So I have chosen some other names at random also:


Janet Rice Bredin - you can pick yours up at market :)

Karen C

please send me your snail mails....

Much of the printing is done and the packaging has begun. I had some help from some wonderful friends and Miss Tessie all day yesterday to get me organised - well start to - for the big trip to market in just two weeks. The buttons are not back from the assembler yet but will go into these little bags at the front here. The stacks you can see at the back are sets of cards for the Nice People Nice Things BOW which I just cannot keep up with! It is so satisfying to know that so many of you are enjoying this project. I have put more pics over at the NPNT blog.

I had a lovely day at the Quilted Crow gathering on Saturday, some time out for myself sort of. I spent the day finishing the binding on the Diametrically Deduced quilt ready to ship it to the show. Not completely happy with it but out of time now. Hopefully after getting all of this stock packed to ship I can finally get back to some work on Neenies Garden.... You can see more pics of the great Autumn gathering here, here, here and I am sure soon will be here and here. A lovely day with likeminded passionate stitchers - what lovely sharing women stitcher's are.

hugs, Helen

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

brooch vs badge vs something completely new??

Keep them coming girls, brooches seems to be the favourite but Hermione I just Loooooovee Booby buttons! Do you think I could use that or would some take offence... KarenC says think outside the square mmmm yes I was planning on doing some other projects that would 'house' the brooches so maybe its not the best way to go. The first 16 designs are a mixture, some very traditional, some a little more modern and fresh.... I will pop a pic of some in here that I have been fun colouring on with different mediums....

thinking, thinking..... Booby Buttons....mmm I really do like it! :)

Monday, 14 April 2008

Giveway winners - and another one

A quick one's a good one..... I have used the random number generator to get the following winners:

11 24 29 9

So sbonetsue , alda, Sharon-NZ and Sylvia please send me your snail mail addies so I can send you a yummy package...

Back to finishing my 'Diametrically Deduced' quilt binding, and spend hours with the tweezers picking batting from the back where my needle became blunt and pushed it through the black backing fabric.... arrgghhh

one more thing you may be able to help me out with. I have almost finished a new product which involves printed designs on fabric made into brooches or badges which you can colour in on using my Colourque method for a bit of fun.... my question is - do you think 'brooches' or 'badges' sounds better, more fun, fresh, appealing??? Okay, I'll send two out to two lucky people who help me out on this one... I'd show you a pic but I don't have any here....they are all at the badge makers.

hugs, Helen

Friday, 11 April 2008

Pattern Giveaway

New patterns released so now that I have two minutes to spare I have two of each to giveaway to all of my lovely blog stitching friends. Just leave a comment before Monday and I'll choose four lucky recipients...

The lovely Tracy who hosted me in Townsville recently has phoned to say she has many fabric kits left over from her stitching day for the Tickled Pink project. The kits include the fabric (3 colourway choices but the same fabric range as I used), the full pattern with transfers, and the pencil kit for all three cushions in the pattern. You can phone the girls on 0747552336 or email Tracey to secure one before they are all gone.
Get those comments in, I love to hear from you all across the world.
Back to colouring now
hugs Helen

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Where have I been?

I have been knuckling down trying to get some things done here. Only 3 weeks to go before leaving for the USA and I dont have a single pattern packed! arrrgghh, panic is starting to set in. As promised I have included some peeks at the two main projects I have been working on. The first is my Diametrically Deduced quilt using the inktense pencils. It is not finished but enough to send my entry in today. Not sure if I am completely happy with the end result but no time to start again....

Next is a peek at the blocks for Neenie's Garden. This is a new Hugs 'n Kisses Block of the month project supposedly ready to take to Quilt Market in 4 weeks and then to Sydney in June. A long way to go so watch this space for uses the lovely 'Sweet Escape' range so if you have some in your stash, hold onto it, its going fast from the stores...

Of course both projects although very different in style use a coloured pencil on fabric which makes the 'applique' very quick and fun to do...
back to it then...
hugs for today

Friday, 4 April 2008

The Daily Quizzler!

hi blogland, sorry I have been absent but two big projects being juggled this week. I will get pics to you I promise, soon.

As I am about to shut down and head up to the lovely Lake Barrington again for our last rowing regatta for the season my last job is to add a link to another new blog - the Daily Quizzler. The lovely Erica Spinks whom many of you would remember as the recent editor of Down Under Quilts has taken over marketing of Quizzles and has started this blog to chat to you all and share colour secrets, quilting ideas and a Quizzle Community. Go say hi to her, she is missing all of her old magazine friends and readers...

So til next week, all have a lovely stitching weekend - I have nothing ready to take so a manual on the Adobe Creative Suite - about 3" thick is my weekend pasttime...


Friday, 28 March 2008

New patterns

Well, we have survived yet another wet and windy Easter camping trip! a few hiccups with a blown tyre and late night doctor visits but all is well...

I am catching up here, trying to get my exhibition quilt finished - only 10 days til deadline, (will show you a pic soon) working on new BOM (will show you a pic of that too soon when I get time)and preparing for the exciting USA trip in only 5 weeks - yikes! Our Booth assignments have arrived and Lynette, Tracey and I are all in a row so it will truly be the Aussie Gals!

In the meantime I have released the last two gathering projects as patterns for all of you to join in the fun now. I know you have had to wait but it is only fair - its so much nicer going to a Gathering when the projects are fresh, new and never seen before. So here are some pics, order online or ask at your local now.

The pics above are on my new covers - what do you think? Not sure if I will still tweak them a little more but it was time to modernise and freshen up my look I thought. Now I just need a new website, blog artwork, about another 200 covers changed over etcetc....

Now my lovely friend and recent student Lorraine Hartley (long known as the Scquilters keeper of the badges) has phoned to say that she has found a great online supplier of the Presencia Finca#16 threads I love to use and have been showing you all recently. They can be purchased at - the finca threads are here - note that the 16 doesnt come in all colours yet.

Also a great online supplier for the Derwent pencils in individual colours are Oxford Art Supplies in Sydney. You can buy tinned sets or individual colours to replace those used in your sets or for that exact colour I have used.

Sorry overseas ladies, although both these places will no doubt post overseas to you they are both in Australia. So for everyone who was desperate to get your hands on some Finca 16 threads and couldnt find them locally, shop shop shop...

Of course beg your local to get them in as they are such beautiful threads to use.

hugs for today, Helen

Monday, 17 March 2008

Easter Blessings from above - my gift to you

I recently missed my first year anniversary of blogging as things have been so hectic around here of late. So to thank you all for visiting me and joining in over the past exciting year of blogging I have a little Easter stitchery for you all. With only four days until Good Friday you just have enough time to stitch him. The world of blogging has opened up so much for Hugs 'n Kisses and for me personally. I get emails and comments from all over the world. It never ceases to amaze me the breadth of stitching throughout cultures, demographics, nationalities and countries. Thankyou one and all, and keep coming back to share please. You make my day, all of you. Please send me a pic if you get it stitched in time. Download the PDF design here.


Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Missing in Action part two

Well after catching up with a few more old friends in Townsville it was on the plane to Brisbane and then a ride up to here in the beautiful green leafy Eumundi

now we thought we were spoilt with our rooms in Townsville but this was heaven... and the four lovely women who had been staying there on a stitching retreat for the previous two days agreed - what bliss - a retreat where you are spoilt rotten with the most exquisite food, waited on hand and foot, stitching peacefully in this setting, with likeminded passionate women, views and serenity, great tuition on hand and beautiful projects and inspiration all round...
This was my room...

This was waiting for me on my bed.... check out the quilting on the cushion, the theme was black and white obviously and there were little handmade 'things' everywhere in black and white..

This awaited us at breakfast, beautiful views, peaceful serenity.... and.....
the most delicious banana caramel pancakes!

I tried to get a photo of the front of the house but Sue used a photographer with a blimp to get the shot for the website so best to look

I know I always seem to take floral shots but gardening and flowers would have to be my second passion.... these were spotted amongst the lush tropical gardens of Kindred Spirits...actually between the studio/workroom and the main house... My Hosts Sue and Jim Daly are also the owners and designers of Patchwork with Busy Fingers - beautiful traditional paper piecing patterns and supplies.... Catch Sue on her blog here

Anyway, it wasnt all fun and lying around, I was brought here to work... I had a lovely room full of women on Tuesday night for a trunk show and slide show of Paducah quilt photos which always inspire... then on Wednesday it was a Colourque class on my Blessed Beauty wallhanging. In my class presentation I show the original pack of Derwent pencils that I saved up for about 30 years ago and still have... however I was pipped at the post here. One of the ladies had her original pack, we are not sure how old they were but had a batch no of 1924 - not sure if that means the year or not.. all of the colour names and numbers are still the same...

These were a few of the finished products - all ready to go home and begin the stitching...

Wednesday morning it was time to be delivered to Forest Glen to Penny's wonderful store the Patchwork Angel
Penny had made a lovely display of my patterns and samples which was a great inspiring start to the day.
A small but keen group spent the day colouring a pre quilted panel in the style of the Lace quilt. Below is Penny's mums wonderful effort. Jill is not a stitcher or quilter but quite enjoyed colouring in and I think she did a great job. I hope I have the spirit and energy of Jill when I am a Grandmother...

Alas, this saw the end of my teaching trip to Queensland... A lovely time was had by all, I hope I managed to share, inspire and impart some skills or knowledge or even just enthusiasm to the many wonderful women whom I met and chatted with.
so now, home again to my girls and DH, back to work and into my list of things to do to...