Social Media Meetup : Studio Party


Three POSTS IN THREE DAYS. I know. Getting greedy. Call me an attention junkie.

However – as I write to tell you about our next Social Media gathering, it would be sort of silly not to use all the social media angles to do it!

Got time for a cuppa and a chat?

Saturday 9th Sept. 12 – 3. Cotton Factory. 128 Clyde Street, Ballarat.

Full kettles. The flash biscuits. Sandwiches. (Perhaps bring a plate and we will make it a shared lunch).

Freebie pattern bundle for all attendees.

The $5 fee is just so I know you are coming – and I haven’t figured out how to make it free in BigCartel.

Easily sorted. I will refund it from any purchases you make on the day.

There will be some PARTY only specials. A few things you haven’t seen yet and we will whip out the Scan and Cut for demonstrations for anyone interested.

So. Pop that baby in your diary and I look forward to seeing you there.


Twice in 2 days

Yep – AvB has officially gone crazy for Blog Land.

Well. Truth is I truly do not know what happened to August, and the many plans I had for August have well and truly slipped into September, and even that is looking like a very short month.

So this is a total quickie, to tell you we have a great English Paper Class coming up this Saturday. Loads to show you, to either get you on your EPP journey or add to your skills. New pattern release (you get the first look -and a copy of the pattern – for a new Lilabellelane creation), a tonne of techniques, and just generally a lovely day out. Sharon Burgess (the teacher with the mostest) has also agreed to do a Scan and Cut demonstration, so you get to see how brilliant the machine is for cutting EPP pieces.

Not too late to book. You just need your hand sewing supplies, so an easy class to prepare for, and I will have everything else sorted at this end.

Hey – it’s still days away! (Please say there are still a few more days of August left).

Fabric Treasure – of the scrappy kind.

And now for something completely different.

Designer Studio scrap bags.

Haven’t done these before, but given the state of the boltends and the scrap baskets, now feels like a very good time.

There’s at least one piece of fabric from each of Anna Maria Horner, Alison Glass, Emma Jansen, Jen Kingwell, Sue Daley, Cotton and Steel, Carolyn Friendlander and a text and low volume or two.

The smallest piece is an entirely respectable 5 inch charm square. The largest pieces are just shy of being full fat quarters.

All fabrics purchased and sold by Cotton Factory. Each bag unique. Approx 2.5m of fabric in each bag (but I am well known for being heavy handed and rather generous, so your treasure may well exceed that).

Enjoy. Here’s the link to have your postie bring you one.

And the horrid photo? Deliberate. I want these to be a lovely surprise when you open them.

Toodle for now. Got scraps to scrunch.

A Piece of Cake by Peta Peace (also a piece of rubbish timekeeping by me).

The day: Thursday 10th August.

The players: Peta Peace by text (PP), A Crafty Friend in the Know (ACFITK) and myself (AvB)

The conversation:

AvB: “I feel awful. I have just sent Peta a text saying I won’t have anything made in time for the Book Tour. Life has just gotton in the way this month.”

ACFITK: “Are you sure? I don’t think the Book Tour has even started yet?”

AvB: “Yep. Certain. Absolutely. I had it in my diary that I am on, Friday 11th August. TOMORROW! I’ve already sent a message. She (PP) was totally understanding.”

ACFITK: Plays with phone. “Let me check that. I am sure you are wrong, you Nutter!”

(I was possibly already a tad tired and emotional; my ACFITK telling me I was both wrong and a knucklehead was really not helping. She was also using stronger language in the delivery of said message. She was very clear.)

ACFITK: “You bloody idiot. You are not even scheduled until the 20th!”

AvB: Perking up nicely. “Oh really. Are you sure? Well that’s heaps of time. I can be all over this.” Some small (unremarkable) dance steps followed.

AvB text to PP: “Sorry – again – I am a Knucklehead. Had my dates all up the spout. Totes good for the 20th. Happy book Tour!”

PP text response: “Great, tx, and you really aren’t a Knucklehead.”

AvB text response: “Ummm our ACFITK is here and she absolutely ASSURES me I am.”

ACFITK even added adjectives to emphasise certain parts of my Knuckle-headedness. We remain friends, and now friends who have the dates straight. She’s a keeper my crafty-friend-in-the-know.

So you see, dear reader, there had been some considerable lead up , and nothing has even happened yet; of the crafty kind.

The 11th comes and almost goes. That was a Friday. That was the day I thought I was showing you the finished item. However in a thirty minute timeslot between getting home and the country school buses arriving, I cut out my mini quilt. Not only was I back on task, but a plan was emerging. A plan I became increasingly pumped about.

I had now chosen the project – Wrapped in Love Mini Quilt. I had also chosen the feature fabric, the background, the binding AND THE RECIPIENT. Really – nothing says ‘Yes I would love to be part of your book tour’, than killing two birds with one stone, and making something special for that special person’s special birthday.

As you can see. The recipient – let’s call her Grandma – loves Kaffe and Grunge. Check and check.

Now, it’s 12th August. I got up crazy early. You know. I have a plan. I needed to be out of the house by 9:30am. Showered and dressed. That mini was sewn together and ironed in the wee hours somewhere between 6:30am and about 8am. Man was I falling in love with it at this point. The rest of the day was a non event craftwise. But in my mind I had this. Just need to quilt and bind this puppy and we are sorted.

That brings us to Sunday. Basketball try outs. ‘Why yes’, say I, mere moments before walking out the door with my basketball child. “I will hand quilt this beauty.” (Having never actually hand quilted anything before). “And I shall do it at the Basketball stadium, with 400 loud 14 year olds, and 380 basketballs flying around.”

The hand quilting spilled over into Monday. Binding Monday night. Binding completed by exactly 10pm Monday night, (bed was 10:05pm) and we have a finish. A delightful, fruity, playful, before time finish, finish, finish.

Tuesday 15th – IN THE MAIL YOU GO, little beauty. You are off to live in an interstate post code. Express Post, just to be sure. More dancing, but this time at the post office counter. (Dancing in public. Not to be sneezed at. It’s basically my cardio. Best to have a thick skin though).


(Early Sat morning. The house is quiet. Loving myself sick. Blocks coming along nicely).

(Handquilting at the Basketball Stadium).

(Artistic, on-the-side photo, making up for the fact there is just no sunshine. About five minutes before lodging the parcel at the Post Office).

Anyhoo. Should we talk about the actual book?

The project: Wrapped in Love Mini Quilt on page 37 of A Piece of Cake.

The Author: Peta Peace. All around good person. Quilter with the mostest, and possesses an above average ability to stay calm, (and maintain a sense of humour) when those around her clearly can’t even work a calendar.

Fabrics. A Kaffe charm pack I had saved for just the right occasion. Moda Grunge in dark grey as the background fabric. Wow. I loved sewing with that).

Batting. A new Bamboo batting I have recently started stocking. Enjoyed this. A lovely softness to the finished product. Nothing sexy about a photo of batting, so you’ll just have to imagine it’s soft, white bamboo-ey goodness.

The cutting instructions are absolutely bang on. Very little waste. We all like that. This project comes together wonderfully quickly. You’d halve your project time if you machine quilt it.

These blocks are fun. Seventeen quick half square triangles (I’m a trimmer), and otherwise squares and rectangles. I am ready to make the larger version now.

Congratulations Peta. I love that you have focussed on Layer Cakes. I will actually use one on the larger version, when I have, you know, more time……



It’s TIME.

Tick Tock. Tick Tock.

I have two sons. They are at the age where everything is a competition. Who can do it the fastest? Who is the quickest? Who do I think is the best? We have just spent the school holidays together, and it was lovely to have some time to do things that had no time limits. Lovely long walks – where we didn’t have to be anywhere, just home before dark.

Here’s counting down to the next batch of school holidays, but in the meantime the real world has us all back on schedule. And sometimes craft has a schedule too. Today is my turn on the “Quilting on the Go- English paper Piecing” book tour schedule, and I am chuffed to be here.

Sharon and I have talked about her book, and a number of the projects in it, for a good while before the book arrived. I knew a number of other talented makers were tackling the quilts from the book, so was firmly of the view that I did not want to ‘compete’ in that space, and that I would make a small pouch, pillow even. (And thank goodness. Have you seen @quilty_carlie ‘s bird version of the cover quilt? Just brilliant!)

A pillow. Wee pouch. Totally doable. Fool proof. Even I could turn out a pillow or pouch that would be photograph worthy.

But then the book arrived. It was read and re-read over a few days, and the idea for clocks took hold.

First, source mechanisms. Check.

Maybe I would like some choices for clock hands? Also Check.

Then decide fabric. Check. Check. (Lucky I had a bit lying about).

2 inch hexie papers. Sorted. (I like BIG shapes, and these are ace).

I believe we are ready.

I found the clock a really pleasurable project. So much so that I made two in just a few days.

The thing I most like about this project. You are not going to remove your papers. I tend to be a bit heavy handed with glue when I EPP, so had a lovely time really sticking these babies down, and they are not going anywhere. Anytime. Ever. Stick them down well. Rejoice in the delight that is heavy handedness.

I also love the big shapes. In two very different versions I used fabrics that lend themselves to large shapes. Naturally you can fussy cut every piece (you need 19 for each clock), or a few to provide accents in the piece.

For the backing, Craft Board is recommended in the book. That’s readily available and can be easily cut with a hand held blade. For both my versions I actually used 3mm ply board. For a few reasons. I live out of town, and it’s winter, and I did not fancy a 30 minute each way car ride and the ply board was right here in the shed. (Thank you Himself Husband). It’s also straightforward to cut and provides great structure. I stuck my fabric piece using an everyday (clear drying) craft clue, that I had at home.

The first clock I made (was surprisingly using text fabric) and was gifted to my Dad, and has hung in his living room for over ten days. It was my crash test dummy for the time keeping mechanism. It is keeping perfect time.

The second version is hanging at the Studio. It’s a combination of Tula Pink Precut hexies (making things even quicker) and some uber cool Fish prints.

The single copy I have had of Sharon’s book has been very well read by now. There’s several dog eared pages of things I may have started or have plans for. Like many I have been waiting for my wholesale order of books to arrive. The arrival date has been a moving feast BUT the motherload is now imminent. (Actually by the time you are reading this post I will be licking stamps on your orders). Yee-book-hah.

This is a very nice book.

Congratulations Sharon. What a thrill it all must be, and I for one am thrilled you have delivered your EPP passion so well in print form.

So – to speak retail for just a mo.

In addition to supplies to make a clock kit, we also have full template and papers kits for three of the quilts contained within.

Books available here. (Buy local, we love that).

Clock kits and mechanisms right here.

And paper/template kits for book quilts are here.

So righty-oh. I think that’s my piece done, in time!

Cheers. Toodlepip and happy stitching.


Scan and Cut – in the house!

The one where someone else has done the work for you.

Got to really be grateful about that.

My friend, Sharon Burgess, has the ability to pump out a lot of craft. She has been road testing the Brother Scan N Cut for several months, with great results.

Stocking these machines has been a desire of mine for many many many months, and is now a happy reality. But rather than write a long blog post about all the many ways to use it (specifically for English Paper Piecing) I can happily refer you to the LilabelleLaneCreations blog, where you really can ‘Read all about it’.

(Image credits to Sharon Burgess – Lilabelle Lane Creations).

Should you choose to purchase a unit, outright, you have the chance to save some significant coin. Or Lay Buy, in a more affordable way, and you will have it to play with before the Christmas holidays.

The link to my online listing is here.

Good times ahead.

New Club. Commencing 1st July 2017.

In mid April 2017 I offered a hand cut 5 inch charm pack of low volume fabrics. It was so well supported I thought I would continue the theme, and start a club, so we all get to have the same fun regularly.

Think of it as a fabulous (inexpensive) charm swap, with a bunch of your friends, but where I have done the cutting for you.

Offering hand cut charms six times a year, you have the choice of simply mix and matching the themes (and months) that appeal to you most, or jump on board all six sets, and save some coin.

The designers featured will include Alison Glass, Elizabeth Hartman, Tim Holtz, Tula Pink and whatever new and emerging designers blow my hair back, across design houses Free Spirit, Moda, Art Gallery, Lecien, Andover and others.

I will choose well, as let’s face it, I have loads to choose from.

Here’s the plan. 48 charms, (two of each of 24 prints) in each of these themes, delivered in the following months.

Text Charms (July 2017)
Modern Basics (Geometric, Dots, Stripes, Cross hatch) (Sept 2017)
Bright Modern florals (Nov 2017)
Modern Prints Rainbow (Jan 2018)
Solids (Mar 2018)
Low Volume 2 (May 2018). We will finish where we began, and this bundle will feature all new fabrics, so no repeats to those of you who purchased the most recent bundle, (April 2017).

Choose any single pack and the price is $22 ea (plus $3.30 Aust Shipping).

Choose all six, with full payment now, and the price is $19.20 ea, so $135 for all six, which includes your postage in Australia.

Or if you want to have all six, but pay each time, then there is that option also.  We will invoice you at the start of the month, in which there is a delivery.

Details online here.

International orders are welcome, and we have estimated postage, and we shall simply invoice you if additional postage is required.

#cottonfactorycommunitycharmoff is the hashtag we are using, and like all things related to social media and craft, we’d just love it if you started spreading the word.


Aussie Aussie Aussie, launch launch launch

As I type a host of Australian designers are launching their fabrics and patterns at Spring Quilt Market in the USA. This market is being held in St Louis.

(A few of us are finding it hard to get out of bed as we are glued to our devices watching the Instagram feeds!)

I have already picked out a few of my favourite fabrics from both Jodie Carleton and Claire Turpin. Handy little numbers that will be right at home in your stash.

Modern refracted light – in four colours. 

Water droplets – lovely calming colour. 

Seagulls with attitude (reminds me of a teenager I know)

Or the handiest dots I have seen in forever.

Arriving in June, I have listed these online, at the cost effective price of just $16pm. That is so affordable for the Australian market, and reflects the beauty of Australian designed and Australian marketed/distributed products.

Get your seagull, dotty, refracted light laughing gear onto it.



Now THIS is going to be good.

Chroma by Alison Glass.

Her best yet in the Handcrafted series.

Incredible colour. To die for new patterns.

Fat Eight and Fat Quarter bundles now listed online. Also listed are five brand new patterns, which just have to be seen. Actually they are crying out to be made.

Arriving at my place in July. Lay Buy options also listed online.

Enjoy the rainbow of eye candy.

The Snugglier, the Better

You know that feeling when you just fall for someone the first time you meet them?

By way of background – I am very confident that I am a heterosexual, middle age Mother, with all the joys of tired joints, greying hair and hormone variations (that are memorable).

But when I met Josephine Kelly, of The Very Snuggly Quilt program, I was absolutely taken with her energy, commitment, organisation, (good looks and great hair) personality and charm.

Whether Ms Kelly likes it or not, she will be spending more time with me! I have a definite craft-crush on her.

The Very Snuggly Quilt program is a charity quilting group run under the Victorian Quilters Inc. banner. (

On the second Tuesday of every month the group deliver an amazing 170 to 200 quilts to the children who are patients at the Royal Children Hospital, located in Melbourne, Australia. (Hat’s off to the care givers in every children’s hospital, all around the world).

That’s every month people. They undertake to visit all wards except short term stays.

It is hoped that these quilts will provide some extra warmth and comfort to the children and their families at a difficult time.

Families frequently express their surprise that people generously spend time to create something that is then given to a child they do not know. As you can imagine, the quilts quickly become treasured possessions, with many of the children bringing the quilt back to hospital for another appointments or future admissions.

The group rely on fabric donations. They receive some fantastically generous support. They also receive a lot of brown fabric. A lot of very dated fabric, and we all know how quickly fashion changes, including in the world of fabric.

Cotton Factory will host a Charitable Sewing Day later this year. We will be actively seeking support from our local crafting community to come and sew on the day, and provide a good number of quilts to this fantastic cause.

But that got me thinking. The Cotton Factory Community is so much broader than the township of Ballarat, so I wanted to give everyone the chance to make a contribution to The Very Snuggly Quilt Program, by way of a fabric donation.

As soon as I had the idea I decided that we should set a target. First I thought 20 metres, then 50. But in no time at all I decided we should endeavour to donate 100 metres of fabric to this group, and really pump up their stash with some modern lovelies.

Each donation will be acknowledged. I’ll take care of the Big Cartel fees, the PayPal fees, the GST, blah blah blah, plus the cutting fees.

We are giving you the chance to buy a metre of fabric – at a substantial discount to retail, such that we make this affordable for all – and can race towards the target.

Fabric will be cut and labelled with your details at the time of purchase, and then presented to Josephine at the sewing day in August this year.

Choose the theme or colour of fabric you would like to donate, and we will do the rest for you.

As I will be handing each folded and wrapped metre of fabric to Josephine personally, there is no shipping charged, so crafters from all around the world are welcome to participate.

Here’s the link. You just decide what type of fabric you would like to donate.

Thankyou in advance crafters. Nothing like a community of people pulling together.