‘when life gives you scraps and all that cr**…’ and other words of wisdom

I’ve been thinking a fair bit lately about the most valuable quilting knowledge that I’ve collected so far. It’s no surprise really that this has come from hanging with Red Buttons. These points mainly come from qualities that I most admire in the other Button’s makery. I’m sure there are some new Buttons too, who would also provide excellent points on this list- but you get the point, this is one first rate group. Here’s just a few….

from Tanya:

* Aim to make quilts with soul that are down to earth.

* Don’t over complicate things- often simplicity is the best (I think this is one of Kirstie’s points too).

from Sharon:

* When putting the quilt sandwich together, keep safety pins a fist width apart. Sharon reminded me of this as she helped pinning a quilt in the beginners class, where we met. I can always do with nice memories like that when this horrible and most hated stage arrives. It often leads on to thinking about the absolute precision in pretty much anything she turns her hand to make and keeps me motivated not to get sloppy at this stage too!

from Tracey:

* Dream! enjoy regular trips with your imagination, considering quiltery possibilities. Then sketch away.

* Um, everything I know about free motion quilting. Her  top pointers on this for me are:

– break designs down into component shapes

– keep all quilting between the space of your hands. Once you’ve filled this space, pause to re-gather thoughts, before shifting hands and continuing.

* Aim for ‘conceptually beautiful’ quilts. I love it when Tracey uses this phrase.

from Julie:

* Don’t even think about quilting unless you have some good food at hand (and a cuppa of course). In my books, you can’t go past anything Julie’s baked… she is one of the most amazing cooks and incredibly generous persons that I know. She is an incredibly intuitive cook and all round maker I think, reinforcing the importance of not being too fussy and just going with what feels right.

from Kirsty:

* Quilting is all about the fabric right? Preaching to the converted here, I know!  Really enjoy fabric, for fabric’s sake. Enjoy playing with colour, design etc whether new or recycled. Aim for the fabrics to ‘zing’ together.

* A little dash of yellow, no mater how small in a quilt gives it life

*Quilting often benefits from some straight lines somewhere to give it structure.

* Don’t lose sight of good design!!! (this is a point I feel rather passionately about these days)

from Michelle:

* Quilting, like most things, is best when it involves lots of laughter. It’s a little creepy putting this into practice alone, so I’ve joined another Monday quiltery group to work on this point.

* Hoarding fabric is not only OK, it is probably a sensible and wise thing to do- never know when you might need it. This point I suppose is perhaps more about as sense of comradery 🙂

from Elle:

* I haven’t happened to meet this red button yet, but from what I’ve heard, she a button with real balls and subscribes to the principle of ‘don’t just dream it, do it!!’ I get a little bit of a spur along just thinking about her ambitious/adventurous spirit


Lots of love



2011 – Week 3

Four of us caught up this week and this is a little of what we were up to.


Julie spoiled us again. This is a sewing related post as you can clearly see the cake is sitting on top of a cutting mat:


Kirsty is back from her trip to NZ. I think one of the main reasons she came back is to fondle her yarn stash, and frankly – who could blame her:


Michelle’s stitching is taking form now as she starts to sew the pies onto their background fabrics. The colours in this quilt are quite gorgeous:


I have forsaken my sewing this week for my new love – KNITTING!! Here is my current project that is going to be a sweet little cardigan for my daughter:


Happy Crafting.


2011 – Week 2

My personal New Years resolution is to finish more stuff – sewing, knitting, blogging… so I am resurrecting the Red Button Blog and will be ‘encouraging’ the other Buttons to post as well.

We’ve had some big changes in our lovely group in the last year. Flo has moved to England, she blogs here now… Tanya got married, had a baby and moved to China, she blogs here now. Although they are both far away, once a Button, always a Button. They both know where we will be when they come home.

And we’ve had some new buttons join us: Julie, Michelle, Valeria and Sonia.  We still do more eating and talking than we do sewing and we always have a good night.

I always look forward to my Monday night Red Button gatherings.

This week we were few in number, here is a little glimpse of what we got up to.


Michelle continued her never-ending Pies & Tarts:


Tracey was adding to the wardrobe of her Milly Molly Dolly bag:


If I had seen the delicious Chocolate Butterfly cakes that Julie baked before I took this picture that would be here. This is Julie cutting out for new blocks for her sampler quilt:

I hand appliquéd a few more pieces onto my Lollipop Garden quilt:

Happy crafting until next time.


Week 23

Here is a little taste of some of the things we have been doing this week:

Julie was finishing off Cathedral windows… beautiful.

Tracey showed us a quilt top that she has been working on.

Kirsty knitted this gloriously bright cardigan (beautifully modeled by Julie). It is knitted in 4 ply and took up a lot of sewing time to complete.

I’ve decided to rip this cardigan and start something else.

Best of all we got to talk to Flo who we all miss – a lot.

2010 Week Seventeen

This week at Red Buttons.

Sharon was…

crocheting a little cardigan for the beautiful Paige. Four buttons were needed and we all very happily dived into the button jars to find the most appropriate.

Tracey was…

binding a top secret soon to be published project. Naturally this is a last minute rush to be finished by the due date. Who doesn’t love the inspiration provided by a looming deadline?

We all ate…

delicious scones with jam made for us for the lovely Julie.

Flo had to go…

..and we are sad 😦

Flo is leaving us for the UK for an undetermined time (but even two weeks would be too long).

Tracey made this amazing satchel and Sharon filled it with pencils and a sketchbook. By the time she hits the UK we bet it will be full of wonderful designs for new quilts and probably clothes as well.

The writing on the quilting reads :

” Florence is a Red Button.Red Buttons meet at Pompom Rouge at 7 pm on Monday nights.That is 10 am on Monday in England.So when you stop to have a cup of Lady Grey for morning tea you will be sharing it with us.”

We love you, Flo. We miss you already. Come back soon. xxx

There are so few posts around these here parts that anyone would think we don’t really make ANYTHING…

..but we do! Honestly!!

Julie has been sewing Hexagons now for, well, EVER…

Tanya keeps amazing us with yet ANOTHER quilt that she is giving away ( and expertly quilted herself!)…

Sharon decided being an expert at 379832 things wasn’t really enough, so she’s taken up embroidery. This is her FIRST project…

And, although I neglected to photograph them, you can take my word for it that Flo hemmed a skirt and Tracey had yet another superbly quilted masterpiece to show us. And I ate several of Julie’s delicious butterfly cakes. Pretty good night all round!

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