Friday, February 27, 2009

Designer of the Month - Part 2

It's time for Part 2 of our Designer of the Month Chat with Mel. Don't forget abot our giveaway back at Part 1.

I find that my inspiration changes with my moods but the one consistent thread is that I love colour and fun. The selection of fabrics is to me the most important and fun part of the design process. I never focus too much on co-ordinating or being range specific but love to match things together in a way that makes me excited and happy. To be honest I feel like the fabric talks to me (OK, I am sounding a bit crazy now!) and could mix and match beautiful prints all day long.

I usually find my inspiration in all that surrounds me whether it be nature, my children, colour, fashion or cartoons. I find that I always have my eyes open in a different way now and never know when that inspiration lightning will strike.

I do find that I am inspired by Asian culture and I have travelled throughout Asia a lot since I was 17 years old, I don't necessarily think that this is obvious in my designs but I am constantly inspired by the use of bright colours and the beauty in so many art forms found throughout Asia, as well as my adorable Korean children.

At the moment I am solidly working on the first "Melly & me" book and have already designed half of the projects that will be featured. My hopes are that the book will be released in May and I am so excited to be taking this journey. I hope that my book will be full of great projects that inspire many and of course it will be full of fun and colour.

As to what the future holds.... we will just have to wait and see. Rosie and I both love new ideas, opportunities and avenues for our creativity and look forward to where Melly & me will take us in the future.

Thanks so much for asking me to be featured on your blog this month.

Melanie Hurlston. (

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bushfire Quilts Update

Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in our bushfire blocks. The response was amazing. We gave away more than $600 worth of fabric for the blocks.

Here are some photos of what people have put together. The thoughts behind the designs were touching.

Don't forget if you have completed your blocks post them to:
Carol Freedman
PO Box 243
Barnawartha VIC 3688
Carol has a committee of four ladies who are co-ordinating the assembly of the quilts. On the 21st of March they will be putting them together in a local hall.

If you are interested in helping could you please contact Carol directly on 02 60 267 02.

If you would like to help a crafter who has been affected by the fires, Victoria's state quilting guild is organising distribution of quilts and sewing packs to bushfire survivors.

They are co-ordinating the distribution of sewing packs consisting of fat quarters and general sewing supplies. If you would like to help a crafter re-stash send your items to:
Vic Quilters Bushfire Quilts
c/- Judy Gipps
21 Durrant Street
Brighton Vic 3186

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Designer of the Month - Melanie Hurlston + Giveaway

Firstly thanks everyone for your great response to the bushfire blocks and raffle quilts. We have given away over $1,000 worth of fabric. Please send in pictures of your blocks and quilts so we can post them here.

It's time to introduce our designer of the month - Melanie Hurlston from Melly and Me. Melly and Me designs are some of the funkiest and most popular patterns we have.

Firstly I would like to say thanks so much for asking me to be featured on your blog this month.

My quilting journey began in 2004 when I found myself with too much time on my hands (oh where did those days go!!?) I had recently become a mum to my beautiful boy but once the baby stage was over I found myself needing something to do after having a strong career before motherhood.

One day my beautiful sister and best friend, Rosie of "Rosalie Quinlan Designs" encouraged me to make a quilt for "something to do". As a long time successful designer of quilting patterns she was so keen for me to catch the bug. So I borrowed her sewing machine for a few days and raided her stash. My first quilt was born and I was both proud and obsessed!!!

About one year later when my little baby girl had arrived Rosie and I went on a holiday. I had discussed with Rosie my desire to create more and more but that I couldn't find patterns readily available that took my imagination. So of course Rosie said "so lets design them!!!" I thought she was insane as I was such a new sewer but the idea had her on a mission and she kept trying to encourage me to start a design business with her that was fun, fresh and different.

One day, I decided to try my hand at designing. I told no one what I was doing as I believed my failure was definite, but I wanted to see if I could. And guess what - I did it! I designed a bag that I loved and it was soon released as one of our first ten Melly & me patterns!!Since this time "Melly & me" has adapted and changed from our original vision and we have had so much fun going with the flow and taking it wherever we felt led. The softies began while Rosie was going through treatment for Breast Cancer. We started making them as a joke, to make each other laugh in a difficult time but soon people asked for the patterns and the rest is history!

It wouldn't be a designer visit without a giveaway so Melly has given us a pattern pack of the Once upon a time stitchery set. Just post a comment here and tell us what your favourite Melly & me softie is & why.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fabric for Fires

A huge thanks you to everyone for their support of the bushfire blocks. We have sent out 120 blocks in just 2 days! We would love to see pictures of your blocks are they come together. Post your finished blocks to:
Carol Freedman
PO Box 243
Barnawartha Vic 3688.

There are still fabric packs for groups to make a quilt to raffle to raise money for the red cross bushfire appeal. You can also order these at the homepage.

If you have made a quilt for those affected, but don't know where to send it you can post it to:
Christina Kuhn
5480 Great Alpine Road
Ovens Victoria 3738

Ph 03 5752 2757
Her blog is here

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Want to help the Bushfire victims?

While we have been enjoying the cooler weather to hit Sydney, other part of the country have been devastated by the bushfires. Judy and I have been talking about what we can do to help.We will donate over $500 worth fabric for groups to make quilts to raffle to raise money for those who are affected by this event. I would hope that between us we could raise $2,000 for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.

If your group would like some fabric to make a quilt to raffle, please e-mail us, letting us know where you are from and your group (and any other information you want to include).
We ask that you also send us a picture of the finished quilt for the blog with 3 months and let us know how much money you raised from the raffle.

We have also be contacted by Carol Freedman who lives in north east Victoria. She is organising quilts for the fire victims. She has asked people to make and send her one 12 inch block. Post you blocks to
PO Box 243
Barnawartha Vic 3688.

If you want a phone number just e-mail me. We are also giving away fabric to support her efforts.
You can find it on the home page.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back to Work!

It's been a busy week back at the shop. Ann did a great job of minding the fort while I was away. I had a lovely time working on my English Paper Piecing during my week off. Maybe in another year I'll have it finished!

Judy has also been busy. Here is the top of her fabulous Fresh Quilt. This uses 1 charm pack, 1 Honey Bun (Sweet Roll) and 1 Jelly Roll.
Sydney Craftfest is just a month away (6th - 8th March). It is a new show at Homebush Dome by the same organisers as the Craft and Quilt Fair. Ann has been beavering away this week cutting fat quarter packs for it. We'll load them up so you get first pick - but don't delay - they sell like hotcakes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Coastal Wedding

Last week we had a relaxing time in the beautiful NSW north Coast . We have an annual pilgrimage to Yamba with my husband's extended family. This year it was extra special as Steve's sister Cassandra was married at Green Point on Sunday.
It was a lovely ceremony and the weather was perfect!
Here is the beautiful bride and her proud father.

Here is Kristy looking absolutely stunning.

After the wedding our little waif Thomas had to get the flowers from the bride. He had arrived looking very smart, but by the end of the wedding there he was with his shirt out and his shoes off. What can you do!