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The Next Stitch News

We've moved!

We've moved!

September flew by in an absolute whirl for us.  After a few weeks of long hard thinking and listing all the pros and cons I have packed up and moved interstate.

Sydney had been great for so many reasons but I decided to move my household and the business to Queensland in order to be able to better support my parents as they get older and their health declines.  Sydney really is the most beautiful and vibrant city and personally I think that Circular Quay station offers the best view from any train platform in the world.

We have swapped one stunning vista for another and are now operating in the Wide Bay area of Queensland.  The last boxes to be packed were The Next Stitch fabrics and they were the first unpacked at this end so that we could continue to  offer seamless service to our wonderful customers.  

We were also very excited to find Carolyn Friedlander's  Euclid range waiting for us when we arrived.


It certainly is a different pace of life but I'm pretty certain I will adjust.  In the mean time I will power away and finish off the unpacking, do some quilting and of course, walk the pugs on that gorgeous beach.

Hervey Bay




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Live.Love.Sew quilt pattern review

Live.Love.Sew  quilt pattern review

Lets face it - I have been out there doing a bit of 'try before you buy' recently.

 I was looking for a pattern to showcase  Les Fleurs the inagural, and eagerly awaited fabric collection from Rifle Paper Co for Cotton + Steel.  It is a lovely collection but it was a bit tricky because it combines some large, medium and small scale prints which in turn read as light, medium and dark shades.  

I was drawn to the Quatro quilt pattern by Keera Job from Live.Love.Sew's for a few reasons.  

First and foremost this was because the centre square in the block design provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase those large scale prints.  I mean to say, if Anna Rifle Bond has gone to the trouble to draw a pony, it deserves to be showcased right?  The elegant lines of the block design was also a factor because it just seemed to feel right for those pretty prints.  

The icing on the cake was the fact that Keera is an Australian designer.  Could there be a more perfect fit for an Australian quilt shop like The Next Stitch?

I have been quilting for more than 20 years and in the late 1990's I even designed a couple of patterns for an Australian craft publication.  There have been times over the years when I have set out to make a project from a pattern and I have ended up completely reworking the construction because I could see a different way to approach the piecing.  

In so many ways following Keera's Quatro quilt pattern felt like coming home.  The cutting instructions were clear and economical. The fabric requirements were also bang on!  Lets face it - none of us like purchasing fabrics for a special project to find that we have 25cm excess background, or even worse that it was so tight that you had to go purchase more because you'd made a crooked cut.

Sitting down to sew, I found the written instructions were  really well written and supported by diagrams for any pinch points. She also guided you through the construction so that the end result was an effortless, but well constructed quilt top. There were also no nasty surprises with stretchy bias on the edges of blocks.  

As well as being a quilt designer, mum to small children, and wife to a cattle farmer, Keera is also a teacher by profession.  This comes through strongly in her patterns. Seriously folks, buying a Live.Love.Sew pattern is like holding a little quilt workshop in your hand.

In case you still haven't caught on - I was deeply impressed. 

I could not be more delighted to  be now one of a growing number of shops stocking a selection of the Live.Love.Sew Pattern Co's patterns.  The fact that she is great to have a natter to on the phone is pretty darn good as well.  Welcome to The Next Stitch family Keera!

As well as Quatro, we also have Aztec, Wild Goose Chase, Gumdrop, Dozen Roses and Morrocco listed in the pattern section of the shop for $11.95 each.  We have also included the back cover of the pattern so that you can see the fabric requirements up front.

Now the only thing left to do is decide which pattern will be next.  Morocco in Alison Glass' Handcrafted Indigo's perhaps?



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Quiltcon 2017 Charity Quilt colours

Quiltcon 2017 Charity Quilt colours

Every year The Modern Quilt Guild sets out creative guidelines and a palette of colours for the Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge.  Member guilds and individual members from around the world are invited to make a quilt to be exhibited at Quiltcon and then donated to the guild's charitable organisation of choice.

I've not yet managed to make it to Quiltcon - but from what we see on social media, these quilts made from coordinating colours hanging together make a fabulous display.

Members are able to incorporate prints into their challenge quilts as long as they remain within the challenge palette, but it is common to see a lot of solids used.

This year's colours balance the softness of pinks and greys with bright zings of blue, green and yellow. 

quiltcon 2017 charity quilt kona colours

Here at The Next Stitch we have yardage in stock of all of the coordinating Kona Cotton Solids. This year's colour palette includes:

  • white
  • silver
  • pink
  • citrus
  • yarrow
  • ultra-marine
  • hyacinth and
  • ocean

We can't wait to see how these colours are used. If last year is anything to go on - there will be plenty of show stoppers. There is a lot of inspiration over on Instagram if you search #quiltconcharityquilt


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Decorative stitch quilting and the Les Fleurs Quatro quilt

Decorative stitch quilting and the Les Fleurs Quatro quilt

First of all let me just say thank you to everyone for the lovely comments about the quilting pattern I chose to use on the Quatro quilt designed by Keera Job of Live Love Sew.  I’ve had a few people message me with questions so I thought in this post I’d talk about how I tackled the quilting on my domestic sewing machine.

As I set out to write this, I realised I have quite a bit to tell you about how I chose the quilting design. Lets just say that I knew I wanted a finish which would be soft and snugly, and a little bit retro to marry up with the pretty florals in the Les Fleurs range.  I also needed it done in double quick time as I was working to a deadline.

I don't have a long arm quilting machine, and quilt on my domestic Bernina sewing machine.  Granted, my 710 does have a larger than the norm harp so it is easier to deal with the bulk of the quilt, but I think this technique is achievable on just about any regular sewing machine that has decorative stitch capability.  

I pin baste - pretty much because this is what I have always done, but I can see myself exploring spray basting sometime soon. For your project - baste it which ever way you are most comfortable with.  

After testing a few options on a sample quilt sandwich I settled on the scallop stitch.  On the Bernina 710 this is stitch 719.  After a few more runs, I settled on a stitch width of 5.5 and design length of 38.0mm .  I encourage everyone to play with all of the stitch options on their machine.  I found a few others that I quite liked and will come back to later on.

(Apologies for the sideways  image.  Clearly I had more success quilting than editing that blighter...)

For the first row of quilting  I ran the edge of my walking foot along the side of a horizontal seam from stitching the quilt top together.  This first line of quilting was approximate halfway across the surface of the quilt.  

Where the seam line  I intended to follow was interrupted  (for example across the borders) I scored the surface with a hera marker.  It was crucial to get this first row of quilting straight, as this then became the registration line for the rest of the runs across the quilt.

Once this first run was set, I used the edge of my walking foot to space the rest of the quilting lines.  As I sewed across the quilt, I would make sure that the side of the walking foot 'kissed' the bottom of the curve. When I turned the quilt around and was working in the opposite direction I ensured that the edge of the walking foot 'kissed' the point between the scallops.

With this particular quilt, every 8 inches or so I had a similar seam that I could use as a reference.  This ensured that I stayed straight and didn't drift.  This can be a problem with any walking foot design and if I didn't have that seam line to check my progress, I would have used a masking tape registration line every 10 inches or so.

The scallop is such a forgiving stitch pattern.  Because of the curve withi8n the de3sign itself, if you go a bit off  course you can rectify things with out unpicking if you catch it in time.

 I continued in this manner until I had reached the bottom of the quilt.  To avoid having to squish the bulk of the entire quilt through the machine I then reversed the direction of the scallop using the computerised functionality of my machine.

If this isn't possible on your machine I would think about how to make a feature of the change of direction and just embrace it.  Maybe you could play with sampling a run of a different stitch between the change, or even carefully match up the points of the scallop, or even use a row or two of big stitch quilting - the possibilities are endless really.

Congratulations if you have made it this far - here comes the best bit of all!

You wont have to bury any threads!  With every row that I quilted I stared about 1/2 or 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the quilt top.  This meant that all of the loose threads were trimmed off when I squared off the quilt.  

BINGO!  I was ready to bind.

If you've used decorative stitch walking foot quilting in your projects before and have any tips or problems, we' love to hear about them.

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Lets talk about the substrates

Lets talk about the substrates

So you've heard the term bandied around and it sounds kinda technical. So what is it and why should you care?

A substrate is defined as the primary material upon which other materials are applied.  In the case of fabric, substrate is the base cloth upon which ink, paint or pigment are applied to create all of the glorious printed fabrics available to us today.

An increasing number of designers are including a variety of different substrates in their fabric collections, which has opened up a wealth of different project opportunities with our favourite prints.

Rayon and lawns are perfect for garments as they have a softer hand and drape beautifully.  Double gauze is the perfect weight and softness for baby wraps and also works really well as a quilt back when you are after that extra bit of softness. Bag making is a no-brainer for the canvas weight blends with their extra body and firm feel, but I've also had a lot of success in using them for cushions and upholstery projects as well.

The latest collections from Cotton and Steel include a variety of substrates. In addition to the usual 100% cotton prints, there are lawns, double gauze, cotton/linen blends in canvas weight and rayons.

Some of my favourite prints this season are printed on the different substrates.

The flamingos shown below are from the Les Fleurs collection by Rifle Paper Company for Cotton and Steel are printed on a cotton lawn substrate and I'm thinking about whipping up a dress for a friends toddler.

Another favourite is the cicada song print in pear from Rashida Coleman Hales' Raindrop collection for Cotton and Steel.  A zipper pouch would be a quick and easy project, but I'm also sorely tempted to make a bag. Perhaps the Noodlehead 341 Tote will finally happen.   

Also a note to everyone that in the Trinket range, two of the prints are very similar, but in a different scale when reproduced on the different substrates.  The orange which I have shown here and the frost grey daisy prints are repeated on the cotton gauze and the quilting cotton. The double gauze print is a slightly smaller scale and you may even be able to make out the impressions from the needle punching which holds the two layers of gauze together.


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Les Fleurs Fabric by Rifle Paper Co

Les Fleurs Fabric by Rifle Paper Co

Les Fleurs by Rifle Paper Co for Cotton and Steel will be arriving next week. This is the eagerly anticipated debut collection designed by Anna Rifle Bond and Les Fleurs was the talk of Spring Quilt Market.

The collection includes whimsical travel motifs, carosel horses, birds, along with beatiful florals. And flamingos - don't forget the flamingos!

This range  is sure to ignite your imagination and inspire many exciting projects as there is something for everyone.    We are stocking all of the quilting cottons from this range as well as the flamingo  print in lawn.  How perfect is this for clothing?


Wendy's fingers are itching to whip up a zipper pouch from this cotton linen canvas Folk Pony print.  This cotton/linen canvas weigh fabric is just perfect for bag making.

The shipping gods have certainly smiled on us here in Australia, as this eagerly awaited collection has not even hit the stores in the US yet.

Pop on over to our collections section on the  website for our pre-sale of this fabulous range.

We have yardage as well as FQ bundles, however stock is limited. You wont want to miss out

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Make Modern Magagzine's mini mini challenge

Make Modern Magagzine's mini mini challenge

Make a minimini quilt and be in the running to win some amazing prizes in Make Modern Magazine's latest challenge.  What could be more achievable than a mini quilt no bigger than six inches? 

There are lots of amazing  prizes up for grabs, including these  two fat quarter bundles which The Next Stitch is delighted to contribute to the prize pool

We are offering 6 fat quarters of Alison Glass Handcrafted Indigoes

And 6 fat quarters from Caroline Friedlander's Carkai range in the neutral colour palette.

Carkai neutral bundle

The challenge  runs from 20 May - 20 June so thread up and get stitching everyone!  After all, you've got to be in it to win it.

The handcrafted indigoe fat quarters are available for $5.75 each plus postage and we also have yardage available.

The carkai neutrals will be back in stock in a few weeks, but we do still have some of the factory cut FQ bundles for $225.

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Highlight - Kona Cotton colour of the year 2016

Highlight - Kona Cotton colour of the year 2016

 Weare excited to announce that after being on back order, Highlight, the Kona Cotton solid colour of the year has finally arrived in store. 

The photos just don't do this colour justice and it is making our fingers itch.  Highlight looks fabulous paired with other kona cotton staples like wasabi, and pickle, but it also really pops when used with prints such as the neutrals from Caroline Friedlander's Carkai and Doe ranges  

Make sure you check out the Kona Highlight lookbook over on the Robert Kaufman website


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Hello Hazel

Hello Hazel

Autumn i8s my very favourite time of year.  The leaves on my maple tree have begun to turn and I found my fingers itching to stitch in a warmer colour pallet.

I needed something quick to stitch because just like just about every quilter I know, I have many more projects to I'd like to tackle than time.  Hazel Hedgehog II by Elizabeth Hartman jumped out at me as the 20" block is the perfect size for a cushion.

The first fabric I pulled was the starburst print in yarrow from Elizabeth's Pacific fabric range.  I paired this with Kona cotton solids in cedar and daffodil and our espresso chambray.  This block only required a FQ of each plus a shot cotton I pulled from my stash for Hazel's eyes and nose.

After some careful cutting, Hazel came together really well.  The only tricky bit was the side units as extra care was needed to ensure those angles were pieced correctly.  Having the pattern booklet in full colour really helped.

This espresso chambray is quickly becoming a shop favourite as it coordinates with absolutely everything.  Perhaps I need to find time to make the Fancy Forrest quilt after all.

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All about Andover Chambray

All about Andover Chambray

I have been sitting on a stash of Liberty lawns for a while now waiting for inspiration.  A number of them were really saturated colours and as a result weren't playing nicely in a scrappy EPP I have been working on.  As soon as I opened the boxes of chambray by Andover Fabrics I knew I had found the perfect foil for these oh-so refined party animals. 

The weave of the mustard and white threads gives a wonderful aged texture and was the perfect foil for the fine weave of the lawn and the vibrant colours.

In 2015 I was fortunate to spend four days in workshops with Bill Kerr from The Modern Quilt Studio.  Bill showed a wonderful Liberty quilt made in half square triangles which showcased the florals beautifully.  This quilt was very much the starting point for the quilt design which ultimately emerged.  I had no real pattern in mind, just triangles and I started cutting.

I kept making HST units and trimming for the next couple of weeks, and trimming - oh boy I was sick of trimming!  The wonderful texture kept me at it though.

I had the quilt plan sorted and the final lay out decided on my design wall, when a sudden breeze blew through my sewing room causing the blocks to rain down onto the floor.  What was incredibly annoying at the time was  the best thing that could have happened as,  with a nudge from a friend, I changed things up. I think it is a better result



I couldn't be any more pleased with the resulting quilt top.  I have decided to call this piece Epicentre as the quilt seems to vibrate out from that turquoise square.  I have intentionally  chosen to not centre the main design elements which I think adds to the overall movement.

Now to decide on the quilting. 

I am already eyeing off the other bolts of chambray.  I can see so much potential for more scrap quilts and I cant wait to chop into the espresso, or the coral or.....



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