A thank you from the heart

This was addressed to our President recently and I wanted to share it with you.  St.Barts are just one of  our groups that benefit from the generosity of our community quilters.

I think this letter outlines the importance of continuing to give where you can, and no matter how big or small the quilt is that you make, you know that it is always appreciated.

I recently read, Meg Cowey’s post ( Our house quilts) who is a WAQA member, Meg has just finished off some quilts that she has been making for some time and decided to try out her quilt skills on her new quilting machine.  She points out that though the quilting is not perfect, it has made good practice for her and no one who needs to feel the love of a quilt wrapped around them, is going to say “that the quilting is a bit wonky” or “the points don’t match up”.

Does that fear make you stop and say sometimes, my quilt or quilting is not good enough to be given to someone else?   Remember, that anything you make will be going to a person, who has so little in their lives, yet by your generosity, you will bring a little bit of sunshine into their lives, and  perhaps make them feel a little bit better about their circumstances and that by giving  the gift of a quilt, it will be cherished and loved and more importantly it will be used by them.

I am trying to make some changes in my own life this year,  nothing major, but perhaps a bit more upcycling /recycling  and perhaps a bit less fabric and pattern buying and maybe really digging into my stash and making a few quilts to help others. I have already had a bit of clean up and have sorted out some books and fabric panels, that I know longer want, but will be useful at the Bazaar sale in September, and the profits going to WAQA community quilters for the further purchase of thread and batting for our charity quilts.

You can read more about community quilters and also some of the patterns they use on the WAQA website, the patterns are very easy and are published every month.

The  community quilts group also meet every few months, and always have a lot of fun, sharing tips, making quilts, sewing blocks together or just sewing on the binding.

As you can imagine with so many people and groups in our community, quilt stocks always run very low, especially during our cooler months,  if you think you can assist in any capacity then please contact:- the community quilt convenor at waqacommunityquilts@gmail.com

I hope you enjoy reading this letter.

To the President

I wish to let your members know that your donations of quilts in 2016 to St Bartholomew’s House in particular to the homeless women in the  Kensington Street (KS) Transitional Accommodation program has been invaluable.  Our women are aged 50 years and over often socially isolated and separated from family members.  Many have experienced trauma, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, domestic violence, financial hardship, drugs and alcohol addiction or mental illness etc.  Hence your thoughtfulness has made an incredible impact on them after months of sleeping in on the streets, in their car or couch surfing with family and friends. Their comments are as following:

  • I feel at home after such a long time.
  • I feel the warm of being with my grandmother.
  • I feel so comforted and ready to make a new start.
  • I am able to sleep for the first time in years.
  • Thanks to the special person who did all this work. I feel special!

One of our many community quilters in action

Posted in Community Quilts, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Scholarship – Fibres West 2019

We are pleased to announce that this applications  for this  scholarship is now open.Please see attached information sheet and application form.

Further information may also be  obtained at sewing day /night or via Beverley McDonnell, WAQA Secretary at corsec@gmail.com.

FibresWest2019-WAQAScholarshipInformation (1)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recycle/Upcycle – the new buzz word in quilting

Are you heading to our Retreat at Shoalwater this year?  Are you interested in creating new quilts from old things?  Are you looking at your fabric stash and saying I am never going to use all of this in my lifetime and holy cow, what was I thinking when I brought that fabric.  Has your body grown in size?? or maybe if you are lucky your healthy diet regime is working and you have lost weight, what do you do with all those pairs of jeans that no longer fit??

Well our retreat at Shoalwater,  this year is all about using up what you have, whether you have some old denim, too much fabric or you have raided your nanna’s doily collection, old tea towels or table cloth collection, then we can make the most of it.  Advice on quilting on a budget and also a demonstration on how to make you own eco shopping bags by using what you have, or giving new life to your old bits of fabric.  “There is no such thing as an ugly fabric, when it is cut into a 2 and half inch square”  ( I think this quote was made famous by Bonnie Hunter on her Quiltville blog.

We only have a few spots left, even if you only want to attend for one night, Susan and Pauline will be able to help with this request, contact them at waqaretreats@gmail.com.

Thursday afternoon from 4pm, July 26 to around lunchtime on Sunday, July 29th.

This beautiful quilt was made by Karen Bell and will be on display at the retreat.



Posted in retreats | Leave a comment

Our quilting future-in safe hands!

We were so lucky at Quiltwest this year to see some wonderful quilts on display by the younger generation.  We also enjoyed  seeing the work on display from the Young Sew n Sews group and watching them in action as they put pieces together in the sewing area of the exhibition over the weekend.   One of our  young winners Heidi Beer, sent us a wonderful letter and a drawing, which I share with you now.  Heidi’s  “Ispy” quilt, also  took away the Judges commendation for Junior quilter.

It looks like quilting will be in safe hands for many , many years to come, when we have lots of the younger generation enthused about what they can achieve with needle, fabric and thread and wonderful imaginations.  Thank you Heidi for your thoughtfulness and congrats on your commendation, we hope to see you at Quiltwest next year!Ispy

heidi letter 1


Posted in Quiltwest 2018, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Community Quilts-June update

We had a wonderful sewing day yesterday and our members were unbelievably generous.  Donated on the day were 58 completed quilts (7 with matching bags), 11 quilt tops, 4 UFOs and 1/2 55 litre crate of assorted fabrics.  At the end of the day we sold off non-quilting donations and managed to raise $350.00 for the purchase of  wadding.  The photos are of the quilts (99 of them)  which were delivered to 7 different organisations today.
My thanks to Gail Bayley ( Community quilts Co-Ordinator) for always keeping me updated with all the facts and the photos.  To all the community quilters, again you have excelled yourselves.
There was also an excellent article, in last Saturday’s “West Australian” newspaper about the wonderful work that happens at Solaris Cancer Care  and whilst “quilts” weren’t mentioned, the article is well worth the read, as it explains exactly what Solaris do in order to make life better for cancer sufferers.


community 4
Posted in Community Quilts, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Show and tell

Beautiful quilts on display again and enjoyed by all.  I do rely heavily on other WAQA members, sending me photos, so you can imagine sometimes in the flurry of the evening/day  it is hard for people to “take a photo”, plus remember the makers name or perhaps give credit to any pattern that may have been used,  or if in fact if the quilt is the person’s own creation.  We do of course let the makers know, that they can opt out of having their quilt photographed, as it may be used elsewhere ( like on our blog!!) for the world to see.

If you do ever see your quilt photographed here, and would like to send me further information, such as your name, the pattern used, or any other details about the quilt, I would love to hear from you. waqablog@gmail.com

Enjoy your viewing, and as always there is lots of inspiration!





show and tell3




show and tell8

show and tell10

show and tell4

show and tell 11.

show and tell2

show and tell1

Posted in Sewing Day & Nights | Leave a comment

Members Bazaar- September & great news!


It is that time again where we need to start looking in the cupboards and thinking about having a stall at the Members Bazaar event on 18th and 19thSeptember Sewing Day and Night.

If you would like to reserve a space early, please let Lesley Warren have your details on waqaprmarket@gmail.com or 0407991047.

There will be restricted numbers this year due to reduced space at the hall.

Last year’s bazaar, very popular.

Always great to find a bargain or two!

I have amazing news to share, our blog has been included in the Top 10 Australian Quilters list for 2018. This is an excellent achievement only possible to reach with the help of everyone that contributes with content to publish.  To everyone that provides stories and photos – thank you and to all who read our blog- THANK YOU, we feel very honoured.

A brief background of this list by its creator,  Anuj Agarwal:

“Top 10 Australian Quilters Bloggers list:
Feedspot helps you keep track of all your favorite blogs, news sites and rss feeds in one place. It makes checking your favorite sites as easy as checking your emails.

The Best Australian Quilters Blogs from thousands of Australian Quilters blogs on the web using search and social metrics. 

These blogs are ranked based on following criteria
Google reputation and Google search ranking
Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
Quality and consistency of posts.
Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review”

Posted in WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Community Quilters- Community Sewing Bee and a thank you for caring!

You cannot keep our Community quilters down, they are busy, busy, busy and always helping others.  This is what they have been up to and please remember to save the dates for their Pre-Bazaar sale ( details soon; here and on facebook) and they also have their Community Sewing bee on June 24th from 10-3pm at Alexander Park, Craft House in Menora.

Everyone is welcome – why not introduce a friend to patchwork – just bring them along.  Come for as long or as short as you are available.  All newcomers welcome.

Plenty of borders, backing and binding to be done.  Block of the Month quilts to assemble. UFOs to complete.   Some challenging items.  Lots of strips for sewing quilts (rail fence, etc) – pattern ideas will be available.

Register by replying to this advertisement or on the registration sheet at sewing day/evening. (waqacommunityquilts@gmail.com)

Morning tea provided.  Entry $5.00.  Please bring your mug, machine, sewing equipment and your lunch and community quilts for Show and Tell.

Any questions or queries to:

Liz Houghton 0407 374 990

Gail Bayly 0438 275 446

AND our Community Quilters also paid a visit to Rick Hammersley House and the Sarana Women and Childrens’ Programme in Gnangara Road,  to participate in a resident’s graduation and to share morning tea.  Residents at the centres,  receive a quilt when they pass Stage 1 of the programme  and make a commitment to staying drug and alcohol free.  The quilts are highly sort after and we receive many emotional thank yous from their recipients.

To say thank you to WAQA Community Quilts a group of residents presented a mosaic plaque they had made to say thank you.  The plaque will be shown on June sewing day/evening and then hung in the quilt storage area.

A grateful thank you to all community quilters for their participation in the programme.  When residents are struggling they have their quilt (‘fabric hug’) in which to hug themselves, knowing that a group of strangers made it for them and care about them, even though they have never met.  A quilt that says ‘You are not alone’.

thank you





Posted in Community Quilts, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Introducing Tracey Bareli

tracey bareli

1st Place-Traditional quilts. “A Purple sensation” also first place, Best long arm machine quilting and also Best of show.

Today we are saying hello to Tracey Bareli, Tracey resides in Esperance, unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to meet her in person, at Quiltwest, whilst in Perth, but I did have the opportunity to gaze in wonder at her quilts that were at the exhibition.  Tracey won quite a few prizes for her beautiful quilts.  Through the wonders of email, I spoke with Tracey and put a few questions to her.

How long did a ” Purple Sensation” take to make and where did you draw your inspiration from for this quilt?

The inspiration for “Purple Sensation”  came from the Book ‘ Design Inspirations’ by Margaret Solomon Gunn. 

The quilt is largely Hand pieced and took roughly 12 months to put together.  The quilting is Hand guided with Ruler work. Some of the quilting Motifs are Margaret’s. The actual quilting took just over 52 hours. That’s just the needle going up and down,  not including marking of the top readying for quilting. It was a challenge to put together and was pleased with my efforts that I decided to ask permission from Margaret to be able to show the quilt and for it to be judged.

On the off chance that she wouldn’t give permission i did have another quilt for the Show.

” Quilty As Charged ”  this quilt is made with hand pieced Hexagons with a Radiance Silk background.

The Robert Kaufman Radiance Silk fabric is beautiful to quilt. Unfortunately it is now discontinued.

This is an original design, taking 15 hours of quilting time.




How long have you been a quilter for? And what part of the quilting process do you enjoy the most? 

My first quilt I had ever made was a wall hanging in 1989. We ( Dan My Husband) had just moved to Boyup Brook, newly married.  My mum had given me her Singer sewing machine.  I can’t say that I had a love of that machine, but I saw a wall hanging pattern in a magazine and decided to give it a go. My sewing skills were pretty basic, I knew  nothing about tension,  but looking at it now, it wasn’t too bad, perhaps a little tight.

  I still have the Cat walhanging,  a little thread bare, when I look closely at the quilting today,  I don’t think I lowered my feed dogs – back then I wouldn’t have even know what a feed dog was!! 

I then made a hexagon quilt., which was a grandmothers garden pattern. This quilt pattern was for a large single bed, but it  grew and grew. I think I was a little concerned about how to put those hexies together. I hand quilted this quilt, I  need lessons on how to hand quilt! And I  still have this quilt in a cupboard.

 After that I fell in love with my garden and also studied for a Gardening & Landscaping Certificate.  I also started Cross Stitching.

 I didn’t look seriously at patchwork again until 2012. I joined a sewing Guild, “ Grass Patch Patches”, which is a little town about an hour north of Esperance.

Tracey’s cat wallhanging ( her first foray into patchwork and quilting)

 It was late in 2012 that I discovered what you can really do with a sewing machine. I had a small Janome machine that I used for mending more than anything, and very rarely do I do any mending on my new machines)

I look back now and wonder  how I ever got queen size quilts into that throat space!! .

I decided to buy a bigger machine and that’s when I attempted my first wholecloth original Design.   Using Gold Radiance Silk and being very bold and using contrasting colored thread.

 In early 2013 Deb Van De Bogart of Patches & Things ran a 4 day retreat and one of my classes was with Jocelyne Leath.   Deb encouraged me to show Jocelyne,  my gold wholecloth.  Jocelyne asked me if I was a member of WAQA, I replied that I wasn’t a member.  Jocelyne said become a member and put your work in the show.   I entered “Sun & Sea ” into the 2014 QuiltWest and to my surprise, it came 2nd in All Professional Quilts and also won Best Domestic Machine Quilting.

tracey3 sea and sand

 My favourite part of the quilting process is the quilting. I first sighted a Long Arm quilting machine having never seen one before 2012. Our sewing group was fundraising for Breast Cancer and Judy, who opened her home for the Biggest Morning Tea had a Long Arm.  Judy mentioned a few days before that she would put Calico on the frame and anybody who wanted to have a “play” was welcome to.  The room filled with all these ladies wanting to play on this huge machine.  Me?? I stood at the back and just watched,  I had a hundred questions that I wanted to ask Judy but so did everyone else. HaHa!,  and I never had a play! 

I saw the Handi Quilter advertised in a number of quilting magazines. I registered that I was interested in more information, and I also showed my husband Dan.  Dan’s first question was “where are you going to put it? “ Mmmmm….

 I started saving my pennies. We have our own Earthmoving Business, and so I drove a water truck and operated a Roller and Excavator for 9 months and then I brought my Handi Quilter Avante,   from Michelle at Handcrafters House around mid 2013.  Dan suggested we turn the formal lounge( a never  used room) into my Quilting Room. 

  If I have a project on the frame I have been known to turn on the machine at 4 in the morning and quilt away. I will have the radio on or sometimes I will listen to my music. Other times I will listen to a book.

 Would you consider yourself a Traditional Quilter?

 I like to do Traditional but I have done Modern pieces and Art pieces as well. Love to give anything a go. 

Are your Family supportive of your quilting endeavour’s?

My family,  are very supportive of my quilting and are very proud of my achievements.

Place to relax and unwind.

 When I’m not at home and not quilting… I commute to Kalgoorlie where Dan is working. Once work is over we will head to Perth to catch up with Corey for a bit of family time and R & R. This doesn’t happen often enough. I still like to garden, but not often enough these days.  We also have a little Jack Russell, Ruby. She lets me know when I have been at the quilting machine for  too long. After barking at me to get my attention, we then have discussions about what toy is at my feet,  or the next door neighbour’s cat sunning itself on the driveway.

You are a WAQA Member, however are you involved in other Groups?

 I am a Member of two sewing groups in Esperance. “The Fire Shed Quilters”, meet every 2nd Tuesday and “Port Patches” who meet every Friday. I am not a an accredited teacher as such,  but  I love to help in any way I can if any members at these groups are  having issues with their FMQ.  I love to pass on my knowledge and assist with their quilt making, if needed.

 What brand of Sewing Machine and long arm do you use?

 My sewing machine I use is the 720 Bernina. I also have the Handi Quilter Avante. I have long arm quilted since purchasing my machine in 2013, before that I quilted on my domestic machine, which before the Bernina,   was a Janome Horizon 7700. 

Is this the first time you have entered your Quilts  into a Show? (Quiltwest 2018)

 Since entering my first Quilt into a judged show in 2014, I have entered in to QuiltWest every year since,   and won Majors Prizes & 1st, 2nd & 3rds. I also entered the AMQA ( Australian Machine Quilting Association)  Show in Adelaide in 2014 and won a 1st & 2nd for Innovative Custom Small  Category,. “Sun & Sea” & “Aussie Toss”, both worked on a Domestic Machine

  I have entered quilts in to the Royal Show and picked up prizes and  I won Best Exhibit in 2013.  I also make it a point to enter exhibits into the Local Esperance Show. I have won Prizes here too.  I haven’t entered any Quilts internationally.

“Quilty as charged”, this quilt also entered at Quiltwest.


Blessing Quilt – A pattern by Robyn Falloon. My first attempt at Needle turn. Quilted on my Handi Quilter. Started 2012- completed 2014.


“Aussie Toss” – A pattern by Lisa Moore. Quilting achieved using my Janome Horizon 7700. Completed July 2013

On The Frame – Tablecloth Linen quilted onto rich Blue silk. This wall hanging was gifted to a Lady for her Birthday in 2015


Ruby, our gorgeous, adorable, cheeky dog

Thank you Tracey for providing us with some wonderful photos and the wonderful story of your quilting journey, thus far.  You are a very talented quilter and it has been a pleasure to get to know a bit more about you.  We hope to see a lot more of your quilts in the future and again Well done!

Posted in Quiltwest 2018, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Mapping our story

At QuiltWest the contemporary quilt group again put on a superb display of member’s work. Much admired were the 39 ‘map challenge’ quilts which seemed to strike a chord with so many visitors. We had over 400 votes! 1st was the Aussie countries map by Phil Thomas and second was the cat map by Gerri Garland
For a closer look at all the maps go to https://contemporarywa.wordpress.com/blog/

Being a book lover, I also really enjoyed looking at this book that was on display and thinking lots of thoughts about maps.  What does a map mean to you??  A mind map, mapping out your journey or destination in life, maps of countries, a compass pointing the way, or perhaps how to read a map.  As Phil Thomas says above, there were many of us interested in this display and I really enjoyed looking at the layers of  creativity and though that went into the process of “map making”.

maps 1




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment