Spring into Parks banner

Thank you very much to all who have sent in 8” mini-quilts for the banner. There are many stunning contributions. If you are still holding quilts, please give them to Liz Humphreys at July Sewing Day or July CQG, or to Lesley Clugston at July Sewing Night. Or post to Liz at 22 Peet Road, Kalamunda.  We will assemble the banner at the beginning of August and display it at the August Sewing Day and Night and CQG meetings.

Liz Humphreys and Pat Forster.


Numbat – Dryandra Woodlands – by Helen Dalgleish.


Eucalyptus leaves, Kings Park by Robyn Clout

Posted in Contemporary Quilt Group, Sewing Day & Nights, Upcoming Events, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Have you got your ticket yet?

Even though we were unable to hold our Quiltwest exhibition in May, tickets are still available to buy.  Be in it to win it.  For your chance to win some gorgeous quilts or a sewing machine you can purchase single tickets here at these great stores or contact Maria if you or your quilt group would like to purchase some raffle books.


  • Kennedy’s Creative Sewing Centre in Wangara ( Inspiration Drive)
  • Handcrafters House along Great Eastern Highway in Midland
  • From the First stitch to the last in Prindiville Drive, Wangara



Posted in Covid 19 Virus, Exhibitions, Quiltwest 2020, sponsors, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment

Introducing Helen O’Hara

helen8I moved to Australia (Sydney) over 10 years ago from the UK. Circumstances dictated we move to Perth about 4 years ago. I didn’t want to come because “there’s nothing there”! Little did I know that Perth has an amazing network of art and textile groups that just wasn’t available in Sydney. There’s no way I’d go back east now.

I live in the City of Joondalup with my non-husband (we never got around to the marriage thing!) and my 2 kids who are both home educated. I’m also a volunteer foster carer for cat haven. I’m not very good at fostering because I have adopted 4 of my charges because I couldn’t bring myself to give them back! I’m also heavily involved with my local community including volunteering for the City of Wanneroo and helping to run our local home education support group.

I started my blog “The Hoarder’s Art Room” in 2014 as a way to showcase all the art projects I do. There are sections on printing, textiles, art journals and more. I’m part way through the 100 days challenge so check it out.


Have you always been creative?

Yes. As a child we often did art and craft with our mum at home and I took art at GCSE and A Level at school. At university I trained as a primary teacher with art as my main subject area. A few years back I was offered the chance to be on the design team for Gelli Arts®, the people who make the Gelli® printing plates.

Gelli® mono-print on fabric




Your first foray into the quilting world was?

I’ve always enjoyed going to craft and quilt fairs but I could never find a group that wasn’t miles away. I took some online classes in quiltmaking. The first every quilt I made was from a Craftsy workshop. It was only small so I turned it into a book cover. It didn’t take long to realise that I have no ability or patience when it comes to measuring, accuracy and straight edges.



  Have you won any quilt awards? Locally, nationally, international ?

 Last year I won 2nd place for my small quilt called Antiquity, at quiltwest. I’ve also been lucky enough to have exhibited twice in Stitched and bound and in several other exhibitions at the Zig-Zag gallery.





In your spare time you enjoy……..?

 Camping, visiting art galleries and museums and of course making art!

 Favourite movie?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, however I thought the hobbit was rubbish because it didn’t follow the book closely enough. 

Favourite book?

My favourite fiction series is the “Earth Children” by Jean m Auel especially the 2nd book “Valley of the horses”. Another of my favourite fiction books is Primal by Robin Baker.

 Do you belong to any WAQA small groups or any other craft groups.

The first group I joined when I got to Perth was CQG. The group is always very inspiring and I learn something new every meeting. I’m also a member of 84 Contemporary Textiles and TAAMMI.

Favourite place to holiday?

 I like to take as many holidays as possible. I’m not a fan of relaxing beach holidays, I like to do hike and visit museums and other attractions. I’ve been to every state in Australia except Tasmania. The most amazing place I’ve been to is Iceland with it’s volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls. 

Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live without ?

i just love the Bernina stitch regulator for free motion sewing


 Follow patterns or like making and designing your own things?

It seems I am incapable of following patterns or even recipes. I just chuck in a bit of this and that and see how it turns out.

Your favourite part of the whole quilting process? 

I love all forms of surface decoration including printing and dyeing fabric. I hate finishing the edges of a piece and this is often the point in which I ruin my work.



Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?

Don’t watch me if you want to learn the correct way to quilt!

Do you have a preference for ( applique/contemporary/scrap quilts/paperpiecing/English paper piecing/modern quilts/machine quilting/hand quilting…….. ) what do you enjoy doing the most? 

I have tried and failed at piecing. I simply cannot be accurate enough to do a good job. I enjoy applique but I think most of my quilts have been whole cloth with painted or dyed designs. I rarely hand stitch as I don’t have the patience but I love the look of hand stitching. Often times I use thicker threads in the bobbing to emulate hand stitching in a fast way.

Are you lucky enough to have a designated space in your home, to be able to close the door behind you and leave the mess?

I have a whole room! Every piece of furniture is from IKEA. I love the kids Trofast storage drawers for keeping everything organised.

helen 1

 Do your prefer working on bigger quilts or pieces or smaller items?.

I think my natural size is about A3. It’s not often that I plan a particular size but that’s how they seem to come out.


 Thank you Helen for sharing your story with me and our blog readers.  You are one busy woman!!  Very envious of your quilting room set up.

Words & images – Lorraine Marshall & Helen O’Hara.
Posted in Contemporary Quilt Group, Exhibitions, judging, Royal Show, WAQA Quilters | 3 Comments

Introducing Robin Gartner

Robin pictured with, ” Winter in Isabella gardens” – a Laundry basket design that is a memory of Canada.

My name is Robin Gartner. I live in Rockingham where my husband and I retired in 2003 after busy lives teaching and raising three daughters in Wauchope in NSW.
Although born in Sydney, I spent my childhood in Fiji. I vaguely remember visiting family in Sydney as a 3 year old. It was not until 1950 that we were able to visit again.

For me it was a period in boarding school then 2 years at Teacher’s College in Wagga Wagga. I taught there for several years before moving on to W towns on the North Coast of NSW – Woolgoolga, Woodenbong, (where I met my husband), Wyong and finally Wauchope.

I have always been creative. I remember making fairy rings, dolls house furniture, drawing and painting early in my life. However my greatest loves were thread and fabric. By the time I was 10, I could knit ,crochet and embroider, but best of all I could use my Mum’s machine which was a Wilcox and Gibbs hand turned chain stitch machine. Because there were no ready made clothes available, that machine was a real work horse. It sewed every stitch Mum needed until she died.

Mum and I made all my boarding school uniforms on it, firstly to go to Suva Grammar and then to NEGS.   I remember having to make 80 button holes by hand .

Your first foray into the quilting world?

It wasn’t until the mid eighties while in Wauchope, that I made my first forays into the quilting world. With a group of friends I decided to enrol in a TAFE class for advanced embroidery. We all sewed and embroidered so this was to be a great social event.

One component of the curriculum was ‘quilting’ which none of us had done. We duly arrived with our 12” pads of graph paper, school rulers, cardboard and glue. . We were going to make a sampler quilt. Firstly we painstakingly drew each block line by line, made our cardboard templates, traced them on to the back of our fabric very careful to maintain the grain line. Then of course we had to add the 1/4” seam allowance before cutting each piece with scissors. No machines allowed, so the blocks were all stitched by hand. My precious sampler took 6 months to make, not too bad with all that
hand sewing.

The fabrics in the quilt were a mixture of qualities and varieties. The quilt did not
survive the the jumping etc at the hands of 3 grandchildren and due to the fabrics used disintegrated after about five years

My next quilt was ‘Around the World’ . I cut each individual 4” square by hand, the fabric was poly cotton and the wadding that dreadful thick craft stuff.   The quilt survives.


robin around the world

“Round the World” -my second quilt. Each square was individually traced and cut with scissors.

Your quilting story?

A new teacher arrived at TAFE , Shirley Hand who was a genuine quilter, a prize winning member of the NSW Guild, and she was my inspiration. She introduced us to quilters’ rulers, rotary cutters, and mats and proper wadding   One of the group established a shop in Port Macquarie where we could buy all our needs. Concurrently Quilting was becoming a big interest on the North Coast with groups popping up in all the big centres.

The course was renamed ‘Commercial Needlecraft’ and was moved to Wauchope TAFE which was almost next to my home. I continued to attend and found there was much more to quilting than sewing squares together. We appliquéd , machine embroidered, painted and dyed. It was a new and fascinating world.

A local craft shop opened and as I had just retired from teaching, I became involved. I invested in a selection of fabrics and began to run classes at the shop.  As I felt the need for credibility I applied to participate in the Teacher Accreditation Programme with the NSW Guild. ( I was already a member) Narelle Grieve was my mentor and I soon had my accredition. The classes became a fixed group and we decided to form the Wauchope Patchwork Group. We had a day group and a night group with 60+ members .

I felt the group was my baby. We had in-group classes which I mostly ran . We had special tutor weekends twice a year, we made quilts for our local nursing home and hospital, we held an exhibition each year and participated in district get togethers. It was a wonderful group. They now hold a big exhibition in the Show Ground with stores and demonstrations annually. Google them.

robin village green

“Village Green” – my interpretation of a long stitch tapestry.


robin bronte 1st grandchild

This quilt was made in 1994 for a grand child and is still in use today.

robin i love paris

BOM – “I love Paris” – a quilt for my grand daughters 21st Birthday.


Have you won any awards?

Yes. I exhibited regularly at the Wauchope Show and won something on most occasions. My major work at TAFE was selected for display in Sydney. It also won the major prize in an Art and Craft display in Rockingham. I won several other awards in this exhibition before it was cancelled.


robin under the sea

“Under the sea” – My major work for TAFE.

I have entered quilts in Quiltwest each year bar one since I joined in 2004. I have been awarded several prizes there. I was honoured to have my piece in the 40th anniversary challenge voted the best entry by my peers. I have had both my two entries accepted into Stitched and Bound.  Perhaps my greatest thrill was to have both these entries and the ‘Ruby’ quilt featured on the QQ cover.

robin ruby

“Forty Rubies” – forty years of quilting in WA.

robin illawarrie

“Illyarrie”- a book cover using fusing and free motion quilting. Also an entry in “Stitched & Bound 2019.


robin princess

“Princess Mari”- This quilt won a second prize in Quiltwest 2007.

In your spare time?

I love my garden, I am fascinated by the WA flora, I have always loved the ocean but as time goes by surfing, snorkeling, and fishing from both beach and headlands is no longer recommended. I have been a great reader, Pride and Prejudice would be my all time favourite.
Are you a WAQA Member?

Yes , that was one of the first things I did when I came here.I served on the Quiltwest Committee for several years. I also belong to the Contemporary Quilt Group. Also I am a member of the Rockingham Patchwork Group.

Your favourite quilting tool?

I could not survive without my cutter board and rulers.

You can’t live without?

The view of my garden and the sound of the birds from my sewing room.

Do you follow patterns?I rarely follow patterns, although I have just completed one of Ruth de Vos’s designs. Mostly I like to design my own work. Copyright was an issue when I was planning to teach.

Your favourite part of the quilting process?

Sometimes it is the freedom of free motion quilting, but I think mostly seeing my ideas come to fruition

robin 1

Tribute to the Wreath Flower displayed in Stitched and Bound 2017

How much has quilting changed since you began your journey?

I began as a traditionalist. Having gained an understanding of the process I began to explore possibilities. Making children’s quilts with a lot of appliqué and quirky designs was a good starter.
(25 years later those quilts still appear in my daughter’s home). I have gone through the Japanese stage, and there have been kaleidoscopes galore, stack and whack, coats and vests.  Now my focus is more on art quilts and smaller pieces with a lot more embellishment.

robin serendipity

“Serendipity” – free cutting and piecing of scraps to create a different effect -( to be completed.)

Your number one tip?

Go to classes. There is nothing like the person to person interaction.  No matter how experienced you are it is amazing what you will learn.

Do you have a preference for a particular type of quilting?

As I reviewed my body of work for this article, I began to realise just how big a role appliqué has played in my work. I still love log cabins , and now machine embroidery.

Do you have a “stash”?

I can’t reduce it. It keeps reproducing and not just the fabric!!

robin i spy

I Spy – orphan blocks and freely pieced scraps come together to make a happy quilt

Do you have a designated work space?
My whole house at present. I do have one bedroom set up as a ‘studio’

Bigger or smaller quilts?

Definitely smaller now.

robin daisies in new york

“Daisies in New York” – my design using traditional blocks.

Thank you Robin, I know it was a big journey for you looking back on your quilting over the past 35 years.  I appreciate very much that you have shared your story with me.

words by Lorraine Marshall & Robin Garner.  Images provided by Robin Gartner.


Posted in Exhibitions, Groups, judging, Stitched and Bound, WAQA Quilters | 4 Comments

July Workshop – No Maths Sampler

With APCH re opening on the 1st July we can now hold workshops again. Our first one will be Sunday the 19th July with Philippa Thomas. The class will run from 9.30am to 4pm at a cost of $55.00 for members and $80.00 for non members. The workshop is called ‘No Maths Sampler’.
This is a great workshop for beginners or for more experienced quilters who want to release their quilting inhibitions

To book please email to Janice Pavey : waqaworkshops@gmail.com

nms flyer waqa

Posted in Contemporary Quilt Group, Upcoming Events, WAQA Quilters, Workshops | Leave a comment

Quilters- nothing can stop them!

Earlier this year we decided to have a friendship block challenge. We each put together a bag containing our choice of fabrics and then began swapping the bags around the group. At the end of the year everyone gets their own bag back, full of lovely blocks.
As there are no rules, other than only use the fabric in the bag, it will be a challenge and a great learning experience, to work out how to put blocks of varying sizes and shapes together.

After being housebound for weeks, everyone was itching to meet up and swap bags, so we could make more blocks. When the rules changed to allow groups of ten to meet up we had a bag-swap-meet-up at Alexander Park Craft House car park (socially distanced, of course…)
This looks to be a weekly occurrence until we are allowed back through the doors.
Not even a virus can stop quilters quilting!



words and photo provided by Phil Thomas
Posted in challenge, Covid 19 Virus, WAQA Quilters | 1 Comment

Introducing Susan Sheath

Today we are introducing Susan Sheath.  Susan was born in England and pursued an international career with Shell as a commercial engineer.  This bought her to Australia 25 years ago, where she married an Australian and never left.  As part of her life plan, Susan gave up her professional career in her early fifties to pursue her other interests, including quilting, which she never had time to do when working.

Susan lives in Perth with her husband and in normal times travels extensively both in Australia and overseas and sews.  Not wanting to be a drain on family finances when she retired, she set up a small company, Quirky Quilts, to pay for her hobby.  She now makes quilts for pleasure and competition and for sale via her website and to commission.

Your first foray into the quilting world was?

I made my first quilt when I was about 22.  It was a kingsize bed quilt made by hand using English paper pieced hexagons and totally inadequately quilted with occasional big running stitches.  I used it on my bed for years!  I’ve lost count of the number of quilts I have made for my bed – I change the decor frequently and have to make a quilt (and curtains!) to ‘match’.  Our current quilt won a prize at QuiltWest last year and I notice it is now the featured as the banner on WAQA website homepage.




Have you won any quilt awards?

I have won several prizes at QuiltWest and have been successful twice in having quilts selected for both stitchedandbound and AQC juried exhibitions/competitions.


AQC Finalist – “Construction”.


“Road rage”- stitched & bound exhibition.



“Bikini’s on Turquoise Bay”- Quiltwest winner.

Do you belong to any WAQA small groups or any other craft groups?

I am an active member of Contemporary Quilt group and was part of the convenor team that ran the group for 3 years.  This role forced me to be more creative and experimental and I learned a huge range of new techniques that I regularly incorporate in my work.  The WAQA small group, QuIrky QuIlters, meets monthly at my house and I learn so much from the experienced members of this group.  I am always delighted by the generosity of quilters to share their knowledge/ideas.

You may also know me by name via my lengthy involvement in the management of Alexander Park Craft House – a facility in north Perth used my many WAQA groups.  I’m currently President.

Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live without?

My 20.5” square ruler and my ‘line tamer’ quilting ruler

I can’t live without..

My quilting mates who are a constant source of ideas, inspiration and encouragement

How much has your quilting changed over the years?

My skills have increased beyond recognition.  I have made hundreds of quilts over the years because I make many of them commercially.  I rarely use patterns these days apart from using copyright free images on the internet for appliqué.  My preference is to use bright fabrics – I can get quite down making dull quilts for others.

Personally I love making smallish art quilts for challenges/competitions which provide plenty of scope for lateral thinking and incorporating different techniques.  I am happy to spend hours and hours working on such pieces.

On the other hand, when I make quilts commercially, they have to be simple and quick to make.  My prices are based on time taken and cost of materials. While fabric these days is far from cheap, quilts are always high cost items but if you have to add the cost of a large number of ‘man hours’ to make, they become prohibitively expensive.  The general public has no idea how long it takes to make quilts.

I have a general preference for bright contemporary quilts.  But given that I spend so much time away from home, I always have a few hand projects (including appliqué, boro, shibori, embroidery) that accompany me on my travels.


Your favourite part of the whole quilting process?

Finishing!  Quilts always look so much better when they have been quilted and bound – they really come to life.  I am surprisingly disciplined in that I nearly always finish a quilt – I must have only 2 or 3 abandoned quilt tops.  I am lucky in so far as if I don’t like a quilt, I just put it up for sale – it may appeal to someone else.

Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?

Attend workshops to improve/extend your skills.  You can learn a lot on YouTube and from books, but it is so much more interesting and fun to share the learning experience with others.


From my very large box of ‘scraps’, I made new fabric in 10 different colour ways. I then used each ‘new’ piece of fabric in another Drunkards Path block quilt. Coloured quilted circles completed the picture. It would make a lovely wall hanging or quilt and if no-one buys it, I might put it in my sewing room!

You can read and see more of Susan’s work on her blog, quirkyquilts.com.au

Thank you Susan for taking the time to answer all my questions and give all our readers some wonderful inspiration.


Posted in ABOUT, challenge, Contemporary Quilt Group, Exhibitions, Groups, Sewing Day & Nights, Stitched and Bound, WAQA Quilters | 1 Comment

Introducing Elizabeth Humphreys

I have met Liz a few times, either at the WAQA contemporary group or at Quiltwest and have seen some of her work, I thought she would be a great person to contact to share her story with other readers, so without further ado, over to Liz.

liz exhibtion

I’ve always sewn, making my own high school dresses under the guidance of an Aunt, work dresses followed and then my wedding dress and sisters’s bridesmaid dress. The fabric was purchased in Sydney,  in a shop in Angel Arcade, which was in a very old part of the city.  I paid for the patterns to be drafted for me and as I wrote this, I  remembered these patterns, and I actually found them, sometimes there are benefits to being a hoarder.

Those dresses were made while I was living on my own and waiting for my husband to return from deployment in Vietnam, we were married just five weeks after that, somehow he managed a trip to Kalgoorlie to collect his car from his parent’s house in that time. We’ve been married 51 years and have three sons.

When my husband retired from the Army in 1984 we came to live in Perth, eventually we moved to York and lived there for sixteen happy years. We moved to the Hills in 2001, mainly to be closer to medical facilities.

I joined WAQA about 2011 . My first entry to Quiltwest was 2012, I was thrilled to win
prizes and also have my quilt selected to be hung at AQC.

Around that time I started sewing for Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry bags, I have many of these for Australian Defence Force personnel serving overseas, motivated by the treatment received by Vietnam Veterans on return to Australia.   I like to do what I can to thank these young veterans and their families for their sacrifices.

I feel very fortunate to have one prizes at Quiltwest. I’ve had two quilts selected to
represent WA at AQC and had a piece accepted in the annual AQC Challenge. My local
library  in Kalamunda has exhibitions during the year and I’ve been lucky enough to sell my work there and elsewhere to private buyers. Liz has also had her work exhibited at the Zig Zag gallery in Kalamunda.

Blue Makuru” which was sold at Zig Zag gallery It is similar but not the same as
one I won second place for  in the Bunbury Challenge 2019.
NAIDOC week exhibition, hence the reference to the seasons.
Liz with Families of the Fallen quilt, which was on display at Kalamunda library.

Have you always been creative?
I always say that I can’t remember when I couldn’t sew. My mother had an
old singer treadle machine that had been her mothers. A lot of our
childhood clothes were made on that machine. When my mother died
unexpectedly in childbirth, I was 11. Mum’s cousin who was also her best
friend would come to visit and help me make my doll’s clothes, what a
thoughtful lady she was. I was learning to knit at the time and remember
trying to knit bootees. I lived in the outer western suburbs of Sydney when I
first started work, most of the girls on the hour long train journey into the
city knitted, we also made our own clothes and shared tips and tricks while

 Your first foray into the quilting world was?

I started my first quilt, probably in 1968 while my fiancee, now my husband
was serving in Vietnam It was cut out with scissors and guess work. I bought
thick polyester wadding and poly cotton for the backing and attempted to
quilt it on the singer machine I had at the time,  a brown one with a knee
control. You could buy fabric in a shop on the ramp going into Wynyard
Station in Sydney in those days. Eventually the quilting was unpicked by my
husband, he has always encouraged me to sew and used to be my chief
unpicker and yes eventually, the quilt did get finished.

Your first quilt or first piece of craft was ?

The first quilt I ever finished is an hexagon quilt,  which I started while living in
Papua New Guinea around 1974. I saw a pattern in a women’s magazine and
cut the templates out of cereal boxes. My middle son recently reminded me
that I should still have the templates. When I found the few I do have I was
surprised by the change in the sugar content of cereals in those days, and to
think we often added more!

Both of those quilts travelled with us from posting to posting, complete with
cardboard in the hexies, until my husband retired from the Australian Army
and we came to live in Perth. Eventually we moved to a small 200 acre farm
east of York and I met some quilters who inspired me to finish that quilt. It
tells a lot about my sewing in those years.

The centre has remnants of my eldest sons first ‘proper’ shirt as well as scraps from my husbands shirts and school fund raising bits and pieces.  It all contains fabric from my maternity dresses and then board shorts for my third son. Finally finishing with quilting fabric bought in Northam in 1994.

 Have you won any quilt awards? Locally, nationally, international ?
Some time after the Toodyay bush fires in December 2009, I was asked to
exhibit quilts at Avalon Homestead for a fund raising exhibition where I won
“Viewers Choice”,  that prize was sponsored by Handcrafters House, I was
thrilled! The quilt chosen was one I had done of our York farm. It shows a lot of
the activities, buildings, animals and farm machinery and has become a
coveted family heirloom.

“Sandsprings Farm”

I was very happy to win a prize in the first Quiltwest I ever entered in 2012. Luckily I’ve won other prizes since then. One of the quilts I made for the families of soldiers who died in Afghanistan is in the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

“Tribute to the Anzacs” – briefly displayed at the Australian War Memorial – Dec 2015.
“Wedgies around Widgie” first entry into Quiltwest 2012.

In your spare time you enjoy……..?

When I am not sewing, we love to go on long drives around the country. We
love quick trips within the state and into the bush around where we live in
the Hills.  Birdwatching, searching for native orchids and wildflowers, sitting
on the tailgate of the ute in the bush with a simple sandwich and a mug of
hot tea.

“Stilts on Pink Lake”

Favourite book?
We both love to read and are regular visitors to our local Library. In the last
year or two I’ve read “The Forgotten Explorer” taken from the journals of
Edward John Eyre. Peter Fitzsimons “Batavia” and also his “Bourke and Wills”
were books I found of great interest as well as” William John Wills. Pioneer of
the Outback” by John Van Der Kiste.

Perth born and raised?? Or was born and raised somewhere else?

I was born in the Nepean District of New South Wales, my parents lived in
Emu Plains at the time. I continued to live in the outer Western Suburbs
until after my marriage. My husband was posted to Papua New Guinea to
work with their Defence Force in 1970 where my first son was born.

We went to PNG twice, we lived in Queensland, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and
Darwin before settling in WA in 1984. I’ve lived in WA longer than anywhere
else, my husband was born in Perth and raised in Kalgoorlie.

A bit about your family ? are they supportive about what do you do?

I have a lot of support from my family. Recently, during the lockdown my
daughter-in-law rang from the goldfields to ask about my favourite place to
buy fabric. I was very pleased with the voucher I later received for Mothers
Day, organised by Handcrafters House.

Do you belong to any WAQA small groups or any other craft groups?
I belong to the Contemporary Quilt Group and have been a member of WA
Inspired Art Quilters. I thoroughly enjoyed travelling to Mount Magnet with
friends from the Mount Magnet Quilt Project in September 2019 and was
very pleased to be asked to be involved in the Pathfinders group.

Talking to a happy buyer at Mt.Magnet.

Favourite place to holiday?

Anywhere in Australia. Preferably outback.

The Breakaways, Coober Pedy, South Australia.

Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live without?

My first Bernina sewing machine was bought in Boroko, Port Moresby PNG in
1971. I’ve been a Bernina girl ever since. I have all the basic tools but don’t
like to have too many specialty tools. After initially feeling quite daunted by
the task of making drunkard’s path blocks with the Pathfinders group, I
found a circular ruler and cutter by Fiskars fun to use. Precision is not
something I do well.

 I can’t live without?

I love my garden, living near the forest and travelling to other parts of WA
including the Goldfields to visit my eldest son and his wife….. Mostly I sew

Close to my heart, now hanging at the Water Corp. head office.The pipeline fabric came from mother-in-laws sheet. She lived in Kalgoorlie, so that sheet would have been washed in pipeline water
for an awful lot of years.

Do you follow patterns or like making and designing your own things?

It’s a long time since I stuck to a pattern, maybe I never did! I’ve always
changed something. I like to use my own designs referring to my collection
of wildflower and bird reference books.

 Your favourite part of the whole quilting process? 
I do enjoy the beginning of my landscape quilts, going through my
photographs and finding, painting or dyeing fabrics suited to the idea I have
in mind. The final stitching of the binding, hanging sleeve and label are
always good moments. I like to get them done before I put the work aside.

How much has quilting changed for you over the years? ( as in your style/do
you follow trends ( look at pinterest and things/blogs for inspiration) quilting
tools/fabric selection that is available now?

When I first started quilting seriously I thoroughly read every magazine I
bought and tried a lot of different methods and techniques. I still buy an
occasional magazine, I much prefer those to the digital magazines. The
internet is a great resource but I try to limit my time there, I’d rather be
sewing. I used to buy a lot of fat quarters in all sorts of colours and designs.
Now I’d rather buy a full bolt of white fabric for dyeing or a roll of wadding.
Maybe that’s why I’ve grown out of my original sewing space!

Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?

Enjoy what you do. If it’s causing you stress, change to a different way of
doing it. The beauty of being a member of WAQA is there is always someone
who can help if you ask.

Do you have a preference for ( applique/contemporary/scrap quilts/
paperpiecing/English paper piecing/modern quilts/machine quilting/hand
quilting…….. ) what do you enjoy doing the most?

I love applique sometimes embellished with hand embroidery, I also like
playing with colours for scrap quilts. I do both machine and hand quilting,
occasionally both on the same quilt. Hand dyeing and a little fabric painting
help me keep my work unique.

• Do you have a “fabric/ribbon/buttons/thread stash” 

Cotton machine and embroidery threads are sorted by colour into boxes.
Polyester thread and machine embroidery threads are kept separately.
More decorative, heavier threads have their own tin. Ribbons have a small
drawer and I retain my Mother-in-law’s button tin. Fabric is kept on Ikea
shelves in boxes, mostly sorted by colour.

Are you lucky enough to have a designated space in your home, to be able
to close the door behind you and leave the mess?

I have grown out of the small bedroom which was my sewing room. It is now
a storeroom for my stash. I have two folding tables pushed together in our
front lounge room, the computer is there and my husband can comfortably
sit and read there. If I need to do a lot of cutting the taller than average
kitchen bench is in the next room and the ironing board is in the laundry
next to the kitchen. All my friends and family know I sew, if any one calls in
unexpectedly what they see is what they get. I do try to stay organised in a
casual sort of way but often have several projects on the go at once. There
is a door that can be closed. My design wall is the family room floor, my
family is quite used to walking around anything laid out there.

Do your prefer working on bigger quilts or pieces or smaller items?.

These days I rarely make very large quilts. Everyone I know who needs a bed
quilt has at least one. I like to make single bed quilts for the community
occasionally and mostly work on landscape style quilts. This year will be the
seventh year I have provided a quilt for the “Families of the Fallen of
Afghanistan”. It is usually taken to their annual dinner where the name of a
mother or widow of a fallen soldier is drawn and receives the quilt.

Elizabeth, it has been a pleasure to get to know you, thank you for sharing your quilting story with me and our readers.

Posted in Contemporary Quilt Group, Exhibitions, Groups, WAQA Quilters | 8 Comments

Introducing Lana Lefroy

Today I am sharing Lana’s story with you.  Lana is a nurse and lives on Yuinmery Station, which is in the Midwest area of Western Australia, the station is 150km east of Mt Magnet and the first lease was taken up in 1916.

I know from many years of driving  between Perth and Karratha, it has always fascinated me that that you can be in the middle of nowhere and up pops a sign out to a station, which can be another 100-200 kms in any direction.


Lana Yuinmery

Here is Lana’s story for you to enjoy.

My husband and I live on our 125 000 ha cattle station 76km dirt road, south of Sandstone. We grew up on neighbouring stations in the Sandstone district and laugh and say, I travelled the world (nursing) only to marry the boy next door. It was a sheep property but we switched over to cattle in 2009, because of the wild dog/dingo problem. This required removing 400 km of sheep fencing and converting the other 200 km for cattle. Then we built the yards at 25 of the windmills. David has two wonderful children, who have given us 2 grandchildren and No 3 due in Nov (very exciting). We also have a son, 21 (electrical apprenticeship in Moora where they went to boarding school) and a daughter, 19 (2nd year accountancy externally through uni) in Dalwallinu.

lana cattle yards

I have been on Yuinmery Station 25 years now and took over the Sandstone Nursing Post in 2001, running the clinic one day a week. I am the only nurse but the RFDS Dr flies down from Meekatharra every fortnight and we run the clinic together. The RFDS have been my support when dealing with roll overs and other medical emergencies and I have donated many quilted items for their fundraising.

Have you always been creative?

Mum taught all 4 daughters to sew and we went on to make our own clothes in high school. I can ball room dance and made many dresses for these balls too.

Your first foray into the quilting world was?

When our daughter was born (bad timing, 22nd Dec, middle of shearing and stinking hot) Mum came to help and taught me to make my first quilt. As she had already made one for the baby I gave it to my twin sister Jan Fisher for her first baby. (She also had a boy then a girl). I cross stitched the centre poem which has become my tradition to give to all new mums in our family, along with a big Christmas stocking.

lana quilt

Have you won any quilt awards? Locally, nationally, international ( photo if possible)

Despite only quilting for a few years, Jan and I began our own successful pattern business. We sold children’s cartoon style projects and adult patterns featuring Australian fauna and flora. We were published in AP&Q and Patchwork & Stitching magazines.

lana bush

Bush Ballet pattern

Lana Pattern Rose Mallee

Rose Mallee pattern.

Jan then moved to Christmas Island and opened an opportunity to sell our work. This was very successful, allowing our creativity to really blossom and we have continued to sell solo and joint pieces. We also supply work to venues in Sandstone and participate in the annual Sandstone Art Exhibition.

Lana CI golf Course (Small)

Christmas Island golf course.



Lana C.I. Beaches

Christmas Island beaches.

I have enjoyed making many items for fundraising for the children’s primary and high school’s  P&C’s, the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association and the RFDS.

Post Cards of Kal SOTA made with tracings of the kids hands and featuring  places across WA from where they came . Donated and auctioned for $2400 for the P&C and ICPA.

Lana Postcards of Kal SOTA quilt

I have won numerous awards, been juried into state and national exhibitions, featured in international magazines and have quilts in permanent instillations. In 2014 Jan and I made a quilt together while she was living on Christmas Island (a bit tricky!) It was selected to go to AQC in Melbourne and as it was about Australia’s threatened fauna, we were very pleased its message was exposed to a wider audience.

Lana Three of Life or Ghost Gum

Tree of life or ghost gum. Lana pictured on the left and her twin sister Jan on the right.

In your spare time you enjoy……..?

Golf every Sunday. There are 6 in our club and the season goes from April – Oct, but my husband and I play all summer, even in 40+ degrees! I have been the Secretary/Treasurer and Captain for many years. My Hcp is currently 15 but I would really like a 25! (especially when playing on that foreign stuff called grass ). Our dog and I walk every day (we can’t let her out as we bait for wild dogs) and there is always new things to see, textures, shadows, contrasting colours….

Favourite book?

Quilting Arts Magazine, I re-read them and they are still so inspiring.

A bit about your family? Are they supportive about what do you do?

Yes, they know it makes me happy and although I do a fair bit of raking (the garden is an acre) no one will remember that when I die! They have learned to walk around fabric taped to the floor (still training the cat)

Lana design process

Are you lucky enough to have a designated space in your home, to be able to close the door behind you and leave the mess?

Living where I do meant I taught our children school through Kalgoorlie School of the Air from Kindy to Year 7. This involved a half hour air lesson on the (originally transceiver) computer with the teacher and then me teaching everything else(sigh). We had a designated school room off the open plan lounge/kitchen. As they became more independent I could sew while supervising and my machine is now a permanent fixture on the kitchen table. The school room is now filled with my light box (a mapping table I scored when Youanmi Mine closed down next door), my boxes of fabric etc. I never close the door, fabric strewn everywhere is not a mess it is brewing creativity.

Do you belong to any WAQA small groups or any other craft groups.

Unfortunately no because I don’t have access, but I greatly value being a member of WAQA and avidly read our newsletters and appreciate the support the members have always given me. They have helped me grow with feedback on my quilts and encouragement to keep entering into challenges and shows. I enjoy challenges because it is really interesting to see how everyone else has interpreted the theme, the photos are often posted and so I can have access.

Favourite place to holiday?

We have done two trips with family into the Great Victorian Desert and discovered blazes from early explorers and aboriginal paintings at gnammerholes. It was amazing to go where so few people have been. We will do more of these discovery trips “out bush”. (handy having a very capable fix it man)

Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live without?

I have discovered I can’t live without the sun. We are on solar power and when it is cloudy for long periods I can’t use the iron. (but I only had it on for a minute darling, as the whole system trips out…) I often have hand sewing of some description on the go to combat this.

I can’t live without? 

Making mistakes it seems. I use the quick-un-pick a lot. One time I took the ugly sewing that just wouldn’t work, put it in the back bin and burnt it. It was very liberating!

Your favourite part of the whole quilting process? 

Getting an idea, deciding how to interpret it and choosing the fabrics.

Lana A Glass of Wine at London Bridge

A glass of wine at London Bridge. London Bridge is on the 18km Heritage Trail, an interesting drive around Sandstone. A natural rock formation, it is probably the most photographed feature in the area and rightly so. An information board nearby explains how the bridge was formed and explains the history of the area.



Lana Creek Pools

Creek Pools

How much has quilting changed for you over the years? 

I have tried many new things over the years, developing my skills so I now have a wide range of techniques to call upon when designing a project. I do love texture and embellishing with yarn and beads. Once a project is finished the next one will usually be a different style. After doing something big I will usually do a few small projects.

Lana Lake Noondie Blue Bush

Lake Noondie – Blue Bush Western Australia


Lana Everlastings 3

Everlastings- the joy of spring flowers in the Midwest.

Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?

Have a go and see what happens. Not everyone will like what you make and it may not work the first time, so give yourself permission to play and don’t worry about the finished result. Not everything has to end up a perfect show piece. (you can always burn it)

Do you have a “fabric/ribbon/buttons/thread  stash”?

I keep everything! I can’t bear waste but also I don’t have easy access to supplies. All my tiny scraps are sorted into colour coded ice-cream containers, including one for fusible web. Many a time I have had to resort to joining up all these weeny pieces to finish a project. (can’t possibly set it aside and wait the 2 weeks for an internet order to arrive) My very ugly, old and second hand fabrics that I was given years ago can make the best rocks, tree bark, parts of birds etc and I enjoy sneaking them in.

Currently working on?

Is to do a combined project with Jan. We have done two big ones now with lots of phone discussions, photos by e-mail and posting bits back and forth. Our latest project will be in the next QuiltWest.

I also love making pieces for my family. Yippee a new baby!  Jan and I are currently doing a photo comp with our daughters and niece. I am the judge and I will be making some prizes for them from their winning photos. With themes like construction, greyscale and emotions it will be interesting, challenging and fun. Hmmm wall hanging, table mat, little zip bag, tote……

lana family

Thank you Lana, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your story with me, so that I may share with our readers.


Posted in Exhibitions, WAQA Quilters | 6 Comments

Quiltwest -Update

Dear Members,

Many of you have been creating and quilting during this period of isolation and what a fabulous way to share all your beautiful works than by displaying them.
We are delighted to inform you that we are re-opening the Exhibition Entries for a further 2 weeks in June.

Entries Open: 1st June 2020
Entries Close: 14th June 2020 (at midnight)
Enter online through the WAQA website or download your forms and post to:-
Entries Coordinator
Cassie Collins
Shop 2/777 Great Northern Highway 6056
Mobile 0417 274 608

Please remember to complete ALL required forms. We need, Members’ details, Quilt details and Roster Sheets for helpers.

Volunteers are needed to help with the exhibition. If you are able and willing, please put your name down or contact us, and help to make the 2020 QuiltWest exhibition a huge success.
Help needed for set-up, take down and during the exhibition.
Those members who had their names down to help in May, please let us know if you are agreeable for your roster times to be transferred to the August exhibition.

RAFFLE – draw 9th August 2020
We have been granted an extension and the draw will be done on the last day of QuiltWest, Sunday 9th August 2020.
We still have lots of raffle ticket books available for sale and need your support to sell them. Obtainable from Maria, details below. The proceeds will be donated to BREAST CANCER CARE WA, such a worthy cause.
Return of raffle butts and monies;
1. By post and payable by Postal Order or Cheque.
2. Bank transfer into QuiltWest account and butts posted. Note date & bank Receipt No.
Please write description as “name/raffle” e.g. Smith/raffle.

Bank details:
BSB No: 306 044
Account No: 0359479

Raffle Coordinator
Maria Ikier
15 Woolmers Loop, Landsdale 6064
m: 0450 113 135

We wish you all good health and cheerful thoughts of good times ahead.
The QuiltWest Committee
Jocelyne Leath
e: quiltwa@gmail.com
m: 0413 180 314

Posted in Committee, Exhibitions, judging, Quiltwest 2020, Upcoming Events, WAQA Quilters | Leave a comment