Questions with Quilters- a new series

 “Questions with a Quilter” will showcase our wonderful stable of WAQA accredited teachers over the next few months.  I hope you enjoy reading these posts.

I know from the blog comments, that many of our followers love reading about other quilters, and how they got into quilting and what inspires them.

Today we are featuring, “Phillipa Thomas”,  best known as Phil.  Phil came to Perth   seven years ago with husband, Jerry, who is a lawyer for a mining company. Following his job around the world, she has lived in Australia, Brazil, India and England and loves doing anything creative.  Phil has four adult children but as none are married yet, they are true ‘boomerang’ kids who keep coming back!


  • Have you always been creative?

Yes, I crocheted a double bed blanket at the age of 9 and was sewing my own clothes by then too. I also made all my miniature furniture and accessories for my dolls house before that – sad

  • Your first foray into the quilting world was?

Moving to Brasilia in 1987 and I needed to join something. A beginner’s sampler quilt class fit the bill and then I was hooked. I started teaching quilting a couple of years after that.

  • Your first quilt or first piece of craft ?
  • A double bed sampler



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

First won a prize (a first) at the national quilt championships, Sandown England in 2005 for an applique quilt.  Since then have won a number of QuiltWest awards and was accepted into Stitched and bound last year. I’ve also had quilts displayed at the AQC in Melbourne


  • In your spare time you enjoy………?

Walking, reading, painting and drawing and of course quilting.  I love traditional hand work but lately I’ve been doing a lot of pictorial quilts – portraits and landscapes

  • What is the best part of teaching students that you enjoy?

I love seeing the student’s excitement when they realise they CAN make a quilt, and I love seeing the finished results.  Teaching is also a great way to make friends and I’m still in touch with students who now live all over the world – in Holland, France, Canada, USA, India, Brazil and the UK. Thank goodness for the internet!





  • Favourite movie?

Any classic adaptation (I love Jane Austen) or Science fiction!

  • Favourite book?

“Pride and prejudice”

  • Where where you were born and raised?

Born and raised in Yorkshire England. Left the UK in 1983 then returned there in 2001 before coming to Perth in 2011

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

They are very supportive and usually appreciate what I do. They don’t complain too much about my quilts hanging on the walls even though husband sometimes asks ‘is that new’ when it’s something I’ve been making for years or been on the wall for ages.!


  • Do you have any pets?


  • Favourite place to holiday?

Anywhere with mountains, lakes and coastline – In the past, the lake district in the UK and the French alps for skiing but recently New Zealand, which I absolutely love

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

 Computer, rotary cutter AND FUSIBLE WEB which I couldn’t live without

  •  I can’t live without……….

Chocolate and my ipad 

  • Follow patterns or like making and designing your own things?

Hardly ever follow a pattern. I prefer to do my own designing or adapt from other things. Google is my best friend

  • Your favourite part of the whole quilting process? 

With traditional work – hand quilting is the best bit of making a quilt. With contemporary work it is the designing and playing with fabric

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

Take time to follow the basic rules at each stage of the quilt making process. Rushing and skipping out on the basics (trimming as you go, marking and cutting accurately etc.)  creates more work in the end

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

I’m quite good at not buying massive amounts of yardage but I’m a sucker for fat 1/4s! and threads in rainbow colours!

  • 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 am obsessively tidy in my work room and might need some therapy at some stage 


Having been lucky enough to visit Phil at her home, I can vouch that her area really looks as tidy as this photo depicts!!

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

Smaller art quilts are my thing now. I swore that my queen size ‘Dear jane’ quilt would be my last bed quilt…




  • Do you travel all over WA to hold your classes? Or prefer to be in metro areas.

So far, whilst in Australia, I’ve only taught in Perth but I’m teaching two classes at the Albany Summer school in January. I also teach beginners twice a month at the Alexander Park Craft house.

  • Anything weird or wonderful, that has happened in one of your classes?

Whilst in New Delhi, India, a new student turned up to my group who I’d taught 5 years previously in Brazil! Neither of us had kept in touch, so it was a complete surprise for both of us… Its small world!

Phil also hosts our beginner group at The Alexander Park Craft House in Menora, Perth on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month.  She is also an avid Contemporary quilt member and writes blog posts for this group at

You can also read more about Phil and what she gets up to on her blog:

Thank you so much Phil, for sharing your story/photos with us.

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Bazaar Bargains


September is bazaar month at WAQA. 

It’s a time when members bring out their treasures and craft to share and sell.  For Community Quilts it signals the main fundraiser of the year.  Donated fabrics not suited to quilt making ($5 a kg) and other items are sold off to raise funds to buy wadding.  Wadding is the program’s main expense.

Also for sale are surplus patchwork fabrics for $10 a kg.  One kilogram is about 6-7 metres of fabric depending on fabric quality.  Look forward to catching up with members next Tuesday day and Wednesday evening.

Please bring along your money, as it is cash sales only! 

 A big shout out to all members and people in our community,  who have been generous in donating items to WAQA for our Bazaar sale.


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Community quilts- thank you

Gail Bayly, our community quilts Co-Ordinator, received a lovely letter last week, and I share it here, so you can all give yourselves a big pat on the back.  Continue the good work and remember on our website we have a whole list of patterns and information on Community quilts, if you would like to become involved in any capacity.

Thankyou yet again for the AWESOME number of quilts that were delivered to us yesterday .  Sadly one of our staff “just missed” Sandy who delivered them as I believe she had been caught up in traffic.

  Please pass on our gratitude to the members of your group as we feel very privileged to be associated with such amazingly talented people.

By midday today we had delivered 2 quilts to members who we knew would be extremely grateful (as they were) as they are unwell at present and haven’t been able to attend Outreach here at Wilson.

I have been discussing with one of our Councillors this afternoon about a session on Mindfulness that  she is holding for members in September. She is very keen on taking quilts to share amongst this group as they are very “new” members and she feels this will give them a sense of “peace” at such a difficult time in their lives as they are newly diagnosed.

The need is certainly “wide-spread” as you can see from the recipients we have already thought of. Rest assured all the hard work and dedication of your members is thought of greatly and we would be happy to hear from you again in the future if you are ever looking again for “homes for your beautiful  quilts”.

Kind regards

Nicola Ryan
Senior Outreach Coordinator



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It’s all happening at WAQA!

August has been a busy month, members of WAQA manned the stand at the Craft fair at Claremont show grounds, we hosted Lindsey Rae from Sew to grow who did a trunk show at WAQA  and also hosted a weekend workshop, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all attendees, and as always a very busy sewing day and night and again many beautiful quilts heading off to those in need, as pictured below.

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WA Inspired Art Quilters also have a new set of quilts, that are now on show at the City of Perth library in Hay Street.  These small quilts have been travelling around areas of WA.  The theme is “Wetlands” which pays homage to the indigenous people who with their resourcefulness survived on food from wetland areas prior to European settlement.  The WA Inspired Art Quilters Group is an affiliated group of the West Australian Quilters Association.  This exhibition will be on show at the library until November 19.

Cathie Gamble, our very own Judging Convenor, is hosting a Mock Judging class from 9.30-3pm tomorrow, at the Stirling Adriatic Centre, there is more information on our fb page.  If you are curious, as to how judges, “judge” quilts then this will be of benefit to you.

Lyn Brosens are membership secretary has also been super busy, with new people signing up or our  current members, renewing their memberships before Lyn goes away on holiday.  Look at all those applications and cute hexagons ready to be distributed.

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September is shaping up to be just as busy, we have Kerry Moore showing us what she can do with Dresdens, and boy can she make them spin!!  – to be held over two weekends, you will have to get in quick, as I think there are only a few spots left.  Contact Cherie by email –

Lesley and the ladies have also been working hard behind the scenes and getting ready for our annual Bazaar day which happens at both  Sewing Day and Sewing night in September,  there are many,  many bargains to be had,  so don’t miss out.

We are also looking forward to seeing the quilting/craft entries at this years Perth Royal Show which starts on September 22 and runs through until 29th.

And there is still time to participate in our WAQA Challenge quilt for 2018.  The theme is “Curiosity”.  Have fun and enter, the quilts are not formally judged and it is a great way to try a new technique or have fun with an old one.  To find out more about the challenge head to

We have also updated our Accredited teachers page on the WAQA webpage and updates have also happened on our Special Interest Sewing Group page.

Now time to sit back and scroll through our wonderful Show & Tell quilts from the past month.   Enjoy.

As always some gorgeous quilts featured, unfortunately I do not have names but as always if your quilt is featured here, and you would like our blog visitors to know more about you or your pictured quilt, then please email me.  We love to share!!



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Poppy news update

I have quite a few queries from readers of our blog post, regarding the Poppy post, a lot of readers wanted to know more about who had made them, and how did they go about attending the workshops to help put all of these wonderful poppies together.    So without further ado, more info from Liz Humpreys, regarding all your queries and thank you also for the photos accompanying this post.  A magnificent effort by all.

I would like to send a big thank you to everyone who made poppies for the RSL WA poppy appeal.   This week I delivered 1,565 hand knitted and crocheted poppies. They will be used for a display in Kings Park for Armistice Day 11 November 2018, 100 years since the end of World War 1.

Jenny Stove did an amazing job  inspiring the Rockingham Patchwork Group
and the Shoalwater Probus Club to make 900 of the poppies. Some of those ladies are in their 90’s I’m told and loved this project.

5 ladies from the Kalamunda learning Patchworkers contributed approximately 300.

Another 11 ladies from the WAQA (and CQG) made the remainder. They are all beautiful.  
The workshops are held at RSLWA State Branch Level 3/66 St. George’s Terrace, Perth, Tuesday’s and Fridays. Take a needle suitable for sewing with wool and scissors please.
Please register your interest with Wendy Moss Direct (08) 9287 3701 or  (08) 92873799.’





If you have never had the chance to go to an Anzac service or Remembrance day service in Kings Park, then perhaps make it this year.  It is always very moving.  We do indeed live in a very lucky country.  Lest we forget.

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Sew to Grow- yes you can sew and not just quilts!!

How many times do you go into a shop looking for the perfect fitting shirt, dress, skirt, trousers and come away feeling very disappointed, you had some extra money to spend and could not find a thing!! Size variances in clothing today is a joke, in one shop you could be a size 12 and in the next shop you can barely pull the size 14 trousers over your hips.  With this in mind, we really enjoyed having Lindsey Rae from Sew to Grow as your guest speaker at our General Meeting on Wednesday night ,.

Lindsey hails from USA, but now calls Australia home, after falling in love with an Aussie.  Lindsey absolutely LOVES giving the gift of sewing by teaching others new skills and building confidence. Sewing is not what it use to be, and it can be so rewarding to create something unique and individual to your style. Her  Sew to Grow patterns are designed to teach and grow your skills through easy to follow and understand instructions.

We really  benefited from Lindsey’s knowledge and passion about all things sewing and came away with some great tips.  Lindsey also has a great website, sells her patterns via stockists or you can download her patterns and she even has video tutorials, to help you on your sewing journey. We all came away feeling very inspired and of course we had some great members who wore Lindsey’s designs and really rocked the catwalk! – thank you ladies and a big thanks to Lindsey.  Of course no general meeting attendee goes away hungry either!! Thanks Carla and team.


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Poppy Workshop


Thank you to Liz Humpreys,  for providing us with the following information.  If you are one of the many people out there,  who crocheted or knitted popppies, we now need to work together and put everything together.

Liz has received this letter from RSL  Event Manager, Wendy Moss

“Thank you to all the Poppy Ladies that volunteered their precious time over the month of July and early August. The ladies report that we have 7,000 ready to be ‘planted’ in Kings Park for the 11 November and now we really need your help to assemble the rest! We have poppies coming in thick and fast so we now need all hands on deck to help put together our beautiful poppies ready for the big day. 

With most of the knitting and crochet done, anyone can get involved in this part of the project! Please pass this message on to anyone who may be interested in helping our ladies wind up French knitted stalks, prep sticks for gluing and stitching poppies to sticks. The more hands the lighter the work!

Here are the dates for workshop at Poppy HQ (RSLWA State Branch)

Level 3/66 St Georges Terrace, Perth:

August: Friday 17, Tuesday 21, Friday 24, Tuesday 28, Friday 31

September: Tuesday 4, Friday 7, Tuesday 11, Friday 14, Tuesday 18,

 Friday 21, Tuesday 25, Friday 28 

 October: Tuesday 2, Friday 5, Tuesday 9, Friday 12, Tuesday 16,

Friday 19, Tuesday 23, Friday 26, Tuesday 30

We are currently working on holding some workshops on the weekend. Once confirmed, I will advise the group. 

We hope to see as many people as possible.


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Queens of Screen Printing

Thanks to Christine Wheeler for initiating us into the wonderful world of screen printing.   Christine was our guest at our July  Contemporary group meeting and we learnt the basic techniques and lots of tips on how to make our own screens.

At our August meeting we had the opportunity to put our home made screens to the test with lots of success.  For more how to’s, photos and information, make sure you visit the WAQA Contemporary blog.

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Yarning time

On the morning of August 8 it was yarning time,  for Stella King, Liz Humphreys, Roberta Chantler, Meg Cowey, Pat Forster and five Noongar Elders. The occasion was hosted by the City of Perth, and several City of Perth employees popped in to also see the quilts. The 16 piece Wetlands quilt set will be displayed in the library August 21 – November 8.

There will be talks in the library auditorium on September 27, 12noon-1pm, bookings will open soon on the library website, and on October 20, 2pm-3pm, bookings will open in September on the Heritage Perth website.

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Enjoying the story about a crocheted banner, Roberta Chantler, Stella King, Meg Cowey with others at the preview.


Enjoying the quilts, Noongar Elder, City of Perth employee, and Meg Cowey, with Liz Humphreys back left

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Sewing day & night & Christmas in July

We were very privileged to have Kate Ferguson speak with us at the last WAQA sewing day.  Kate as a curator of WAQA, had lots of interesting information to impart, as our history goes back now 42 years.   Kate provided us with  an adaptation of her speech, “Why quilting?”  which she had  presented at the Freshwater museum last month.  Kate endeared us with her own quilting journey over the years and we enjoyed viewing her very first quilt, titled, “Liberty Belle”. Kate on the right of photo.


Kate also suggests that every quilter should consider making a “funeral quilt”, so when your time comes to depart this world, your coffin will be beautifully draped with your handiwork.  Something to thing about!

Next up Faye from Ocean Keys Sewing Centre, Clarkson, gave us some great ideas on using circles in your quilts.



We also had our wonderful show and tell, community quilts and our Christmas in July party.  If you are reading this and do not live in the southern hemisphere, it is becoming a bit of a tradition in many parts of Australia for many people to hold a Christmas in July themed party.  The weather is much cooler in July, than what it is in December, you have the opportunity to enjoy or cook  a hot meal, without dripping with sweat  and you get to wear your winter gear, including those very kooky/bad taste Christmas sweaters.  Our wonderful Treasurer, Carla and her team always ensures that the evening is a lot of fun for everyone.  This year you had to dance with Santa Clause to receive your Christmas tree bingo gift.

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