Sit & Stitch at the Studio

Dear readers

Sit & Stitch at the Studio has started well for 2016 and feedback has been very encouraging and supportive of the creative and friendly space in which we come together.  I have a revised schedule for the year  which is working well for those that can attend on Mondays and Tuesdays and for those unable to attend during the day, an after hours session on a Tuesday evening.

I am thrilled that participants are so enthusiastic to take on new and creative ways of working with fabrics and threads and I am delighted to be teaching my textile art again among other things. I have set days for project workshops (See my teaching schedule in the top menu) but all in all we mainly work together on existing projects or new textile art pieces. Some bring their own work, embroidery or quilts and with others I provide support where I can  and short tutorials on techniques and skill development.

My teaching style has always been to inspire and encourage practice, trial and error where possible so that each participant develops the confidence to make creative decisions and develop their own style of working. A most inspiring teacher once said to me “respect the marks you make with stitch, there are no mistakes” . This has become my motto as I too like to encourage participants to take risks with textures, colour ways and markings and dare to do things differently! I have to say I have been thrilled with the progress to date and have witnessed some beautiful work to completion.

On a final note albeit belated, Maureen T. and Jacqui M. each entered a piece into the 2015 Clunes Agricultural Show (home and garden section, novice appliqué) in November. For both it was their first ever competition entry of which I felt very proud for them both. Over 8 weeks Maureen worked on her mini canvas series and was gainfully rewarded with an overall second prize which was a huge achievement for a first ever attempt at making art with textiles.

Congratulations, you are an amazing group of women to work with and I love to create with you all. Cxx

Delizia Floreale

Dear readers

I’ve been working on a new quilt design over the past 6 months. At the same time coincidently,  I have been attending Italian lessons, so I have named the quilt ‘Delizia Floreale’  which in Italian means ‘Floral Delight’.  The title reflects my love of working with floral themes and the medallion in this project  is an abstract vase of flowers, bordered with simple block and dresden plate patchwork.

I am embroidering using needle turn appliqué and simple stitch techniques and will be hand piecing throughout.  I started the project with idea of using neutral linens as the background theme and I’ve auditioned brightly printed fabrics and primary colours  as the main colour  way.

I am enjoying working on the design an it is evolving slowly. I hope to have it ready, in my teaching portfolio  for the Patchwork, Quilting and Papercraft Cruise in April and Quiltessentially Clunes Stitching Retreat in September.

Stay posted for progress notes and images. Cxx

Quiltessentially Clunes Stitching Retreat 2015



Dear readers

It has been a couple of months now since Judy Newman, Rae Telfer and I hosted the 2015 Quiltessentially Clunes Stitching Retreat, in November and the village of Clunes may never be the same again after the huge success of the inaugural event.

In the spirit of friendship, creativity, and enjoyment, and in a venue set within the scenic and historic backdrop of the village of Clunes the event attracted 60 quilters and textile workers from interstate and across Victoria. Many of whom had never heard of or visited Clunes before. The laughter and fun, the camaraderie and friendships, the sharing and networking, new skills and much inspiration are the memorable outcome of this event.

Quiltessentially Clunes manifested its way into reality from a vision created early in the year by Judy and I and with much hard work , team effort with our additional and valuable member Rae T. the event was named and realised. The format of the weekend was planned to provide participants not only a stitching and textile experience but one of local hospitality, history and country fare.The feedback about Clunes by those that attended was extremely positive and included such comments as “ fabulous country hospitality” “such friendly people” “ beautiful buildings” and “ such a unique village”. When asked would they come back again, the reply was a very positive “YES” and many have already expressed their interest to attend the next retreat that is planned over four days in September.


It would be an omission not to acknowledge the economic and cultural value of the event for Clunes. Participants were accommodated in the town, dined in the local eateries and shopped in the local stores. A ‘Meet and Greet’ event was held in the Gallery on the Friday night which was a huge success. Following this, a Sundowner in the beautiful gardens of Keebles Country house on the Saturday saw participants gather for regional wines, cheeses and bread.

With due respect this event would not have run so smoothly nor have been the occasion for celebration if it were not for a wonderful team of local helpers who we cannot thank enough. To the community of Clunes, the Hepburn Shire, the Clunes  Warehouse, Linda and Neil Newitt at ‘The Gallery’, Keebles Country House, Jane and Paul Lesock at Beckworth Winery and the lovely donations from Leslie at French Pear your support was invaluable.


Judy, Rae and I feel blessed and thank everyone who contributed to make the inaugural 2015 Quiltessentially Clunes Stitching Retreat such a success. Much love and creativity. Cxx

Making Art With Textiles


Dear readers

Welcome to the new year. May  each of you be blessed with good health and happiness in 2016 and many creative moments to sooth your spirits. Last year was indeed one of great occasion with the preparation and launch of the inaugural Quiltessentially Clunes Stitching Retreat in November. The event was a huge success and the team and I are already planning for our next retreat in September which will be offered over four days instead of the two. In addition to this the Clunes Makers Market was also launched after many months of planning  of which I have been delegated Committee President. This will be a monthly market, with a vision of attracting unique ‘Makers and Artisans’ to both craft and sell their wares in the beautiful village of Clunes.

I have recently returned from an interstate holiday to Western Australia celebrating the festive season with my family. It was lovely to be back in my home state again and have come home feeling refreshed and inspired with new ideas to start my year. 2016 is going to be a very busy time here in the studio. I have classes booked  at Millrose Quilt Gallery, Patch and Quilt, The Embroidery Den and in Berry NSW. I am tutoring on the Quilt, Patchwork and Papercraft Cruise in April as well as my regular classes here at the Margie & Bert Studio every Monday and Tuesday.


By popular demand ‘Making Art With Textiles’ workshops will be commencing again in 2016. With the option of a single-day or two-day workshop students will be facilitated to develop skills to design and compose a naive still life (as seen above), deconstruct printed fabrics, re purpose unwanted linen and bric-a-brac, draw with your machine and become familiar with a slow stitch technique. I am excited to be teaching my art again and look forward to many inspiring and creative weeks and months ahead.

Stay posted Cxx