Saturday, 13 January 2018

2017 in Review

At the start of a new year I like to reflect back at the year just gone.

As you can see from my blog there was no activity since May 2016. In August 2016 I started a new job and it has been the busiest job I have ever done !!! Unfortunately the job in the last 12 months has pretty much consumed most of my days and nights as I have been working across multiple time zones. Needless to say I did sew just a little bit last year so here is the year in review !!

I started a "quilt as you go" project with my son Ben - to make a Star Wars quilt. Make sure you follow me on IG @jacksroom to see the progress as I'm determined to finish this one over the next few months.

I made a few custom blankets for some new little additions. This was a cute little fox blanket with flannel on the front and minky on the back - super warm for winter.

I continued where possible to make some custom quilts. This one a quilt for a little boy named Nathaniel customised with his initial on the front.

I hit 1000 followers on my Facebook page and was completely humble and grateful for all the support people have given me and my sewing !!

I made and sold a number of luxe cuddle blankets for customers that are ever so soft and perfect for gifts. There are some still available in my Etsy store here.

I made my son a jacket for Book Week and realised there is a reason why I never sew clothes. So many pattern pieces...

I did some secret sewing and made a table runner for Handmade magazine that will feature in 2018 and even had time to hand quilt it !

Last but not least I entered into a partnership with the gorgeous Moira DeCarvalho and launched Quilt Design Duo !! I'm super excited about this new venture and what is in stall for 2018 so be sure to follow us on IG @quiltdesignduo.

So there you have it 2017 in review. Bring on 2018 and more time to create !!!!

Till next time...happy sewing
Jenny xxx

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Baby Boy Cot Quilt

If you are anything like me you have tonnes of beautiful scraps fabrics from previous projects that are just sitting in the cupboard begging to be used. Recently I decided it was time to put them to good use and I made a simple cot quilt with blues and greys in a basic square design. I raided my fabrics and found some gorgeous prints I knew would work great together.

I found a pretty blue with white spot fabric for the backing. Squares were cut at 5.5 inches and I used a total of 80 squares.

By chain piecing I find that these quilts come together nice and quick and although 80 squares seems like a lot it is quick to get through. For me I like to iron my seams to the side and alternate sides each row so when I go to sew the rows together I can simply nest the seams for a perfect finish.

I quilted this one on my domestic machine using a beautiful grey aurifil 40wt thread called "Dove" just a quarter of an inch either side of the seams. This is my go to thread now and blends so well even with bright coloured fabrics.

I've also just started using quilting gloves as it gives me better grip on my quilts and I find I can guide the quilt through the machine and have a lot more control than without.

Not the best day for taking quilt photos (a little overcast in Sydney) but that wasn't going to stop me sharing this beautiful quilt. I finished the quilt off with a dark blue binding and I love the blue and white polka dot backing.

Such a sweet quilt now available in my etsy store here .....

Till next time...happy sewing
Jenny xxx

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Memory Quilt - it's all heart !!

Following on from my previous post about the story behind my first memory quilt which you can read here, this is the second quilt made with the same clothes.

Having male coloured clothes and needing to make a quilt for a little girl, and a customer who wanted a lot of pink, to make it all work I knew I needed to reduce the size of the clothes into smaller areas. I decided that various sized hearts, machine appliqued onto a pink top would work perfectly.

I set about hand drawing various sized hearts onto heat and bond lite (I like to use lite when quilting to keep the quilt soft). I then cut out all these cute little hearts, fused them onto the various shirts, jumpers and shorts, and cut them out ready for the design process.

I decided to create a large heart out of all the little heart shapes in the centre of the quilt as this quilt was for a special little girl who's uncle was no longer with us. It really was a quilt from the heart.

After fusing them on machined stitched around each heart using a blanket stitch to secure in place.

This was probably the most tedious process of the whole quilt and did take a considerable amount of time. I find that with quilts like this I often work on projects in between so as to keep enjoying each process otherwise I may go insane !!!

Once finished I quilted with straight lines approx. 1.5 inches apart. This quilt was backed in a gorgeous grey flannel for warmth and softness and the same grey was used for binding.

I was so happy with how this turned out and the very special story behind this quilt. It's not very often (due to time restrictions on current deadlines) that I take on custom quilts these days but once in a while a special person comes into your life with a story and you know the two of you were meant to work together to create a dream come true. I feel completely blessed I could be apart of this and Lisa - thank you for putting your trust in me. I hope this gives you some warmth during this difficult time.

Till next time...happy sewing
Jenny xxx

Monday, 21 March 2016

To longarm or not to longarm

I've come to a crossroads on my quilting journey recently. I've enjoyed designing quilts and working with some amazing fabric houses and designers, and also magazines but I want to do more. Unfortunately like many other quilters I have a full time job and wish I had more time to be creative. As a result I outsource my overall quilting to my very trusted longarmer. I'd love to complete the whole quilting process myself but between working, a young family, designing and those tight magazine deadlines I just haven't had the time. I have quilted a few quilts myself on my domestic machine when I can but life just seems to be getting busier and busier.

About 6 months ago I investigated a 2nd hand Gammill Statler (fully computerised) machine and was amazed at what these machines can do - from simple edge to edge to more advanced custom quilting and for someone like me who likes to design the ability to design my own quilting designs. I loved how you can see the design on the quilt before you start. At the time I didn't have the space for this machine so had to let it pass, but once our new home is built at the end of the year the skies the limit!!

Photo Courtesy of

Next I went to the Stitches and Craft last month and got my hands on the new Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen. I was nervous as I'm the first to put my hand up and say I am not a free motion quilter but I must say it was super light weight and easy to use. I loved the stitch regulator on the cruise setting that adjusted the speed to my hand movements on the quilt top. I also like the fact that the size of the frame is very manageable especially when you have limited space and that regardless of its size the machine is still capable to quilt any size quilt top. My only concern is I'm not a free motion quilter and don't really have the time or patience to learn those intricate designs.

Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen

I've spoken to my trusted quilting friends with longarms who have been amazing with all the information provided including turning longarming into a business if I so desire. The quilting community is always fabulous at sharing experiences.

So I'm at the point now where I would truly like to invest in a longarm and need to think about what is the best option machine for me. No decisions made yet so watch this space...

Till next time...happy sewing
Jenny xxx

Monday, 14 March 2016

Memory Quilts - A Special Story

A while back I made some friends some quilts made from their children's baby clothes and posted them on social media and was inundated with orders. These quilts are so precious and hold wonderful memories but are very labour intensive and very fiddly. I decided after making a few custom orders that it was not my true passion and so did not take any more orders of this type of quilt until now.

Every now and again life surprises you and pulls you in a direction that you just need to go. I was recently contacted by a lovely lady who was desperate for two quilts for her niece and nephew made out of her late husbands clothes who had unfortunately left this world way too early. She had gone to a local craft fair and asked at every counter for someone to help her but no one could. Finally as she was leaving upset and devastated a women approached her after hearing her story and gave her my business card. From there I got a phone call and after I heard this sad story and heard her heartache I just had to make these for her. Her husband's name was Jack so I knew this one was meant for me!!

So in between lots of quilting deadlines I am now almost there. It was very hard for her to part with any clothes so I have had to work with the colours and styles I was given but I know she will be happy with the end result. I decided to back them with a super soft grey flannel and some extra wide binding.

The first quilt is for her nephew so I tried to keep the quilt masculine with the clothing cut rather large with a simple block design. I quilted it in a checked design to match the shirts I was working with and am really happy with the result.

The second quilt is still a work in progress. Given the clothing was quite masculine and the owner wanted a pink overall background I tried to soften it up with some applique hearts - it was a lovely idea at the time but I'm still slowly working my way through appliqueing each and every one of them.

I plan to just straight line quilt this one across the quilt and let the hearts speak for themselves.

What are you working on this week?

Till next time... happy sewing...

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Magazines Galore - Part 2

So this is post number 2 of my magazine completed quilts I wanted to share. If you missed my first post check it out here.

I have three more quilts I'd like to share which includes one of my favourite quilts so far (that is if you are allowed to have favourites).

Firstly is my "Desert Trekking Quilt" published in Quilters Companion. This was made with the Arizona fabric range by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics and also Art Gallery fabrics matching solids. I enjoyed working on this quilt using classic patchwork shapes and joining them together to form unusual rectangular blocks. I quilted this one myself on my trusted Janome too.

Desert Trekking by Jenny Woodward
Next is my all time favourite quilt "Arctic Blue". This appeared in Homespun Magazine in January 2016. For this one I jumped out of my comfort zone of using fat quarter bundles and sourced predominately blue fabric from various quilt shops and online, and experimented also with low volume fabric. Something I have been wanting to do for a long time. I used a classic log cabin block with a contemporary layout and I love how it turned out.

Artic Blue by Jenny Woodward
Finally we have "Pretty Plus" made from Skopelos fabric range by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. This one featured in Down Under Quilts and was such a fun quilt to make.

Pretty Plus by Jenny Woodward
So that's where I'm at right now with published quilts. I have one more coming out in Handmade shortly and will be published later this year in UK's Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine which I am super excited about.

Till next time....happy sewing....

xx Jenny

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Paperie Fabrics - Giveaway

A Sponsored Giveaway.

If you haven't already realised I have a real fondness for the texture and feel of Art Gallery Fabrics so what better way to share my love but to share some of this gorgeous fabric with you.

Together with the Fat Quarter shop I am giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of Paperie fabrics by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery fabrics to one lucky reader. This is such a sweet collection with romantic shades of pink, subtle greys and a hint of royal blue, and part of the Art Gallery Limited Edition range. Amy’s love for books, not only for the stories, the wonderful words, and the faraway places, but in the look of the book themselves, was her inspiration for this Limited Edition collection.


The Paperie Fat Quarter Bundle includes 9 fat quarters and one half yard cut.
To be in the draw please leave a comment on this blog post. Only one comment per person/per email address. International entries welcome! 
The draw will take place at 9pm (Australia EDT) on Sunday 13 March 2016, at which time comments to this post will be closed. The winner will be announced by edit to this blog post, and will also be contacted by email.
Good luck !!
Till next time....happy sewing....
Jenny xxx
Thank you for all of your entries!
The lucky winner of the Paperie bundle is:
Mara has been contacted by email.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Magazines Galore - Part 1

Over the past year I have really enjoyed working with a number of our fantastic Australian editors. I have had the privilege of having many of my quilts feature in prominent Australian magazines and feel trying blessed to be able to have the opportunity to feed my creative side.

Featured in this post is a number of the quilts I can now show you finished. The most difficult thing about working with magazines is all the secret sewing I can't share with everyone so I wanted to make sure I show you all the completed products. So this isn't the biggest post you've ever seen I've decided to break it up into 2 posts. I hope you like what you see.

My first quilt "Cascades" was made for Down Under Quilts using the Linen Cupboard range from our very own Emma Jean Jansen. This quilt utilised triangles (lots and lots) and some complementary geometric quilting by my gorgeous longarmer.

Cascades by Jenny Woodward

The next quilt "Tribal Dance" featured in Patchwork and Stitching magazines using the Etno fabric range by the lovely Pat Bravo. I love working with Pat's ranges as a long time quilter herself she really does design ranges that work so well together.

Tribal Dance by Jenny Woodward
Lastly we have "Beginnings" which was part of Handmade's 2015 Yearbook utilising Indelible fabric range by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. This is a fat quarter friendly quilt and is such a simple but effective design to make a lovely large quilt with no waste. Within this range there is a gorgeous monochrome fabric featuring stags and doilies that makes the perfect backing. I think I need to get myself another bolt.

Beginnings by Jenny Woodward

With all this quilt designing and making and after many enquiries I am now making my patterns available for sale and I've been very humbled by the demand already so thank you. Current patterns are available for download from Crafsty here and hopefully soon you will also see them on sale in some of your favourite quilting shops.

Till next time....happy sewing....
xx Jenny


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Arizona - an Aztec styled quilt

I while ago I bought a bundle of Arizona fabric by April Rhodes. The bundle included matching Art Gallery solids from the Pure Elements range which made a nice set of 14 fat quarters. I haven't used matching solids in my quilts before rather I tend to use a white background to my blocks so I wanted to explore a design that would incorporate both the solids and fabrics together.

I was fortunate enough to share my design with Quilter's Companion magazine who will be featuring my quilt later in the year so I can only share with you a couple of progress shots for the time being.

I incorporated some flying geese blocks and some square in a square blocks and decided to use a quilt as you go method as the blocks are quite large to make the quilting more manageable on my domestic machine.

I bought some matching Aurifil cotton mako' threads in the 40 weight which is a little heavier than the standard 50 weight thread but shows off the quilting stitches nicely. I love that there is just so many colours to chose from making it so easy to match the fabric you are working on perfectly.

I did some shadow quilting around the geese and squares in the quilt to create texture.

I really liked the feel of quilting with the aurifil threads which I hadn't used before.

I am loving the way the quilt is coming together it has a real Aztec feel to it and I can't wait to finish it off with a final border using the Nocturnal solid from the Pure Elements Art Gallery range.

The quilt will be Queen sized and I will be keeping this one for me for my spare bed and I'm sure it will make it's way on the couch now the nights are getting colder here.

Linking up at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday!

Till next time....happy sewing....

xx Jenny

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Etno Fabrics - Collaboration with Pat Bravo

As a typical quilter I love fabric but every now and again I see a fabric range I have to have. When I first stumbled across Pat Bravo's new range "Etno" whilst trolling through my Instagram feed I knew this was one of my must haves.

I was fortunately enough to be able to work with Pat and using Etno fabrics design and make a quilt for an upcoming issue of Patchwork and Stitching magazine here in Australia. When the fabric arrived it definitely didn't disappoint.

With a very tight timeframe I went about hurriedly cutting and sewing blocks together. I chose a traditional quilt block called fox and geese and mixed it up a little. The block I made is put together with 2 different sized half square triangles and some white squares. I wanted to keep some of the fabric in larger pieces to really showcase each of the designs.

Ironically this is the first time I've ever designed a quilt on point and with the cornerstones and sashing it took a little bit of quilt math to work out the finished product. The quilt was then sent to Donna, my trusted longarmer who worked her magic as always and I must say I loved the finished result.

With the left over fabric I made up my signature scrappy binding that contrasted with the white in the quilt background perfectly finishing it off.

I backed this quilt with a fabric called "Flight" from the Waterfront Park Collection by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Packed in an express post satchel and shipped off promptly I can wait to see the final photos in Patchwork and Stitching Magazine due out in May.

I'm linking up with these fun places today Crazy Mum Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday.
Till next time....happy sewing....
xx Jenny

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Linen Cupboard Quilt

I love the opportunity of supporting local quilters and designers so when I saw Emma Jean-Jansen's new range "The Linen Cupboard" I knew I needed to create a funky quilt with it. Check out my previous blog showing the wonderful diversity of fabrics in the range here.

I set about designing and constructing a quilt with this lovely range. I was given a brief of creating a quilt with a Hexie theme so decided to simplify the process by using equilateral triangles to form the hexies.
In keeping with the triangle theme I had my wonderful longarmer, Donna quilt this one with a design called tangled triangles.

Given all the contrasting colours in the quilt I decided to bind with a trusty old favourite, black and white stripe.

I must admit binding is now becoming my favourite part of the quilt making process. I enjoy hand sewing in front of the television and I think it's also because it is a sense of overall achievement when you know the quilt is almost done.

The final quilt will be available to see in full and make yourself soon, as it will be published in Down Under Quilts magazine in Australia in May. Unfortunately I have only been able to show you a few sneak peaks here.

I'm linking up with these fun places today Crazy Mum Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday.
Till next time....happy sewing....
xx Jenny