A colourful Gypsy Carnival day!

On Saturday morning I packed my suitcase of magic tricks and headed down the highway to spend the day with the Illawarra Quilters. 

The quilt we were making was Gypsy Carnival. A fun quilt that brings prairie points from the edge of the quilt to center stage. It's a great chance to use a favourite feature print in the big circles. 

It's been a few years since I made the original so to refresh my memory and test a couple of new techniques I did my homework before the workshop and whipped up another one. It was fun to play with a totally different colour palette. I've nicknamed this version Sugar and Spice.

Believe it or not my fabric choices began with this little bug. A lovely person had given me some of this fabric and rather than let it get lost in my fabric collection I decided to use it straight away. 

All the other fabrics came from my stash.  I didn't have enough yardage of some so I used a mixture but it's a good example of the way fabrics can be substituted for others.

Back to our fun Saturday.  The drive from the mountains to Wollongong is about an hour and a half. I left nice and early in the morning when everyone was still sleeping so the roads were relatively quiet. You can imagine me whizzing along in my little red Daisymobile, singing along to the music and enjoying the scenery as it flew by. I find driving great creative time too, I often think of new quilts I want to make. As I arrived in Wollongong the sun came out from behind the clouds and added to the magic of the trip. A lovely sunny welcome.

The welcome continued as I walked into the hall where the ladies were buzzing around setting up tables and machines, power cords and irons. We hung up my quilts and other samples, set up bits and pieces and then we we're off and running with demonstrations, tips and tricks about the different ways I do things. 

The Illawarra ladies are a bit shy about have their photos taken for privacy reasons, for the same reason I wont mention names, but we do get to see all their beautiful blocks!
One of the great thing about classes is seeing all the different fabric combinations, how different colours can change the look of a quilt and express the makers personality.

Having said that the person who made this fun block is not a cat lover but she knows it's being made for someone who does. It's such a fun fabric. 

That center circle of this glowing fabric was from a panel. The print was a bit small and we didn't want to cut into the neighbouring prints on the panel so we cut the circles out and placed them on a larger circle. I like the modern look it has this way. There are always ways of making different fabrics work in a pattern.

The next block had the opposite dilemma. The design on this fabric was larger that the Gypsy Carnival circle. We measured it up and made a circle to fit. It was so worth making the most of the beautiful design. It reminds me of a kaleidoscope, or a painted cathedral ceiling. 

The Jane Sassaman fabrics are perfect for this quilt, so beautiful set against a sky blue background. 

Here is the same fabric but different coloured points and background. I love that one patterned point to add interest for those who take the time to look.

More Jane Sassaman fabric. Don't these blocks look great with their sashing. The grey check background is just the right fabric to make those colours pop.

We had a Frida in the class! Isn't she gorgeous!

And not just one great background fabric but 2! Double Wow!!

I'm in love with these beautiful summery colours, featuring Birds of A Feather fabric by Kathy Doughty

More pretty birds flying in a flock. I love how the 3 white background triangles stand out. When this block is in the quilt they'll add a wonderful "spin" to the overall look. 

These blocks featured fabrics bought on a trip to New Zealand. What a lovely way to remember a special holiday.
It's so perfect the way the background fabric looked like wood grain, especially as the fabrics had a botanical theme.

There was a block I didn't get a photo of that is going to be the base for a beautiful sashiko design! That is going to be a treat to see when it's done!!

This bright and happy setting is on its way to becoming the most wonderful big European size cushion(pillow). It makes me want to make a big cushion too!

The clever maker of this also brought in her top from the last workshop I did with the Illawarra Quilters a few weeks ago. Take a look at this!!

I love it when someone takes a technique I've taught and get's creative with it. Setting the petals like flowers and adding bright borders is so wonderful! and the yoyo flowers with felt, all that happy colour. I just love this to bits!! 

Another piece of show and tell from the Ric Rac Razzamazz workshop was this photo that made my day when I received it by email. I love the placement of colours and the layout. The yoyos haven't been added yet but you can imagine they'll add another layer of sparkle to the quilt. 

I love seeing all the pretty pincushions people bring to class. I thought this little elephant was particularly cute.

The same lovely quilter also made this mug holder. beautiful ribbon embroidery and fancy stitches. It was like a little garden, Soo pretty. 

So that's all I have for photos of my Gypsy Carnival workshop. It was just right for one day. Everyone made at least 2 blocks and worked on their sashing too. They'll make a spectacular show and tell when they're finished. 

Thank you one again Illawarra Quilters for the most wonderful day. It's always a pleasure to spend time with you!! I look forward to the next workshop playing with Chunky Bloom blocks!!


Exciting News Flash!!

For those of you on the south side of Sydney I have exciting news!!  I'll be teaching at My Sewing Supplies, Kirrawee in 2018!!! We can make Whizz Bang! blocks and turn them into a quilt, have fun with yoyos traditional or modern, you can bring along a project you want some Rachaeldaisy creative help with. It's next year so it gives me a chance to finish a few things I'm working on too. You know me, I always have a few things up my sleeve. Call the shop if you are interested to secure your spot in the class. Ph. (02) 9542 3513 . You can visit their website here - My Sewing Supplies.

Always one last photo - Here's a snap from where I sit at my computer... this is the wall behind my desk. Now you know what I look at when I'm writing my blog posts and I stop to think of a word or if I drift off thinking about things.

My next post will be about the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair! Fun times ahead, Yay!! I'll be there on Wednesday to help set up and hang quilts. Following that I'll be there for the show on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. If you want to find me I'll be near my WhizzBang! quilt in the Bernina Best of Australia exhibit between 11am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Other times you'll see me wandering around admiring all the beautiful quilts. If you see me come and say hello. :)

A colourful Gypsy Carnival day!


  1. Love the wall of inspiration, and can I say to the shy flowers of Illawarra......are you guys all wagging school or what? Hehe....I wagged school once, terrified I would get sprung, never did it again. However, the quilters may be shy but their creations speak volumes. What a great block, it really makes a fabric shine. I mean I am not usually a fan of the botanicals....but they really really really look the biz in your design. I don't know what size your block is but in my head it looms large and I like it! Well done little petals and extra well done to the head flower Miss Daisy.

  2. I love seeing all those Jane fabrics in action! They look wonderful in that application.

  3. Hi Rachael,gorgeous blocks what a fun class,so glad you had a great time,hope your day is a good one my friend xx

  4. What an amazing blocks you students have made, love it.
    Cheers Tilly

  5. I do love seeing all the different interpretations of your students' work. It just goes to show how flexible the art of quilting is. And "eclectic" is the only word there is to describe your wall art. It suits any mood you like. Great fun.

  6. So many fun blocks I'm always amazed at the fabric choices and how great they look in the blocks!

  7. OMG...I so love Frida...can you tell me how to make it?? The little points...too fun...or maybe I can figure it out..my own kind...never of course to measure up to you...the great one...such a great post...Daisymobile...love love love..

  8. Each of those pieces are a glorious work of art. I hope your shy students share a photo when their quilts are finished.

  9. What a feast for the eyes!!! I think I loved every one of the blocks you've shown us from your class, so many beautiful fabrics used there and you have designed a super duper block there - I hope one day you're going to either write a book or have patterns available - I would be first in the queue!!

  10. Love Gypsy carnival and so many gorgeous versions! Beautiful inspiration in that beautiful wall x

  11. It never ceases to amaze me how one quilt can look so different made up in a totally different colorway or fabric print! And blocks too. I bet it's a ton of fun to see the blocks come alive right in front of you during these classes!

  12. Oh what fabulous fabrics and blocks. There must be something in your water down there to cultivate such creativity! I want a drink! Thanks so much for sharing your "wall" of art. I like to picture where my friends are and what they are looking at when they are diligently working.

  13. What a fun class! Your ladies did so well. Great to see all the different combinations. Have a fab time at the show.

  14. It is fun to revisit quilts and make them again to refresh skills. What a lovely collection of blocks from your students. Amazing collection of fabrics. And how wonderful to see a follow up from a previous class.
    You are so busy!!


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I love to hear your thoughts. I don't always have time to reply but your wonderful words encourage me to keep sharing my work and stories.


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