Chandler Chatter

Welcome to Chandler Chatter, where you'll find all the latest news and views.

Blog Inactivity

Friday
25th Sep, 2015

Hi Ladies,

to see what I am currently up to, make sure you visit us on Facebook.

Finally

Sunday
10th Nov, 2013

Hello Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you on the latter part of a great weekend. I’ve been back from Houston for just over a week, so I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch sooner. The Houston Fall Market is the trade show that precedes Quilt Festival, in the same location in Texas. So instead of the hundreds of shops you see if you have been fortunate enough to go to Festival, I get to see the hundreds of Manufacturers and Designers that sell their products to the shops.

Here’s how big this place is, this is during set up day!

Houston setup

So the fun for me is that the product names I had come to know on the selvedge of fabrics, have now become real live people! Everyone at Robert Kaufman is my “Fabric Family” so there’s always a lot to talk about and catch up with.

I also love catching up with Anna Fiskin at Red Rooster who designed our beautiful Tadashi range this year, and our own Hitomi from QH Textiles who now lives in L.A.

Bob and Heather from the Superior Thread company whose stand was opposite mine this year – talk about torture!

Superior threads

Oh, and of course Miss Rikki on checkout who makes it all a lot of fun!

Miss rikki

From what I have seen so far, there’s certainly going to be loads of beautiful new fabrics that will find a home at Chandler’s Cottage next year! I spent a lovely late afternoon with Christine from Kona Bay who showed me all their beautiful new Oriental prints coming up. Robert Kaufman are also going to have you busy sewing next year especially for Christmas, and yes if you are wondering, I’ve been busy with them too for next year!!

Last but not least, the Quilts! One treat as an exhibitor and buyer at the Trade Show, is that the quilts for Festival are hung, and we can enjoy them with very few people about. So I got up early one morning and had a lovely walk through the Quilt Show.

I took photos that inspired me. Here’s one amazing quilt made of ½” squares, see the close up of just how tiny they are!

Squares

Squares close up

There was also some incredible 3D work which I have a weakness for...

3D1

3D2

and don’t get me started on this hexagon ball!

Hex

I kept getting drawn back to this super quilt which features some of Kaffe Fassett’s Indian inspired stripe prints.

KF

While taking the photo I got told from behind not to move, Kaffe and Brandon were laughing and taking a photo of me as I was completely camouflaged against the quilt in my matching scarf! I fear you might see my back “view” in his slide show when he is back in Australia in February!

KFL

GF

There was also a great representation of Australian Quilters and I will have some of these at our exhibition in March so you can enjoy them without the 19 hours flying time!

Once I got home, we were off to Rye the next day for the annual 1St Beaumaris Sea Scouts Annual Family pack holiday and this weekend we are showing family from England around the city and bay, tomorrow – sewing!!

Rye

I did fit a couple of days in this week to re arrange the shop and do a new window display. And inspired by my chat with Kaffe, I’ve filled it with colours to match my scarf, which was actually the first sample of this new colour in our scarves for Christmas.

Sweet Treats

Saturday
9th Feb, 2013

Hazelnut Macaroons

I have had lots of requests for this recipe, and with Easter coming up, it’s time to bake a couple of batches and pop them in the freezer to give to family and friends, to serve with coffee or pop on the top of ice cream when the occasion arises!!

They are ridiculously easy to make and you can drizzle with chocolate to be extra wicked at Easter.

Macaroons in eggs

The lovely Russian Easter Egg tins I am popping this batch in are available in the Gift Shop section on www.chandlerscottage.com

Hazelnut Macaroons

200g / 7oz Caster/Fine White Sugar

180g / 6½oz Ground Hazelnuts/Hazelnut Meal

2 Egg Whites

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Mix all ingredients together well, roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on biscuit trays lined with baking paper. Pop into a 180C/350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack and dust in icing sugar or drizzle in chocolate as desired.

Extra Tip - If you have Hazelnut meal in the pantry, you can use 150g / 5½oz Almond Meal and 30g / 1oz of Coconut instead!

Authentic Blogging

Sunday
25th Mar, 2012

OK, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a bit of a blog critic.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good blog and relish the small amount of time I find to follow my favourite colleagues on their travels.  Sometimes though, I will admit I’m a little sceptical about the authenticity of some of the photos!  You know the ones I mean, the strategically placed cup and saucer with art pens scattered on the sketching book, the casually draped fabric pieces, showing a hint of a new book release underneath!

So when I turned around from the ironing board on Friday to throw some folded squares on the kitchen table I laughed out loud at the sight before me!

Authentic blogging (medium)

Dutch Cottage rolls (not very strategically) thrown on the table to work on for another new project for the Culture Club, and the new Dutch Sewing Totes waiting to have their lining opening sewn up.  Plus a pattern sketch I’ve already finished for the club, along with some sensational new fabric samples (Apple of my Eye) that my friends at Riley Blake sent me.  I was working out if I could adapt the same technique to use with these fresh prints, all the while consuming some choc chip and raspberry damper I’d made for the boys after school as a treat.  It WAS going to be scones, but I put in double the required cream and milk, so a quick transformation was required!

So maybe I have been a bit harsh in my judgement of work in progress blog photos, because maybe some peoples’ desks do really look that good!  This one is a little rough, but I can honestly say, it’s 100% true blue authentic!

Show and Tell

Saturday
10th Mar, 2012

Just wanted to share the fantastic day that was had at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne, Victoria yesterday!

Cranbourne

Beautiful weather, the gardens are looking sensational, and I had a lovely day catching up with many lovely Chandlers Cottage friends and then meeting so many new quilters.

It was also super to introduce quilting and Australian prints to many garden enthusiasts that stumbled upon our exhibition while exploring the gardens.

I’m looking forward to heading back down there tomorrow and then next Thursday to do it all again - and get some more sewing done at my make shift sewing table!!

Happy Quilting/Gardening, Leesa

Dutch Treat

Saturday
10th Mar, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Thank You so much for reading my Blog!

As a reward for taking the time – You get to see my Dutch Sewing Tote first.

 Dutch sewing tote

AND you get the first look at my Culture Club’s Dutch Cottage Collection!

Go to www.chandlerscottage.com and type Dutch into the Search window and enjoy the pre-order specials now.

I really hope you like the range.

Dutch Cottage will feature in next week’s Newsletter, along with the next Culture Club Cruise, Projects and Inspirations.

Now where did I put my Clogs???

Need Sleep!

Monday
5th Mar, 2012

OK, that was a really stupid idea.  “Let’s make Chris a Good Luck quilt in a day so he can have it for his launch”.   Argh!  Anyway, I am very happy with the result.

When you get a chance to have a look at the beautiful Tilda fabrics and products, the gorgeous books etc, you will see a real classy shabby chic look where you can combine lots of different prints and products to get a beautiful eclectic style.

I wanted to capture this in a scrappy quilt, using all the fabrics in the range Chris had sent me. This is what I came up with!

Tilda quilt

It’s scrappy, good fun with its 3D prairie points and very pretty due to the beautiful little prints in the range.

The quilt measures 36” x 48”, so it makes a great throw quilt.  You could easily make it bigger by putting a 6” border of one of the larger beautiful florals around the outside.  I just didn’t have enough fabric in my precious samples!

I did however manage to make a little journal cover from my Culture Club traveller’s journal cover, and a little quilt with “Tilda” on it ready for AQC (Shhhh!)

Anyway, the pattern is drafted and off to Miss Emma for editing and we will have it on our www.chandlerscottage.com website in a week!  Oh, I forgot to mention Rob grabbed the fabrics before I cut them up and scanned them, so you can see them on the website as well, with a pre-order special as I am told by a very reliable Giraffe they will be here by April!

Sleep now……zzzzzzz

What's New at the Zoo!

Saturday
3rd Mar, 2012

For most of my life, I haven’t been very good at keeping secrets!  I love having them, but when they are really exciting, I never liked keeping them to myself, they were always too good to share!

Over the last couple of years, I’ve become much better at it, thanks to some “secret designing business”, but then everyone knew what the secret was, just not what it looked like!

So to cut a long story short, for three days this week it was MURDER!!!!  And now finally I can blab, on a worldly, internet grand scale.

On Wednesday, my very good friend Chris Roche rang to tell me life was about to change big time, for me as well as him.  Chris was the CEO of Leutenegger, the distributor of my Robert Kaufman fabrics until the middle of last year, when he was sadly dismissed.  It was a terrible shock and I have missed working with him very much.

On Thursday, Chris started his very own business called Two Green Zebras and his first gorgeous product range is Tilda.  I did confess to him I didn’t know much about this collection but he then said that wasn’t a problem and that if I went to my Post Office Box on Friday, there would be samples waiting!

So here is Tilda.  How gorgeous is this stuff?  It is actually designed in Norway, the cloth quality is brilliant. Stay tuned for more Tilda, as there are also beautiful trims, brads, stationary and books full of inspiration.

 Tilda fabric

I know it’s a step sideways from what you see at Chandlers Cottage but it’s going to sit very nicely next to my Dutch Cottage range and many other things on the drawing board!

Now you will have to excuse me, as I only get to keep these precious samples if I turn them into a quilt - fast!

If you want to know more about Chris’ new business, go to www.twogreenzebras.com

Now where’s that rotary cutter…….?

Wycheproof and Back

Sunday
19th Feb, 2012

Just had to tell you about the big Wycheproof weekend! Had a fantastic time again this year with “The Girls”. It’s such a humbling experience, as so many of them travel for over an hour to get there and I’m not talking about from one side of the city to the other in peak hour traffic, I’m talking well over 100km (65miles).

It took Emma and I four hours each way to get there too, and there was lots of brain storming, sewing and laughing all the way there and back!

Anyway, I’m expecting to see 24 sensational Aussie Sewing Tote photos very soon! We also took up a “virtual website” which consisted of one of everything in habby we stock, plus the sample headers of my fabrics and then as many bolts as we could fit in the car.

I’m looking forward to getting into the shop tomorrow and packing up the girls’ orders to send with all the things they decided they had to have!

Such a beautiful group of quilters to work with, and an enviable community spirit that in the last decade has survived severe drought and floods in an incredible and vast landscape of cereal and sheep farming.

Wycheproof

So while there is a huge year ahead, full of new challenges, overseas trips and craft fairs, it’s so nice to know that no matter how the year ends up, I’ll be back to Wycheproof same time next year to do it all again!

Catchup Time

Wednesday
15th Feb, 2012

It’s been a while! One week seems to blur into the next at the moment, there’s “Dutch Stuff” everywhere, Aussie Sewing Swag samples to finish and the car to pack for Wycheproof this weekend! For those who are as busy as me, I thought you might like a quick look at some newly finished projects that are also in this week’s newsletter.

Downtown tote

This is a Downtown Tote, for heading “Downtown” to shop with the girls! I have also made another in Dutch Cottage which I will reveal soon.

And here’s Panel Magic, check out the exceptionally cool peacocks, I really like the rich creams in this collection.

Panel magic

With all the amazing people and contacts I’ve made over the last couple of years, there also comes a lot of privileges and responsibility. For example, the package that arrived today! I’m no different to anyone else, I LOVE getting parcels in the mail, particularly ones from overseas and Especially from wonderful companies like Riley Blake!

Riley blake fabric

Have a look at these stunning new fabrics and matching ribbon! These have arrived for me to make a new project to help promote their new fabric range Apple of My Eye. So I’ll be going to bed tonight with my mind hard at work, finalising a quirky new bed throw and cushion design!

Emma and I are off to Wycheproof this weekend - Road Trip! Looking forward to seeing all the girls again, and getting some serious bag making done. Wycheproof has a population of just over 800, with a huge regional cereal growing industry. When I visited last year, the area had been devastated by floods only a couple of weeks before, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the community has moved on and grown in the last 12 months. So look out girls, here we come!

Dutch Cottage

Friday
30th Dec, 2011

Four days into the official Summer Holidays and I need a routine.   Without the normal daily commitments, I get so over enthusiast about everything, start too many things, and then I find it’s already 5pm and nothing has been completed!

There was a brief moment yesterday when I felt I had some control over day to day events, only to throw that thought out the window when my lovely Fedex girl arrived at the door.

The first samples of The Culture Club’s Dutch Cottage are here!

Nothing can replace seeing Under the Australian Sun for the first time, Culture Club’s Passage to India was a huge thrill, but Dutch Cottage in one word - ME!

Can’t wait to show you of course, have to wait a week or two, but I can show you the selvedges!

Dutch cottage salvedges

The folks at Kaufman thought up the clog idea - very cute.

What I think is a giggle is how Multi Cultural it is. If you read the selvedge details left to right, it goes:

An Aussie designed it for an American Company, with Dutch designs and made it in Japan!

Right, I feel the need to make a Dutch Apple Pie for New Year’s Eve dessert coming on….

Christmas 2011

Tuesday
27th Dec, 2011

So here I am, writing my New Year’s resolution list!

Item 1 - start blogging! I don’t know why it’s been so hard to get active on my blog page. It’s not like I don’t have enough to share, let alone say…..

I think it’s been hard because I honestly don’t think people will want to listen to my ramblings and have better things to do, such as piecing, appliqueing, quilting and fabric shopping!

I was thinking though over Christmas lunch, that I wished my friends, near and far, could see what a beautiful day it was at mum and dad’s farm. Particularly for those in the Northern Hemisphere this is a sight to behold as it’s so different to a Winter Christmas.

Then the light bulb went off. I’ll just treat my blog as a personal diary! Here I can record my thoughts, cool patchwork ideas, the odd recipe or two, and things that I find excite and inspire me to sew. If other people find some fun and value in reading it too, then that’ an added bonus!

So, here’s a photo of the outlook from Mum and Dad’s (Pam and Murray’s) beautiful property in rural Victoria.

Xmas 2012 bbq lunch

In true Aussie style we had lamb and mint sausages and prawns on the BBQ! The prawns ended up in a salad as shown and the sausages in hot bread rolls.

Prawn salad

The Prawn Salad is very simple to make:

  • Prawns
  • Chopped Spring Onions
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Mango
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Any seafood or mayonnaise based dressing works well with this combo, and a little chilli doesn’t go astray either!

It’s a beautiful day in Melbourne and I have a super big list to get through, including quilt designs for my next Culture Club range - Dutch Cottage. So while it’s Summer Holiday time (the boys are still asleep at 9am!) I’d better get started on the day.

Warm Wishes, Happy Sewing, Leesa.

Christmas 2011

Tuesday
27th Dec, 2011

So here I am, writing my New Year’s resolution list!

Item 1 - start blogging! I don’t know why it’s been so hard to get active on my blog page. It’s not like I don’t have enough to share, let alone say…..

I think it’s been hard because I honestly don’t think people will want to listen to my ramblings and have better things to do, such as piecing, appliqueing, quilting and fabric shopping!

I was thinking though over Christmas lunch, that I wished my friends, near and far, could see what a beautiful day it was at mum and dad’s farm. Particularly for those in the Northern Hemisphere this is a sight to behold as it’s so different to a Winter Christmas.

Then the light bulb went off. I’ll just treat my blog as a personal diary! Here I can record my thoughts, cool patchwork ideas, the odd recipe or two, and things that I find excite and inspire me to sew. If other people find some fun and value in reading it too, then that’ an added bonus!

So, here’s a photo of the outlook from Mum and Dad’s (Pam and Murray’s) beautiful property in rural Victoria.

Xmas 2012 bbq lunch

In true Aussie style we had lamb and mint sausages and prawns on the BBQ! The prawns ended up in a salad as shown and the sausages in hot bread rolls.

Prawn salad

The Prawn Salad is very simple to make:

  • Prawns
  • Chopped Spring Onions
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Mango
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Any seafood or mayonnaise based dressing works well with this combo, and a little chilli doesn’t go astray either!

It’s a beautiful day in Melbourne and I have a super big list to get through, including quilt designs for my next Culture Club range - Dutch Cottage. So while it’s Summer Holiday time (the boys are still asleep at 9am!) I’d better get started on the day.

Warm Wishes, Happy Sewing, Leesa.

The Slack One

Sunday
11th Sep, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Yes, yes, slack, slack, no blogging has been happening!

Today inspired me to write though, Biffy and I had a fantastic day at the Mornington Peninsula Patchworkers Guild.

What a classy group of ladies! Beautiful show and tell quilts, lots of laughs and I received the most beautiful indoor plant that has taken pride of place on my kitchen table.

I’ve just sat down to finish off some new patterns, including one with Riley Blake fabrics. (Sorry, should have made sure you were sitting down before I let that one out!)

Strippy Strawberries will be released next week.

Strippy strawberries blog (jpg)

I also have on the studio table some divine new fabrics from Red Rooster called Serenity by Anna Fishkin. There’s a Southern Jewels meets Asian Screens thing happening, so stay tuned for that one next week!

Anyway, must put the feet up for a while tonight (that’s secret code for sit on the couch and make Suffolk Puffs for another Riley Blake number!) as Biffy and I need to redo the shop window tomorrow. Our shipment of Indian giftware arrived while I was out today. Beautiful wooden chests of ceramic drawers, elephants and lanterns. They will all look good with blue prints in Passage toIndiaand some sensational new Sevenberry prints that have that lovely teal and indigo look to them.

Hope you are all well, and sorry for the slack blogging, it won’t happen again! Warm Wishes, Leesa

Things are Warming Up!

Saturday
2nd Oct, 2010

I hope everyone has had a great weekend, and I have certainly enjoyed the beautiful Spring weather here in Melbourne. Whether you're in the Southern or Northern Hemisphere, now is the time to air those quilts. They have either been cooped up inside all Winter, or stuck in a cupboard all Summer, so get them out into the fresh air to freshen up!

This week at Chandlers Cottage, the icredible new Kyoto range of fusions from Robert Kaufman are in store, and on the website, there's lot of beautiful new giftware including Chinese and Japanese teasets, Christmas decorations and adorable Owl teacandle holders. Pop in if you get a chance to see what's new, and we will pop in the giftshop on the website in the next couple of days, all that's suitable to mail to you.

OK, I've finally done it!

Wednesday
22nd Sep, 2010

Hi Girls!

Well, I've finally done it - I've given in the to blog! But, you know how I love to chat, and this way I can tell you what's happening at Chandlers Cottage, day or night!

So, where to start? First of all, a big hello to the girls from Daylesford that popped into the shop this morning, what a classy group of girls, and no doubt their quilts will be just the same!

There are so many new fabrics in store this week, but probably my favourites is the Oriental Traditions 8 collection with lots of rich large florals, kanji and Geishas. Check them out on the website!

If you are one of our valued customers in the US, please note you can now buy my patterns direct in the US from the Superior Thread company. www.superiorthreads.com and my Under the Australian Sun fabrics are now available on line from Hancock's at www.hancocks-paducah.com

Well, that's it for today, no, I'm not attempting to put a photo on the first blog - we'll save that challenge for next time! Cheers, Leesa

Welcome to Chandler Chatter

Monday
20th Sep, 2010

Chandler Chatter is the newest section of our website, where we will post the all the latest news relating to Chandler's Cottage, so be sure to check back regularly.