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July 16, 2019
Always Choose Tropical: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Always Choose Tropical colour scheme by Clever Chameleon

Always Choose Tropical

I am slowly working through a huge backlog of blog-relevant news and quilty happenings! I can’t believe July has been such a huge month, it certainly wasn’t forecast that way. Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention! Anyway, we’re halfway in, and I still need to post two Love with a Twist patterns (aiming for one on Friday), an unboxing post for Island Batik (next week), and a number of other smaller things I’m messing around with.

But before all that, I really want to give you the lowdown on the Chameleon ...

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July 9, 2019
Artsy Fartsy Self-Portrait: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Clever Chameleon Threads color board at Clever Chameleon

Another 15 seconds of Fame for the Chameleon

Last Tuesday I was battling to find Artsy Fartsy inspiration for July. I was tired from neighbourly construction noise, end of term-itis, and from madly preparing quilts for showing. Tiredness is definitely not good for creativity. Thank you to all the lovely people who reached out with sentiments of empathy.

The good news is that the kids are now on hols, the quilt show was a resounding success and the demolishing is finished. I can cope with construction noise on just one side of our house! But before any of these resolutions ...

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July 8, 2019
Success at Festival of Quilts 2019 from Clever Chameleon

"Always Choose Tropical" chameleon quilt at the SA Festival of Quilts. By Dione Gardner-Stephen of Clever Chameleon

The Chameleon gets his 15 seconds of Fame!

The Chameleon will have to forgive me for taking so long to get around to making a chameleon quilt now, don’t you think? Not only did I make him a quilt FULL of cheeky chameleons, but I showed it in our local Festival of Quilts, and it won its category’s blue ribbon. That ought to keep him off my case for a while!

The weekend just gone was the annual Quilters’ Guild of South Australia’s Festival of Quilts. After judging, entrants who are successful get a specific invitation to ...

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June 21, 2019
gingham [Flickr] from Karen Ann Ruane

contemporary embroidery posted a photo:


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May 30, 2019
Pattern Sale! from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Everyone loves a sale, right?! Well, we are having one!

We are having a wonderful time teaching our Block of the Month quilt, In the Garden, at Primitive Homespuns Wool & Needleworks. We are about halfway through the second round, and these ladies are inspiring us with their choices and skills! Each month, we share our progress, and I (Teri) am amazed by their beautiful work. It is fun to watch them get ideas from each other, and I may be learning as much from some of them as they are from me. (And Kara, who got to come to the ...

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April 18, 2019
Tea for Two from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Ahh a cup of tea! Tea has been an important part of many cultures throughout history. Maybe it's a bracing cuppa in England, or solemn Japanese tea ceremony, or even a special time with friends in one's home. Regardless of where you are, drinking hot tea can look different depending on where you are in the world, but when drinking hot tea, a teapot of some sort is common amongst all cultures. Keeping that tea warm is important as well which brings us to today's post!

When Teri and I (Kara) were in Birmingham, England, this past ...

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March 24, 2019
Crazed Diamonds Quilt Top Finished from Clever Chameleon

Crazed Diamonds finished quilt top at Clever Chameleon

Crazed: characterized by a network of fine cracks….

I’m naming my latest Island Batik challenge quilt “Crazed Diamonds”. I think that speaks well to both the crazy quilt heritage and the modern outcome of this quilt design. And possibly my wider quilting life too… </p>
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March 12, 2019
Sew Succulent: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Sew Succulent colour scheme by Clever Chameleon

Sometimes you just have to get started. Then the ideas will finally come….

This week I have been working on my crazy diamond quilt idea from my previous post. I started this quilt with very little idea where I was headed…. A bit scary!……. But to put it off much longer would have been inviting worse disaster. Like, no quilt at all….

No captivating ideas had been forthcoming to me for the March Island Batik Ambassador challenge until now, and it certainly wasn’t for lack of pondering. All I had to show for about a month of ruminating was ...

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March 9, 2019
Vintage Reimagined with Island Batik from Clever Chameleon

Matha Bingley's crazy diamond quilt

“Give the Past a Personal Touch”

That is the monthly challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors this March. An invitation to reimagine a vintage quilt (or a building or furniture or another artefact of some kind) into a new quilt.

Vintage reimagined challenge

As the muse for my challenge piece, I have chosen an early Australian quilt by Martha Bingley. Not much is known about Martha Bingley or her quilt (pictured above). Except for one picture of her and the information contained on the quilt itself. There’s a good reminder to label your quilts right there, people!

Martha’s crazy quilt is now ...

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February 9, 2019
Marvellous Minis with Island Batik from Clever Chameleon

Year of the Pig appliqué by Dione Gardner-Stephen at Clever Chameleon

Happy New Year of the Pig 2019

February is Mini Quilt Month in the Island Batik Ambassador calendar: “Create a mini quilt 24″ x 24″ or smaller, any technique” is the challenge we’ve been given. Minis are a great way to try a new technique, or explore resource/time intensive projects on a doable scale. Or to commemorate an occasion or holiday. Like the Lunar New Year. For my first 2019 Ambassador challenge I decided to make something to mark Chinese New Year. Happy New Year of the Pig!

Year of the Pig mini quilt by Dione Gardner-Stephen at Clever Chameleon

2019 Lunar New Year was on the 5th of February ...

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January 31, 2019
A Lettering Tutorial from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Well it has been about a month since we wrapped up our Flora and Fauna of Germany Stitch-Along and I (Kara) have been diligently sewing the blocks together. I put together the fabric blocks and even got the border on them, but I felt it needed a little something now that I could see them all put together. Lettering popped into my head as just that something. Since each block has a name, inking that on the block—reminiscent of the old botanical prints—seemed like a good idea. It was a bit of a gamble because once done, it ...

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January 17, 2019
Switch & Stitch Improvisational Stuffed Fish from Gefilte Quilt

Stuffed fish, high in fiber, yum! Here are a couple of whoppers (11" x 5"), made from blue jeans, though you can use any fabric. They serve as pillows and/or toys. This fun and forgiving method makes two at the same time, stacking and switching pieces. It can also be used to create four applique fish, if you're making an underwater quilt! My pair: Fish 1, 
And Fish 2,

With minimal embellishment, they exude serenity. One has a coconut shell button eye. 
Its partner started out with two vintage mother-of-pearl button eyes, and decorative stitching on the seams ...

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January 7, 2019
Stuffed, Embellished Creatures from Denim Jeans for Sensory Stimulation! from Gefilte Quilt

My beautiful, artistic, Aunt Ruthie is 94, and although her mind is  sharp, she's both visually and hearing-impaired, and has severe arthritis in her hands. Last month, we flew to Arizona to visit her and her daughter, my cousin Nina. By accident, I brought her the perfect gift, which she's holding here: 
What the heck is that? Why, it's a hairy, sensory stimulation, two-humped camel, of course! 
The "hair" is 6-strand embroidery floss. Thread it through a large-eyed needle, tie a knot about two inches from the end, bury the needle, bring it out 1/2" away ...

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December 27, 2018
Our Year in Review from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

We thought it would be fun to do a little year-in-review post this week, since it is almost time to say goodbye to 2018. What a year it has been! We have traveled to a few countries, enjoyed meeting many fellow stitchers in different parts of the world, and completed a lot of projects and patterns. Here is our year in pictures and posts. Just click on the caption, which is a link to the original post.

Birmingham Festival of Quilts

Birmingham Festival ...

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November 30, 2018
a seam [Flickr] from Karen Ann Ruane

contemporary embroidery posted a photo:

a seam

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November 22, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving! Start Making Paper Dreidels! from Gefilte Quilt

Happy Thanksgiving! I don't want to panic you, but it's time to prepare for Hanukkah (starts December 2)! A couple of weeks ago I showed off some freemotion-quilted fabric dreidels. They don't spin well, but they do make good decor, as well as shelter for chocolate coins, dinosaurs....

...and even smaller dreidels...
Now Hanukah looms even closer, making this the perfect project for avoiding stores on Black Friday. If you don't have time to quilt, you can use the same approach to make paper or cardstock dreidels, which spin much better than the button-stem kind if ...

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October 22, 2018
I made some little dreidels. I made them out of scraps. They spin like... from Gefilte Quilt

(Sung to the tune of "I had a little dreidel")

I made some quilted dreidels...
...I made them out of scraps (batik scraps, stiff interfacing scraps, gold lamé, etc.)...
...And when I tried to spin them....they spun like cr#p. [End song.] My husband, a physicist, explained that because the buttons and beads are not glued together, they dissipate the energy from the spin, not to mention angular momentum, a phrase I always wanted to type. Oh well. On the brighter side of physics, the lids open and shut... of them has a bobbin at its base ...

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October 20, 2018
Paper-Pieced Dragonfly Appliqué Pillow from Clever Chameleon

Dragonfly appliqué pillow by Dione of Clever Chameleon

I have finished my October paper-piecing adventures for Island Batik, played with my dragonfly appliqué design, and tested out some Y-seam sewing…..

This project sure covered a lot of bases, and my daughter has scored herself a new decorative pillow to match her newest quilt. Would you like to see how I put it together? 

And let me know what you think of the organza for the dragonfly appliqué wings! 

Dragonfly quilt and pillow set by Dione of Clever Chameleon

A Continuing Paper-Piecing Adventure

On Tuesday I showed you how I was attacking my Island Batik Ambassador project for October – at the pool </p>
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October 9, 2018
My Happy Place Row Along Show and Tell Day from Clever Chameleon

Panda Friends colour scheme by Clever Chameleon

Welcome to the My Happy Place Show and Tell Colour Inspiration Tuesday Day!

Today is the last day of the “My Happy Place” row-along and blog hop – the Show and Tell Day. This is the day where a few of the “My Happy Place” blog hoppers come back for an encore….. to show you how they finished their rows (or multiple rows) into usable quilted items.

Being Myself with You appliqué by Clever ChameleonI have finished my “Being Myself with You” row into a wall hanging with a small extra border and some free-motion embroidery. The My Happy Place embroidery template is included in today’s post ...

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October 4, 2018
Petite Floral Wreath from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Last year in Sainte Marie Aux Mines at the European Patchwork Festival, I (Kara) sat next to a friendly woman from around the Frankfurt area. She was a quilter, an American and an all around lovely person. We struck up a conversation which nine months later, led to an offer to teach at her guild! It's funny how teaching opportunities come along. The next question was what class would they like taught? Our Floral Wreath caught their eye but that is a two (really three) day class so we decided to make a smaller version that would fit into ...

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