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Friday, 30 May 2014

Sewing MAYhem - The ASG on the Radio!!!

We have something so exciting to share with you! Louise, an ASG member had a wonderful chat with Ian 'Macca' McNamara, live on 891's Macca in the Morning! Not put off by speaking on National Radio, Louise spoke beautifully about the ASG's Paris Tour. We went on a hunt and found the audio, so you too can have a listen.

To hear the interview, click the link  below and then press play icon. If you want to skip to the interview with Louise, you can start the file at 6:00 minutes.

891 Macca in the Morning

If you prefer to check out the podcast, click here.

But that's not all! Fay was interviewed about the ASG for about 8 minutes by Clive Robertson, on 2UE. That was on Tues 27 May in the evening. We have had a look but can't find an audio file or transcript. If you can find one, please let us know!!

We are so thrilled to hear members speaking so passionately about the ASG and it's fabulous to have this media interest!! You are always welcome to share your love of the ASG but if have an opportunity to chat with the media and you don't feel comfortable, just email!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Sewing MAYHem : Quillows, Charity Work and the Australian Sewing Guild

Today’s post is from the multi-talented Rhona Feeney, ASG Regional Officer for the Northern Sydney Region. Here she is, showing off one of her amazing Quillows. What's a Quillow? Read on....

What do quillows for the homeless, trauma dolls, library bags, breast cancer pillows and dementia fiddle mats have in common? They are all things that Australian Sewing Guild Groups have made for charity.

This year NSW is making a big effort to make and supply quillows for the ASG Convention in North Sydney in September. After that we are going to donate them to The Exodus Foundation. Bill Crews, CEO and founder of The Exodus Foundation, has been invited to talk at our Gala Dinner, and we hope to present him with many quillows to go to people in need who visit the Centres in Ashfield and around Sydney.

What is a quillow? It's a large fabric pocket, attached to one end of a fleecy blanket or quilt. When the blanket is folded up into the pocket, the quillow works as a cushion and is easy to carry around. When it get cooler, you pull the blanket out and wrap it around yourself!

ASG Groups have been making our version of quillows with a fancy pocket made from scraps, orphaned quilt blocks and embroidery samples. It's a great way of using up items which people can not bear to throw out and helping the environment too! Some people have made quilts, others have purchased fleecy fabric and yet more have found a source of reasonably priced blankets at Ikea.  To date, we have over 70 quillows, and hope to see at least double that number.

Scroll down for details of a Quillow Sewing event for Sewing MAYhem on Sat 31 May.

The Australian Sewing Guild members sew many items for charity. These can be very specific, as in the case of vests for children who have autism. The Dee Why Group was asked to make vests and fill pockets with sand as the children like the comfort of feeling some weight on their shoulders but often cannot bear to be cuddled when they are upset.

Hospitals are often in need of things which would just make life a little easier for patients. We've made bags for holding drip liquids; much nicer than carrying around a plastic bag. When a baby does not survive, a small quilt can be an incredible comfort to the parents. Premature babies are often too small for the commercially available clothing and we are asked to make up tiny clothes to hide tubes on these precious little lives.

Other times groups seek out charity work to do. This might be funded by a grant or a need is seen in the community and an effort is made to fill that need. At Top Ryde we made waterproof toiletry bags for elderly patients who often go into hospital without the time to collect items from home.

For a few years, some Northern Beaches members made Raggedy Anne dolls. These were a challenge to make and improved our sewing skills. The police were delighted to receive them for use as Trauma Dolls. When they go out to a case where a child is involved, something soft to cuddle and love can ease the stress and calm the child down.

For Sewing MAYhem this year, the Alexandria Achievers spent a meeting making pillowcase dresses. These simple dresses, made out of a length of fabric or a pillowcase, are relatively simple to make, with elastic tops and shoulder ties, allowing for growth. They might be the only new item of clothing that a girl receives. For more information see Dress A Girl Australia.  Our President Toni Stuart left her husband at home with three granddaughters making dresses, while she came to Alexandria for a visit.

It is always nice to give something back to the community, or to people who are struggling or not able to look after themselves for many reasons. Sometimes we are only spending a few hours sewing something which could mean a lot to the recipient. Other times we donate finances, but when you can use your passion to help others, it is a win-win situation for everyone concerned!

Would you like to join in?

Here’s information about a Sewing MAYhem event for Quillow Making on Saturday, May 31 from 10-4 at Rhodes, in Sydney.

Making Quillows for Convention and The Exodus Foundation

Date:             Saturday 31 May 2014
Time:           10am – 4pm
Where:         The Old Schoolhouse
                     63 Blaxland Rd (parking in the grounds)

Rhona will demonstrate how to create crazy patchwork.

Equipment to bring:
· Machines and general sewing equipment
· Cutting mat, rotary cutter and quilting ruler (18” is a good size)  if you have and don’t mind sharing.
· Scraps of fabric or fabrics you would like to make into a quillow cushion – approx. 20” or 50cm square.
· Fleecy blankets approx. 120x150cm – we have been buying from Ikea for $2.
· Fleecy offcuts approx. 50cm square for backs of cushion, or wadding which can be cut to same size.

Rhona is hoping this will encourage people to use up their offcuts of fabric and supplies rather than go out and spend a fortune on materials.

Guild volunteers at the “new" Crowle Fabric Shop (aka The Fabric Cave) cnr Bowden Street and Nancarrow Avenue, Meadowbank, have been collecting pieces that are too small to sell. They have a good collection of fabrics in all shades.

There is also fleecy available at $3.00 a metre.

These off cuts will be available for use on the day.

You will also be able to get machines and items for the ASG Convention tagged on the day, there will be no charge for the first 3 items after that the cost will be $5 per item. Bear in mind that all electrical items used at ASG events are to be tagged, and this is to be kept up to date. Some venues insist that we tag items, or they will not be able to be used. Please have your name on the items you bring. This will be an opportunity for groups to get electrical cords and irons tagged too.

If you would like these instructions sent out again prior to the event, please email Rhona

Please confirm your attendance by email to Rhona, for catering purposes.
BYO lunch
Morning and afternoon tea are provided

If you are a charity looking for assistance with items to be sewn, email us at

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sewing MAYhem: Bankstown Dementia Fiddle Mats

Bankstown held a special meeting for Sewing MAYhem!  They invited Katie from Blacktown Hospital Dementia unit to join us so that she could collect the “fiddle mats” and aprons that we had made for the unit she works in at the hospital. For those not familiar with these mats, they consist of mats with different sensory items attached e.g. fabrics with differing textures, zip's, buttons and other fasteners and common household items. Patients sit and amuse themselves playing with the these items to stimulate them and give them something to while away the hours. Everyone enjoyed their effort at what became a fun task and it was amazing to see just what each member included on their articles.

Katie was “blown away” by our response to her request and was most appreciative of our effort especially as she could see we had been inspired to create interesting examples while managing to get a fair amount of amusement out of them ourselves.
After examining our handiwork and a display of some of our other projects Katie joined us for morning tea and gave us a talk on her work in the Dementia Unit and explained the difference between dementia and delirium. She was most knowledgeable and was able to educate us about many aspects of brain function.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sewing MAYhem SA Virtual Fashion Parade

South Australia decided to try something new to celebrate National Sewing Month, a Virtual Fashion Parade! We thought it was an excellent way to share what we have been sewing. We are very excited to share this video with you all. To view the virtual fashion parade, just click the play icon on the image below. This does have sound but will play without it. Enjoy!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Free Pattern Friday! Patrick Kelly One Seam Coat

The sewing community is so good at sharing! Bloggers & companies are kind enough to share their free patterns on the Internet. On FREE Pattern Fridays we will link you up to a fab and free sewing patten! This weeks pattern is the Patrick Kelly One Seam Coat from Pattern Vault. To get the pattern, click here and you will be taken the original post. Just read the download and printing instructions there.

One-seam coat by Patrick Kelly, 1985. Image via the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
We would love to know if you make this pattern! Please comment and let us know. If you have a pic of your make you can post it to the ASG Facebook wall or email it to with your thoughts on the pattern.

Friday, 16 May 2014

New Industry Partner Program Launch

We are so excited to share the launch of our new Industry Partner Program with you!! 

The new program has so much more to offer both members and Industry Partners. Members will enjoy discounts when shopping with select partners and we will be posting all the news from our partners here! 

Click here to see all the changes and how things will work. We've sent an email out to all our Industry Partners today, asking which level of membership they would like, which is good to know if you keep in touch with local Industry Partners! If you are talking to a potential Industry Partner, you just need to refer them to the Industry Partners tab on the website.

Coming Soon: We will have a list of partners and the discounts on offer once we hear back from existing Industry Partners - stay tuned!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Sewing MAYhem: Highland to the Sea & Progging!

We are so excited to share this Sewing MAYhem Event with you all! It's fabulous to see the exciting things groups across the country are getting up to. If you want to check out what's on near you for National Sewing Month, just click here.

Nine members of the Highlands to the Sea Region celebrated Mayhem on May 2nd with a fact finding mission.  We car-pool to Milton to see what “Proggy” Rugs were and to visit the Rug Making Guild in NSW.  A fine morning tea greeted us on arrival and then we were able to ask lots of questions and see firsthand what “progging” was.  Basically it’s a form of prodding strips of used fabric into a backing to make wonderful designs in rugs for the floor or walls.

We were able to tell the “proggers” about the Sewing Guild and several thought they might even join the Mollymook group. After the viewing we headed to Mollymook Golf Club for lunch where the view is almost as good as the Gerroa group’s meeting venue.

To finish the day of course there were some shops to visit on the way home.  A lovely and informative outing and a way to further our art of sewing not to mention an avenue to pass on our scraps on for good use.

What are you doing for Sewing MAYhem (National Sewing Month)? Be sure to send us stories and pictures (we LOVE pictures) to, we would love to see you featured here!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Free Pattern Friday!

The sewing community is so good at sharing! Bloggers & companies are kind enough to share there free patterns on the Internet. On FREE Pattern Fridays we will link you up to a fab and free sewing patten!

This weeks pattern is for the Easy Tee from It's Always Autumn. It has an amazing eight variations with sewing instructions and pattern pieces where required! To get the pattern, click here and you will be taken the original post. Just read the download and printing instructions there.
We would love to know if you make this pattern! Please comment and let us know. If you have a pic of your make you can post it to the ASG Facebook wall or email it to with your thoughts on the pattern.