What’s a Sit-n-Sew?

Hi everyone! We thought January was crazy busy – and yet here we are in March, with February having been completed neglected on this page! Crazy!

We just thought we’d take this opportunity to talk to you a bit more about our sit-n-sew classes, and how (and why) you should get involved!

What does Sit-n-Sew mean?

It’s a phrase in the quilting community that refers to the type of class where there’s no set project. They tend to be a regular class, where a regular group of people meet to sew together. You have access to a teacher for assistance, and in our case, you have access to a patchwork shop – no getting stuck half-way because you’re missing something!

Why should I come to a Sit-n-Sew class?

Sit-n-sew classes are fantastic for building friendships, peer learning and inspiration, and protecting your sewing time.

Because the group meets regularly, and the members tend to be consistent, you really get to know your fellow sewists. It’s a very social affair, and occasionally we do more chatting than sewing… only occasionally though!


In a sit-n-sew, we all bring different skills to the table. Some might be extraordinary foundation paper piecers, while others excel in needle-turn applique, or colour play. These classes are a caring community, and a great way to learn from each other – to be inspired to push your creative boundaries and learn new skills. Below are just a few pictures from our Thursday ladies – the inspiration is abundant!

And let’s face it. We all have seasons in our lives where we have trouble making time for our craft. But often sewing can be therapeutic, so it’s worth protecting some time each week to do it. Committing to a sit-n-sew group is the perfect way to do this.

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What’s the difference between a Sit-n-Sew and a UFO day?

At Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage, we occasionally run UFO (UnFinished Objects) days. Essentially, we use them in the same way as a sit-n-sew, except that the sit-n-sew classes run every week on a weekday, where as the UFO days run intermintently on a Saturday (approximately once every 2-3 months). Other shops might do this differently, but that’s just how we’ve chosen to run.


UFO days don’t have the same sense of community as a sit-n-sew, because they aren’t as regular and the people who attend aren’t as consistent. However, UFO days still have a spirit of comraderie and encouragement – as everyone spurs each other on to finish their projects. Sit-n-Sews and UFO days are both worth checking out, for their own reasons.

What do I bring?

You can bring your own project from home, start a new one with us when you get there, or even ask to catch up on a weekend class that you missed. As for equipment and food – we’ve added a handy “What to bring to class” page to our website, just for this purpose! Go check it out!

When are the Sit-n-Sew classes on and what do they cost?

We currently run three sit-n-sew classes a week.

Tuesday nights with Nic – 6.30pm-9pm

Thursdays or Fridays with Marcelle – 11am-4pm

The cost is $15 for a single class, however, Nic’s night class also has term fees (i.e. get a discount for paying for the term upfront!).


We hope we’ve shed some light on the value of these classes! If you’re near Parkes, we sure hope to see you in one of our classes soon.


January Mayhem

Hello our lovely readers! Can you believe January is nearly over!? The year is already getting away from us, and we feel like we’ve barely started!

So we have a few updates to share with you about the happenings in the shop!

First Class of the Year:

We had a Cake Mix class to kick off the year! It was a super creative and fun way to set the tone for classes for 2018. In the lead up, so many people asked what a finished cake mix quilt looks like, and it’s so hard to explain because there’s so many possibilities! Cake Mix Recipes are designed to help you accurately piece squares and triangles, and then gives suggestions on how to arrange them into blocks.

The ladies had a great day, and got the creative juices flowing, some using repeating blocks, and others using a mix of designs to make sampler quilts. They were ALL gorgeous.

Upcoming Classes:

Our next class is our rope bag class on Feb 10, but if you are looking for a slightly different make, then check out Marcelle’s rope rug!

Gorgeous! If you’d like to see it in the flesh, it’s in the shop. And it was just as easy to whip up! So choose your own adventure!


Our next UFO day is Feb 24. The flyers for both of these classes are on the Upcoming Classes page, along with dates for other future classes. Check them out!

Don’t forget, as well, that we always have our regular classes. Tuesday nights, Thursdays, and Fridays. We’d love to see you there!

New fabric:

We’ve had some VERY exciting bundles of pretty turn up on our doorstep this week! Below is Bohemia, by Dena Designs for Free Spirit. SO gorgeous!

We’ve also had some new dress-making fabric land on our doorstep! Double-gauze, rayon, jersey knit and more! Stop by and check them out!

And that’s it for now! Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Instagram feed for regular updates, and hopefully it won’t be too long til we’re back here again with more blogs!

Til next time!

12 Quilty Gifts of Christmas

It’s been a manic season for all of us, and this poor website has been somewhat neglected because someone *coughcough-me-cough* overcommitted on the handmade seasonal gifts front. BUT! To make up for it, we’re bringing you a special article on 12 quilty gifts that are available in our shop for LESS THAN $30 for your favourite sewist. Or maybe you need to drop this list in the lap of your loved one, as a hint 😉

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1. Fabric

Admit it – it’s the heart of our craft! If you’re not confident picking from the bolts off the shelf, each Charm Pack has a gorgeous collection of matching fabrics already picked for you! We have a variety of themes, including farms, pets, florals, right through to Christmas – your bound to find something to suit.

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2. A Matchbox Quilt

It’s the perfect self-contained project! These matchbox quilts come with the fabric, wadding, quilting thread, and all the instructions you need to make a gorgeous itty-bitty mini-quilt! With 9 delightful styles to choose from, it’s bound to be a winner.

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3. EPP Ingredients

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but English Paper Piecing (EPP) is making a come-back. It’s such a portable craft: take it to the sidelines at your kid’s cricket game, or stitch away while the family watch the telly. Use the finished product as an applique on a bag, or make a whole quilt of one inch hexies! Choose your own adventure. We have templates, basting glue sticks, needles, and thread to get you going for a combined total of less than $30. Use your own fabric scraps to create a masterpiece, or maybe add quilty gift #1 to round out the package.

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4. By Annie Bag Patterns

We LOVE By Annie patterns. They’re excellent. You just have to look at out previous blog posts or visit the shop to see the pattern samples we’ve made that customers frequently threaten to take home. Giving a pattern is giving the gift of a crafting journey – you’re giving the recipient permission to go on the adventure of making something special and personalised for themselves or someone they love. We’re definitely advocates of patterns as gifts, so come and grab either of the ones pictured below, or check out the other handy designs we have in store.

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5. A mini quilt pattern with template

See quilty gift #4 as to why we rate patterns as gifts, but mini quilts are special! They’re a fast finish, and make cute wall hangings or table centres, and this one comes with the magic template to make life even easier! Love it!

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6. Moda Metal Tins

I love feeling organised… not to be mistaken with actually BEING organised. Just the same, these are the cutest little tins that are perfect for sorting all your notions, or any other part of your life that needs a bit more order. Tidying is so much more exciting when you’re using pretty containers, and you can buy a set for less than $30. Maybe you should pair them with quilty gift #3 to manage your new EPP project.

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7. Small rotary cutter

Most people have a 45mm rotary cutter, or a 60mm cutter – perfect for slicing and dicing fabric for major patchwork. But what about the 28mm? It’s perfect for curves, applique, or cutting around small templates. It’s the cutter that you didn’t know you needed until you have it, and then you can’t imagine how you ever lived without it!

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8. Sashers

If you’ve been to any of our classes in the last 6 months, you probably already know that these are our new favourite thing. These sets come in a range of sizes starting as small as 1/8″ through to 1 1/4″ (and beyond, if you buy the full set). They are a nifty way of folding your binding strips – no more burnt fingers, and they can be used for regular binding or bias binding – making them perfect for both quilters and dressmakers.

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9. Thread Cutter Necklace

Perfect for the jet-setter who just wants to do a bit of needlework on the flight! No more issues with getting scissors through security – the notches on this beautiful necklace are little thread cutters. Fashionable AND functional! That’s our style!

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10. Quick Curve Ruler

Fact: most quilters find curves intimidating. Enter the Quick Curve Ruler from the team at Sew Kind of Wonderful: they’re here to take the fear out of curved piecing! With patterns available in store which are designed to maximise your confidence using the ruler, this is a great way for patchworkers to get a little out of their comfort zones, but not too far 😉

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11. New Scissors

Yup, we know, this is NOT the most romantic gift in the catalogue, but there’s something to be said for that “new blade” feeling. New scissors (and new blades for our rotary cutters, for that matter) are often something we put off spending money on, because we’d rather buy pretty things – like fabric (duh!). But that first slice with a super sharp blade is just divine, and makes us wonder why we put off the purchase for so long. A good pair of scissors is worth the investment.

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12. A gift voucher!

Last but not least, give the gift they can choose for themselves! We have gift vouchers in a range of values to suit your budget, and you can be sure they’ll find something to suit their personal quilty style!

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So there you have it…

A list of quilty gifts, available from our shop, that are less than $30 (accurate at the time of publishing this post). Of course, there’s plenty more in store to choose from that suit every budget, so swing on by and let us help you cross a few things off your Christmas shopping list.

On behalf of our little team here at Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage, we just want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support this year, and to wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas and New Years. We hope you manage to steal some time in the midst of the seasonal madness to squeeze in some stitching, and if you need to escape for a bit, we’ll be keeping you posted on our holiday hours on the Facebook page.
If we don’t see you before, we look forward to spending time with you again in 2018!

Best wishes

Playing with Texture

If you’ve been to our little shop in the last few weeks, no doubt you’ve spotted these pretties:

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They’ve been a great conversation starter, and the question on everyone’s lips is “What would you use them for?”. So we’ve made some samples to share with you.

First up, this beauty:

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It’s made using just the white fabrics, quilted in the ditch, and backed with the most beautiful soft and satin-y voile. Satin-y is a word, right? You know what we mean! It’s bound with the backing fabric.


This quilt is just SO cuddly.


Secondly, we have a more playful pink variation:

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This quilt is super sweet, and is hand tied for the quilting – which works so well and keeps it nice and drapey. It’s bound using a machine binding technique which is starting to become a bit of a hit around here…

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So there you have it! Some insipiration to break out of your comfort zone and play with some texture! If you haven’t already, come by the shop and have a sticky-beak at these two quilts.


A Bunch of News

Class Updates

We’ve had a few little changes to the class schedule.

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If you weren’t sure if the Holiday Patchwork Forest (pattern by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter) was for you, check out Marcelle’s new variation below:


This version is much more playful, and makes a great I-spy quilt to use with kids. We still have some of this fabric to make a kit if this is more your style, but get in quickly – fabric is limited and the class is October 14th. Click here for the flyer -> Holiday Patchwork Forest

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The Pow Wow quilt class (pattern by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew) will now run on November 4th. Cost is $130 – click this link for the flyer -> Powwow Quilt.

As a consequence of this change of date, there will no longer be a “Baby Bits and Bobs” class in November.We apologise for any incovenience with re-scheduling.


Next UFO day will be November 25th, 9am-4pm. Bring along any unfinished projects (either something from a previous class, or just something that’s been sitting incomplete by your sewing machine for far too long!) and we will try to achieve a few finishes together. Cost is $25 for the day – includes morning and afternoon tea. Click here for the flyer -> November UFO

New Fabric

We’ve had some pretty awesome fabric arrive in the shop these last few weeks (if we do say so ourselves).


We have some fantastic canvases and linens, and these new ones are a mix of Andover designers. I’m making a handbag out of one of these – I just couldn’t resist!

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This cute range is called Big Sky, and is the debut line by Annie Brady for Moda Fabrics. We have jelly rolls and coordinating yardage. Those little bears and forest animals are just divine!

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Sunday Supper is the new line by Sweetwater for Moda. I don’t know about you, but these colours are right up my alley – I’m having trouble not taking them all home with me! We have jelly rolls, layer cakes, yardage AND backing fabric for this beautiful bunch.

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And as always, new Kaffe Fassett is a treat!

Foundation Piecing Class

On Saturday, September 23rd, we held a skill-building class focused on Foundation Piecing. We had a LOT of fun, and everyone chose to make different blocks. Thanks to all the fantastic ladies who attended and made it so much fun! Keep sharing your foundation-pieced goodies with us as you keep practicing those skills!


Well, that’s it for now. I’m off to make the most of sewing in the sunshine! I hope you’re enjoying the warmer weather too.


Patchworker Profile: Pat Johnson

We talk a lot about what we’ve been making and creating, but we thought it would be fun to have a look at what YOU – our loyal customers – are creating! So we’re introducing the patchworker profile, where we have a little peak at what one of our crafters is up to.

So this week we’re introducing you to Pat Johnson. Pat is a regular attendee of our Thursday class, and she is a prolific creator – always trying her hand at new techniques!

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Check out some pictures of her creations below, and trust when we say that these are just a very small sample of what we could have photographed!

Pat tells us that she grew up with sewing all around her, and that her mum always made lovely creations for her family, but that Pat only decided that patchwork was for her in the last five years.

Her favourite creation to date is the Celtic quilt pictured below.

Pat has been awarded multiple first and second place certificates in the last few years at the Parkes Annual Show, and did very well again this year.

Another epic effort of Pat’s was the creation of her Splendid Sampler, which she entered into the Sydney Quilt Show. Pat did the maths on all the tiny peices in this quilt, and reports that there’s over 3000 pieces. This quilt is seriously beautiful.

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Thank you to Pat for letting us share some of quilts. They’re just so beautiful.

Well done to all the ladies and gents who entered in the Parkes Annual Show 🙂

Upcoming Classes for 2017

So, we’ve been promising to lock in a few more classes for you, and so now we have an update!


2nd – UFO day

What’s a UFO? It’s short for Un-Finished Object. On our UFO days we invite you to bring a project that you haven’t had the chance to finish yet – perhaps from a previous class, or something that’s been hiding in a cupboard for years. Set aside this time with like-minded crafters, and let us help motivate you to get the project done!

Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: $20
Inclusions: Morning and afternoon tea
BYO:  Project, and lunch!

23rd – Foundation Paper Pieced Bag

Remember this adorable dress block from the Splendid Sampler?

This block is foundation paper-pieced. If that’s a technique that you’d like to try, we’re incorporating it into an adorable bag.

Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: $75
Inclusions: Morning and afternoon tea, materials
BYO:  Lunch


14th – Holiday Patchwork Forest

Have you ever tried improv (improvisational) piecing?

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This fun and easy pattern is a great introduction to improv. We’ll be using the free tutorial from Diary of a Quilter to re-create this lovely pattern, which is intended as a Christmas quilt, but would also make a sweet children’s quilt.

Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: TBA
Inclusions: Morning and afternoon tea, materials for the quilt top
BYO:  Lunch

28th – Powwow Quilt

This one was a long time coming! We made a sample that we talked about a few months ago – click here to see the original post.


The pattern is by Cluck Cluck Sew, and we’ll be making the quilt top together using a layer cake.

Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: TBA
Inclusions: Morning and afternoon tea, materials for the quilt top, and the pattern
BYO:  Lunch


TBA – UFO day

Just the same as our UFO day in September!

TBA – Baby Bits and Bobs

We all know someone who has recently welcomed a precious little one into their lives! So we’re having a day dedicated to making all those useful bits and pieces for new families, like bibs, burp cloths, and swaddle blankets. The day will be a little choose-your-own-adventure, but we hope by the end of the day that you will have a happy little package of goodies to give away.


TBA – Christmas Table Runner

A quick and fun Christmas craft that’s achievable in the day. Don’t forget that this is a great opportunity to make some time for yourself as the busy season approaches! 😉

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Did you have anything to you were hoping to finish in time for Christmas? This is the perfect time to get it done!

School Holidays Classes for High Schoolers

The dates will be September 26th and October 3rd (Tuesdays). Further details on what we’re making and exact times will follow.

If you would prefer a print-out version of this class list, please click here – Semester 2 2017 schedule.

If you have any questions, just give us a call or drop in to the shop.