Sunday Stash #163 – Melba & Manifesto

Emma Jean Jansen has made a name for herself as an Australian stand-out in the quilting industry. I half-expected her to be walking down the red carpet at the recent G’Day LA event. Then I thought “no,” she certainly wouldn’t want to steal the spotlight away from Mariah Carey. I tell you what though, that 35 carat diamond engagement ring of Mariah’s has nothing on Emma’s new fabric collection, Melba!


Melba (Melbourne, in case you didn’t get the reference) carries on where previous collections Terra Australis 1 & 2 left off. I love that Emma is bringing Australian iconography to the world through textiles such as these. When she asked if I wanted some fabrics to play around with, I certainly didn’t hesitate with an emphatic, “Yes, please!” They all have such vibrant colours that will of course work together, but they’ll also integrate into most modern stashes as well. That’s what I look for when I buy fabrics now, points of difference, and bold colours that compliment what I already have. This mustard colour is certainly that!


Even though I live in Sydney, I’m all aboard Melba like a tram on the way to St. Kilda! The Tram fabrics featured in Melba are also probably my favourites. They in particular come in four colour ways: aqua, black/white, grey, and mustard. If I could change one thing about this collection, it would be that the Tram fabric came in more colour ways complimentary to the rest of the fabrics. Where’s the orange or the green!? That being said, I think Emma could have a whole collection on her hands in the style of the mechanical drawings of the trams.


For those fussy cutters out there, you’re going to love the inclusion of the Australian Magpie design. I’ll admit I’m scared to cut into the birds as I know there’s going to be a few beheadings happening! Ouch! For those that prefer more organic motifs in fabric, check out the Gum Nuts and Banksia designs. They are both certifiably Australian and would be a nice-talking point if combined with other fabrics in your project. This way you can add a little Aussie sparkle, without having to be too literal with it.


For my text lovers, there’s something for you too! Two of the fabric designs, Tram Tickets and Suburbs come in multiple colour ways, and will satiate your hunger for words on fabric. I put all the black and whites together to see how they worked with the trams, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this value-scale emerge. Exciting for an ombre fan like me! Now, my pedantic personality is a little disappointed that the grey of the Tram Tickets fabric is cool, and the grey of the Tram fabric is warm, but I’ll get over it. It probably markets to a wider audience and various needs, so I’ll let it pass!


Overall, Melba is beautiful representation of Melbourne and Australia. I can’t wait to start whipping these fabrics into some new projects for my overseas friends. It will be a great way to give them a taste of the handmade imbibed with some Aussie culture.

Now, last week I showed you how wonderful it was searching through my existing stash to rediscover my own fabric collection. I told you how I wanted to create my own 2016 Stash Manifesto to keep me from completely going off the rails. (Addiction is a fine line, people!) Well, thanks to Jennifer at A Quarter Inch from the Edge, I managed to get my thoughts scribbled down. Once I started, they just kept coming, and each one was easier than the last. I ended up with eleven “rules” that I think will help guide my purchasing and thus creative process this year. I’m linking up my Stash Manifesto here, and if you like, you can do the same!

2016 Stash Manifesto

  1. I will try to remain as fabric neutral as possible.
  2. I will not buy any pre-cut bundles of full collections.
  3. I will start a project using predominantly one of the following: Architextures, Botanics or Doe, but not Carkai.
  4. I will think really hard about selling my Tula Pink Parisville and Prince Charming collections.
  5. I will use the fabric backings I already have when it doesn’t compromise the design.
  6. I will use at least two templates or rulers that I own, but I haven’t used.
  7. I will sell some scraps so I feel less guilty about cutting into new yardage (that is now not so new).
  8. I will not be swayed by sales, especially considering the current exchange rate.
  9. I will allow myself free reign for fabric purchased in person outside of Australia, but I will stay mindful of these parameters.
  10. I will allow myself fabric trades, or acceptance of fabric from designers for promotional purposes.
  11. I will start a project using fabric I have extensive yardage of as a feature (even solids).

Let’s see how this goes, but I think it’s going to be a wonderful guiding force. It’s not about not buying, but buying what I will use. Over to you, do you have a singular point you’d add to your stash manifesto?

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14 Responses

  1. Wow… 11 commandments. Somehow I didn’t expect so many. But you’ve left me wondering “Why NOT Carkai?” Thanks again for spreading the love about The Year of The Stash. And for keeping the intended tone. It’s never been about not buying, but rather about enjoying what we already have!

  2. Nicole says:

    I will happily help you out with no.7. And I hear you about no.8! JFC it hurts, right in the pocketbook!

    How did you ever end up in Australia anyway?

  3. The Melba line is really lovely. You have clearly put a lot of thought into your manifesto; I hope you have a great year with it!

  4. Kirsten says:

    Love the Melba fabric too – I have already made a cushion using the magpie print as a feature:) And your stash manifesto is brilliant – i can relate to quite a few on your list!

  5. mary says:

    Sorry but who are you trying to kid Sunday Stash #16!?
    Loving the manifesto, I’m inspired to write one too although I might leave it until after next weekends craft show!

  6. Tish says:

    Hmmm…maybe I need to grow my stash some more, because I’m really loving the magpie prints. Turquoise and mustard together always makes me smile. For some reason my link posted twice 🙁 Can I blame fat fingers or bad internet connection?

  7. Wendy says:

    I am also working with Melba! What a delight it is to sit at the hand quilting frame and look at these fabrics each day, also many thanks for the linky party 🙂

  8. Love your manifesto! Have you sold the Tula Pink yet? That will be hard, but it may feel good to just purge it.

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