A retreat of my own

Both Margaret and Irene are at different quilt guild retreats this weekend, but I have virtuously stayed home to work.  Just as well Irene’s retreat was up here at Castlemaine, giving us the chance to meet up for lunch and a chat before she went back to sew and I went back to work. Well maybe I played hookey from the computer and I’ve been doing a little quiltmaking instead.  Shush don’t tell. I’m supposed to be working, really!

So while both of them are having lovely eats, going out wining & dining, I decided so would I.  Here’s my dinner, leftover garlic pizza.

Not the same really is it?

Actually I’ve really enjoyed being at home by myself.  I very rarely get the chance to be in the house by myself and never in the evenings, so lovely and peaceful. Anyway I’m busy trying to finish this quilt.

image of sunflowers & willowsI’ve only got the border to do so this week I joined up some strips of scrappy fabrics and tacked them down almost like a frame, ready to applique into scallop shapes.

Tracing the applique line with my rough template

So tonight I’ve marked the scallops with the template I made up and now it’s time to start with the needle-turning. If you click on the image you’ll get a better view and see the scallop edge to be.

A close-up, sorry about the blurry photo

It’s so close to being finished so I’ve been good and put down the new quilt I’ve been making, to finish this one.  I showed a snippet of this new quilt in my last post.  Anyway time for bed, as I really do have to get some work done tomorrow.

Maltaville Album Quilt fabric shopping

Last year I said that 2011 was the year I’d start to explore modern quilts & fabrics and so I’ve started.  Two weeks ago Margaret and I went on a little shopping trip to the city and visited Amitie, a quilt shop in Bentleigh, Melbourne.  Amitie have a lovely selection of modern fabrics, glorious Liberty Art Prints as well as Kaffe Fassett fabrics and a sprinkling of repros, we even found a tiny scrap of Smithsonian Rising Sun fabric.

But I was on a mission to find modern fabrics for my Maltaville blocks.  I jokingly said to Margaret a little while back that I’d do the Maltaville in modern fabrics and the idea stuck.  I’m really interested in exploring some of the modern style of quilts in reproduction fabrics and this is an extension of that exploration.  Many of you will be aware of the Civil War Bride quilt by Corliss Searcey and I’ve seen a few of these quilts in all sorts of fabrics which has contributed to me going down this path.  I’m certainly not abandoning reproduction quilts and fabrics, just spreading my wings.

Anyway below are a few photos of the fabrics I’ve picked up on our trip as well as the first block of the Maltaville I’ve completed.

image of fabrics for maltaville quilt
My Maltaville fabrics so far...

This is the first block I’ve finished, in fabrics selected at AQC in April from the Ballarat Patchwork stand and I’ve started on the Oak Leaf & Reel block, featuring the dark green fabric as well as the last red fabric on the right.

image of a maltaville quilt block
Maltaville Album block

I’ve had very little time this year for quilting, blogging and blog reading but that’s changing so I’m looking forward to a very productive year, I hope.



Only one more row of stitches!

It’s been a very busy weekend what with going to Quilts in the Barn on Saturday, buying fabric in Gisborne on Sunday and receiving 2 parcels of fabric from The States, but more about next post.

As the title says I’ve only got one more row of stitches to do tonight and I can drop my quilts off to the Exhibition Committee.  I may never willing exhibit anything again, or maybe I shouldn’t leave it ’til the last moment.

I’m only going to attach my labels that I created with  a bit of fabric glue and stitch them on later.  I had lots of fun creating these labels but next time I’ll make sure they’re on before they go to be quilted.

Label for 'Flowers in a field of Plaid
Label for "Red Sails in the Sunset"
Label for "Teardrop Medallion"

I’ll get some photos of the quilts when they’re hung and they can go on my ‘Completed’ Page.  All of these quilts have been quilted by Margaret at Quiltstation and I can’t wait to show you some of the quilting, up close, on my Teardrop Medallion.

Well my hands have had their rest, time to get back to the sewing room.



October is shaping up as a very quilty month.  This coming Saturday I’m going to try to get to the new Craft Expo at the Exhibition Buildings in Carlton, then the weekend after next, there’s the Quilts in the Barn exhibition, with the (Secret Sewing Sisterhood) then there’s the Goldfield Quilters Exhibition on the weekend of the 23-24th of this month.

I’ve still got to get one of my quilts to Quiltstation to actually get quilted for Goldfields and I’m getting distracted  designing a block based on the waratah, in the style of a traditional appliqué block.  I’ve never liked any Australian native flower blocks/quilts that I’ve seen so whether this will actually become something or not is up in the air.

Anyway here is a quick mockup of my design, still a long way to go.  And the inspiration was a wallpaper I saw an image of somewhere.

My Waratah design or the start of anyway

It’s nearly an hour after my bedtime and I’ve got to get up at 5.00am to go to work and teach all day.



New project!

Two years ago I made a vow not to start anything new until I had at least finished one of my medallion appliqué quilts that I had on the go, and I’ve only broken this vow three times! up ’til now. Each time its been absolutely necessary, of course!

So anyway, a little while ago I saw a picture of an antique quilt on someone else’s blog that I just loved. I decided that I just had to make a version of this particular quilt.  It would be my first red and green appliqué quilt, so I decided I was allowed to start yet a fourth new project.

Anyway, after several goes of trying to draft up the block and failing on one particular aspect, that of course was the aspect that I loved about this quilt, I tracked down the museum where the quilt was held and wrote an email to the collection manger.

I explained my dilemma and asked if they might have a clearer image I could look at, thinking I’d be lucky if I heard back, but I heard back the very next day. They kindly sent close up photos of the appliqué blocks, sizes and dimensions of the blocks and borders, detailed information about the quilting as well as information about the maker and how they came by the quilt.

The gentlemen I’ve been dealing with have just been so kind and generous. So after I finish my trial block I will be sewing a block up to make into a cushion and sending it to them, in fabrics a little closer to the original.

This trial block is made using four fabrics. A French General background, two greens and a Nancy Gere More Pink & Chocolate and I’m putting it ‘on point’.

Project fabrics

I’ll post images of the parts of the block  as I go and then the whole block when finished.



New Projects

In the last 18 months I’ve tried not to start any new projects, but to finish the ones I already had on the go.  Amazingly,  I’ve only broken that rule once, for a cot quilt.

This hasn’t stopped me from collecting the materials etc for the new ideas that pop into my head though.  One of these ready to go projects is my version of a Princess Feather quilt using a fabric from the Grande Teint fabric range from last year.  The ‘feathers’ are all cut out, roughly, and a few months ago I found about 4 yards (approx 3.50 metres) of RJR Smithsonian fabric, the dark green ‘The Grooms Quilt’,  for the background on Etsy. A lady was clearing out her fabric stash and it was ridiculously cheap.

Princess Feather project to be

This would be about the third lot of fabric I’ve bought for the background. I looked everywhere for a red and couldn’t find anything I like, tried two different paler fabric but it just didn’t have the rich impact that I’m hoping this will have.

I’ll possibly be using a buttonhole stitch as averse to a blanket stitch, as I like the texture of the ridge that you get from the buttonhole stitch.

Buttonhole stitch example

The image above was a quick test of two different buttonhole stitches, I did at Goldfields Quilters last Wednesday. You can just see the ridge/knot that’s formed as you sew.  I have to decide if in fact I will Broderie Perse this quilt or do traditional needle-turn.

I’ve got 12 Broderie Perse blocks (small) to do on my Feathered Star Medallion quilt so by the time I’ve finished that I guess I’ll know what I want to do.