Getting back on the blogging horse!

Oops! that sounds bad.  I’ve been a very bad blogger!  It’s been so long since I’ve blogged I don’t know where to start.  So I’ll just post some pics of random things and see how that goes.

Margaret & Irene were barely back from their trip to the US when it was time to go up to the Sydney Quilt Show.  Last year it was just Margaret & I who went, but this year we five of us from our local quilt guild and Irene flew up and a jolly time was had by all.

We all did a little shopping at the show.  I was far more restrained this year that I was last, although some weren’t.  Just as well some people took very large cases!

Some lovely fabrics from the show

Note the Smithsonian fabric, 3rd on the left.  I was walking around the aisles, and stepped back to look at a quilt on a shop stand wall and stepped into some mad woman going helter skelter through a box of fabric.  It was Margaret, of course, who had found Smithsonian fabric!  All I can say was just as well I bumped into her or I would have walked right past, and it was a fabric I didn’t have!

We did a little shopping the next day away from the show, I don’t think any of us thought to take a photo of us as we hit Kathy Doughty’s lovely shop Material Obsession on the Saturday.  I picked up some lovely fabric for my modern fabric basket quilt I’m making, even if it is on hiatus at the moment.

I couldn’t resist the top fabric with it’s lovely background

I’ve been using my design wall regularly, there’s always something left up, so I don’t know how I lived without it before.

I’m not sure yet how I’ll set these, I have some ideas circulating in my head.

and I’ve finally finished my Texas Rose Baskets quilt and written the pattern, which I’ve named Leanah in tribute to the maker of the original quilt who was only 12 years old when she made her quilt.

I’m really please with how Margaret quilted it as it’s a sweet little quilt and I think she found the spirit of it.  Here it is waiting for the binding which you can see on the left.

Waiting for the binding.

Margaret kindly let me take photo’s of Leanah using her new beaut quilt photography stand.

From the back

and another from the front

Leanah aka Texas Rose baskets

I put a little history of the original quilt in the pattern and I’d like to thank Sue Garman for kindly letting me use one of her photographs in my pattern.

Well there’s lots more I could talk about but I’ll try and leave that for another post, in the not to distant future.



The Postman came

image of pink green baskets

with 3 parcels!

Woohoo I love parcels

I think I’ve mentioned before that for some years I took a break from quilt-making and buying fabric.  That meant I missed some really good fabrics, so when I see something I really love well of course I just have to buy them.

Our good friend Sherry in San Antonio recently sent me some lovely fabrics, the second parcel arrived today with lots of lovelies, some of which is part of the Clarissa White Alford Collection for the Shelburne Museum by RJR.  Only had the odd bit of that, as well as some bits of Smithsonian.  This parcel was sent the day Sherry, Margaret & Irene left San Antonio and Margaret picked some of the fabrics as well.

image of parcel 1
Fabrics from Sherry

You can see a bit of Smithsonian that somehow I managed not to pick up originally, now I’ve got them in all the colourways.  As well some Williamsburg Botanical, Cheddar Illuminations, Dargate Prussion Blue stripe, purchased for a very specific project, and some red & white fabrics.  Margaret are they for our red & white Maltaville?

Yellows and more from the old ‘Sturbridge Village II’ collection.

Parcels 2 & 3 came from SewFarSewGood, an online shop who were just lovely to deal with.  One of the things I don’t have in my growing stash is some really good yellows.  I found three really good yellows from the ‘Old Sturbridge Village II Collection’ as well as a few other bits from that range.  I think this range came out just before I got back into quilt-making.

One of my ‘must do’ projects has always been a pieced basket quilt in white, pinks & greens.  I drafted it up ages ago but last week the impetus to start it came.  So far I’ve pieced about about 14 blocks of this 16 block quilt.

image of pinkgreenbasketsprep
All cut out and ready to sew

This is another quilt that will be on-point. I seem to have an obsession with blocks on-point at the moment. Most of the fabric has come from my stash with just a little bit from picked up when I went to Mill Rose Cottage recently.  There’s a little bit of Smithsonian and some of my treasured Sarah Johnson pink fabric as well.

image of pink green baskets
Pink & Green baskets blocks

It’s TAS at Somerset this Sunday, so I’ll have to get the tops of these baskets prepared so I’ve got some hand sewing to do.  16 handles wont take long.

Margaret picked up some fabric for me when she & Irene visited Hancock’s so I’m waiting for the postman to ring again.



For Dorothy & Linda

Last Saturday I caught up with Dorothy & Linda for a coffee after CAG, and was roundly scolded for not having posted recently.  While I had many excuses they all fell on deaf ears!

As a web developer and trainer sometimes the last thing I want to do on ‘my time’ is be at the computer.  And sadly, at the moment I don’t have have much to show as I’m busy putting on and sewing binding down.

But, I have been adding to my stash as well as adding to my museum collection fabrics.  I’ve picked up some Smithsonian I didn’t have or didn’t have much of.

image of smithsonian fabrics
More Smithsonian fabrics as well as some friends came to stay

I also picked up some DAR Museum Collection by P&B Textiles from 1998.

image of dar fabric
These have been on the shelves for some 14 or more years!

Some fabrics I failed to buy when they originally came out that I picked up recently.

image of fabric february
Bits & pieces

For interest, that last brownish piece of fabric was originally produced by Windham in their ‘Empress’ range by Nancy Gere, not sure which year.  It came in pink, blue and this olive/khaki/drab green colour. Note the difference in the background.  Empress had fine line grounds on a ecru background, whereas the ‘Canterbury’ range by Robert Callaham above, was much deeper & richer in colour with a smoked or mottled background. I have some of it in green, limey/yellow and now brown which will be perfect for stems in some future project.

image of Empress 24458-3 by Nancy Gere for Windham
Empress 24458-3 by Nancy Gere for Windham

And last but not least I picked up this tiny bit of floral fabric which I just love and would be perfect for a new design I’m keen to start, after I start & finish those Kaffe Baskets I’ve already cut out.

image of cheddarfloralfabric
Who am I? Where did I come from?

Do you know who the manufacturer or the name of this fabric?  If you do please let me know.  I’m really keen to find more.

And last but not least a message to Dorothy & Linda from Tigger.

image of cat
I heard about you two and your heretical ideas, and I'm not having any of it!

Texas Rose Baskets

Awhile ago I started a quilt that I’ve slowly been working on.  Its taken awhile because I didn’t choose all my greens and red at the same time so it’s been a bit of a hunt to find greens and reds that work together.

About a month ago Margaret and I spent a lovely day at Mill Rose Cottage in Ballan where I found two greens and a red which I desperately needed and so I’ve manged to finish the centre blocks of this quilt and today have started the first row of dogtooth today.  I hadn’t attached to border yet as I was just checking I still liked it. Oh and I sneaked in a little bit of Smithsonian fabric!

image of texas rose basket dogtooth
First dogtooth border

Mill Rose is a fabulous new patchwork shop, with cafe attached, with the most friendly owner and staff you could hope to find.  Sue at Mill Rose has a sit and sew on Thursdays which if you live in Melbourne and have the opportunity you should definitely visit.

Oh and they have a lovely new blog courtesy of Lizzie, so just click the button below to visit, thru the red door.

thru the red door

Having said that I best go over and say hello myself, and then get back to sewing.  🙂


Buy, buy, buy

With the Aussie dollar having been so good, couple of weeks ago I went on a small fabric shopping splurge on the web.  I picked up some gorgeous Dargate Prussian Blues & Dargate Indigos by Margo Krager at Laptop Quilts as well as some very collectable RJR Smithsonian Grooms Quilt fabric called Cretonne in the most amazing pink as well as a yard of gorgeous blue fabric from the Shelburne Museum Sarah Johnson Collection also by RJR, from The heart of Dixie.  Nearly all of these will go well with my new “French Star” project.

Dargate Prussian Blues & Tans & Dargate Indigos by Margo Krager
Very collectable Sarah Johnson & Grooms Quilt fabrics

Back in November I accompanied Margaret to AQM.  While there I took the opportunity to avail myself to some new rulers.  I’ve had my old rulers since 1994 and had been of the opinion that I could do most everything I needed with what I had.  However I had been eyeing off the Creative Grids Non-Slip ruler range.  I was very restrained and only got the 4 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ ruler to start with.  I also purchased an 18″ Westalee ruler as well as 2 little sets of Stash Buster templates.

My very first ruler, due for retirement!
My new rulers, almost as much fun as new fabric!

Westalee Stash buster hexagons

Time to go and do some cutting with these new fandangle, whizz bang gizmos.


Yea! it’s November

the last month of spring down here.  And it’s been pouring rain all weekend and I have the heater on.  Winter is fighting to stay and it’s so incredibly green and wet here in Victoria.  I commute on the train to the city to work and its all we commuters talk about, particularly when the train goes past one of the local reservoirs.  There’s real hope that it will be a cool summer, hopefully no bush fires.

October has felt like a quilty marathon.  I’m not to sure why I’m relaxing yet. Next weekend its time to go to our Quilt History Farm day with Robyn Falloon and Jan Baker, and the weekend after that its TAS or as we now are CAG – The Castlemaine Appliqué Group.

Farm day promises to be exciting as Jan is such a wealth of knowledge and always has lovely examples for us to see.  We usually study a particular aspect of piecing & quilting and next week it will be ‘Whig Rose’ and ‘Rose of Sharon’.  I think I’ll need to do some preliminary study before hand.

I’ve barely been able to do any sewing lately as I’ve got so many web related ‘things‘ to do.  I have my own personal site to redevelop, which is going ever so slowly, a new site for my business to design, my collaboration with Margaret, WFIT, we nearly have a new post up just a few more finishing touches, don’t give up on us yet!  I’m the Web Administrator for my LQS, I volunteer my web skills locally, oh and I teach IT & Web Design 3 days a week.  I really do need at least 2 more days to be added to the week!

I love appliqué but I really have to nurse my hands so that I don’t over-tax them.  The more blogs I read of course the more quilts I end up designing in my head.  In the last week I’ve managed to design two quilts, in physical form, and I have fabric from my stash for both.

One quilt is based on an old ‘thistle’ design found in an old book in my collection. I plan on using mainly fabrics from my Smithsonian collection for this one, probably on a plain Kona, I think.  Click on the image for more detail.

Woodland Thistle fabrics

The other quilt is a Dogtooth clamshell pattern I drafted up the other night.  It was lots of fun to get out the compass & protractor and draft up a large, 15″ block.  For the dogtooth section I’ll use the freezer-paper foundation method.  Once its started it should be a reasonably quick quilt sew up.  I’m thinking indigo or prussian blues, taupe or tan and raspberry colours.  I have plenty of most although I may have to go on a shopping expedition for Prussian blues as my stash lacks any.

Well time to get back  work so that maybe I’ll get to my sewing room this afternoon.


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.


Getting ready for exhibition

I shouldn’t really be blogging at the moment as I’ve far too much hand-sewing to do.  I’m exhibiting for the first time which means I’ve got 3 sleeves & 3 quilt labels to sew on quilts,  and one quilt to bind.

Margaret will have finished quilting my medallion quilt by now. I saw a glimpse of it on Tuesday night.  It was looking fabulous.  I think I’m calling it ‘Teardrop Medallion’ after the Smithsonian Rising Sun Collection Teardrop fabric that the vase is from.  Phew what a mouthful!

I won’t be able to pick up the quilt until Saturday on my way to Quilts in the Barn. So I’ll be binding it on Sunday/Monday and all the quilts have to be delivered on Tuesday.

I’ve been buying fabric over the internet as well so I’m rather eagerly waiting for a parcel from Texas.  The Stitching Depot had several yards of fabric that I just love, RJR Robert’s Baltimore Album in red, so I’ve been naughty and bought what they had left.

I’ve also got a bit in blue and my LQS also had it in a deep maroon.  okay and I’ve got some in green. For some reason I just love this particular pattern.  I wonder if its because it was originally released as a Smithsonian fabric!


Better known as Plume to Smithsonian enthusiasts



Plume in blue


Time to go to bed before I decide to go and look at fabric in my sewing room.  I’ll be back to tell all about my first trip to Quilts in the Barn in a couple of days, hopefully I’ll have lots of photos.


My Smithsonian fabric collection

Back in 1994 when I first started patchwork & quilting I picked up 2 Fat 1/4 bundles of purple, green & brown fabrics. At the time I didn’t really know what I had, like most of us I bought them because I liked them.  So that was the start of my slowing dawning interest in reproduction & Smithsonian fabrics.

As well as those 2 Fat 1/4 bundles, I also picked up odds and sods of different pieces, still unbeknownst to me,  Smithsonian fabrics.  At the time I didn’t really have any interest in needle-turn appliqué either so I didn’t use them much.

Smithsonian fabrics - mainly Rising Sun range

With young children, I found I didn’t have much time for patchwork for a few years, so I carefully put all my projects & fabrics away until around about 1999, when I had moved into the city, was walking past a patchwork shop in Essendon, I think, and saw a quilt class sampler in the shop window and decided I loved it.

The quilt was a Robyn Falloon quilt, a vase with flowers.  I knew exactly what fabrics I wanted to base my quilt around.  Yes, those purples and greens it that range I’d picked up some years earlier at Primarily.

Medallion Quilt with Smithsonian fabric

You can see the vase is from Rising Sun’s ‘Tulip’ in purple and stems in two greens from the fabric swatch above.  If you look at the setting triangles, that is ‘Potpourri’ with smaller bits of Smithsonian in the border squares.

Yes that poor quilt got put away again, not to see the light of day until maybe two years ago when I started in on it again.  For those of you that know your fabrics you’ll pick up that the leaves are from ‘Colonies Cheddar & Poison Greens’ by Nancy Gere for Windham.

Smithsonian fabrics - mainly Rising Sun

And these last few pieces of Groom’s & Copp quilts fabric,  as well which I picked up on Etsy last year.

Groom's & Copp quilts fabric

I’ve used that red fabric in my Abbeville County quilt and my Flying Geese quilt so there’s not much left, maybe enough for some flowers & buds in my new Basket of Roses quilt that I’m just drawing up.  More about that and my most recent exciting purchase of more Smithsonian fabrics later as I’m off to try and finish some borders of that Robyn Falloon quilt so that its ready to show her when I go to ‘The Farm’ next Sunday with Margaret.



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.