Sunday, December 8, 2013


Each year I take part in a Christmas Swap with a Prim Yahoo group. This week I received my parcel from Imi in Holland. It contained a Mug Mat, a FQ ,a Christmas decoration and a pattern. Each of us had to send the same to our Swap partner. I have sent my parcel to Sandy in Ohio. The mug mat is all made from felted wool and it is beautiful. The decoration is double sided with a snowman's face on each side and I think everything I received is just lovely.

 We were asked to bring our scissor collection to the sewing group on Friday at Somerset', this time.  I found scissors with each of my projects, in drawers, containers - everywhere and I decided just a couple would be enough to take.  I have taken a picture of a few of what I have , dressmaking shears which are large, pinking shears which are very stiff, sewing scissors, embroidery scissors, tiny cream travel [airport] scissors and my snips that I use when sewing on the machine.
How many pairs does one need?  How many do you have?

I have one special pair though. I believed  they were my Grandmothers but they may have belonged to my Great Grandmother,  because I have found a name on the side of them and it  would need to a maiden name as it is not my Grandmother's name although this is who I got them from.  They also have a special purpose. They are buttonhole scissors, for the days when there were no zippers. The buttonhole was stitched and then the hole was cut between the stitches. I've put my thimble there to try to show the size.
and here is a picture with the hole cut and I've slid a button in the slit to try and show it clearer. Because of the shape of them the blade doesn't cut the edge of the fabric. The piece of fabric I used just happened to have been pinked around the edge and has nothing to do with these scissors.
 I wonder how old they are? I'll also have to try and find out what my Great grandmother's maiden name was.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sewing and reading

This is the 2nd block for Lori's  Humble Quilts  quilt. There is always a lot of fabric cutting  to be done with each block, so I spent quite a few hours this week just cutting out squares in two different sizes.
This I'm sure will make a difference to the time spent on each block. The bundles of colours are mixed so that I have a large variety to pick from and the shirtings are all the small pieces I have had left over.  The containers I bought at the Supermarket and are a wonderful size for the job they are doing.

Something different! At Somerset on Friday, Karen gave  us a challenge to make the following. She had got them at Market and brought them back for us. They came in a little package with the instructions and a bundle of fabrics.  I haven't done any Foundation piecing for a long time and it was thoroughly enjoyable, to sit yesterday afternoon and make these 'Cupcakes'. I just need to put the borders on and finish them off.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I forgot you were there.....

While I was in the cupboard looking for my halogen table lamp I found this container/bucket and instantly knew what was inside it. It must be 6 years since I started this project and I also remember that I found it beyond me at that time. What I did forget was that I had...

cut all the background blocks out, all 25 of them and

I had also cut all the pieces of fabric for the applique and placed them inside each block.

and I had already sewn the applique on 4 of them. They are Oak Leaf Wreaths. [ try saying that quickly] in either red, orange or yellow reproduction fabrics. These are going to keep me sewing for quite a while. The red one at the top may have to be unpicked as it's not square on the block, one of 'How to do this' I have since learned. The fabrics are still some of my favourites which is lovely as I know my tastes have changed from when I started Patchwork.
I've also been sewing my Coxcombs and Stars. I finished the berries on the border, all 60 of them and started Block 3. It is lovely to pick up this soft brushed cotton fabric  and sew a bit after appliqueing an Oak Leaf on.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Corners and Borders

All the applique for the corners and surrounds is finished and I'm really pleased how it looks. Once it is quilted I'm going to bind it in the background fabric.

The photo of my 'finished' Toile medallion is not great but it lets you see the final borders. The colour of the last border is as you see it, a strong Chrome Yellow. 

Preparation! it always takes longer than you think it will. Block 3 of Coxcombs and Stars is now ready to needleturn , but first I've got 60 berries for the border piece to make and attach.  The Stars are already stitched to the rounds. It's easier to do them first.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Photos taken

I put the last border on to finish the block and a photo to show. It may hang on the wall for a while, until I get some of my current projects finished but I would like to make some more blocks and I have plenty of Reproduction 'brights' to keep going.
 The next photo is the Christmas stitchery I have just finished. I still have to make up my mind whether to frame it or make something with it.

and last, my Coxcombs and Stars blocks and border. I'm working on the left border at the moment as it was in the bundle with the 2nd block. At least when I get the 4th block sewn there will only be one border to go. I have never had a pattern before where the blocks aren't finished first before the borders are started.

Today is a beautiful sunny, warm day. The washing is done, out on the line and dry. The garden is looking good, with the roses, daisies and sweetpea all in flower and it's a great place to sit and sew.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Little bit of this and...

a little bit of that.
  The decision was made and I've sewn the medallion to the background. Each corner has applique too and I have the freezer paper pieces ready to go. I just need to spend some time preparing them, choosing fabrics and marking them ready to sew.

The next border has been attached and the fabrics are cut for a diamond border which is next.

I joined in Lori's Humble Quilts block making, for the quilt in the  header on her blog.
 This is Part 1 and 2 but the instructions are all there if you fancy joining in. Part 3 is ready to be made with more plain and HST's borders.

When I visited the Melbourne Quilt Show I bought a piece of fabric from the 'No Chintz' fabric stand. They had a chair upholstered in it. I have now put it to good use and made myself a [nother] bag. The fabric along the top of it, is an old Repro that was in my stash and I think it goes very well with the main fabric and the handles which were bought a while ago finished the job. 

I've also fitted in a bit of applique of my Jan Patek quilt and a Christmas stitchery but I'll show you them next time as I haven't taken photos yet. It's been good getting a bit of everything sewn. There's certainly no time to get bored.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sewing on the Machine

I finally decide to give the hand piecing a rest and get started on a new quilt that is in the Quiltmania magazine No 96. It is Marg Sampson George's Toile Medallion. I've been looking at it since I did the Jane Pizar workshop with Marg. and as I had just bought the feature fabric recently wanted to get going. The piece of secondhand fabric was filthy, but after several hand washes with wool mix and some Sard added, it came up beautifully and has really bright colours in it which include Double Pinks and a Chrome yellow.
So here is the centre.
The two ends attached

and now the sides.

There are several borders still to be made and attached but I'm happy with how it is coming along. Below is my Cyclamen. It has soo many flowers on it this year there is hardly enough room for them all to open. I think it must be all the cold weather we have had this Winter/Spring.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Last Weekend

The weekend started bright and early and the first photo shows everyone putting the last touches in place for the opening of The Quilts in the Barn at Linda's . It was a busy, busy day with so many people streaming in to see Petra Prins Chintz quilts, books and fabrics.
We also had Mary and Joe Koval with their antique quilts and fabrics, Quiltmania books and the Quilted Crow shop from Hobart.
This was my quilt on display with a piece of 1900 Chintz fabric in the centre. I had bought it from Mary Koval a couple of years ago.

This was part of Mary's display.

Di Ford and Meghan selling Chintz fabrics surrounded by Petra's beautiful Chintz quilts.
It sold very quickly and by Sunday little was left.

One of the antique Chintz quilts on show that I really liked. The colours although faded were beautiful.



All the quilts hanging up were stunning.
The next photo was taken Sunday afternoon with Linda and some of her helpers. All money raised goes to Breast Cancer Research.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Not a whole lot going on.

Just a little bit of sewing, some more Stars and a couple of Crossroads which is the next block. I finished the last book I bought on holiday so I may get back into it now.
I have been to-ing and fro-ing with fabrics. Trying to decide on a background for my Jane P quilt. It's a matter of pinning to the wall and pinning the circle on top, taking a photo and taking it back down again and then pinning up the next and next again. I did leave the first one up for quite a few days but the others had a quick turn around. I still haven't made up my mind. They are all out of my stash.  See what you think, they are all 1m [40"] of fabric, so it's large.

This one is used in the centre shapes.


This is a red stripe, old Rocky Mountain range.



Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Holidays are Over.

I've been away on holiday enjoying wonderful warm weather in Queensland. First we visited our daughter and her husband and stayed a few days with them. She came with me to see the British Quilts in Brisbane. It was a great show of quilts and needlework items. I got to see the original Sundial quilt which is magnificent, along with the King George111 quilt, the Rajah quilt and the Changi quilt made by children. Many, many beautiful quilts. Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside.

At the back of my daughters house is this  Frangipani tree in among the plants and rocks. It looked wonderful, bare of leaves and flowers at this time of the year. She also has a grove of them around the corner.
 and her 'patchwork' of cacti in a little courtyard next to the house with different coloured plants and stones.
Then it was off first to Maloolaba
and then to Noosa and the Jazz Festival.

Sunny one day, perfect the next.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A final decision

 While working away on my quilt I've been trying to decide what fabric I would use for the very centre. I have cut and tried many fabrics and finally made a decision.  I've finished all the applique on the outside ring  so the next job is to attach it to a background.  'not what is showing just now'.

Here is a close up of the centre. I ended up using a floral piece of chintz. At the workshop Marg Sampson told us not to make it too prominent or it would become a bullseye. I think I've achieved that.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I've been making the 2" basket blocks with the pattern from Temecula Quilt Co. Blog.  It was their Summer project to make a basket a day in July and August but I only got as far as making 21 of them. To finish them up I've done a simple alternate block with sashing and a border. They are definitely not perfect but at 2" I'm happy with it. They have another little quilt about to start if you're interested.

Also on the go has been my Jane Pizar centre. As you can see the next round is attached and I'm busy appliqueing the motifs on top. Still a few to go.

Last Saturday was the Applique meeting in Castlemaine. The photos of the quilts shown can been seen on Buddy and me and Secret Sewing Sisterhood Blogs. so I haven't put them up this time.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Something different

I'm trying something different. I don't normally hand piece and I don't usually use modern fabrics so I'm not too sure how it will look when finished. I am making a quilt designed by Sandra Boyle. The centre has these 4 Peony blocks  with a single fabric as the alternate block throughout. Then there is a row of Stars, followed by a ring of Birds in the Air,  Crossroads, Square in a Square, Stars again and finished with a border of Half Stars. Phew!   

I then completed the first Stars of many.

I have spent the hours doing this- and many more hours to come.

so that I can eventually do a lot of this. 

When I was at my sewing group on Monday surrounded by hand piecers and I mentioned how long it had taken to draw the sewing lines and cut the pieces out ,there was a laugh of knowing, funny how they had all kept this bit of information to themselves.