A new quilt for the New Year and a busy year ahead!

Then pick a winner.  And stick with it.

Since I posted last, my book Quilts from the Colonies has arrived in my hot little hands…

I am so so thrilled with the result.  It is perfect in every way.  Quiltmania‘s talent in bringing all the quilts, photographs and patterns together in to one beautiful package just bowls me over.

image of Quilts from the Colonies

Seventeen projects

image of A Tisket A Tasket

a- Tisket a-Tasket

image of Sarah-Jane's Scrapbag

Sarah-Jane’s Scrapbag

The two quilts shown above are the two I will be teaching in Nantes at Pour l’amour du fil.

I’d love to have you join me in the classes so keep an eye on their website which is constantly being updated

http://pourlamourdufil.com/cours-et-ateliers/

I have managed to put the book down periodically …

and I’ve been having the loveliest time in my wee studio. Here’s what a lovely time looks like

image of studio

Enter at your own risk!

image of studio

No beautiful or glossy styling here.

But I’ve been working on a few projects simultaneously, so may my mess please be excused?

The one I’m currently working on fanatically  steadily is this one

Working title Irish Medallion

Working title Irish Medallion

 If you’ve been following along on my Instagram page you will have seen some of the progress.

Deciding on a background for the applique centre is not fast but it’s fun

Pull some possible contenders from the stash

Pull some possible contenders from the stash…

Narrow it down and stand back

Narrow it down some and stand back…

Then pick a winner.  And stick with it.

Then pick a winner. And stick with it.

I’ve completed the applique and am now spending summer evenings stitching a border of Coffin shapes, stitched using the English Paper Piecing method

ENglish Paper Piecing... very relaxing

English Paper Piecing… very relaxing

 One border done and three to go.

Happy stitching and til next

Margaret

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Christmas Catch-up

image of Quilts for Life Made with Love

I know I’ve really (really) been Missing in Action.

But this is what I’ve been doing… designing and finishing seventeen quilts for my very first book!

image of Quilts From The Colonies

Quilts from the Colonies published by Quiltmania

Quilts that once only had *working titles* now have real names;

Quilts that have been a long time in the making are finished;

And new Quilts have been designed and made…

and they have been photographed so beautifully by the Quiltmania team.

I’m yet to see ALL the finished result, BUT… I was there on photoshoot day with the gorgeous Linda from quiltsinthebarnaus.blogspot.com.au

And so I have a pretty good inkling that the styling will be stunning, as always with Quiltmania :-)

What fun we had!

Photo Shoot day

Don’t bump anything!

Quiltmania currently has a competition running on their website

(click link here to go directly to the competition)

from now until the 20th Dec

where you could win a copy of ‘Quilts from the Colonies’ and ‘Quilts for Life Made with Love’

the beautiful new book by my talented friend Judy Newman

image of Quilts for Life Made with Love

Quilts for Life Made with Love by Judy Newman. Published by Quiltmania

I am dizzy with excitement to finally see the results of my efforts.

It will be for sale on Quiltmania’s website from the 21st December.

Landed and for sale in Australia will probably be March/April.

Huge thanks to Carol and the Quiltmania team for this wonderful opportunity

Happy Stitching over the Christmas break

‘Til next

Margaret x

 

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Throwin’ a Friday arvo sickie…

image of Connecticut quilt

…cos I feel like blogging not working.

I’ve been continuing with this quilt over the last couple of months

image of WIP quilt

working title Connecticut Quilt

but before I show you how it’s evolving I want you to see how the 1800s Sunburst is looking now that all the blocks are together.

IMAGE OF Sunburst-wr-wm

working title 1800s Sunburst.

We all know what a nice feeling it is when the last bit of stitching is done on a quilt top.  And this one was no exception…that was a lot of hand pieced circular blocks!  The applique petals were very quick to do though and now it she is all ready for the quilting machine.  I’m not in a great hurry to quilt her though…I’m still mulling quilting ideas over in my head.

So back to the Connecticut quilt and when I left you last I was pondering whether the baskets would stay or go…Thank you for all your kind and encouraging comments, I really appreciated the input.

I did decide to keep them, but they needed a little *attention* so I took them off to neaten them up…

image of baskets

Off they came.

…and in true Libran style I changed my mind and they didn’t go back on.

You see I’ve always liked these little Peony blocks.

image of Peonies

Peony Blocks.

 I’m just finishing the last half dozen or so blocks at the moment and then that will be a border complete.

This is how it’s all looking so far.

image of Connecticut quilt

Connecticut Quilt take 2.

There’s still a wee way to go with it…more borders of course.  But sooo nice to be moving forward with this after a long hiatus.

Spring is in the air here and it was lovely to spend an evening in the city with my darling daughter recently…drinks, ballet, dinner.

I had fun making this photo collage of our evening.

Image of Melbourne Collage

I heart Melbourne.

thanks for visiting,

til next,

happy stitching

Margaret

Loving the Winter

image of OMG Ombre

Winter means nights in, in front of the fire.

Nights in front of the fire means hand-sewing.

BTW, thank you SBS for playing a great movie last night on the telly ~ “Walk the Line” with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon~ I stayed up till the end and got lots o’ stitching done.

image of handpiecing

One 1800s Sunburst block finished and well on the way with another.

This is a finished block from last week

image of 1800s Sunburst Block

Admiring my handywork over breakfast LOL

And here’s how the finished blocks are looking on the design wall this morning,

image of 1800s Sunburst Blocks

I just keep telling myself “I am getting closer”.

OMG Ombre is on the quilting machine and nearly done.

image of OMG Ombre

That Prussian Blue Ombre just pops throughout the quilt.

So with the imminent finish of another quilt, I’ve been pulling things out of drawers in the studio, (there is no shortage of UFOs there) and the winner just might be…

image of WIP quilt

Connecticut Quilt

Looking back through my notes I think I started this in *Gulp* 2008 (possibly earlier) and of late I’ve had some new ideas for it.

Not least because I can’t even find my original Electric Quilt drawings for it.  I suspect they were done way back on EQ5!, on the computer that died with out a backup. (Big Lesson learnt that day).

Because I love the fabrics in this quilt so much, it really would be a shame not to continue, and hey, one has recently been reproduced which is kinda handy LOL.

I’m pondering whether to take the baskets off and begin afresh from the star.

I’ve started drawing it up anew on EQ7 so will see where it takes me.

I’m going to carry on with that for the rest of the day.

Thanks for visiting,

til soon,

Margaret :-)

Two finishes

image of OMG Ombre

I have finally completed the top of Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy, just the quilting to do now.

*Insert Happy Beaming Face*

image of Miss Hitchens' Whimsy

Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy

With MHW’s completion I got stuck into OMG Ombre…cutting the fabric for the remaining flying geese blocks.  Well when I say remaining I mean 22 of the 25 needed…I hadn’t got very far initially.

image of OMG Ombre

Ready to sew.

I spent a lovely (coldish) weekend two weekends ago sewing by the fire, using foundation piecing for speed and accuracy.

image of OMG Ombre

The pile of finished blocks getting bigger.

 By the end of the weekend I had made all the Wild Goose Chase blocks and then started playing with the alternate blocks…I needed to decide if I did or didn’t want them scrappy, did I want to add pink triangles? (cos I had a nice pink Ombre print I was dying to use)

image of Alternate Blocks

Some ombres, some checks, some florals… No pink, didn’t look right.

There was a bit of this going on periodically to make sure I was still happy…

image of Alternate Blocks

Yep, happy with that.

But the weekend was over too soon and I had to pack it away :-(

The very next weekend, out it all came again and I finshed the alternate blocks, assembled them and *even* got the border on.

More decisions to be made there of course, lol I had in my head that it would be quite a subtle pieced border…there was enough going on in the centre I thought.

image of OMG Ombre

I started out subdued but got progressively bolder.

I tried all sorts of combinations and ended up with this… Not what I had in mind at all but, hey sometimes you have to listen to what the quilt has to say.

image of OMG Ombre

More ombre, more prussian blue, more brown.

 So I have two quilts ready to machine quilt .. such a good feeling.

Hoping you are getting some productive sewing time too

til next

Happy stitching

Margaret

Progress x three

image of 1800s sunburst blocks

I’m so close to finishing Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy … I can hardly believe it.

I’ve calculated just four evenings of stitching will complete the remaining two small corner blocks.

(once I have prepared them of course)

image of Miss Hitchens' Whimsy corner

Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy corner block…two down, two to go.

And then I just need a few hours to assemble because all the border strips are sewn…

image of Miss Hitchens' Whimsy borders

Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy outer borders.

…and the centre is done.

image of Miss Hitchens' Whimsy Centre

Centre block…FULL of Broderie Perse.

It is such a *good* feeling.

So that is the first of the three quilts that are in the *Priority Pile*.

The second is the 1800s Sunburst Quilt…maybe progress is too specific a word for this.  Chugging, nay Plodding along might be more apt but I am getting there and I periodically have another finished block to admire.

image of 1800s sunburst blocks

1800s Sunburst blocks, the top left is the most recent finish

I still get a thrill out of finishing one and deciding “which one next?” At the moment I seem to be drawn to these Vermiculate style patterns.

image of 1800s Sunburst blocks

More blocks.

Once MHW is finished I’ll be able to get a bit more gung ho with these blocks.

And I’ve decided to use these Leaf Templates from Made Studio for the elipse corner applique…I’ve used these before and really like the accuracy and speed of these ready made templates.

image of Applique leaves

Made Studio Leaf Templates.

The third is my OMG Ombre (that’s the working title lol)

With the arrival of more of the fabrics I wanted I can get cracking on this (yay)

image of OMG Ombre

Prussian Blue Ombre by Pam Weeks and Eccentric print by Lisa DeBee Schiller.

I’m itching to start sewing again on this… But first I’m going to prepare those last two MHW blocks…today.

I hope you are enjoying your UFO’s too.

thanks for visiting

til next

Margaret :-)

OMG Ombre and some new patterns

Rising Sun Medallion

I’ve been enjoying working with some Ombre fabrics which have been in my stash for a wee while,

and I confess I’m still adding new ones to my shelves.

Ombre fabric, also known as a Rainbow or Fondu print, was very fashionable with quiltmakers during the 1830-1850 period.  The fabrics created shading and interest to applique quilts (think epergne vases in Baltimore Album quilts) 

On my shelves these two ombres started inching their way forward ’til they fell off, giggling and holding hands and I noticed them again.

image of Ombre fabrics

Classic (not to mention gorgeous) Ombres.

And of course then I got enthused.

image of Wild Goose Chase block

Wild Goose Chase, working title OMG Ombre

So I have a few more blocks to make…I will be alternating the Wild Goose Chase blocks with another pieced block.  Yay, a chance to use more ombres and I’m happy to have some more machine piecing to do after months of hand stitching.

 The hand stitching I’m doing is piecing my 1800s Sunburst blocks.

image of Sunburst blocks

1800s Sunburst blocks.

I am just loving the fabrics in this quilt, again I’m pulling out oldies but goodies along with newies.

image of 1800s Sunburst quilt

Marcus Bros. Aged Muslin and (in no particular order) a bounty of 1800s fashionable fabrics.

 And ombres feature here too. This pic is just from the last time it was up on the design wall and I coudn’t resist sewing four together so I could see how the applique would work as a secondary pattern.

Two recent-ish quilt finishes are

Margot

Margot, after my Mother-in-law Margot DeCamp and Margo Krager ~ whose fabrics I adore and use A LOT :-)

Margot, after my Mother-in-law Margot DeCamp and Margo Krager ~ whose fabrics I adore and use A LOT :-)

and Rising Sun Medallion

Rising Sun Medallion

Rising Sun Medallion

I’ve also finally updated my Pattern page with some new additions, I’m very excited to have some more patterns for sale.

A cup of tea and some more sewing beckons,

happy stitching 

til soon

Margaret

No way, it can’t possibly be…can it?

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Well the computer can’t lie, and I am hanging my head in embarrassment here.

I haven’t blogged for long time.

 I have been hanging out on Facebook a little bit and lately on Instagram too but it’s not quite the same is it.

https://www.facebook.com/quiltstation

http://instagram.com/margaretmew/

Shall I just get back on the horse and hope you’ll let me pick up where I left off?

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Thank you…Ahem…shuffle of feet…I’m blogging, and it feels good.

Last time you saw my Pomegranate quilt, I was bundling up a few blocks to sew on a trip to NZ.

image of Applique prep

May 2014 Travel Prep

Look at it now!

image of Pomegranate quilt

Pomegranate quilt.

I am really pleased with the way this quilt has turned out…quite bright (clear) for me; usually I’m muddy-er and scrappy-er.

And sticking to three fabrics and a background?

LOL I couldn’t, there are a few subtle additions in the borders.

 A Hepburn Springs local

A Hepburn Springs local

I headed off to the wonderful Hepburn Springs (Daylesford, Vic.) last September with some of my LQG;

its always a special weekend with these ladies many of whom I’ve sewn with for nigh on 20 years.

Taking a morning stroll for coffee offers some lovely sights and the chance to meet a local.

Then back to the house for stitching.

I had plenty with me to choose from because I’ve started a several new quilts over the last months.

(And pulled a few UFO’s out of storage with renewed vigour)

1800s Sunburst Quit

1800s Sunburst Quilt.

 I cut out a few of these hand-pieced Sunburst blocks in readiness for retreat. I then cut some more and have since sewn all of those.

And since then have cut the rest of the blocks needed for the quilt and spend most evenings hand stitching these.

Lots of my favourite 1800s repro fabrics happening here. Blues Browns and Pinks

Lots of my favourite 1800s repro fabrics happening here. Blues Browns and Pinks.

Last count I have half the blocks sewn, but it doesn’t pay to count too often ;-)

Also during January, aka ‘My Month of Selfish Sewing’, I have started and finished a machine pieced quilt top named Lexington Road.

Lexington Road

Lexington Road

 It’s only draped over the quilting machine, I wonder if anyone will notice if ‘MMoSS’ extends for a few more days…I’d love to get it quilted!

And January sewing included getting all these cute little applique blocks together, and continuing with the quilt I’m calling Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy.

Lots of half Circles

Lots of half circles, Miss Hitchens’ Whimsy.

 I’m teaching it at The Applique Guild’s Applique Academy later this year.

see The Applique Guild of Australia‘s website for more details.

There’s been some other ‘finishes’ since we last spoke, but perhaps I’ll leave those til next time

as the neck is a tad sore from tapping at the computer, but it feels really nice to connect with you all again.

Thank you for taking an interest in what I get up to, I do enjoy sharing it.

til next

Margaret

June Orr 1849

image of initials and date

I was really surprised to realise when writing the last blog post that I hadn’t written at all about the June Orr quilt which was hanging over the top of the ladder in this pic from last time

image of Antique Quilts

My ladder of Antique Quilts

 So as promised, though not as timely as promised,

( I have been back nearly two months…eeek where did that go?)

here are some pics and the ‘short’ story of the June Orr 1849 quilt.

Aren’t we just eternally grateful to our quilting sisters of yesteryear who had the presence of mind to sign and date their quilts!

image of initials and date

Initials and date, thank you June.

When I purchased the quilt back in 2012 from Cindy Rennels Quilts at the Paducah KY. quilt show it came with some provenance which tells us J.O. is June Orr.  She lived in Cannonsburg County, Pennsylvania which is just south- west of Pittsburg. 

L-R. Cindy Rennels, Me, Gerald Roy (Pilrim & Roy) Sherry Cook.

L-R. Cindy Rennels, Me, Gerald Roy (Pilrim & Roy) Sherry Cook.

The above pic is taken the day I decided June’s quilt was coming home with me, my dear friend Sherry really helped me make up my mind (yes I needed a second opinion…can you imagine it!  But as you’ll know if you’ve been to the major quilt shows in the U.S.A. the amount of antique quilts on offer is mindboggling)

Gerald Roy dropping in to the booth at the same time, and saying “great buy…I had my eye on that, well done” just capped off a great day.  Cindy and Ronnie Rennels are the most gorgeous people and I enjoy seeing them when I’m at a show.

June Orr used a classic combination of Red and Green for her nine block applique quilt.  

The green  fabric has stood up well over the 160 odd years since she made her quilt but the red has not fared as well.

This block is pretty good

This block is pretty good

This one not so well

This one not so well

The red fabric has lost its print which has ‘dropped out’ causing the small holes, in places almost the entire piece has disintergrated. But it doesn’t detract at all I feel.  It is only on a few of the blocks and it is typical of the effect of the dying processes used at the time.

I have drafted the block and started to make up my own version,  I confess this is a slow process as so many other qults tempt…but slow and steady wins the race.

image of June Orr repro

June Orr 1849 repro,

I have made more than one block I hasten to add LOL, and I have cut out most of the pieces.. Can I be so bold as to declare a ‘finishing frenzy’ or would I just end up eating my words?

With the imminent finish of the Pomegranate quilt (all blocks appliqued and just have to do the border) I actually feel excited about getting a UFO out of the cupboard, this could be the one but yes there are plenty of others to choose from.

thanks for dropping by and happy stitching,

til soon

Margaret

Travel prep

image of Benjamin Biggs block 4

Isn’t it great that we can take our stitching with us when we go gadding about.  I just wish I could sew in the car though, I know many can but not me…makes me feel a tad squeamish.

Before first light tomoro I am off to New Zealand for what we now jokingly call the annual pilgrimage. As always it will be a busy time racing hither and thither and as always I am prepping my sewing for the trip.

And as always (ever the optimist) I have prepped *Heaps*.

I have decided the Benjamin Biggs block will be a nuisance to sew on the plane as it’s a bit ‘crisp’ with the Freezer Paper method I used this time.

image of Benjamin Biggs block 4

So Benjamin Biggs is out of the cabin bag, but will be in the suitcase.

Onboard sewing is now back-basting of the last three corner blocks for the Pomegranate Quilt…too easy, no scissors and should be pretty quick.

image of Applique Back Basting prep

Roll these up and stick 'em in my handbag ;-)

I had already marked the back and *lightly* glued the blue fabric to the background so this is all good to go.

One corner block is already back-basted and ready for appliqueing.

image of Applique Back Basting prep

This morning I made all the remaining outer pomegranates (Red) and since taking the photo have made the remaining middle section (orange Cheddar),  I’m now making the uppermost elipse (Red).

image of Applique prep

To see how the Pomegranate blocks are looking so far click here

Now for a little bit of eye candy.

image of Antique Quilts

My ladder of Antique Quilts (and assorted pieces)

I bought a ladder to display my antique quilts but they don’t all fit.  I have had fun arranging and rearranging as you can imagine.

The top quilt you have seen before, it’s a dated 1849 quilt from Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania,  made by June Orr.

And you know what? I’ve just discovered I haven’t blogged about as I thought, I just went back to find the post and there isn’t one.  So as soon as I get back I will do a post but there is a pic to whet your appetitie  here.

The next two down (the Prince’s Feather and the Red & Green Applique) were purchases from Houston in 2013 so I will do those too.

And as a postscript to the last post…all that lovely Autumn foliage.  This morning I opened the kitchen blinds to see a lone rose.  I happen to live in an area that has a very long rose season… and I sure planted plenty.

So with only nine days until the start of Winter please enjoy this, especially if your rose season is shorter than mine.

image of Alchemist rose

Last rose of the season, Alchemist by David Austin.

But I’ve tricked you (or I’ve been tricked) because there is one more *last* rose just spotted as I was coming back to the studio after lunch

image of roseI’ve been wracking my brains for the name of this one.  It is a David Austin and I do know it but it’s just down filtering down today.

I have to go finish my last little pile of elipses.

til soon 

Happy Stitching

Margaret