Valdani Threads…

image of Valdani Threads

I went to AQC (Australian Quilt Convention) on Saturday and was volunteering all day (9-5) so the only time to do any shopping was lunchtime.  I had arranged to meet up with Jennifer and ~as she’d had a chance to do a pre-purchase circuit~ the first shop she pointed me to was The Thread Studio.  I had been looking for these threads at every show I’d been to since Jennifer told me about them~and posted about them here. The threads are from Romania, are Hand Overdyed, 35 weight 100% high merc. long staple cotton.  (35 weight European = 24 weight American)

So now I have managed to get some…thanks Jenn for your eagle-eyed shopping skills

image of Valdani Threads

These will be beautiful to Broderie Perse with.  I’ve laid them out on this piece of Smithsonian Broderie Perse-able fabric because it was the only fabric I could bring to mind when choosing thread colours in a hurry.  But I see I should have slowed down and thought about it a bit more…too many orangey/reds.

I’m sure I’ll add some more colours but for now I’m happy to have found the threads, the Australian distributor and also Valdani’s website.


Works in Progress…and hand quilted to boot.

Making Welsh Quilts, Mary Jenkins & Clare Claridge

The reason for dragging down off the top shelf these two WIPs I’m going to show, is I have just been tripping around blogland and looking at this blog called Little Welsh Quilts and Other Traditions.  It’s the blog of Mary Jenkins, who wrote this book with Clare Claridge.

Making Welsh Quilts, Mary Jenkins & Clare Claridge

Making Welsh Quilts by Mary Jenkins and Clare Claridge

I found the blog through Penny Tucker’s blog and have checked in to take a look a couple of times in the last few weeks as Mary and Clare’s book (above) is one I’ve had in my quilt book library since 2007.

So all that reminded me of an unfinished quilt a la gallois (or should that be galloise…but that sounds like a cigarette) on my shelf and because I’m having a quiet day (not a lazy day…a quiet day, I am hanging a quilt exhibition tomorrow and I need to conserve my energy) I thought “I shall get that down and blog about it”  and while I was at it I grabbed another one too…the thing these two quilts have in common is that they are the only unfinished Hand Quilted projects I have.

I’m not saying they’re going to be the last two things I ever hand quilt, but it’s a distinct possibility.

After going to Wales in 2006 and buying Mary and Clare’s book (and Jen Jones’s) I started taking a real interest in Welsh Quilts and decided I would like to make a reproduction quilt in that style…right down to the knife edge finished…no binding. (But of course I’m not up to that bit yet am I)

My inspiration came from a quilt picture I tore out of an English ‘housey’ magazine and I also had some old Welsh and North Country Quilting patterns to inspire me.   I’ve added Jen Jones’s book to the photo, because it would not be right to have a post about Welsh Quilts and not mention Jen Jones (several times) and add a link.


Inspiration, and my 'working' drawings.

Welsh Quilt

Can you see the similarity...You can say "no", I won't mind...

…when you see the whole thing, when it’s finished, you might see it better.

Of course I had to take a bit of poetic licence with the centre as the magazine clipping didn’t give too much away.

Now for some lovely close-ups

Welsh Quilt backing fabric.

Here's the back.

I really wanted red paisley, but three years ago I couldn’t find the density of colour and pattern I was after

(actually this, in red, would have been perfect) but I’m happy with this blue from Corliss.

Quilting Pattern, Welsh Flat Iron

Welsh Flat Iron, traditional Welsh quilting pattern.

My old quilt patterns came in handy, plus there are a lot in Mary and Clare’s book.

Paisley Pear

Paisley Pear, another Welsh quilting pattern.

Oh, and there’s some of that favourite pink I blogged about on the 17th Oct.

Two long-time favourite Windham fabrics

Two long-time favourite Windham fabrics. The larger print is the background for my Connecticut Quilt.

Centre detail

Detail of quilt centre.

The quilting of the centre is complete but there is still a lot to be done in the borders.

Though I have mapped out what is going where, that’s half the battle isn’t it.

Pattern sheets

Welsh Quilt, quilting 'maps'

This is one that will be a pattern, though I really need to finish it first.

I really want to continue with the hand quilting of this quilt,

even though I now own a Long-arm quilt machine and could quilt those patterns on Violet, I want to finish this one with the vision I had at the start, so it’s going to take a while.

But, hey, it’s down off the shelf now and blogging about things can give us a a bit of a kick.

And here’s a section of the other (WiP) quilt.

1860 - 1880 quilt

Double Pink, Indigo, Chrome Yellow, Madder Brown etc. The fabrics of 1860-1880.

This is only small, 39″ square.  Started in 2006 (?) and probably a third of the quilting is  done.

I did a one day workshop with Jan Gessin Baker, a lesson in the fabrics of the era and searching through ‘the stash’ to find authentic reproductions to replicate one of her (many) antique quilts… Because Jan also has an extensive collection of vintage fabrics, it was interesting to analyse the real thing, find the reproduction equivalent (and sometimes you can see the absolute copy) and see how well the designers are reproducing them.

Not just that workshop day but also the eight years I was attending Threadbear and Jan’s Quilt History Study Group, was when I really started paying very close attention to the detail in the fabrics (Antique and Repro).

Sometimes I think a repro is just not a good enough match for me…(I was actually going to stop blogging and get some dinner but I’m going to quickly grab the camera, take a snap and show you a case in point)


Kashmir V by Sentimental Studios for Moda, This fabric in a larger scale...I would have nearly bought the shop out. Instead I bought 30 cm.

Maybe I should have gone and  got dinner and not got on my soap box about this but…

…the larger companion print of this fabric (not shown because I didn’t buy any) should have been perfect for Broderie Perse but it just does not have the definition or sharpness of pattern nor the intensity of colour that this smaller print has. It’s just plain fuzzy and, in my mind, not suitable for BP even though it is clearly trying to be a reproduction of fabrics which were used for Broderie Perse but the pictured fabric with the appropriate definition/intensity etc is just too small.

Maybe I’ll start drawing up my own fabric designs…

but for now, tummy rumbling

Thanks for visiting…

Still stitching…

morrell blocks

Since the Melton Quilt-In two weeks ago I’m still going strong with the Sarah Morrell 1843 Quilt.  I have finished another 4 Broderie Perse Blocks but I’m not actually counting how many I have left to stitch so I can’t tell you.  It’s mid winter here and if I’m not out, I’m by the fire stitching in the evenings.

Here’s the stack of still to do blocks…all stuck down just ready for needle and thread.

morrell blocks

Ready to sew, Broderie Perse Sarah Morrell blocks.

Ok, couldn’t help myself, just hopped up to count them…13, unlucky for some.

morrell block

This is the one I'm working on this week. Hope it doesn't take all week!

But, here is the stack of finished blocks…morrell blocks

Two years ago I started this quilt so I’m not doing too bad… and in anticipation of feeling like a break from Broderie Perse this week, this morning I prepared one of the pieced borders for the smaller Broderie Perse blocks.  I’ll hand piece this one (because of the diamonds) though I foundation pieced the others.  Fave Smithsonian fabric being used in this one.

morrell border

During the week the Secret Sewing Sisterhood posted about their Sarah Morrell quilts.  If you haven’t had a chance to look (or don’t know about them) do please have a look.  Their latest post is about all the Sarah Morrell Quilts they’ve made, all the quilts are gorgeous and seeing them is certainly keeping me motivated.  They started theirs *years ago* with Di Ford (Di produced the pattern) back in the days when Di owned the wonderful Primarily Patchwork in Theatre Place off Maling Rd.

And just to show that the Connecticut Quilt has not been forgotten (or forsaken), here is the latest pic showing I’m steadily chipping away at it. The basket borders are sewn, but not yet attached.  I just have to draft up the tiny Ohio Stars for the corners of this border.  This pic’s especially for Megan (Ryland Quilts), she gave me a gentle hurry along through the week and she’ll be expecting to see more done next Friday at our six to midnight group.

connecticut quilt

Connecticut Quilt 1865-1890, getting there.

I’m off to the Melbourne Quilt Show tommorrow,  it’ll be my first time as a ‘Quilt Angel’, (or ‘white glove person’) so I’m sure I’ll enjoy that.  I’ve seen most of the quilts as I was there on setting up day but the quilts didn’t have names on them then so tommorrow I’ll be able to see who’s done what.  There are fabulous quilts and I know there’ll be a great array of traders too.

Thanks for visiting…

Sarah Morrell Album Quilt 1843

Connecticut Quilt

Tommorrow several of us from the Goldfields Quilters are heading off bright and early to the Melton Quilters Quilt-In.

So I’ve just been puddling about in the studio deciding what to take, well … finalising what I’m going to take, I had decided earlier in the week to take these little Basket Blocks from my Connecticut Quilt which only need handles appliqued on, all cut/marked and ready to go.

Connecticut Quilt

I could/should (and will) take these.

But then I like to have a back up plan, in case I just don’t feel like working on the project I’ve brought with me… (This truly happens to me, I don’t know why.  Maybe I just have to sabotage my own plans…crazy)

…so I decided to dig out the blocks from the Sarah Morrell Quilt which I have been working on.  Love, love, love this quilt from 1843 which Di Ford (see Secret Sewing Sisterhood) recreated the pattern after.

I have completed a lot of these blocks already, pretty much all the pieced and needle turn applique ones, but have ‘quite a few‘ Broderie Perse ones to do and so I’ll take some of these to Melton.  And while I was deciding which blocks to take, I thought I might as well photograph and show them to you.

There are already many Morrell photo’s on blogs around the world but one of the reasons I want to show you mine is because I decided to use fabrics from my own stash, including my precious Smithsonian and Vintage fabrics, instead of the fabrics which came in the block of the month (those fabrics were gorgeous but I put them away in my stash in favour of using others). I also wanted my quilt to be more like the original in colour…  but I do want to say a big Thank You to Di Ford for a brilliant pattern, beautifully presented and well written.

Anyway here are some pics to enjoy…and I hope I get lots done tommorrow :-)

Morrell Quilt

This block's finished / top row, block 4

Morrell Quilt

I'm taking this one to finish...

Morrell Quilt

Haven't even started this one...tommorrow's the day

In the block above and the next couple below I used fabric cut from Den Haan and Wagenmakers ‘Tree of Life’ panel.  I’ve managed to get a lot of use out of just one panel…it appears in at least one other quilt of mine and I’ve still got bits left.

Morrell Quilt

Another finished one.

Morrell Quilt

Haven't started this one.

Morrell Quilt

mmmmmmmm Smithsonian...and it's finished.

Morrell Quilt

got a bit lazy, one big piece of Vintage Fabric stitched down...but it's finished.

Morrell Quilt

I'll take this one's already to go, I'd even left the needle in...Bad.

Morrell Quilt

more Smithsonian Row 7 / block 6

Morrell Quilt

I decided to add an odd fabric in the centre, It's where William Strahan had his name.

Couple more…

Morrell Quilt

Vintage Fabric Row 8 / block 6 (finished)

Morrell Quilt

Smithsonian fabric...but I'm not sure if I'll use this one, it might not work.

Now I’ve got to organise my lunch and sewing notions for the day.

Thanks for visiting…

Vintage Fabric

Vintage Fabric

I wish I could find my receipt for the vintage fabric I bought a few years ago…it will turn up sometime and as soon as it does I’ll show it to you.

In the meantime, as promised in an earlier post, here are some more photo’s of another of the vintage fabrics I bought in Bath, U.K. in 2006.

This one is the fabric I paid the most for (10 pounds) but it was the one that caught my eye first and is most definitely my favourite of the four pieces.

Vintage Fabric

Sarah Morrell Quilt/unpieced block

I have used quite a bit of it in the Sarah Morrell Quilt.  Di Ford reproduced this antique quilt from 1843 and it was a very popular ‘Block of the Month’ through Threadbear Quilters in Castlemaine 2 years ago.  I signed up to make the quilt but have yet to finish it (I have quilted a couple of Morrell quilts for customers though, so there is no excuse for my lack of motivation… it is gorgeous when finished).  Actually, Di’s Sarah Morrell and my Mid 19th C Star are holidaying together at Petra Prins place in the Netherlands…lucky quilts, they get to have all the fun.

So, I used it in this unpieced block and also some Broderie Perse and a pieced and appliqued Star block.

Vintage Fabric

Sarah Morrell Quilt/Broderie Perse block.

Vintage Fabric

Sarah Morrell Quilt/ pieced and appliqued star block

Then I still had a bit left and decided to use some in the Hexagon Quilt I am working steadily on for next year’s  Vic. Quilters ‘Fabric of Society’ Challenge.

Vintage Fabric

Bits ready for the Hexagon Quilt

And that has virtually used it up, I only have the littlest bits left for Applique and those precious pieces live in the box labelled ‘Vintage and Smithsonian Scraps’.

It would have been a fabulous fabric for ‘fussy cutting’ but just way too precious to to do that and leave unusable holes in it.

Colour wise, this fabric is a true ‘Perkin’s Purple’, which was a dyeing method/colour developed in 1856, and probably dates from around then or up till the end of the 1800s.  Even though it doesn’t have any holes, it feels slightly brittle…as if one good pull and it would tear like tissue.

Vintage Fabric

This is what's left...precious scraps

Tonight I’ll be working on some more hexagons in front of the fire, it’s been cold and bleak here today and because I finished a customer’s quit today, I can curl up with my own sewing…bliss.

Thanks for visiting…

Check this out…

Asterisk block from

Hi, yesterday while I was perusing the net I came across Karen Griska’s fantastic blog called selvageblog and in an earlier post I saw a tutorial for this Asterisk block.

Asterisk block from

So, this is my trial block, it took me all of about 10 minutes to make and tonight while I’m at Goldfields Quilters I’m going to make a whole lot more (even though I’m supposed to be doing something else)

This block is soooooooooooooooo easy, there are very detailed instructions on the blog (in case I have not inserted the link properly just got to Karen’s blog and follow her own archive to the Asterisk Quilt)

I’m going to make mine entirely out of repro fabrics with assorted lights…not necessarily shirtings…and basically you start with a 6″ square of fabric and a strip 1″ wide by 32″ long, so a great ‘stash buster’.

Last weekend I was at the Sydney Quilt Show…I had a super time, beautiful quilts and great vendors and nice weather.

I bought  few ‘bits’ of fabric… Here are just a couple,

1940s Urn fabric panel

This first one is a 1940s vintage piece from Butterfield Tate Gallery in Sydney.  She had full sized panels of this fabric but I was happy to buy a very large remnant which I’m sure I’ll find a use for.  It will be gorgeous for Broderie Perse…yes I’ll probably cut it up.

…and this one is just one for the stash, I thought it a really useful brown.

Just a really useful brown.

It’s a Baum Textile fabric but the selvedge doesn’t tell me anything else unfortunately, but it’s from Post Office Patchwork in Glenbrook NSW.

I’ve got to get my stuff ready for Goldfields Quilters now…It’s my turn to unlock.

Thanks for visiting…


Banyan Tree Medallion

Banyan Tree Medallion centre panel

You can see I’ve changed things again…new theme for starters.   I just couldn’t get the other theme to behave the way I wanted it.  Blogging is a steep learning curve for me.

I want to show you the centre for the Banyan Tree Medallion because I’m very proud that I’ve learnt to crop and edit photos better…and of course the fabrics used are gorgeous and deserve a closer look.

Banyan Tree Medallion centre panel

One of the fabrics I’ve used for the applique is the Tree Of Life Panel from Den Haan & Wagenmakers in Amsterdam.  I have had this panel for a long time, then about a year ago impulsively cut this beautiful piece of fabric into pieces to use in some Broderie Perse blocks.  I decided to use some of the left-overs in Banyan Tree.  Other fabrics I used are Pashmina (codes 32135 and 32136) by Moda and  Samsara by Benartex.

Actually I’m probably too impulsive  for my own good…a few years ago I was in the UK and bought some pieces of vintage fabric, one of which was a  very gorgeous panel (quite similar to the Tree of Life Panel).  Just a couple of weeks ago I cut that up for an antique Hexagon quilt I’m working on…I don’t regret cutting it up but I regret (a little bit) not photographing it first.

thanks for visiting,

’til soon,


Banyan Tree Medallion

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree Medallion

Here it is, the Banyan Tree Medallion quilt.  I’m steadily working at writing up the pattern as I hope to have it ready for purchase next month.  As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I designed this quilt for the Golfields Quilters 2010 exhibition raffle and many friends (obviously not feeling confident of winning it) have asked me to produce a pattern for it.

I based the design on a quilt in the Brooklyn Museum of Arts and Science having seen a photo on page 13 of  Maggie Malone’s book Heirloom Quilts You Can Make.  The quilt maker used a very gorgeous floral and fruit panel/print in the centre of her original quilt but because I just love Indian Palampores I decided my newest ‘reproduction quilt’ ought to have a tree centre.  Actually, I want to thank my super generous friend Megan from Ryland Quilts for her assistance/encouragement in getting me started with the tree at one of our ‘Six to Midnight’ quilting sessions. (Thank you Megan)

The rest of the quilt follows reasonably closely to the original but as the photo in Maggie’s book is black and white, I have no idea at all about the original quilt’s colour.   I have trawled through the Museum’s website too (they have a lot of images to look through…but only a few quilt pictures) but I have not seen another image, nor do I know the maker’s name.    I wish I did because I would love the pay homage to her by name.

Thanks for visiting,

’til soon,