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

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












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


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 :-)

I’m off to ‘quilting’

Malatville Album Saturn

Do you just refer to your local quilt group as Quilting… I just yell to DH from the door “Ok I’m off to quilting…see you” even though I don’t actually quilt there.   I belong to quite a few different quilt related organisations and always refer to them by proper names, it’s only my fortnightly Wednesday group (The Goldfields Quilters) that has lost its moniker.   Do you do the same?

Anyway tonight is quilting, the first one after the Christmas break, and even though the rain is pouring down (and thunder has just started) and the roads will be yuk I will be steadfastly going because I can and many of my quilting comrades in Qld and NSW can’t go anywhere due to devastating flooding, so I’m going for you guys and will encourage everyone to go through their stashes to help you replenish yours.

After my last post a couple of you asked about the Maltaville Album Quilt being a kind of quilt-along or pattern.

Well, Jennifer (my technical support and  5foot1quilts ) had suggested just that very thing last week so your queries were very timely, thank you.

After talking with Jenn about it again and working out how best to do it, I can say that yes I will be doing a pattern which people can join in and download the patterns each month.

I do just want to get another block or two ahead before I start though and I’ll have to spend a little time learning how to do downloadable patterns etc, and there’ll probably be a blog to go with it that participants can post their blocks on too.  Stay tuned and I hope to get it happening in the next few weeks.

In the meantime… I have spent the morning preparing some hand stitching ready to take to ‘quilting’ tonight and my next Maltaville block is one I’ll be taking.

Malatville Album Saturn

Maltaville Album Quilt ~ Saturn Block

This is now all tacked and glued down but I though I’d show you some of the process.   What I needed was something 5 1/4″ round to trace around…you know how hard it is to draw a circle.  My Perfect Circles templates don’t go that big so I started hunting around the studio then the kitchen where I spotted these…

Copper Pots

Gotta be something close in that lot

Circle is 5 1/4" exactly.

Fabric Choices

Choosing the fabrics

At the last minute I decided to make the little moons out of three different Smithsonian fabrics for a bit of tonal variety so the bottom fabric has been joined by two more.   I’m really happy with how it’s looking and this one won’t take long to stitch (I hope).

However as this is going to now be a Quilt-along it may have been smarter for me to start with the centre block (doh).  At present I’m just doing them in any order that appeals but I should probably start thinking about a more orderly approach.

Connecticut Quilt

Connecticut Quilt

I spent a blissful Monday and Tuesday further planning and sewing on the Connecticut Quilt.  I have added the small Ohio Stars to ‘square up’ the quilt in readiness for the next border (red and cream squares).

I stared gung ho by making a little block and then rejected it


I really like this striped fabric and it certainly ‘went’ with everything else around it but when I put up on the wall with the quilt centre it lacked definition…

Ohio Star

That’s better against the baskets.

These blocks are tiny…3 1/8″ finished, so it was easier to make the units oversized and trim them down.Tiny units

And the light fabric is very fine so starching it helped to stabilise it for such small pieces.


I prefer the Best Press on the left (no residue) but had to resort to Crisp when I ran out

And just because there’s no time like the present to start playing around with something new (I am still en vacance after all) here’s another little bit of hand stitching I prepared this morning.

French Quilt

French Quilt

French Quilt

French Quilt

18 months ago I bought some very gorgeous fabrics when I was holidaying in the south of France (from Les Olivades in St Etienne du Gres near St Remy de Provence) and have been pondering possible quilts to use them in.   Last week I found a pattern for a variation on the Double Wedding Ring, the pattern was by Deb McArdle who is a designer and tutor from Ballarat (Deb was one of the quilters  whose work I noticed and enjoyed early in my quiltmaking days and in November I had the pleasure of being a judges’ assistant to Deb when she was one of two judges at the One Step Further Exhibition in Melbourne)

Deb has come up with this really interesting way of creating a Double Wedding Ring using a square and bias strips.

Bias strip

Making Bias Strip using fusible paper

Super quick and easy.

Now I’ve just got time to tidy up the mess I’ve made in the studio after all this morning’s activity before organising dinner for the family and heading out the door to Quilting.

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…

Connecticut Quilt c.1865-1890

I got so well organised with my Connecticut Quilt basket handles last Friday, that I finished appliqueing the handles on Friday night!!! (mid-winter here so a night in front of the fire, a glass of red and some hand-sewing…aaaahh bliss)

Therefore I didn’t take them to the Melton Quilt -In on Saturday after all and I managed to finish two more blocks for the Sarah Morrell Quilt instead, so I am very happy about that.

Sorry it’s just a short post for you today but I am going to get out the machine and sew the handles to the basket ‘bottoms’ as soon as I’ve made my morning coffee…It will be a great morale boost to get this basket border on, the poor Connecticut Quilt has been just a centre star block for a long time.

talk soon…

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…