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.

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


2012, i think it’s gonna be a good one.

image of Max and Benson

It’s certainly started off well anyway,

Friends, quite literally, wandered in on a whim about 8pm New Year’s eve to see what we were doing…

image of Max and Benson

Max and Benson,

…which wasn’t a lot,  but we soon had something celebratory happening.

And it was 2012 when they left.

We have had very hot weather here during the first week of January, several days of temps around 36 to 40 degrees C (97 – 104F) so it was way too hot to be over in the cottage/studio.

Instead I decided to work in the house and get a couple of my own quilts quilted.

image of quilt detail

Image of Quilt

A quilt of many names and inspirations

Quilting this quilt top was on my Summer hol’s to do list after I finally embroidered the three pairs of legs and four eyes required to complete the quilt about a month ago.

I started this quilt back in 2008, it’s a Nonie Fisher pattern from a quilt she started in 1998 which she called ‘As Time Goes By’ after the (fabulous) British TV series of the same name starring Dame Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer.  I’ve known Nonie for many years and she told me the quilt was based on the one which was always on the bed in this show, but you only ever saw the sides (masses of pinwheels) and not the top of it so we never knew what the whole quilt looked like.

So Nonie drew up the centre from the 1818 Ann Daggs quilt and placed that in the centre of her pinwheel quilt.

Fast forward to 2008 when I was doing a class with Nonie, and she very kindly gave me the pattern sheet for the centre of this quilt and a photo of her quilt for reference.

My quilt then evolved just a little bit more as I took out two of the birds from the Ann Daggs quilt and replaced them with the Peacock and Elephant from the 1858-1863 Bird of Paradise quilt top in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum.  I had been in Rajasthan, India in 2008 and was looking to have a reminder of that.  The Peacock is the State symbol of Rajasthan and, well the Elephant needs no explanation, I saw plenty of those on the roads.

So at last my quilt is done, after I’ve stitched the binding down!!

Name…? it’s working title has been The Rajasthan Quilt but I’m not sure that now feels right.  I’ll ponder it a while.

Next on the list was this…

image of Le Rouvray House quilt

Le Rouvray's house quilt

…which I talked about back here

image of Quilting in progress

Quilting in progress

image of Le Rouvray house quilt detail

I had fun quilting this, randomly choosing between bricks for the houses and trailing vines

image of Le Rouvray House Quilt

Le Rouvray House quilt

Today it’s a bit cooler so, after lunch, I am heading off to the cottage/studio to complete the two half drafted Maltaville Blocks which are lying in wait for me.

Look at this though…I have made sure I’ve remembered to “slow down, smell the coffee

image of coffee art

Coffee, Central Victoria style

Hey there’s my quilt

'Rainbow' RJR Smithsonian from 'The Rising Sun Quilt'.  Used by Di Ford in her 'Above the Rain' quilt.
Vintage Sampler designed by Margaret Mew

Hey there's my quilt...

Since I last posted I have done so much I hardly know where to begin with this post…  Ok I’ll do it chronologically, that seems to make the most sense.

Two weeks ago Lindsay (that’s DH) and I drove to Adelaide for the inaugural Australian Machine Quilters Festival (tho I recommend flying, that’s what we’ll be doing next time)  I am soooooooooo happy I went…I did three machine quilting classes with very informative, encouraging and inspiring tutors (Kim Brummer USA, Claire Fairless-Lewis NSW,Australia and Sharon Parkinson SA Australia) and came home completely fired up to try new things on Violet (my trusty long-arm) so I have been quilting up a storm since then and really happy with my progress too.  It was terrific to be in classes with other professional machine quilters, I think our industry is unique in that there seems to be no ‘professional rivalry’ and we are all happy to share our trials and tribulations as well as our triumphs…so that we can all learn and grow.

Another highlight of the festival was the quilt exhibition where I saw ‘my quilt’, well no, let me explain… the  quilt at the top of the post was beautifully pieced and appliqued by Lyn Ilett and quilted by Wendy Gleeson, but it is my design and pattern (Vintage Sampler 2005) and it’s always a thrill as a quilt designer to see the evidence that someone has liked your work enough to, not just buy the pattern, but also likes it enough to keep working on it til the end.  I was really chuffed to see it hanging there.

My Vintage Sampler quilt spent many years in residence at Threadbear and only came ‘home’ this year so this coming weekend it is one of the quilts I’m entering in my local quilt group’s exhibition.  Which brings me nicely to the next thing I’ve been up to…Quilting those last few quilts for myself and customers to enter in the show.   I’ll probably get better photo’s on set-up day at the exhibition than I have managed to get here at home so I’ll post more about those later.  If you are anywhere near Castlemaine and want a great day out, see the details of the Exhibition here at the Goldfields Quilters blog.

oooh, have to back track a bit, on the way back from Adelaide we stopped for lunch at a little town named Keith and while we  were relaxing I was flicking thru a very ‘up market’ glossy magazine called South Australia Country Life (or something similar…it reminded me of the English Country Life magazine with the real estate ads and photo’s of debutantes and society weddings) when my attention was caught by a photo of an applique block and then some photo’s of antique sewing machines…as I read I quickly realised “hey that’s Lynne… she reads my blog, I sent her some fabric, she sent me some in return, oh this is too exciting”.

Backtracking just a bit further cos I want to share a great link with you.   In Adelaide, Lindsay and I decided to stay closer to the city and not out at Mawson Lakes which is where the Festival was held so we made a booking at a hotel in what was described as ‘Cosmipolitan North Adelaide’ and it suited us really nicely, great restaurant choices just outside the door, but most fortuitous was directly across the road was a shop called Fabric of Life which specialises in Indian and Turkish textiles, all fair trade and exquisite.

It was pure chance that we were in the right place because I don’t think I would have found it otherwise, and yes I bought an Indian quilt which I will photograph and post soon, but if you have time I urge you to have a look at the website, there are some very beautiful and inspiring designs.

Now, up to the present day…Quilts in the Barn…which is where I went today to see an incredible selection of quilts by The Secret Sewing Sisterhood and I’ll also link here to Linda’s Quilts in the Barn as I know Linda and the Secret Sisters have plans for posting all about the exhibition once it’s over, so you’ll be able to see photo’s of all the quilts at those two blog sites I’m sure.

The quilts were all stunning and I would happily have each and every one of them in my home, absolutely without exception (this is an important statement because, whilst we, as quilters, appreciate all the quilts we see and admire the dedication required to make them, we don’t necessarily want to ‘own’ every one we see)

But today when I was there I found my focus really went to the fabrics and so that is what I want to share with you here…I hope you enjoy these close-ups.

Moorish Memories

Moorish Memories Quilt, Merri Garton. Designed by Meghan Leslie.

Centre Block Jane Austen Quilt

Jane Austen Quilt II by Di Ford

I hope I have the info correct in the captions, but I loved this Prussian Blue used as the urns in two of the quilts.  Snippets of it appeared in quite a few of the quilts but it is really shown to its full advantage in the centre blocks of both these quilts.  I never had this fabric but if I had, I too would have used it ‘here and there’.

Marylebone Quilt

from a corner of the Marylebone Quilt by Di Ford

This is just a drop dead gorgeous fabric…that’s all I can say about that.

Mary Brown Quilt

Detail of Mary Brown Quilt 1851 by Meghan Leslie. Work in Progress

This I’m showing because I’m hoping you can see the exceptional applique skills of Meghan. All the quilts showed a very high level of workmanship but this really impressed me.  Keep clicking on the images, they’ll get really detailed.

Broderie Perse

Antique Wedding Sampler by Barbara Worcester, designed by Di Ford.

Ditto the Broderie Perse by Barbara Worcester. This is Broderie Perse excellence.   It appeared to be done by machine (so uniform and dense was the stitiching) but… the thread colour changes with every colour change in the fabric, in exactly the right place…not possible by machine.  Something to aspire to.

Below are a few favourite fabrics I have in my stash and use repeatedly in my own quilts…it’s great to see them enjoyed by other quilters too and of course there will be a ‘glut’ of Smithsonian fabrics here, avert your eyes if you’re not a fan.

'Rosehip' by RJR Smithsonian collection 'Little Sister's Quilt'. Used in Drayton Hall Quilt by Di Ford

'Rainbow' RJR Smithsonian from 'The Rising Sun Quilt'. Used by Di Ford in her 'Above the Rain' quilt.

'Rainbow' from The Rising Sun Quilt' shown here in Di Ford's Morrell.

Like Di, I am down to my last snippet of this fabric.   I might get the centre of a flower (or two) but that’s it.

'De Monaco Rose' RJR Smithsonian 'Little Sister's Quilt' shown in 'Pennsylvania Applique' aka 'Poppies' by Deb King, designed by Di Ford.

OK, enough Smithsonian already…

here are two fave fabrics of mine, used and enjoyed ‘here and there’ in most of my quilts.

A fave reproduction of Serpentine Stripes c 1820 - 1850. I have three colourways of this one.

This pretty pink is now completely depleted from my's all in quilts.

Well it’s now 11.50 pm… I was up this morning in readiness for an 8.30 departure to Quilts in the Barn and so now I must go to bed.

I have more photo’s to post and Jennifer and I will be adding a new post to What Fabric is soon as we have been buying Smithsonian again…among other things… and have a few things we want to show you.

But for now, night night.