To -do lists


Happy 2011 everybody.

I didn’t intend to have such a long hiatus from blogging but my little holiday break seemed to lapse in to a bout of computer laziness.

Christmas day here was lovely with family and good friends in abundance…and thankfully my children have reached the age where they can allow me to sit back (just a bit) and enjoy the day.

Ayla in the kitchen

DD, slicing and dicing; Mumsie no where to be seen but no doubt enjoying some of that Champagne.

DH and I had a couple of nights in South Melbourne at DD’s place early this week (cat and house sitting) so we got to do a few city things… balmy Melbourne evenings/sitting on the upstairs balcony/relaxing/restaurant dinners/G and T’s.

Melbourne Skyline

And during the rest of the summer break (which still has a week to go for me) I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the time to get back to some projects and to-do lists.

One quilt (top) I am really pleased to have finished is the Nebraska Basket Quilt.

You may remember this pic from an earlier post

Work in progress

Well now the top is finished and ready for quilting.

Nebraska Basket Quilt circa 1854

This quilt is one I started  a couple of years ago.  My inspiration was a quilt by Mary Novotny Lahowetz (1835-1907)

Mary and her quilt are featured on pages 20 and 21 of the book

Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers;

Edited by Patricia Cox Crewes and Ronald C. Naugle, University of Nebraska Press (1991)

Mary’s quilt features this unususal basket block whereby the piecing of the basket extends into the space usually left open below the handle.

Does spotting an unusual block variation get you rushing for graph paper and pencil too?

I have drawn up another block  for the Maltaville Album Quilt 1847 and managed to get that sewn over the break.

I decided to have a go with the ‘back basting’ method which I have seen on various blogs over time…I thought it would be perfect for this Scherenschnitte type block.

Maltaville Album Quilt 1847

Back-Basting in readiness for applique. Dargate Prussian Blue C. 1830, patt # 24413 by Margo Krager

Maltaville Album 1847

Back-Basting, reverse side shown.

Then I cut the fabric a little way ahead and unpicked just a basting stitch or two ahead of where I was sewing…Maltaville Album 1847
…turning the seam allowance under as I went.

I found the method worked very well, thank you to those of you who have shared it before.

Voila…Maltaville Album 1847

The Maltaville Album Quilt (1847) is in the Smithsonian Institute.

It contains 61 applique blocks (one large central block surrounded by 60 smaller blocks) and now I have finished two with another nearly drafted and ready to go.

The original features a lot of Prussian Blues so I am enjoying trialling different options from my stash.

The other bit of  ‘whimsy’ I’m frittering hours away on is my Drunkards Path.  I’ve no idea what this will end up as …a whole quilt or just a border for something, but in the meantine it’s a bit of enjoyable evening hand stitching or something to take to ‘quilting’ if I haven’t got anything else organised.

Drunkards Path Blocks

Drunkards Path Blocks

I’ve been cutting 5″ squares out of my stash including bits of Smithsonian, I need to add some Prussian Blues though.

Okay, one week left of the hol’s…Focus,

Connecticut Quilt, you’re next.

why, oh why, do we keep starting new things?


Hope you didn’t get a shock… I just wanted to make some changes.

My studio space and office table have been a hive of activity this last week or so.

What started the office activity was me deciding I really needed to finalise my new business card design because I wanted a more consistent ‘look’ to…well everything.  So with oodles and oodles of help from  my Design and Technical Support Team Jennifer (5foot1quilts), an image has been designed and colour theme chosen.

This has brought about the new colour for my sidebar and tabs which I am hoping you will see as a 19th century Cheddar and not a 1970s Burnt Orange!!  It did have to be mellowed a bit for the web though so as not to be too hard on the eyes.  Then of course the photo clashed so that had to be changed, this new one will have to do (even though it’s a bit greenish) until  Jennifer has time to make the logo fit in the space without being pulled out of shape.  There are still some changes I want to  make but I hope they will be minor (and so does Jenn!!!).  I’d welcome any comments about whether you like it or not, truly…be honest.

My Prussian Blues which I ordered from the States a couple of weeks ago arrived yesterday…please, whoever is filling the Aussie dollar with helium, you can stop now- I am going broke.

Prussian Blues

Dargate Prussian Blues by Margo Krager for Windham Fabrics. L to R. 24413-1, 24412-1, 24411-1, 24408-2

These are ‘oldies but goodies’ I found and had to have, I blogged about the other Prussians I have over at What Fabric is

True Madder

True Madder from Windham Fabrics #20327

This one came in the same parcel and was one I was down to the last little pieces of and was happy to be able to get more from

The activity in my studio was prompted by my forward planning for a little time off over the Christmas break, I got to thinking about a UFO or two (3,4,5…) I could get finished and pulled out this as a posibility…

Nebraska Basket

Nebraska Basket Quilt c 1850

I have 30 basket blocks sewn and have several ideas that need finalising before proceeding…

…but I needed wanted a little hand project to do at the Love and Friendship meeting last Saturday so ‘whipped up’ another Morrell block to work on.  I don’t actually require any more Morrell blocks I just felt like incorporating some Smithsonian recently added to the stash, you know how it is.

Sarah Morrell Quilt

Sarah Morrell block using RJRs Smithsonian ~ Rising Sun Quilt 'Potpourri' #2200-1

And then, as often happens when idling around the studio on a wet day, before I knew it I had started planning a new quilt…

And then started drawing, choosing, oh-oh cutting and …might as well go with it, stitching.

Maltaville Album

Inspired by the Maltaville Album Quilt 1847, Smithsonian Institute.

The Maltaville Album Quilt is one I’ve admired for ages…I’ve still got the embroidery to do on this block, but am planning the next block already, those Prussian Blues are going to come down off the shelf.

And finally…yes there’s more

Ohio Star

Ohio Star Variation

Inspired by Kathie over at Inspired by Antique Quilts (yes Kathie I’m enjoying watching the progress of your Red and White quilt) I made a quick trip in to Threadbear this morning to grab some Kona Plain (bone) because I wanted to make a start on this Ohio Star.

In my defence, the Ohio Star is being made for a reason (well, a reason other than I just felt like it…which is plenty good enough reason), next year The Goldfields Quilters (my LQG) is being featured in the Victorian Quilters Showcase and about 18 of us have commited to each providing a quilt to hang in the Exhibition. In order to make a cohesive display some of us are doing Ohio Stars.   Mine is going to be different Turkey Reds and plain White…I wanted a more solid look, hence the variation to the traditional colour placement, then I wanted it just abit more open so added the applique circle.  I think I’m happy with it but I may make the applique circle a bit bigger, that will mean another quick trip to Threadbear to buy the bigger set of Mylar Circles…

And of course I didn’t just leave with the Kona plain this morning did I…


Garibaldi #7017-8 by Sara Morgan for Blue Hills Fabric

Why do we start new things? I don’t know…but a few in blogland have been pondering over the same thought recently.

Is it because if we start it, it’s now something tangible and therefore can’t get lost or forgotten.

Or do we just need to keep on creating…and creating…and creating.

All I can say is I’m glad a vacation is coming up, I’m going to need that time.

Ciao for now…