Gorgeous basket blocks

image of basket block

for a gorgeous lady.

image of basket block in progress

Work in progress, a Smithsonian fabric basket block

My friend Irene whom I mentioned a couple of posts back is having a special birthday this year.

Irene decided to plan her own birthday quilt project, how organised is she!!

So a request was sent to me to please make a 6″ basket block and write a message on it.

Of course I wanted to give Irene a block made out of my Smithsonian fabrics, cos they’re special and so is she.

I had fun making up this basket block, choosing the fabrics and stitching it by hand.

I was worried the message wouldn’t show on the background fabric so I appliqued a leaf on to it, what you see is the wrong side of the background fabric and wrote my message on that

image of basket block

Smithsonian fabric basket block

As well as our trip to the U.S.A this year, Irene and I are involved in a few projects together so I felt this Maori proverb was perfect.

Like all good proverbs the literal translation is only hinting at the deeper meaning of the words,

With my basket and your basket the people will live

or let’s combine our ideas and resources, good things will happen.

After I had made this block, I realised I still had something important to tell Irene so I made her another block.

image of paisley basket block

"you can't go past a good paisley"

That’s a message that needs no explaination :-)

happy stitching


The first Tuesday in November…

image of Robbie and me

…is Cup Day, that’s Melbourne Cup Day of course and we get a day off.  It really is the race that stops a nation. Why? I don’t know.

I’m not really interested in Horse racing but I do like horses and even used to hurtle about the countryside on the back of this trusty steed.

image of Robbie and me

Robbie and moi.

But given that we do have a day off I am going to catch up with some long overdue blogging, that’ll include reading as well as writing.

I was bit out of action with a bee sting the other week,  of course Murphy’s Law dictates that after I had prepped lots of hand sewing to take to my LQG’s Quilt-in I was stung and could not even pick up a piece of cutlery, never mind a needle.

image of normal hand

Normal hand

image of big hand

Big hand

Yikes…it’s been a long time since I’ve been stung and haven’t really had that reaction before.

All back to normal now.

And sewing again, phew.

I promised a little while back that I would share some pics from Quilts in the Barn, I took close-up photo’s of the fabrics in  Linda’s antique quilts  because I spotted some originals of fabrics which I have the repros of…does that make sense?

So here is what I shot, with thanks to Linda :-)

image of Red fabric

this one's the antique quilt

image of new red fabric

This one's the repro Windham True Madder #20331

Jo Morton did a great one too for Andover fabrics a while back

image of Jo Morton repro fabric

Jo's interpretation for Andover fabrics

The next fabric really caught my attention

image of paisley fabric

This paisley fabric is in Linda's antique quilt

These are my two bits of repro (it also came in green)

image of Repro paisley fabric

Windham Civil War IV c 1860 by Nancy Gere #25310-52

image of Repro paisley fabric

Windham Civil War IV c. 1860 by Nancy Gere #25310-32

I am really liking little spots and dots (almost as much as paisleys)

image of Antique yellow fabric with spot

The real deal

image of new yellow fabric

this one's the repro, Scrappy Dots by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Bros. Textiles 2006

Aren’t we lucky that we have such great fabric designers producing excellent repro’s for us to use.

Another thing I’m happy about is finding more of this

image of madder fabric

I didn't think I'd see a whole bolt of this again.

I took a trip to Melbourne on Friday with Jenn to do some fabric shopping etc and stopped at Quilters Bazaar in Gisborne on the way.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw this fabric as I have had my now paltry sized piece for a few years and guard it jealously.

She had a whole bolt of it so maybe it’s been re-released, not sure and the staff didn’t know.

Anyway I now know what it is as before I knew only that it was an International Quilt Study Centre fabric, but it is designed by Kathy Hall with Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics patt #4132.

LOL I now have enough to make curtains, but there’s more there if you want any too.

Here’s one more pic from Quilts in the Barn, this one is one of Jo’s quilts featuring the above fabric

image of Jo Morton Quilt detail

detail of Jo Morton quilt using Madder Stripe fabric

and here’s my Maltaville saturn block using the same fabric

image of Saturn Block

Saturn Block for the Maltaville Album Quilt 1847

I think I’ve got time to quickly post a couple of pics on the Yahoo group ‘repro lovers’ before Jenn arrives for this afternoon’s task.

I don’t think that race is going to stop anyone in this household this afternoon.

soon :-)

Paisleys part 2…

image of Paisley in progress

While poking around in tubs looking for more Paisleys I found this, so I’ll start off with a Paisley in progress…I’m not sure how many years this has been up on the shelf, but I do get it down now and again and sew another block or two…I know this will end up a fave quilt so one can’t rush these things.

image of Paisley in progress

King David's Crown

This is a Michelle Yeo pattern and I did the class with Michelle at Threadbear.  I was able to source some more of that delicious red paisley from a friend so I could continue with the quilt as I feared I would not have enough.  It’s Floral Bouquets and Fancies II by Sharon Yenter for In the Beginning Fabrics 2001.  All the blocks will sit on that pale lemon ~ Treasures Uncovered c. 1870 by Mary Koval pattern # 25826 by Windham Fabrics.

Last time I finished up with a tempter about my French and Indian Paisleys…so I’ll start with a couple of photo’s of some lovely Provencal paisleys.

The first fabrics are from Les Olivades in St Etienne du Gres, France and are current repro’s of Fabrics reproduced in that area in the 17th century and are typically what I think of when I think of Provence.

image of provencal paisleys

This is a selection of provencal prints, along the same lines but from a variety of sources (and collected over many years).  The one on the far left came from a friend, it’s the remnants from a dress she made.

image of provencal paisleys

These Indian ones I collected when I visited Rajasthan a few years ago.  I believe these examples were produced in 1910 in Gujarat, Western India and you can read a bit more about them in an earlier post here so I’ve only added a few images.

image of Gujarat Textile

image of Gujarat Textile

image of Gujarat Textile

I also collected a few cards from companies in Jaipur who are producing block printed textiles in the traditional way for clothes and home.

image of Soma card


image of anokhi card


This is what a traditional Indian wood block looks like…

image of Wood Print Block

…and wood blocks produce this type of quilt today.

image of Modern Indian Quilt

a modern Indian quilt

image of Modern Indian Quilt

a modern Indian quilt

My search through my French and Indian fabrics also led me to fabrics in my stash like this…

image of India Chintz

India Chintz 1730-1800 by Windham Fabrics pattern # 27850

…which opens a whole other can of worms.

I may need to do some further reading.

image of further reading

image of trade goods

Stay tuned…

Links www.somashop.com the website has images of block printing today

www.anokhi.com the link to the museum of block printing, very interesting.

I really can’t go past a good Paisley…


Paisley n. 1 a pattern of small curving shapes with intricate detailing, usually printed in bright colours. (Collins English dictionary)

I might beg to differ about the bright colours bit…

I’m a creature of habit and I like my 10 am flat white in my favourite paisley cup…I try to stick to one coffee a day, but sometimes the aroma gets the better of me.

image of 10am...coffee time

Its textile origins are Indian and Persian but the East India Company brought the Paisley shape to the rest of the world in the first half of the 17th century and production soon after began in Europe when the demand became too high.  Marseilles in France was the forerunner (1640) but England and Holland soon followed.

image of Indian wood block

Indian wood block for block printing fabric.

New Zealand doesn’t really have a textile industry but in the 1970s New Zealand’s own Crown Lyn pottery produced these beautys which I have now aquired from my Mum…yes these have survived in her cupboards for that long. Cute huh?

image of Crown Lyn pottery

A little bit of Kiwi nostalgia.

But I digress…back to fabric

The industrial town of Paisley in Scotland was a centre for the manufacture of thread and linen in the 19th century and also the production of Paisley Shawls…the name taken from the town’s name.

I don’t know why I love paisleys so much…but I always have and I got some of my faves out to show you.

I couldn’t find a skerrick of this one in my stash when I went looking…but there must be some left because I had metres of it, metres and metres.  However, here it is in a finished quilt.

Image of paisley quilt

A classic selection of Paisleys…anything in here you recognise?  Some have been in the stash a while.

image of Paisleys

Red is probably the colour I use most in quilts and I have some lovely red paisleys.

image of red paisleys

I hope you’re not getting giddy…it’s visual overload isn’t it.

Got to have some light ones

image of light paisleys

Some I bought metres of with grandiose intentions of making something long since forgotten.

image of paisleys

A serious paisley collector also needs a selection of different scaled paisleys…some small, some big, some inbetween.

image of paisleys

I usually stick to only buying reproduction fabric but I really can’t go past a good paisley so if even if it’s modern I frequently succumb.

image of modern paisleys

I even wear Paisley…

image of paisley shirt

You won't lose me in a crowd.

And I haven’t even started on the two tubs of French Paisleys plus the Indian stuff

image of French Paisleys

To be continued…