A new quilt for the New Year and a busy year ahead!

Then pick a winner.  And stick with it.

Since I posted last, my book Quilts from the Colonies has arrived in my hot little hands…

I am so so thrilled with the result.  It is perfect in every way.  Quiltmania‘s talent in bringing all the quilts, photographs and patterns together in to one beautiful package just bowls me over.

image of Quilts from the Colonies

Seventeen projects

image of A Tisket A Tasket

a- Tisket a-Tasket

image of Sarah-Jane's Scrapbag

Sarah-Jane’s Scrapbag

The two quilts shown above are the two I will be teaching in Nantes at Pour l’amour du fil.

I’d love to have you join me in the classes so keep an eye on their website which is constantly being updated


I have managed to put the book down periodically …

and I’ve been having the loveliest time in my wee studio. Here’s what a lovely time looks like

image of studio

Enter at your own risk!

image of studio

No beautiful or glossy styling here.

But I’ve been working on a few projects simultaneously, so may my mess please be excused?

The one I’m currently working on fanatically  steadily is this one

Working title Irish Medallion

Working title Irish Medallion

 If you’ve been following along on my Instagram page you will have seen some of the progress.

Deciding on a background for the applique centre is not fast but it’s fun

Pull some possible contenders from the stash

Pull some possible contenders from the stash…

Narrow it down and stand back

Narrow it down some and stand back…

Then pick a winner.  And stick with it.

Then pick a winner. And stick with it.

I’ve completed the applique and am now spending summer evenings stitching a border of Coffin shapes, stitched using the English Paper Piecing method

ENglish Paper Piecing... very relaxing

English Paper Piecing… very relaxing

 One border done and three to go.

Happy stitching and til next







June Orr 1849

image of initials and date

I was really surprised to realise when writing the last blog post that I hadn’t written at all about the June Orr quilt which was hanging over the top of the ladder in this pic from last time

image of Antique Quilts

My ladder of Antique Quilts

 So as promised, though not as timely as promised,

( I have been back nearly two months…eeek where did that go?)

here are some pics and the ‘short’ story of the June Orr 1849 quilt.

Aren’t we just eternally grateful to our quilting sisters of yesteryear who had the presence of mind to sign and date their quilts!

image of initials and date

Initials and date, thank you June.

When I purchased the quilt back in 2012 from Cindy Rennels Quilts at the Paducah KY. quilt show it came with some provenance which tells us J.O. is June Orr.  She lived in Cannonsburg County, Pennsylvania which is just south- west of Pittsburg. 

L-R. Cindy Rennels, Me, Gerald Roy (Pilrim & Roy) Sherry Cook.

L-R. Cindy Rennels, Me, Gerald Roy (Pilrim & Roy) Sherry Cook.

The above pic is taken the day I decided June’s quilt was coming home with me, my dear friend Sherry really helped me make up my mind (yes I needed a second opinion…can you imagine it!  But as you’ll know if you’ve been to the major quilt shows in the U.S.A. the amount of antique quilts on offer is mindboggling)

Gerald Roy dropping in to the booth at the same time, and saying “great buy…I had my eye on that, well done” just capped off a great day.  Cindy and Ronnie Rennels are the most gorgeous people and I enjoy seeing them when I’m at a show.

June Orr used a classic combination of Red and Green for her nine block applique quilt.  

The green  fabric has stood up well over the 160 odd years since she made her quilt but the red has not fared as well.

This block is pretty good

This block is pretty good

This one not so well

This one not so well

The red fabric has lost its print which has ‘dropped out’ causing the small holes, in places almost the entire piece has disintergrated. But it doesn’t detract at all I feel.  It is only on a few of the blocks and it is typical of the effect of the dying processes used at the time.

I have drafted the block and started to make up my own version,  I confess this is a slow process as so many other qults tempt…but slow and steady wins the race.

image of June Orr repro

June Orr 1849 repro,

I have made more than one block I hasten to add LOL, and I have cut out most of the pieces.. Can I be so bold as to declare a ‘finishing frenzy’ or would I just end up eating my words?

With the imminent finish of the Pomegranate quilt (all blocks appliqued and just have to do the border) I actually feel excited about getting a UFO out of the cupboard, this could be the one but yes there are plenty of others to choose from.

thanks for dropping by and happy stitching,

til soon


I’m Houston bound tomorrow

image of Roses from my garden

I’m feeling a little bit exhausted after a busy few weeks getting ready for this trip,

image of Roses from my garden

My Roses are just starting to bloom and look lovely after a light Spring shower.

I just wanted to enjoy them, if only for a moment.

image of Roses from my garden

Today I finalised the last bit of hand sewing I’ll take with me,

image of Medallion style quilt in progress

A new medallion quilt I'm working on, the 8 pointed stars will keep me out of mischief

You may recgnise some early repro’s in the pic….RJR’s Sarah Johnson Collection as well as their Smithsonian Collection, all working well with new-ish ranges from Paula Barnes and Mary Koval.

I know there’ll be time for sewing…Blogging I’m not so sure as I won’t have my laptop.  I do plan to use FaceBook while I’m away so I hope to see you on there.

til soon

Margaret :-)

Being a bit of a slow coach with this one

image of applique block
image of applique block

Applique block

But I’m pleased to say

“that’s one block down and eight to go”

Today I prepped another block in anticipation of something good on the telly tonight,

I haven’t checked, I’m just hoping there is :-0

image of applique block in progress

In progress

Click on the picture for a better view, you’ll see that I don’t mark my background fabric at all,

but I do press the halfway marks, vertical/horizontal and diagonal.

I have a large light box (but even it isn’t quite large enough to fit these very large blocks)

and I prefer to just lay the background fabric over the pattern sheet.

The applique shapes are marked with the stitch line directly on to the right side of the fabric with whatever will show up.

In this case all the fabrics are marked with a white pen except the lighter blue which has been marked with a frixion pen (heat activated) so I have to remember not to iron that one.

I have finished this quilt below which you have seen snippets of


and it looks like this

image of Applique quilt

Quilt previously known as Vintage

Okay I know, you can’t see that much of it but a girl’s got to keep the odd thing up her sleeve.

It does have a name now, it only had a working title of Vintage which either had to go or be extended somehow.

I have decided to call it Eastleigh after the town in Hampshire where my Grandmother was born.  It rolls off the tongue easily.

I can tell you that this quilt is destined for Homespun magazine next year, about mid way through so don’t hold your breath just yet.

And I thought I’d just share with you that this elderly lady is still hanging in there despite a few scares this year

image of Rollo

" I know I forget lots of things but I don't think I've eaten yet"

Rollo has just had her summer clip and is looking forward to Christmas, just around the corner now.

I’ll be back before then of course,

’til soon


Pine Trees… quilted

image of Pine Trees quilt

I have to show you this.

image of Pine Trees quilt

Pine Trees quilt

I have been quilting up a storm on Violet since returning from the Sydney Quilt Show.

The Melbourne Quilt Show is next on the agenda  (July 26 -29) and I had a few quilts to get done for that,

including my own Pine Trees Quilt which I sewed up earlier in the year.

This quilt uses a very favourite RJR Smithsonian fabric, from the Rising Sun Quilt collection

image of Pine Tree Block

RJR Smithsonian fabric, Rising Sun Quilt collection

When in Sydney I bought a new Clamshell long-arm ruler and this is the first chance I’ve had to try it out.

I love it.

So just binding, label and hanging sleeve to go.

I am off to teach a class in Gisborne this afternoon, at Drapers of Mt Macedon

so had better fly.

Til soon


A Facebook page

image of Banyan Tree block prep

You may have noticed the new Facebook icon under the Quilt Station header logo

Yes Quilt Station is on Facebook so if you’re a facebook user, please click on the icon and have a look.

I’ve only done one post so far, it’s about a new quilt Jennifer and I are doing together.

I think this will be a great way for me to post and keep in touch more instantly while I am away, but I will still be blogging in the States.

I’m meeting up with a few of you and I’m really looking forward to that :-)

I’ve organised my sewing projects for the trip.

I wanted to get on with making another Banyan Tree Medallion Quilt, so at first I thought I’d prepare the Hexagons for one of the borders,

even tho I haven’t finished the centre yet.

I spent an afternoon choosing and cutting all the hexagons required and then bagged them in to the 24 blocks.

image of oodles of hexagons

oodles of hexagons

Then I even started to create a few and that’s when I thought

“keeping track of these fiddly bits while I’m away is going to drive me mad”

so I went to plan B

image of Banyan Tree block prep

Banyan Tree Medallion centre block

I figured I should “just get on with the centre block”

so I gathered the appropriate threads ~ the colours I only need a little of I wound on to cardboard.  I have an empty floss container for a thread cutter on the plane, so that’s ready to go in the cabin bag.

The new quilt Jenn and I are doing is another Maltaville Album Quilt, but this time much smaller.

It’s only 25 blocks and it’ll be Red and White, as we hope to have it finished for Linda Collins’ Quilts in the Barn exhibition later this year

Jenn came over last week and we made some more decisions about it.

image of Red and White Maltaville Quilt planning

Further planning for the new Red and White Maltaville Album Quilt

We had previously done a couple of mock ups on EQ 6, with blocks that represent blocks in the quilt, really just to see we had a balance of block types.

But because months can go by without doing anything on it, we’re always trying to figure out which block is what and where we were up to.

We’re a bit hopeless and impatient when it comes to too much preparation, well I am anyway.

Image of Red and White Maltaville Block

Red and White Maltaville block

I prepped a couple of blocks and will try to get them done while away

image of Red and White Maltaville Block

Red and White Maltaville

There’s only 2 full days til I leave tho,

eeeek better get a move on if I want to prep another block.

til soon


Just a bit of a (long) catch up

image of Dylan

I was going to say “where do the weeks go. . .”

meaning my US trip is approaching at an alarming rate (2 weeks til departure day and still a lot to do)

However as I was preparing some photo’s for today’s post, it suddenly felt like

“where do the years go?”

as my gorgeous boy child

image of Dylan

is gettin’ hitched, his words, just a few days after my return. I wish I were exagerating.

So in addition to the items on the ‘to do’ list was a worrying “when will I have time to shop for the wedding?”

Well the wedding frock gods were shining on me the other day. I went to the Essendon Quilt Exhibition (always a fabulous show) and timed it with some errands I needed to do in the area. Wedding shopping wasn’t on my mind for that day.

But I chanced upon a shop that looked promising and found something.  It’s the complete opposite of what I had in mind (which was a long silk shirt over trousers)

image of dress

wee bit glam

Only need to decide which shoes to wear.

However, after a nose bleed inducing amount of hours flying back from Boston, I am probably being optimistic about either of those shoes.

“I have been sewing”

Oh boy oh boy have I been sewing!

Last time I posted I had three Maltaville blocks to draft/sew and a couple of pesky calyxes to add to the centre.

Drum roll.

image of Block B2

Block B2

I seem to have not taken a photo of its neighbour B3 (don’t know how or why that happened)

But the final block I drafted and sewed was G7

image of Block G7 progress

Block G7 in progress

This one took some time, not one I could prep in one hit :-(

image of Block G7

Block G7

but finished now none the less.

I have trimmed the Centre block

image of Centre Block

If ever there was a case of the maxim measure twice, cut once this is it.

Of course I measured a lot more than twice LOL.

Then continued with the assembly of blocks

image of joining the blocks

and just yesterday sewed the last seam

image of Maltaville quilt

And now realise I’ve photgraphed it upside down :-(

But that’s as much as I will do on it til I get back,

I will worry about any embroidery and border treatment, not to mention the quilting, later.

I have started prepping some pieces for my travelling sewing, but will show that soon.

I will have my LQG Raffle Quilt to quilt as soon as it comes to me, which I know is imminently.

Here’s a sneak peak as we were assembling it last week

image of Goldfields Quilters raffle quilt 2012

image of Goldfields Quilters Raffle Quilt

They look pretty pleased with themselves don't they

Apologies for the colour, there is wierd overhead lighting which is great to work by but does awful things to photo’s

I am going to be updating some pages on the website this afternoon, I hope, hope, hope you don’t get swamped with emails about updates.

I’ve been a bit scared to do anything on it in case.

But I apologise if it does happen, I’ll be ready to bin the page if it happens again.

til soon


In one short month I’ll be on my way. . .

iamge of Maisie the super cat

so it’s time to put the suitcase on the spare bed and start throwing things in its general direction as I think of them,

lest I forget something very important.

iamge of Maisie the super cat

"Can I come?"

Whenever a suitcase appears, Maisie is in it.

I am working very hard to get the Maltaville quilt finished (just the top of course) before I leave next month.

Even though I have three blocks left to draft and stitch, I spent a couple of hours the other day sewing as many blocks together as I could.

Image of Maltaville progress

Pretty happy with that if I do say so myself

Of course I found that I never did get those last two calyxes sewn on the centre block, so that will be tonight’s job. . . they’re a bit fiddly.

Here’s the blocks I have completed since Christmas

image of blocks

With only three blocks to go, I think I can return most of these fabrics to the shelves now

image of my Maltaville fabrics

It probably ought to be a little bit ceremonial I think ;-)

But for now I’m going over to the Maltaville blog to do a post, the next mail-out is in a few days time so I’d better let everyone know what they’re getting.

Jenn has updated/added another couple of pages to the Quilt Station website and unfortunately subscribers are getting notification of them, which shouldn’t be happening.

I really apologise if you’re getting these unecessary emails.  Everything that should be disengaged while working behind the scenes is disengaged, but they are still getting through.  We are stuck as to why, very frustrating.

til soon


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


Maltaville Matters

A few of you have let me know I have a quilt in the lastest Quiltmania magazine :-)

I was thinking this post would be about that but, alas the mail delivery to my little country area of Victoria is a weeny bit tardy so I’m hoping it will be there when I go the Post Office tomorrow.

Cos I’m busting to see it!!

To keep myself from going insane with excitement and anticipation I’ve been busying myself in the studio.

I’m not sure what to show you first, maybe I will have to do a couple of consecutive posts so it doesn’t all end up a jumbled mess.

Maybe a little bit of Maltaville news first.

I finished this block at Quilting last Wednesday night so I’m happy about that

image of Block F6

Block F6

Then I prepped another, and finished it.

image of Block B4

Block B4

I also took copious photo’s of this one in progress because I have been using a product which Jennifer recently got me on to.

It’s called Appli-Kay Wonder by Floriani, and I felt a tutorial for the Maltaville Blog was in order, so that will appear soon on the

Maltaville Album Quilt Blog tutorials

In the original quilt the block bears the verse

The only amaranthine flower on earth is virtue

the only lasting treasure, truth

So this sent me on a trip around the web which lasted several hours,

to learn more about the author of these words, English poet and hymnodist William Cowper 1731-1800.

Image of Painting of William Cowper

William Cowper, oil painting by Lemuel Francis Abbot in 1792. This painting is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London

This verse is taken from his work The Task: A Poem, in Six Books published in 1785.

The only amaranthine flower on earth is virtue

The only lasting treasure, truth

But what is truth? ‘Twas Pilate’s question put

sorry, I just had to add it again, this time with the last line from that verse.

The maker of the block was a Mary something long starting with W, Water…y?

I’m hoping Fiona has better luck as she’s been great with the deciphering of names on this quilt.

Then of course I went off on another search for the Amaranth flower,

well there’s a few varieties to choose from but I just chose this because I like the look of it

image of Amaranthus flowers

Amaranth flowers

Amaranth are long lasting, so it seems a fitting flower to appear in verse, which it does… many times.

Today I prepped this block to sew tonight

image of Block H5

Block H5

and I’m happy to be working again on a quilt that’s been on the back burner for a few months and I’ll share that with you soon.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be enjoying that Quiltmania magazine,

see you soon