Hey there’s my 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 stash...it'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 That.com 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.


  1. wow what lovely quilts. I don’t know which one I like the best.

  2. What lovely detail Margaret. And yes, it truly was an amazing exhibition of a very high standard indeed. The other thing that I found really great was the atmosphere of the place. Its not a very big barn so it was easy to “feel” the joy of all the women there – who like me – and you – LOVE quilts. There were smiles everywhere – friends catching up with each other – and everyone just there to enjoy the atmostphere of QUILTS.

  3. Margaret thankyou so much for all those wonderful close-ups of fabric. There were a couple of oh I have that from me and just love the way that gorgeous fabic has been used. :-) I only have tiny bits of the Smithsonian as that was before I was collecting repro. Gee I sure wish now I had bought even fat quarter size and not the little showcase pack that was available. Wonderful to see the fantastic use of pattern in these gorgoeus quilts. I love your serpentine stripes too. The magazine you are refering to is S A Life. So glad that you managed to see the article. One day I hope to get to Quilts in the barn maybe next year when we are all over the Year 12 exam stage.
    Looking forward to your new post on What fabric is that.com

  4. what did you do the night before the machine quilting workshop huh margaret? chose not to say anything about THAT night i see…. ha!

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