Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Visit to Threadbear, Castlemaine

For our final gathering of the year we decided to make a day of it and head north to Castlemaine and the delights of Threadbear. However before Castlemaine is the obligatory stop at the bakery in Malmsbury for coffee and muffins / mince pies. Needless to say we did not leave empty handed. The fruit loaf was warm from the oven so how can you resist such temptation.

Corliss was as ever a lovely hostess. We were delighted to be given the use of Threadbear's classroom to sit and sew. Not that there was a lot of sewing done! I am sure the first hour was spent fabric shopping. And I must say the shopping was very focussed - with each of us searching for fabric for our next project or to finish a current project.

Merri was looking for backing for her Mary Brown quilt. It is all but finished, just a few stars for the inner border to complete and some serious time on the machine to put it all together.
The centre is done and looking just fabulous.

Barb spent time choosing fabrics to complete her version of the Burnt Quilt. There are quite a few more stars finished and ready to be attached.

We then headed out to The Bold Garden for lunch. Lots of chatter! We are a noisy bunch when all together.

And finally, back to Threadbear. This time there was a little sewing done before heading back to Melbourne. And just to prove it here is Ann busy hand quilting Tesselations, a lovely bright and bold quilt designed by Brigitte Giblin.

Wishing you all a very, merry Christmas. Enjoy the New Year celebrations,

Until next time,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Early Christmas Celebration

It is hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner! And it seems even closer after last Sunday when the Sisters gathered for our 'Christmas' lunch. It has become part of the tradition of the group for us to celebrate Christmas at our November gathering as there is just so much on in December.

This year was a little different as Kerry organised for us to have a day out at Mill Rose Cottage in Ballan. Apart from Kerry, none of us have visited this new addition to the quilting landscape. What a delight it was! We all thoroughly enjoyed the day as we sat and stitched in the gallery space surrounded by paintings and fabric.

And we were very industrious, above from left to right, Barb, Kerry, Sue and Ann. And below Di, Deb and Clare.

I forgot to take photos until the day was nearly over, so I don't have a lot of show and tell. First up, Kerry. Kerry is in a 'finishing' phase and brought along a block of Homage to Sally Ann to work on. The background fabric is stunning, a beautiful faded rose print with a linen-like finish.

Merri has complete the centre block of Mary Brown.

I have now finished seven of the blocks from Di's Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited.

And naturally we all indulged in a little retail therapy. This is Deb's selection of fabric, all from Barbara Brackman's new collection, Morris & Company.

Thank you Kerry for organising a wonderful day,

Until next time,


Monday, October 24, 2011

A happy traveller!

Our lovely Di and hubby Brian are travelling in Europe and by all reports are having a wonderful time. While this little jaunt is officially the 'honeymoon' following their marriage earlier this year it hasn't stopped Di from doing a little work while on her travels.

Di's first stop was at Zutphen in the Nederlands to visit with the delightful Petra Prins where one day was spent teaching the key techniques used in Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited. Marianne Snijders sent me an email about the day that included a photo of her completed top for the Burnt Quilt. Marianne tells me that she is hand quilting this beauty. I look forward to seeing the completed quilt.

The rest of the time Di and Brian have been busy sight seeing. It all sounds so wonderful but we did miss Di at our last sewing day and can't wait for her return. There are bound to be lots of stories to tell.

Happy sewing,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Fine Day Of Stitching!

On Saturday, October, 15th. There was a lovely gathering of Sisters at Ann's place.
The gorgeous piece of work in the first picture is Megan's "Homage To Mary Brown" in the process of being hand-quilted!
This photo is Deb stitching away on "Homage To SallyAnne"...
Here is a block from Sue's quilt. A wedding present. It is an original Art Deco design. Hand pieced and hand appliqued............a near-future masterpiece!
See!..when we get together we actually do stitch!.....after solving the world's problems of course!!
And having a really yummy lunch
Sue working on the Art Deco quilt, blacks, browns, creams and reds. Wow!!
These next two blocks may seem familiar! They are from Di's Wedding Album quilt
Great colours and fussy-cutting!
Ann owns these blocks and after a rest has taken up the challange of completing the quilt. Which reminds me..I should really get back to mine!
Megan is busy on another of Di's quilts "The Sarah Morrell Album Quilt"
Mmmmm!!!.........another one for me to get on with!!!
Merri is creating the center-piece to her version of "Homage To Mary Brown"
The second photo shows her progress.
That's it for another very busy, but delightful gathering. A couple of the Sisters where missing: Clare has family committments and Di was winging her way o'seas to Holland.
As for me?......I was behind the camera! ..and working on The Antique Baskets quilt.
Until next time.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Works in Progress or Projects Half Done?

It was a very noisy group that gathered at Barb's yesterday. Not sure why but the decibel level was very high. As always we debated everything from world peace to the footy.

One point of discussion was the label we give to all of those half finished projects. Are they works in progress (WIP), unfinished objects (UFOs) or projects half done (PhDs)? We all agreed that 'working on your PhD" has quite a nice sound to it so, in future, that is what they will be called.

Now for the rundown on the sisters and the PhDs they were working on yesterday. First up Clare, working on 'Border of the Month. I remember this from Primarily Patchwork days so that would mean Clare has been "studying" hard for the better part of 5 years!

Deb brought along a block of Sally Ann. She was working at such a pace that the camera could not keep up with the speed of hand.

Barb continues to work on her Dear Jane blocks.

Ann's PhD must be in maths! All day she kept counting berries and making calculations on how many she had left to do.

Merri is working on her version of Feather with Flowers from the Fons & Porter book, Quilts from the Henry Ford. Merri is a little more diligent than the rest of us and has completed the 4 central blocks and began work on the fourth border between all the chatter.

While Di is starting something new. It is a secret so all I can give is a hint of the block she was stitching. And all of us just love this recently published book by Martha Pullen on the Quilts in the DAR Museum. If you love antique quilts it is a must have!.

And Kerry, the Sister that started the discussion on PhDs, continues to work on 19th Century Flower Baskets. And the focus on this particular area of study area has been on-going for almost 6 years. I know this because that is how long I have been working on my version of this beautiful quilt.

Until next time,


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Normal service resumed.

For the past two months, our regular Saturday sewing has been put on the back burner as more important things, such as a wedding, have taken place. (We were all so taken by surprise in June when Di and Brian turned a 60th birthday into a wedding that none of us had a camera at the ready to take photos.) It was a lovely day made even better by seeing how happy Di and Brian are.

Come July, it was almost with a little sense of, I am not sure, let down perhaps???? that we gathered at Sue's. I was going to say disappointment but that is very much the wrong word, as we all love our sewing days. Anyway, here is a small tasting of some of the current projects being worked on.

Julie has started a quilt called Queen's Day on Marken. She purchased the fabric as a kit from Den Haan and Wagenmakers in Amsterdam. The quilt was designed by Elsbeth Wallenberg. There is lots of piecing and thirty-two of these windmill blocks to be made it total.

Merri has started something new, a reproduction of a quilt from the Beamish Collection (from the museum of the same name in northern England). She has created the pattern for the centre applique medallion but not beyond as yet. I just love her fabric choices.

Di is madly trying to finish a reworked Antique Wedding Sampler. This pattern will be relaunched at the Craft and Quilt Fair in Melbourne next week. It will be available as a block of the month project from Corliss on the Threadbear Stand.

I have completed the centre of my new quilt, added a small border and the first row of pinwheel blocks. I am sewing these blocks on the machine and must admit to being a bit tardy. I have almost half of the required number done.

That's about it for this month,
Until next time,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

How canI resist...

...the siren call of an empty drawer? This set of drawers is how I limit the number of projects I have on the go at any one time. My golden rule is no new project unless I have a drawer available to house all of the fabrics I want to use in a quilt. The drawer has been empty for some time now, ever since I finished Miss Emma's Husband in fact.

So, inspired by the Vesalius quilt in An Moonen's, A History of Dutch Quilts and wanting to use the beautiful fabrics I had purchased from Den Haan & Wagenmakers in Amsterdam last year, I got to work.

The chintzs are from a 'candy box' that contains about 60 strips of various fabrics. The tone on tone gold is / was a little bright as I wanted to use it in conjunction with a beautiful piece of border fabric I had also bought. So out with the tea bags and here is the end result. A good match don't you think?

After I have drawn up the design for the applique I copy it to a piece of vilene and then start auditioning fabrics and cutting them out until I am happy with the balance of colour and pattern.

Once this is all done I start the applique.

I have made good progress, there will be more to see next time.....

Until then, happy sewing,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New friends

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure to meet some new quilting friends. Di Hall, formerly Di Ford, invited me to join her and her new husband Brian, as they took some international visitors for a trip to the Dandenong Ranges. I had the most delightful day with Di and Brian, Beverley, Linda Collins from "Quilts in the Barn", Petra and Nel from Den Haan & Wagenmakers in Amsterdam, Nederlands and Mary and Joe Koval from Pennsylvania, USA.
Morning Tea and shopping in Sassafras, followed by lunch, and presumably more shopping in Olinda. ( I had to leave early, so I'm not sure how much more damage was done to the credit cards after I left!!)
Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, so I'm afraid no photos from me, but lots and lots of photos were taken, and I'm sure they will appear somewhere very soon.
I can hardly wait for the rest of this very "Special Secret Sewing Sisterhood" week, that would be a SSSS week: A Night with Mary @ Linda's home tonight, a SSS day at Di's home on Thursday, followed by a much anticipated day @ Castlemaine on Sunday. (The housework will just have to wait!!!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tripping Around The Globe: Part 2

Hi! Everyone.
Thought I would sign in and continue the journey I began a little while ago and show some more quilts from the exhibit in New Hampshire USA.
Who knows?.......we may even travel a little further!!
First up, some detailed images of the two crazy quilts in the exhibit.
At left, Crazy Quilt number one............very impressive!

And here are some detailed views, just look at those stitches!
It seems the quilt-maker used silks, velvets and ribbons, and, yes, it is the work of one person! The photo on the right shows a corner of the quilt. These fans are in all four corners. I have never seen a crazy quilt stitched using a log-cabin design as the base before.

Here is a picture of the second crazy quilt in this exhibit.
Also a more detailed view.

This crazy quilt is made in the more traditional form.
Of, course, there where many more really nice pieces on display. As well as the tools of the trade.
These included needle cases, thimbles, stitch books etc. All displayed in glass cases just like this one. I think that's enough for now.
Next time I will continue the journey with some images and memories of Bath, England and quilts from The American Museum in Britain.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Happy Stitching

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Perfect Late Autumn Day in Melbourne

And how better to spend it than with the 'Sisters'. Yes, it's the third Saturday of the month and this time we all met at Di's. Well almost all, Julie, Barb and Kerry were busy with family events but we did have a lovely surprise when Clare joined us. Clare is a Thursday regular but rarely makes Saturday so it was a delight to have her company.

Now for the usual report on projects underway. Merri is on to the 4th block of her Princess Feather and Flowers from Quilts of the Henry Ford. She declared there was nothing new to show so no photo this time.

Chris is working on Tribute to Mrs Williams. Her centre is nearly completed. Chris loves a soft colour palette and her fabric choices work well together.

Clare has pulled out a project started a long, long time ago. It is so long ago that Di could not easily remember the name of the pattern but eventually came up with 'Antique Applique'. These 2 blocks are repeated 3-4 times each and then finished with a saw tooth border.

I took along a project started about a year ago at a class at Primitive Patches in Mentone. The pattern is from Liz Willing and called Mrs Miller's Journey. There are 9 central blocks surrounded by an applique border. I have finished 3 of the central blocks and the 4 corner blocks for the border. Two further blocks are partially finished. The photos below are a sample of the work done to date. They don't really do the fabric justice. I can assure you they look better "in the flesh".

And finishing off with Di's work. Di is reworking the pattern for Antique Wedding Sampler and is a little over halfway through the 25 blocks. The finished quilt will be on Corliss' booth at the July show in Jeff's Shed where the pattern will also be available.

As ever, Di has selected beautiful fabrics.

Until next time,