Sampler Blocks

May 24, 2011

I still haven’t  caught up with  Civil War blocks schedule. If I am able to do just two blocks in the next couple of days I’ll do a big Phew!

I also tried some sashing and I think I will use the Denyse Schmidt ‘Library Stripe’ blue. Originally my thought was to just put all the blocks together but I do prefer the blocks with a ‘frame’.

It will help to know the sashing because some of the blues I’ve used are a bit are standing out a bit and look ‘wrong’ with this fabric. I’ll leave them for now but if they are still standing out at the end I’ll change them.

The ‘Sampler Class’ has been really fun.

We’ve all been choosing sashing at the same time as we all decided on sashing rather than butting the blocks or having setting blocks.

Lyn has put some photos on the shop blog but I thought I would put a couple of larger photos here.

The class participants have chosen all of their block layouts, sashing; everything themselves, and for a couple it is their first ever patchwork. I think they have done an amazing job and the quilts and tops will be even better when they are finished.



Mary’s -choosing sashing with some blocks

Half of Theofani’s quilt top

Definitely 2011 is Sampler Year!


May 8, 2011

My mum as been very ill and in hospital for the last 8 weeks…and again I just stopped blogging.

My sister in Adelaide has been wonderful doing so much visiting and work talking to doctors and such. I  been travelling and trying to help.

As usual the needle is my friend and comfort as we sit bedside.

It is just great to be ‘told’ what to do and not have to think so the  Civil War Blocks have been a godsend!

Also I have done some real ‘sew play. Dustin Cecil has organized the collaborative add-a-border block swap group where we add to foundation blocks started by other people. I really love this type of challenge, being given a fabric; a shape; a block (civil war) and working on it.

The original 6 inch Friendship Star was by Dawn Derrick

The second starter block was by Dustin Cecil

I have not been keeping up very well with bloggy things but have been inspired Pratima’s  Trip Around the World quilt  is just the most gorgeous quilt I’ve seen for ages!

Finally I’m on to the last border of my epically slow Medallion quilt.  I’ve used greens in the 2nd last border and I’ll try to take a full photo when I finish the last border .

Modern Relief -once the deadlines were halted, I’m embarrassed to admit, so did I.  I’ll keep moving slowly, as I usually do without a true deadline and I’ll give it somehow.

This little thing looks little more than a concept plan, but believe it or not I have spent some time drafting and rethinking my plans for the featured remnant of fabric.

I purchased the last 60 cm of this beautiful piece of fabric by Megumi Sakakibara

Yes, that’s right-just little nine patches of random fabrics is what I came up with!

Tomorrow I finally give away the 2 year Beanie. Hopefully I can get a photo!

Thanks for still being around, Kathy.

March 18, 2011

My words are inadequate as news of tragedy and courage filter to us from many parts of the world.


This fabric was the first of my collection, bought about five years ago not with a  project in mind but because I loved it.

It has now finally found its way to a feature place in the Civil War Quilt blocks.

Like most of my favourite fabrics it made its way into my medallion quilt as the setting triangles in a border with another Japanese fabric, the green and purplish-red flowered Yuwa.

So, so many of my treasured fabrics are from Japan.

Thinking of Japan. Thinking of the Japanese as I sew their beautiful fabrics.

Hoping that the courage of the brave, brave engineers and workers at Fukushima will be rewarded with good fortune.


sampler temptation

March 6, 2011

Anita of Blooming Workshop has designed what I think is a genius Sampler.  Do have look at it a here. I really don’t think you could go wrong with the design because so many of the features of the design work to unify the look of the completed quilt. …so  much temptation and I would have succumbed already but I had just started another new  Sampler project.

I have been reading about some of the history of the American Civil War and in particular the history of textiles of the time on Barbara Brackman’s  ‘Civil War Quilts’ blog.  The  blocks appearing on the  Flickr site are all so interesting and beautiful and different and intriguing that  I belatedly started to play along.  It didn’t take much to tempt a partner in crime Ms ‘speedy pieces’ to start  it as well. True to form, Ms speedy has done about 6 blocks in 4 days. I started  few days earlier so I had a head start.

I really like  the fabrics designed by Denyse Schmidt and love the way they work in quilts. …so I was looking for a …little project  to use some of the Greenfield Hill range.

(A shirt out of ANY of the voiles this would be gorgeous wouldn’t it ( think the green floral)? I’ve become so quilt obsessed, however, I hardly care what I wear.

I found myself googling to find out if Greenfield Hill was an actual place?

Yes, an historic district near Fairfield Connecticut.

What part if any the district would have played in The Civil War?

Apparently ‘ The New England state of Connecticut played a relatively small, but important role in the American Civil War, providing arms, equipment, money, supplies, …’ Wikipedia

The hospital in Greenfield Hills looked after soldiers  afflicted with smallpox during that war.

My recent history education is quilt and textile driven. I’ve learned  bits and pieces about the history of the Amish, the Mennonites , the life in the southern cotton plantations, the westward migration and life in America, England and Australia, particularly for women in the 1800’s.  Northern England, Wales and Provence, India and Africa  have also featured-anywhere with quilts and textiles- so it’s not just about the sewing is it?

Then there is colour and cameras, computers and programs!

“I’d just use Adobe Illustrator..” a family member innocently replied 2 weeks ago in response to the question “how would you put a picture of a block in a Word document (for hand outs)?”  And I innocently embarked on the slowest learning curve ever.  (PS  happy to share any of the block measurements from the sampler quilt with diagrams)

It really is fun doing a ‘sew along’ with so many quilt driven benefits. The applique block  is really slowing me down but I was able to draw it out really quickly,  if you don’t count the 2 weeks it took to get to this stage!

I’ll put my blocks so far on Flickr.

Thanks for dropping in.


some progress

February 13, 2011

16 blocks finished but I do like a big quilt I’ve decided so I’ll make some more. It will probably have to be 5 blocks by six so that’s another ..14..gulp.

It is very traditional, perhaps old-fashioned but I am really happy with it so far particularly the really simple blocks

From one extreme to another.

This top is now difficult to hang, to photograph and to gauge the overall effect.

This border really wasn’t my finest I don’t think. I wanted some definition with the pieces but for all the work involved I should have had a bit more. The places where I used  fabrics other than the main block fabrics I think are better. Oh well it’s no big deal.

Last year I was fortunate to visit London for a few days. I was too late for the V&A Quilt exhibition (it was still great but no quilts at all by the time I got there).  I did manage to visit a wonderful shop in Hampstead run by Christopher who has collected quilts for 30 years. Christopher has sent me photos of some of his wonderful quilts, mostly very old and beautiful chintz quilts and is happy for me to share them on my Flickr .

Also I’ll post a couple of photos of Adrienne’s latest masterpiece here in the next few minutes.

February 2, 2011

The main cyclone has passed over coastal Queensland and although the material loss in some places was great there fortunately hasn’t been any confirmed lives lost.  I felt ‘we’ were all holding our collective breaths yesterday because the predictions of possible damage and loss of life were so dire and the Aussie flood devastation was  so recent.

The world feels  smaller  with the constant and better reporting of international news and the floods in  Brazil and Pakistan  were bigger and more devastating.. and we have some better resources .. so we’re lucky.

But as one caller on the radio said, ‘one in one hundred year events seem to be happening more often’ !

February 1, 2011

Does anyone out there sometimes think they are ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ while they are in there sewing room listening to news radio ?

Fingers crossed, thoughts and prayers for the people of Egypt, the people in Far North Queensland,  those still battling floods  (some of them for more than two weeks) in Vic. and a few now fighting fires here. Fingers XX