Touchdown in San Antonio

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Margaret and I landed in San Antonio on Monday evening after an eventful trip.  Melbourne to Sydney was the first leg of the journey and the highlight of that was a dinner celebrating the first stage of our trip.

Margaret relaxing with a Chardi

and our yummy dinner at our favourite Sydney restaurant in China Town.

and we enjoyed every bit

After our dinner it was off to our hotel near the airport and then up early to catch our plane to LA.  We had only two hours between our arrival at LAX and our next departure to Atlanta and as we looked at the crowd we got a little worried, you should have seen us running to the plane door, literally!  In a our seats and I was asleep before takeoff and barely woke up as we landed in Atlanta, then off to our next plane taking us to San Antonio and again we just got there in time.  Before we knew it we were at San Antonio and Sherry and Darwin were whisking us away for dinner.

After a day of rest we got to work finishing our pattern and then a day of sightseeing with our wonderful friends, Sherry and Darwin and our lovely new friend Joan.

Joan, Darwin and Sherry

and Margaret and I doing the tourist thing on our rest day before heading off to Houston at 4.30am!

Being tourists

It’s nearly 1.00am now so I best be off to get a few hours sleep.  Read a little more about our adventures on our new blog Turn Left for Harmony.

ciao

Jenn

What have I been up to?

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Well it’s been nearly a month since I last posted and the time has flown.  Since then I’ve been to ‘An evening with Mary’ as well as Quilts in the Barn and my local quilt guild, Goldfield Quilters have their exhibition this weekend and I’m just back from our evening opening.

Mary Koval – ‘An evening with Mary’

But back to the end of August when Linda hosted a lovely day for everyone to gather and the centre of attention was the amazing Chester County Criswell Quillt.

One of the fabrics that caught my eye was this lovely one that closely resembles my most favourite Smithsonian green fabric.

So love this fabric

You can see me here getting up close to examine fabric in another gorgeous quilt,

Beautiful seaweed style pattern and that light pink plaid

and check out the gorgeous red in this block

Love a good red

and yet more divine fabrics that I wish someone would reproduce.

Another seaweed pattern fabric

and here is Irene Blanck and Fiona Lindsay, both lovely women and incredible quiltmakers.

Fiona had just finished reprimanding me for not blogging and a lack of photos!

September was somewhat quieter, as Margaret, Irene and I concentrated on finishing the pattern for Harmony Rose, and getting the new website up and running, just!  I’ve barely had time to sew a stitch as I’ve been very busy on the web and graphic design front.  I did have fun designing the pins for QITB.

Before we knew it it was time for the Quilts in the Barn exhibition.  Last year Margaret and I volunteered to help out this year as it’s for such a good cause and of course alot of fun.  Irene wanted to get in on the action and it was road trip time for the three of us.  I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen, which was lots of fun and unusual for me.  And it was the only time I’ve spent stitching in the last month, late at night with the lovely Leonie and Deirdre, the Crow Girls after everyone had gone to bed.

Well its definitely time to go to bed as I have to get up in 2 hours!  Yes Margaret and I are off to Houston Quilt Market and Festival.  I can’t tell you how excited I am.  It’s my first trip overseas and we will be staying in San Antonio with our wonderful friends Sherry and Darwin.

We’ve had a wonderful time working with Marianne Elizabeth’s fabrics for RJR and you can read more about that on Margaret’s post.

and while I’ve been so busy my lovely son has made me meals like this one,

It’s so good to have two sons who are apprentice chefs! I rarely have to cook.

If I don’t get to post again for a little while its cause I’ve ‘Gone to Texas!’

ciao

Jenn

Paper piecing stars

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I briefly returned from blogging retirement, as Linda called it, and then didn’t find time to do much of anything sewing or blogging wise.  After my weekend away at Sorrento, I didn’t sew a stitch, I didn’t even get to thread a needle for about two weeks.  My own fault really, as while down at Sorrento I said ‘hey Linda what about quilt pins?’  If you’ve been following Linda’s blog you’ll see what we’ve come up with and I’m looking forward to seeing them in the flesh so to speak.

I’ve been very restrained in buying fabric recently as I’m supposed to be saving to go to Houston in about 4 weeks.  On my way to Sorrento I stopped in at Somerset Patchwork and picked up a few necessary fabrics for my new project based, very loosely, on an old Pennsylvania quilt.  It has a paper pieced star in the centre, which was quite the challenge as I don’t normally do paper-piecing, even though it seems to be all the rage at the moment.  I’m not terribly fond of paper-piecing but Irene convinced me to do that rather than tradition piecing and I am very happy with the result.  I’ll show a proper picture when I’ve got a little more done, and I am having fun with this one as I let the quilt evolve.  I do know I’m going to have a star in each corner of the centre medallion.

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My August September fabric buys.

The fabrics on the right are mostly for this project although I couldn’t resist those lovely greens from the Pomegranate range for my stash. I’m building up my poison greens as I’ve another red & green applique quilt already drawn up.  Those fabrics on the left are just impulse buys but really I was very restrained.

What’s left of September and October is fairly action packed so I best get a move on and get back to work as I’ve lots to do and time is running out.

Jenn

Getting back on the blogging horse!

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Oops! that sounds bad.  I’ve been a very bad blogger!  It’s been so long since I’ve blogged I don’t know where to start.  So I’ll just post some pics of random things and see how that goes.

Margaret & Irene were barely back from their trip to the US when it was time to go up to the Sydney Quilt Show.  Last year it was just Margaret & I who went, but this year we five of us from our local quilt guild and Irene flew up and a jolly time was had by all.

We all did a little shopping at the show.  I was far more restrained this year that I was last, although some weren’t.  Just as well some people took very large cases!

Some lovely fabrics from the show

Note the Smithsonian fabric, 3rd on the left.  I was walking around the aisles, and stepped back to look at a quilt on a shop stand wall and stepped into some mad woman going helter skelter through a box of fabric.  It was Margaret, of course, who had found Smithsonian fabric!  All I can say was just as well I bumped into her or I would have walked right past, and it was a fabric I didn’t have!

We did a little shopping the next day away from the show, I don’t think any of us thought to take a photo of us as we hit Kathy Doughty’s lovely shop Material Obsession on the Saturday.  I picked up some lovely fabric for my modern fabric basket quilt I’m making, even if it is on hiatus at the moment.

I couldn’t resist the top fabric with it’s lovely background

I’ve been using my design wall regularly, there’s always something left up, so I don’t know how I lived without it before.

I’m not sure yet how I’ll set these, I have some ideas circulating in my head.

and I’ve finally finished my Texas Rose Baskets quilt and written the pattern, which I’ve named Leanah in tribute to the maker of the original quilt who was only 12 years old when she made her quilt.

I’m really please with how Margaret quilted it as it’s a sweet little quilt and I think she found the spirit of it.  Here it is waiting for the binding which you can see on the left.

Waiting for the binding.

Margaret kindly let me take photo’s of Leanah using her new beaut quilt photography stand.

From the back

and another from the front

Leanah aka Texas Rose baskets

I put a little history of the original quilt in the pattern and I’d like to thank Sue Garman for kindly letting me use one of her photographs in my pattern.

Well there’s lots more I could talk about but I’ll try and leave that for another post, in the not to distant future.

Ciao

Jenn

Finally a design wall

Up until this afternoon I’ve never had a design wall.  So for me it was laying everything down on the ground, getting my little step stool, isn’t Ikea great? and taking a photo to get some perspective on what I’m doing.

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Charlie demonstrating the Ikea Stool use. All my cats love it!

What I wanted in a design wall was something I could easily organise myself, so off to Spotlight, a fabric & homewares store here in Australia, I went, thinking I’d grab some cheap synthetic batting, but I was lucky enough to be served by the lovely Annabel, who sometimes helps out at our local quilt shop.

After explaining to Annabel what I was considering she soon put me on the right track by suggesting using polar fleece, it’s was exactly the right width and all up cost six dollars rather than $$$ that I was likely to spend on the batting available.  But the best thing is the blocks just stick to it.  I’ve already trialled it and if I want to put a quilt top up it copes with pins just fine, much better than the batting would have, much more durable because its a knitted fabric, and if it gets dirty I can just put it through the wash.  Its been hemmed and put on its rod which is hung from the picture rail.  I used this quilt to see how it would hold up.  Even when I took out the pins it didn’t fall off. :)

image of texas rose baskets quilt

I popped this up to try and motivate me to sew those last five seams! by machine no less.

Margaret & Irene have skyped me a few times over the last week when they’ve been able, apparently the wifi access hasn’t been very good, however they’ve been to the DAR, the Smithsonian and Winterthur so I expect when they get back they’ll do some proper blogging about the trip complete with photos, I know they’ve got lots to show & tell.  Margaret has updated her FB page once or twice and the intrepid travellers have only got just over a week before they’re due to fly back home.  Oops speak of the devil and there they are on skype again!

Okay that was Margaret and Irene, they’re just about to leave Wilmington.  They have had a car, Margaret reckons ‘the beltway’? in DC was easy, whatever that means.  Anyway the pair of them have asked me to jump on their respective blogs and do a guest post so now I’m off to Irene’s & Margaret’s blogs to write and post!

Okay it’s now 3.50am and I definitely need to go to bed, I can barely cope with my own blog never mind those two gadabouts.

And that was over a week ago and I never got back to my own blogpost!

Last Thursday I was able to go to Mill Rose Cottage for there Sit n Sew.  While there Gudren asked me what was in those earlier packages.

Thursday Sit n Sew

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Some lovely older Margo Krager fabrics

and

sarahjohnsonfabrics

And some more vintage fabric, most of it is nearly 20 years old.

And while I was up in Bendigo getting the fabric for my design wall I also grabbed these.

I just love the colour and pattern of those top two fabrics.

And I’ve been busy on an old project as well

Started in 1995 maybe.

I’m going to put another small resting border and then who knows.

I best get a move on, time to do some work.

Ciao

Jenn

The Postman came

with 3 parcels!

Woohoo I love parcels

I think I’ve mentioned before that for some years I took a break from quilt-making and buying fabric.  That meant I missed some really good fabrics, so when I see something I really love well of course I just have to buy them.

Our good friend Sherry in San Antonio recently sent me some lovely fabrics, the second parcel arrived today with lots of lovelies, some of which is part of the Clarissa White Alford Collection for the Shelburne Museum by RJR.  Only had the odd bit of that, as well as some bits of Smithsonian.  This parcel was sent the day Sherry, Margaret & Irene left San Antonio and Margaret picked some of the fabrics as well.

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Fabrics from Sherry

You can see a bit of Smithsonian that somehow I managed not to pick up originally, now I’ve got them in all the colourways.  As well some Williamsburg Botanical, Cheddar Illuminations, Dargate Prussion Blue stripe, purchased for a very specific project, and some red & white fabrics.  Margaret are they for our red & white Maltaville?

Yellows and more from the old ‘Sturbridge Village II’ collection.

Parcels 2 & 3 came from SewFarSewGood, an online shop who were just lovely to deal with.  One of the things I don’t have in my growing stash is some really good yellows.  I found three really good yellows from the ‘Old Sturbridge Village II Collection’ as well as a few other bits from that range.  I think this range came out just before I got back into quilt-making.

One of my ‘must do’ projects has always been a pieced basket quilt in white, pinks & greens.  I drafted it up ages ago but last week the impetus to start it came.  So far I’ve pieced about about 14 blocks of this 16 block quilt.

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All cut out and ready to sew

This is another quilt that will be on-point. I seem to have an obsession with blocks on-point at the moment. Most of the fabric has come from my stash with just a little bit from picked up when I went to Mill Rose Cottage recently.  There’s a little bit of Smithsonian and some of my treasured Sarah Johnson pink fabric as well.

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Pink & Green baskets blocks

It’s TAS at Somerset this Sunday, so I’ll have to get the tops of these baskets prepared so I’ve got some hand sewing to do.  16 handles wont take long.

Margaret picked up some fabric for me when she & Irene visited Hancock’s so I’m waiting for the postman to ring again.

Ciao

Jenn

On the hunt for a new sewing machine

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and I’m looking at the Husqvarna 835, which has the longer arm which would be nice. Does anyone have one?  The other machine I’m considering is the Bernina 330, which also has exactly the stitch I want, an adjustable, single, vertical stitch, blanket-stitch, and both machines are around the same price.  I’d love to hear your opinions on these machines.

It’s going to be very quiet around these parts with Margaret flying out to the US this morning.  I’ve sent our very good friend Irene Blanck, a local applique superstar in these parts, with her to keep her out trouble! :)

The girls are off to Paducah and then the east coast so if you get the chance to catch up with them grab it, they’re lots of fun!  Both Margaret & Irene are intending to blog, and Margaret is going to use her new Facebook page to keep us updated on their shenanigans as well.

I’m fast finishing a new quilt I’ve been doing, Sunflowers & Willows, most of the applique is done, and it’s almost time to attach the borders and then the last border appliqued on.  The last applique will be on the outside edge, scalloped, similar to the frills around the flowers just a bit bigger, not so fine.

I started this as a bit of an excuse to get rid of the fabrics I’ve used in the background and went from there.  It’s got at least two, no make that three, fabrics from Margaret’s stash.

image of sunflower willow quilt

I've called it Sunflowers & Willows.

I need to get it finished as I just busting to start another new quilt I’ve designed and have chosen nearly all the fabrics.  Remember my search for some gold fabric awhile ago? well I ended up with about 3 metres and here’s me doing a little planning.

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Photocopying the fabric

Yes, sometimes I photocopy the fabric if I’m not sure of a combination or want to do a quick mockup without cutting into my precious fabric.

And I took another quilt out to try and get a half decent photo of it but little joy as my camera really doesn’t want to play nice.

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Rose Dance on the grass

Well it’s time to go, Margaret has left me some homework, ie blocks from our Red & White version of her Maltaville, I’m not complaining, it was my idea after all!

ciao

Jenn

All the Usual Suspects

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were to be found at the An Moonen lecture on the history of Dutch Quilts & Textiles yesterday.  This wonderful lecture was a Victorian Quilt Study Group event organised by their Convener, Janet O’Dell.  Without Janet this would not have happened, so Thank You, Janet.

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An Moonen takes a photo of the 80 plus attendees

After An’s talk we had a lovely afternoon tea and had the chance to chat with old and new friends, and the opportunity to look at some of Janet O’Dell’s beautiful old quilts

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Antique Crib quilt belonging to Janet O'Dell. I want some of that gorgeous bright blue fabric.

Unbeknownst to Janet this Crib quilt is actually a Antique Dutch quilt, not English as Janet believed.  Whilst looking at it An found a small triangle of Indian Chintz which clearly marks it as Dutch.   It was apparently illegal for the English to have Indian Chintz.

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Another of Janet's Antique quilts, this one really is English

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One of Janet's many beautiful hexagon quilts. Note the fringe at the bottom.

We also were asked to bring any quilts for either made from Dutch Chintz or inspired by the quilts in An’s book.

I brought along my quilt, 'Timely', I made last year after buying An's book.

The above quilt is now at Margaret’s, who is now inspired with entirely different ideas of how she will quilt it.

During a quick chat with An, she insisted that I bind my quilt in the traditional manner, turning in both the front and back and stitching them together, almost with a ladder stitch, to compliment the work I’ve already done.  That is going to be a new and challenging skill to learn.

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My much read copy of An's book

I’ll be back soon with another post with photos of some show n tell from Kaye.  It’s time for bed.

ciao

Jenn

A basket & a bearclaw

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A month ago, Irene and I went for a lovely day out sewing at Somerset Patchwork and its time to go again!  Now normally when I go out sewing locally or use my car I put all my sewing kit in one of my rattan baskets.

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Some of my baskets

The one I use mostly is something like what I imagine Little Red Riding Hood would have.

image of rattan basket

Off to Grandma's basket

But when travelling on the train it’s really not the go, so last time I threw all my sewing in a plastic shopping bag, not a nice one, a scruffy, flimsy one at the last minute before I shot down to the railway station to catch the train and when Irene picked me up at the other end she was appalled that I had my lovely applique in it!

So knowing this Sunday was fast approaching and I was again contemplating how I would transport all my sewing stuff since I’m quite certain I don’t want to use any of my baskets I started to look online for a pattern to whip up a quick little sewing bag/pouch/etc.

After spending maybe 20 minutes searching and not finding any patterns I fancied, I went off blog browsing and this is what I found.  The Fat Quarter Sewing Bag by Meredithe at pomegranate and chintz.  I found two fat 1/4s of Japanese fabric left over from a quilt I made for some and off I went.  I followed the pattern for the outside but decided to change to pockets etc to suit what I needed.

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Sewing some cotton holders

I put a bit of thought into what I might want and having a place to slot in 4 or 5 cottons was a requirement.  After thinking about how I might do that I decided to put them at the bottom so the bottom of the bag would support them.

image of sewing bag

The inside all ready to go.

I decided to make the centre loop just a smidgen larger to hold my basting glue.  The pockets above hold a tube of needles and two thimbles, one for normal sewing and one for binding as well as slightly larger pocket for a tape measure.

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I hope I thought of everything!

As you can see there’s room for a little ruler, a little cutter, a scissors, as well as two large pockets that fit my purse and phone.

And here’s the finished product

image of sewing bag

Already for tomorrow, oops nothing to sew!

And I’ve almost finished sewing up my Bearclaw quilt. It’s further along than this photo shows. I’ll post an update on it later in the week.

image of bear claw quilt

Almost all together.

and I finally updated some of my other pages, not a lot just a little. I’ve updated all the header images, all except the dodgy one on this page and a little bit of info about me and I really will get around to taking some photos of Finished quilts etc.

ciao

Jenn

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