Friday, 29 February 2008

Houston Stars Block, foundation pieced

Block 9

I was surprised to realise this block needs two reds and two golds and uses half square triangles. I was going to draft a single shape.

Houston Stars Block 9

ouston Strs Block 13

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Twisted Sister trimmings

I sewed the Twisted Sister trimmings into strip sets which I'll use as a separate project or to put on the back. I followed Bonnie Hunter's idea of sewing 'leader-enders" instead of thread savers so that this task didn't involve any extra work but served a useful purpose.
Suggest you check out Bonnie's
It contains a plethora of free patterns and useful advice. She has lots of fans.


3.5" Three cats and print fabric strips were sewn to 5.25" plain navy Oakshott strips.
The red squares are 3.5" square.

Twisted Sister strip set

Cutting the strip set at 4" intervals

Trimming the oblong 4" wide units using Ami's special tool


Tuesday, 26 February 2008


In March 2007 as a 60th birthday present to myself I attended Ami Simms workshops at a Cabot Conference in Bristol. They were great fun and although I am showing my work here you really need the pattern to get the most out of this technique. Ami gives lots of variations and ideas for using these shapes and in her class we learnt still more, laughing all the time!
I was very pleased (for once) with my choice of fabrics: African indigo type prints by the Three Cats company and others (bought from Maggi Relph of the African Quilt shop on the internet and at shows), Oakshott shot navy cotton (the amount I had determined howmany blocks I could complete out here) and an old fashioned scarlet print.
I made several blocks on the day and brought one out here to Oz as an example and made 20 more. I'd like this quilt for our bed so will get some more of the shot cotton when I get back. They source their fabric from India very much on a fair trade basis and the colours and quality are lovely.
So this was my second task downunder now ready to post home.

Twenty blocks plus one

Twisted Sister units ready to go

Sewing around the centre square

The first "Sister" is
attachedwith a partial seam.

Last step

The partial seam
is ready to sew.

Single completed Twisted Sister block

Monday, 25 February 2008


This is a single pansy block designed by Billie Lauder. When I attended her class at Houston 2007 we all received a copy of her Bloomin' Beauties booklet with several pieced flower designs and suggested layouts. Very good value, I thought, especially as it was only a half day class.

Single pieced pansy block

Pansy in pieces

Pieced units ready
to go.

Next step

Adding the

Pieced pansy: final step

Adding the last
pieced strip.

Trying out block arrangements

I tried arranging the blocks with the pansies facing inwards. I liked the rather oriental star tht appears in the centre but felt the pansy shapes were lost so didn't choose this setting.

A possible layout

Pansies facing

Trial arrangement

Tried it

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Blooming Beauty

I attended a workshop with Billie Lauder at Houston 2007 but didn't get very far. Most of the class used calico or light backgrounds but I chose to go with orange as I thought the yellows might look a bit insipid otherwise. However, I miscut the yellow pieces so had to use less satisfactory substitutes. This little top measures about 25" square and it will be for a prison baby. They need some visual stimulation!
If I was doing another quilt I would cut more 3.5 inch strips rather than ones of different widths and I would set the blocks on point with alternate plain setting squares as in Billie's main example.
This was the first project I worked on downunder.

Pieced pansy quilt top

Friday, 8 February 2008

Sewing downunder

I am swapping houses for several weeks here in

Ocean Shores, northern NSW, Australia. The

owner has kindly made her sewing machine a

Elna tx electronic available and I have made

myself a sewing corner in the downstairs

sitting area (the main living space is upstairs)

with sliding doors onto a covered verandah and

the garden. I listen to spoken word tapes

from the local library as I work and the

owner's easel and sketches in the unseen

corner inspire my creative efforts.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Log Cabin reverse of quilt

This sideways image shows reverse of quilt with strippy border also with centre pictures repeated on the revers; likewise the corners!

Front of quilt

Reversible Log Cabin

Monday, 4 February 2008


There's been a delay between starting my blog and this post because I've been on my travels, first Kuala Lumpur for a few days , then a couple of nights in Brisbane and now in Ocean Shores NSW where we're house swapping. I'll catch up with my later activities in future posts but now for my first finish of 2008, a child's quilt started in a Crab & Winkle workshop led by Melanie. There are only 7 of us and the 7th is a "sleeping partner" but the very active six got together to make a crazy reversible Log Cabin quilt. We chose our own block centres, placed them on a square of wadding and backing fabric and sewed the first round though all layers, piecing and quilting all at the same time, perhaps setting a pattern of light and dark. Then the pieces were tossed around the room for others to add their strips to. I used novelty prints in the centres. The backing squares were pieces of the same novelties but in a different position. The squares were trimmed and joined with fold over strips front and back (the back ones needed to be caught down by hand. I added border pieces the same way. When I heard a little boy had been born across the road from us I had just the thing to give him! When he's older he can try to match the pictures on the front and the back.