Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pinning and Posting

I've jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon.  There are so many inspiring images in cyberspace, I've decided to collect a few.  One positive feature of Pinterest is the picture's source always stays with the picture - you can easily visit the original post and view the original context.

I've set up four boards.  I only have one follower so I would be pleased to gather a few more.

Friendship Quilts



Antique Album Quilts

Patchwork Blocks

Chester Criswell Quilt

There is no new Chester Criswell Quilt pattern next month but there is still plenty of activity around the CCCQ community.

 Carole from Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus is choosing fabric.

 Miriam from Yellow Roses has finished Block 23 - the Bat Signal block.

 Chris is Quilting at the Farm and finishing Dear Jane as well.

Wanda appears to have five blocks on the go at the same time - Scrap Happy.

Nancy's design wall is working overtime - these are half of her completed blocks. Tattered Garden Quilting.

Last but not least, Jan Mac's design floor.  Sew Many Quilts, Too Little Time.

And what have I been doing?  Well, don't tell anyone, but I bought another antique quilt.  Shhh...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It followed me Home - Can I keep it?

I have added another quilt to the (growing) collection.

I was attracted by the big, bold blocks and interesting patterns.  Sampler quilts are my favourite, I don't like making the same block over and over again. 
I bought it online; the seller described it as late 1800s and purchased in Chester County.  Excellent - another Chester County quilt to keep the Criswells company! 

I wasn't disappointed when it finally arrived.  The fugitive green fabric has faded to tan and some has perished altogether but the patterns are clear.  The whole quilt is in good condition, you don't have to hold your breathe when you fold it up (like I do with the CCCQ).  The cable border is just a bonus.

I wanted some expert opinions on the quilt's age, so I posted some photos in the Facebook group Quilts - Vintage and Antique.  I got over seventy likes which was very nice and a variety of thoughts on how old the quilt is.  The patterns and fugitive green fabric points to 1890s, but the scalloped edge has a 1930s feel about it.  The border fabric matches the background fabric so it must have all been made at the same time.

The big surprise was the number of people that said, it's an Ohio quilt, isn't it?  It looks just like the Miami Valley quilt book.

I went to find my copy of the book and looked through it.  I was very pleased to find lots of similar blocks in the book and my new quilt.  I live in Australia now but I grew up in Ohio; I have always wanted on Ohio quilt.

 There is one odd block however.

That's not fugitive green, red and cheddar.  That's double pink and a tiny green print. How does this block belong with the others?

I love a good mystery.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Some Finishes - Of Sorts

The last block of The Second Year of the Chester Criswell Quilt is online now.

Block 23 - Mary Watkins

Those cut-outs remind me of one of my favourite television shows when I was about 9 years old.


So, if this is the last block is the quilt finished?  No, not quite.  There are ten more blocks to go so there is a Third Year of the CCCQ.  For those of you that have just discovered this quilt, there are plenty of blocks to come.  Don't forget to share your pictures and your comments;  it will encourage those of us that would like to get on with other projects.  The next block should be arriving 1st September 2014.

I finished this quilt for my brother's birthday.  I've called it '50 Cats'. My brother is now 49 and 12 months.

I always piece backs of quilts from my stash - it's fun and a reward for being disciplined and finishing the top.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Photos of Block 22 - Rosebud Bouquet

CCCQ Block 22 - Jesse Jackson Smith

 I haven't found out any more about these 'odd botanical' blocks in the Chester Criswell Quilt.  I was hoping for some photos of similar blocks in similar quilts but nothing has appeared.

I've noticed a few finished blocks, if you put your link here we can all enjoy them.

1. Write your blog post. Publish it on your blog.
2. Copy the link of the specific blog post. This is not just the link to your blog itself (, but the link to the specific post: (
3. Click the blue link up button below and paste your link into the box.

I had my own bouquet of roses last week for my birthday.  Flowers don't appear very often in our household, I was very surprised and very pleased. There is just something special about roses, isn't there.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

National Sewing Machine Day

13th June is National Sewing Machine Day. That's all the information I can find, but it's enough for a blog post.

This is my machine. It's a Janome 1600P.  Unlike many Janomes it only has one straight stitch, forward and reverse; no zigzag, no fancy stitches.  I cannot make a buttonhole or put in a zip (hooray!) I can quilt a queen sized quilt with it.

 I call her Miranda, after the British actor Miranda Hart (Chummy in Call the Midwife).

Last week's finish was a little quilt for new grandbaby Ryan.  Ryan was two weeks early so it wasn't quite done for his homecoming, but it was finished by his due date.  The pattern is called Hunter's Star and I bought the hand dyed fabrics from Dyed and Gone to Heaven.

I like pieced backs.  The two colour ranges I purchased are Mocha and Peppermint.  When I was ordered the fabric I had to decide between Peppermint and Blue Skies.  When the green fabric arrived I wished I had bought the blue.  I felt a little frustrated at my choice until I went to my stash to find some fabric for the back.  The first fabric I found was the hand print.

Hope you have a chance to get to your machine on National Sewing Machine Day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Those Odd Botanicals

Block 22 is another one of the 'odd botanicals' in the Chester Criswell Quilt.

Jesse Jackson Smith CCCQ Block 22

Block 5 was the Crazy Nasturtiums block.

James Carlile CCCQ Block 5

This block is yet to be numbered, it has ivy leaves, daffodils and carnations.

Maria Criswell CCCQ

Other blocks in the quilt have the symmetric, stylised flowers and leaves that you find on other quilts from the 1850s.  These three blocks pictured have all been cut from a single piece of fabric; the leaves and stems have not been cut as separate pieces.  Crazy Nasturtiums is an exception - the large piece of material has been 'made' by piecing smaller bits together, and then the whole pattern was cut out - the joins are all in unusual places.

The patterns look like dried pressed flower arrangements.  I can imagine the seamstress putting a sheet of tracing paper over the pressed flowers, tracing around the whole arrangement and then cutting out the paper pattern.  My other thought is that the designs may be a silhouette, with the shadow from a floral arrangment traced onto paper.

Have you seen blocks like these in other quilts?  Do you have blocks like these in your own collections?  I would like to find examples in other quilts, if you can share some photos or some links I will follow them up in another posting.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Photos of Block 21

Block 21 was nice and easy, I've finishing quilting it now.  I decided to Quilt As You Go for this quilt.  The hand quilting is quite enjoyable when you are only doing one block at a time.

My Windows XP home computer did not survive long after the customer support for XP finished.  I have been using my laptop while I was waiting a brand new computer to be installed at work, so the work computer could be retired to home.  Now when I need a photo to upload I need to think, where is it?  Is it on the old computer, the backup external hard drive, the laptop, the new computer or still in the camera?  It's in the camera, good, now where is my photo software......?

Hopefully you can find some photos to share.

1. Write your blog post. Publish it on your blog.
2. Copy the link of the specific blog post. This is not just the link to your blog itself (, but the link to the specific post: (
3. Click the blue link up button below and paste your link into the box.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

CCCQ A Stitch in Time

Block 20 of the Chester Criswell quilt was a little challenging.  I shared how I made the block in the post  20 Blocks / 100 Posts.

Miriam of Yellow Roses has also shared how she made this block.  Miriam's blog has a lot of hints for needleturn applique.

Nancy at the Tattered Garden used two pieces of fabric and cut alternate rings from each piece.  This gave Nancy more fabric to turn under.  It also means you could use two different fabrics and make a striped piecrust block.  Has anyone tried more than one fabric?

Block 21 is on the website now.  It's much easier to make -  Quilting at the Farm Chris has finished it already!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Map Maker, Map Maker, Make me a Map

I was searching on for some information on next month's block maker, Mary Trayner.  As I was following the family tree trail I came across a set of maps drawn in 1883 of Chester County land owners. 

Detail of Oxford Borough, 1883

 I was charmed by the tiny sketches of the prominent buildings in the town centre.  The offical map maker that year must have been very talented, or artistic, or bored, because each map has its own style.  I went through each of the 150 pages and saved my favourite fonts.  Which one do you like the best?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Day at Castlemaine

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a one day applique school run by Threadbear at Castlemaine, Victoria.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I was certain that I would enjoy whatever the day brought.  The two tutors for the day were Margaret McDonald and Di Ford Hall.  Margaret and Di had each designed an applique quilt pattern using the Peace and Unity range designed by Judie Rothermel.  Each pattern featured a medallion centre and a number of borders.  Each participant would receive a goodie bag with fabric and the two patterns, and spend half a day with each tutor.

The goodie bag was overwhelming - look at the pile of fabric!  And the tin is full of mints and chocolate!

My morning session was with Margaret McDonald.  We had a go at needleturned Raggedy Robin shapes

Margaret's green Raggedy Robin in her quilt top

My still unfinished Raggedy  Robin

Margaret showed us some short cuts to save time.  Below is a long appliqued border.  The top sample is needleturn; the second sample has been buttonholed by machine.

Margaret showed us how to hem S shapes to make a woven border.  Hemming S shapes is not easy.

In the lunch break I walked back to the main street in Castlemaine to visit one of the numerous antique/secondhand shops.  This one is called The Restorers' Barn and it deals in all sorts of things that you might use to decorate/restore your home.

The afternoon was spent with Di Ford.  The first technique Di presented was Broderie Perse (which I still can't pronounce).  Broderie perse is an old applique technique.  When printed fabric was very expensive, needlewomen would cut out a flower or leaf or bird and sew it to a larger plain piece of material.  Di's quilt top featured broderie perse flowers and she showed us how it was done.

Blue broderie perse flowers with inked detail
Di makes it look easy

So ... the results of my day's work? Just a few little things.....

But I have added to the collection since I've been home.....

It was a fabulous day, I hope I can book another one next year.