Archive for Fabric

1718 Coverlet Quiltalong — Month 2

And we continue on with more 1718 Coverlet blocks. For month 2 (March), we are doing (pattern number is first, block numbers in parens):

1 (1)
3 (14 and 18)
7 (12, 15 and 17)
8 (13, 23 and 27)
9 (16)
10 (21)
11 (22 and 25)
12 (24 and 26)

We did our first big appliqué block for the coverlet. I used my A-number 1 favorite fabric in the sewing room, the Clothworks postage fabric designed by Karen Roti. After cutting the appliqué, I had to re-supply the sewing room with it.


Here’s a mix of blocks from months 1 and 2.

And down the center:


This is the stage at which I’m still a little unsure whether I’m happiest with my fabric selections, but working away is what’s important to me at this point. For those of you who are also working away, I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

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1718 Coverlet Quiltalong — Month 1

Hello! Hello! Care to join in? Sarah and I are embarking on a quiltalong for the most wonderful quilt, the 1718 Coverlet as described in Susan Briscoe’s book, The 1718 Coverlet: 69 Blocks from the Oldest Dated British Patchwork Coverlet.


Let’s face it, an “along” in which I am co-responsible for hostess duties is pretty likely the only way I will ACTUALLY FINISH such a quilt. I will not relate my history of such (Dear Jane, for example…) for you to for shame. Today is a new day and February begins the quiltalong.  Good intentions.

Sarah has posted in lovely detail many of the particulars which I will reiterate (steal and post) here. She has written it up so succinctly covering all the bases:

So with all that said, here is how I propose to run the Quiltalong, and some things you need to know.

*Instructions on which blocks we are making each month and pics of the blocks we have made, tips etc BUT NOT MEASUREMENTS will be on my blog and Sarah Fielke’s blog each month. Sarah and I will take turns to write the blog, month on, month off and we will both post on social media and our on blog when the new month’s block numbers are posted.

*Neither Sarah nor I wrote this book. We have no affiliation with it other than the desire to make this lovely quilt! As such we are not responsible if any of the measurements prove wrong or the instructions are hard to follow or any other issue like that! This is going to be fun, so everyone please leave their cranky at the door and embrace the project! :)

*Sharing is fun and thats what a QuiltAlong is all about! Please join the Facebook page Sarah has set up here:

to show what you’re up to, your colour choices and chat to other members. We are also using the Instagram hashtag


so please get involved, it’s great to see what others are doing and be inspired by it. Sarah and I are both happy to be your Facebook friends and your Instagram friends, so you can find us under our names on Facebook and as @sfielke and @alobsiger on Instagram.

*The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles (QGBI) has a Facebook page for the book which I suggest you “like”:

and the museum where the quilt is housed does too.

*Starting with February (i.e., right now!), the 1718 Quiltalong will run for 11 months. In February we are starting with only 9 blocks to give you an easy start (and seeing as February is already half gone!), and they are all pieced blocks not appliqued except for one. The other months will be broken down into groups of blocks (more at the end of this post). This is just how I’m proposing to do it. If you want to do it another way, slower or faster or anything else, that’s just fine and you can still quilt along with us and post your progress! All Sarah and I are doing is providing suggestions and a few tips, inspiration and encouragement.

*Everyone joining in MUST own their own copy of The 1718 Coverlet by Susan Briscoe. It isn’t OK to look on with your friend’s copy, or photocopy from their copy or from a library book. That’s a breach of copyright. You need your own copy, and trust me it’s well worth it because the book is lovely.

*Please feel free to chat about your blocks and your process and the quiltalong online or on your own blog – please link to my blog and/or to Sarah’s blog when you do. But PLEASE, don’t post tutorials or block measurements or any other kind of instruction other than little tips on what you found easiest or your colours, etc., because that’s a breach of Susan’s copyright too and that’s not OK.

Right! Now for the fun stuff! Sarah and I chatted about how to approach the quilt – it’s tempting to make it all in rows, or all the same block numbers first, but we felt that left us with months where EVERYTHING was going to be applique and no piecing, and vice versa. There’s a lot of blocks and a lot of applique so we wanted to break everything up a little more manageably.

If you don’t already own the book, there are loads of places online and in stores you can get it. There is a lovely shop in Sydney called Cottage Quiltworks who Sarah teaches for and she has picked out a starter bundle of pretty chambray solids and they are offering the book and the solid starter pack for 10% off normal retail for those interetesed, while stocks last. You can contact Chris or Jann on, they will post anywhere including overseas. Here is the pack they are offering:


and they also will do the pack or the book on its own, and they have some nice woven stripes, etc., like Sarah is going to use too. Drop them an email and they will sort you out.

Some words about method: Like Sarah, I am making the blocks following the modern method. Too, I will make blocks by hand and by machine. I’ll machine piece the February blocks that are pieced and hand appliqué the one appliqué block. I’ll figure out my approach with each block. I am not averse to hand piecing and will use that approach whenever needed.

With that, here’s what Sarah and I are doing for February:


For a friendly start in February we are going to start with the following blocks:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

You will need to make two of block 2, two of block 3, two of block 4, two of block 5 and one block 6. The blocks sit here in the quilt:


Please remember that this is just our suggestion! If you want to start somewhere else or approach the quilt in a different way then by all means, go for it.

Here’s a bit about my (current) fabric selections:

I am sometimes a “top of the pile” girl. Oh, this lovely stack just arrived and is sitting on my sewing table. How about this (also noting that said new pile is very easy to get to without having to dig in the archive)? No, but really, I had one idea in mind and ordered some fabric. Then a small stack of Tokyo Train Ride arrived and it sat next to my coverlet book and looked like it fit right in. So I headed in that direction and came up with some additions:







So, I think I have a start here as far as fabric flavors go. It will be a mix-in-as-we-go thing, I suspect. But I will put this batch together in an easily accessible place and we will go from there. I’m already not positive about that light blue in the hourglass blocks. It was meant to be beige but I got a little over excited about the fact that is has an orange print….

In any event, we hope that you might jump on board with us in whatever manner you’d like. We’re doing it for fun and support. And fun.

With that, I’m taking my ginger tea and going back to the sewing room to make up block 5. It gets nice and toasty in there when the iron is on and I need that today.

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Little Quilts Blog Tour & Mini Quilt Swap — Next Stops: Lilysquilts and Poppyprint!

We have two lovely bloggers helping us out this week!! Lynne from Lilysquilts and Krista from Poppyprint!

If you have not already done so, please dash over to Lynne’s post on the Little Quilts blog tour and swap (AND BOOK GIVEAWAY!) and see what she’s done with Miss Sarah’s Drawn Together quilt.

Here I’ve pinched a tantalizing peek at Lynne’s marvelous quilt:


And I would certainly stand to presume that, of course, Lynne has all of her fabric organized by color. I believe it is crucial to a high level of creativity and productivity!! And, no, my fabric is not really organized at all except in terms of the order in which it arrived in the house. ::sigh::

Krista has also played with one of the paper pieced designs from the book, my Cocktail Shakers pattern. This one is so much fun. I have in progress and upsized version and it great fun to play with fabric combos! I love that Krista changed hers up a bit also, making it into a tablerunner.

Here is a pinched peek at Krista’s beautiful work:



What pretty, pretty fabrics!!

Anyway, we’re so pleased to have Lynne and Krista agree to join our swap and tour! Thank you both very much!!!

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Beyond Neutral Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway

John Adams, aka Quilt Dad, is one smart cookie and here he has gone and written another very smart book called Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements.
beyond neutral book
In it, he encourages us to look beyond white and cream and black as options for background colors in quilts. I believe John has met me before. In 20+ years of quilting, I believe I have used a cream background once. Recently. It was a small quilt. And it needed to look just like the pattern I was following. I often see quilts with cream backgrounds and say to myself, “I should do that sometime.” I don’t know, when push comes to shove and I’m actually making a fabric choice for a real-life project, the acid green always, always seems more appealing (please note the searing blog background…).
mustard acid
I was folding these fat quarters at work just the other day and my heart went pitter-pat. Seriously, my pulse quickens when I see a really good color. AND, I will go one step further to say that I do indeed see these lovely colors as “neutrals.” They are the zing that can surround and showcase a collection of like-minded prints. To me, that’s when things get exciting — when you can find a background and print combo that makes you gasp and then squeal. It’s a regular thing for me when it comes to playing with fabric. Isn’t it for you?
That’s why I think John’s book is so brilliant. I think it helps a quilter see other options and to find that inspiration right in the nature that (hopefully) surrounds us.
Here are some of my favorites from the book:
I love John’s Canyonlands quilt with its warm, rich tan background (sorry that it’s reading a little orange-y in my photo). It really makes the lighter prints sing. John’s inspiration was a video of a flock of starlings.
Triton Cove uses a light aqua shot cotton as a background. I find shot cottons very thrilling because the warp and weft are two different colors. This adds so much interest and sparkle and depth. In this quilt, John cut into some of his most precious fabrics. I love his encouragement to cut into our favorite fabrics and USE them. I came face to face with my problem with fabric collecting when my basement flooded this summer. I looked at it this way, I got to visit all of the fabrics I’ve been collecting all these years. Let’s just say, I have too many favorites. My worry always is to, as Oprah might say, let the fabric live its best life. To select a design and background that seems to me to be the best possible use of a most loved fabric collection. And then I get stuck. For perhaps years on that choice and selection. So, I’ll use Triton Cove as my inspiration and John’s words of wisdom as encouragement. Also, I think this quilt design does indeed showcase these gorgeous prints.
Glacier Bay is another favorite — because, hello, x and o in a single quilt. I love the cool mix of fabrics. I love the fabric placement. I think, in fact, this is one of my favorite ways to use fabric: select a group of prints you like and use them in all of the parts of the blocks — frames, centers, what have you. All of the prints are speaking to each other from each location in the quilt. Bliss! The pale aqua background is a real winner here. It sparkles as cornerstones, if you will, beside the darkest prints and makes the lighter prints recede to lovely effect.
 pacific crest q
But, I think Pacific Crest is my absolute favorite! I can just see the waves. I’m also having a navy moment at the moment. My navy/indigo moment started two years ago when I bought a car that was almost black, but no, upon closer inspection, such a terrific shade of dark blue. I can’t get enough of it now. Before that car, navy and very little other blue was a part of my fabric stash. Now I think it enhances just about everything in a mysterious kind of way as it does in the Pacific Crest quilt. I mean, look how fabulous it looks by even the darkest prints in the quilt! Smashing!
To be quite honest, when I was selecting some favorites to put in this post, every time I turned the page, I saw a favorite. As I said, John has written a very smart book with fantastic designs throughout. His insights and encouragement from natural inspiration are well worth adding to your book stack. I have kept the book in sight since I got it and have been flipping through and and dreaming and planning for a while. When time allows, fabric will be cut!
Bravo, John!!! And thank you for including me in the celebration of your new book!!
   Reading matter
John’s publisher, Martingale, are generously providing an ebook of Beyond Neutral to one of my readers. Leave a comment, making sure there is a way to contact you, by the end of the day on September 26 and we’ll do ye olde random selection to choose a winner. Good luck!
Other stops on this lovely tour include:
Lynne Goldsworthy


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Little Quilts Blog Tour — Next Stop!

Greetings! The Little Quilts blog tour is rolling along! This week, stop by and visit the lovely Nedra over at Cactus Needle! Woot!!

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Little Quilts Blog Tour!


It’s time for a little party for little quilts and Little Quilts! We are gleeful over the wonderful reception for our little (am I overusing that??) book so far, and we want the celebration to continue! Sarah and I have devised a blog tour and swap with some of our favorite people. Indeed, in the spirit of Little Quilts, we’ll make and swap wee (see, I didn’t say little) quilts and talk about our progress in blog posts. Our swappers don’t know from whom they’ll receive a quilt, so there will be mystery reveals when the mail arrives. Ooooh, tricksy, it was almost more than my summer brain could handle figuring that out (I know, it’s really not that difficult…).

I’ve already been pondering options for my swap partner. Hmm…


Which of these lovelies shall it be? Should I make one of mine?



Or should it be one of Sarah’s?


Who doesn’t love the Honeycomb quilt? Surely I can manage the embroidery, yes?!

As we all ponder and make, we’ll be checking in, so keep an eye out for our fabulous friends who have joined us. Here’s the Little Quilts visiting schedule for the next six weeks.

September 1: Amy and Sarah

September 8: Pam Vieira-McGinnis

September 15: Nedra Sorenson

September 22: Lynne Goldsworthy and Krista Hennebury

September 29: John Adams

October 6: Katy Jones

Should you care to join us in the making (or make and then send a small quilt to a friend!) and don’t (yet) own Little Quilts, you will find the pattern for Sarah’s Little Red Riding Hood quilt on the Ryland Peters blog.

Little Red


And befitting such a celebration, each stop will have a drawing for a copy of Little Quilts, courtesy of our spectacular publisher, Cico Books! So, if you’d like a chance to win a copy (what? you don’t already own one?) from this stop on the blog tour, leave a comment (making sure I can contact you via email behind the scenes) by the end of the day on September 7 — just before the tour stops off with the ever delightful Miss Pamkittymorning.

We hope you’ll join us in our continuing excitement about our book and have a visit with our lovely bloggers at each stop! I’ll check in regularly too to make sure you don’t miss any of the fun!

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Hand Quilted with Love blog tour

My dear friend Sarah has written another book. Maybe you’ve heard of it — Hand Quilted with Love. I’ve horned in on her book blog tour to celebrate her talent and creativity, among her many other fine attributes.

I admit that I squeal every time I get to take a sneak peek into her latest work. Yes, I am lucky that way. So, she may have showed me some of the quilts from the book in advance. And I squealed like a little girl and once again decided that I wanted to make every quilt in the upcoming book. Seeing as I am still working on quilts from the last book….ahem…why not dive in and start a quilt from the new book too?! Frankly though, I see nothing wrong with that because, as the book’s subtitle says, “Patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting.” And who doesn’t get a little carried away by the passion for quilting? And I can feel Sarah’s passion for quilts in each of the designs in Hand Quilted with Love. And so I get carried away and squeal a little and decide that every one of the quilts speaks to me (and says “make me….”).

In the sewing room, you will find my copy of Hand Quilted with Love duly page marked on All That and the Hatter.


You will find a stack of light Kaffe Fassett shot cotton fat quarters and a stack of Liberty Lifestyle Stile fat quarters.


You will find me puttering around with background stripe combinations and cup and saucer combinations and teapot combinations.




You might also find me squealing like a little girl over the fun I’m having with Sarah’s lovely design. This one is VERY, VERY satisfying to undertake as well — put the thinking cap on on occasion, it’s a good thing.

Sarah’s new book also includes an incredibly special design. You might have seen it. Or been a part of it. Along with squealing, there was crying. Which is to be expected. Seeing it in print took my breath away. Not in a bad way. Just in the way that it is.


The version in the book is Anabel’s quilt.


At fall quilt market, I picked up my quilt. I have slept under it every night since Sarah presented it to me. In fact, she had it on the bed at the hotel. I am still overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity and caring for us. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Please know that not a day goes by when I don’t look at this quilt in amazement and appreciation. It is a great comfort to read your names and admire your fabric choices. Thank you.


In the future, I hope you will also find me making more of the quilts from Sarah’s wonderful new book. Congratulations, miss! I’m thrilled for you, I admire your talents and hard work and I’m so happy to call you a friend!

Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour:

SewTake a Hike – 4th May

Belinda Stitches – 5th May

True Up – 6th May

LilysQuilts (UK) – 7th May

Creative Dabbling (Australia) 8th May

Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA) 9th May  (you are here)

I’m A Ginger Monkey (UK) – 10th May

Petits Elefants -(Australia) 10th May

Prints Charming (Australia) – 11th May

RedPepper Quilts (Australia) – 12th May

HandMade by Alissa (USA) – 13th May

Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) – 14th May

Sew Mama Sew (USA) – 15th May

Since I have been away away away for so long, I’ll include some updates. I came back from quilt market in the fall to news of another serious health concern in my immediate family. It was jarring and once again scary and it set me back somewhat. But all is now well and we’ve been lucky to have had the best outcomes all the way along.

I have also been keeping up with the kid. Here are some recent action shots because it seems that she is all action and I am her personal assistant making sure she is where she needs to be and she is fed and garbed.




Good kid.

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