Saturday, September 29, 2012

What's Red and White All Over

The place to be next weekend.
5th, 6th and 7th October
Quilts in the Barn 2012
23 Hartley Rd
Wonga Park

For a sneak preview peek here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Autograph Age Part 2

Some of the participants in the Chester Quilt added a verse to their quilt block.  Mary Criswell's verse reflects her receipt of the quilt as gift from her friends.

'My album is a garden plot
Here all my friends may sow,
Where thorns and thistles flourish not
But flowers alone will grow.'

Mary's best friend Martha Lambourn made an identical block to Mary's.  Her verse could be on behalf of all Mary's friends.

'Not I alone, this wreath will twine
But all thy friends who write a line
In this receptical of thine
Shall form the wreath in unity.
This album's then's a wreath for thee
Sacred to love and memory
And every name a flower shall be
A pure bright gem of constancy.'

Mary's sister Margaret continues the garden theme.

'The golden sun of summer
Hath never shone more fair
Than on the odour of the dying flowers
Which lies so sweetly on the air.'

Mary Stubbs states the obvious.

'Like a leaf we all must die.'

Margaretta goes for a round about message with round about writing.


'Round is the ring that has no end
So is my love for you my friend.'

But Jane Trayner has the last word with the classic:

'Remember me when this you see.'

Monday, September 17, 2012

Photos of Elizabeth Cowan's Block

How are you travelling with the second block? We'd all love to see your work, there are two ways you can share your progress.

You can add your photos with Flickr.  You first need your upload the photos to your own Flickr account, then you can add them to the group The Chester County Criswell Quilt.  Anyone can look at the photos.  If you need some help you can send the photo to me and I will put it into the Flickr group pool.

If you have your photos on your own blog you can use the InLinkz below to link your post here with a photo.

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 above and paste your link into the box.

Carole from Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus did a great photo tutorial about her first block. 

If you're just learning needleturn applique her instructions and photos are very clear.  Carole's blog is worth a visit, she does lovely hand work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Autograph Age

Do you remember when Laura Ingalls received her autograph album?

Pa and Ma had taken Mary to the college for the blind and left Laura, Carrie and Grace on their own for a week.  Laura was 14 and Carrie was 10, Grace was even younger.  Not something we would do today.  Laura decided to do the fall house cleaning and the week was spent washing, scrubbing and blacking the stove.  When the elder Ingalls returned there were presents for the girls.
In Laura's package was a beautiful small book, too.  It was thin, and wider than it was tall.  On its red cover, embossed in gold, were the words, 'Autograph Album'.  The pages, of different soft colours, were blank.  Carrie had another exactly like it, except that the cover of hers was blue and gold.
'I found that autograph albums are all the fashion nowadays,' said Ma. 'All the most fashionable girls in Vinton have them.'
'What are they, exactly?' Laura asked.
'You ask a friend to write a verse on one of the blank pages and sign her name to it,' Ma explained.  'If she has an autograph album, you do the same for her, and you keep the albums to remember each other by.'
Ma signs Laura's book a few chapters later.

Autograph albums were indeed all the range in the 19th century.  Their heyday was from 1830 to 1850.  Signature quilts are a phenomena of this period too.  One important development was the invention of permanent ink in 1845; signatures written 150 years ago are still legible today.

The role of women changed through the nineteenth century as a rural farming lifestyle was overtaken by an urban industrial society.  Men went to work in the 'public' world;  women stayed at home in the 'private' world of family.  Women turned to each other for friendship and support, and their signature quilts recorded family relationships and rites of passage.

Sources: Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder; The Signature Quilt by Pepper Cory and Susan McKelvey

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Visit to Wonga Park

We had a lovely time last week.  The Chester County Criswell Quilt, code name CCCQ, was invited to Warrandyte to visit some antique quilt lovers, and I went along as its minder.

Seriously,  Bev had contacted me to organise a showing of the quilt and Linda's home was chosen as the venue.  It was pretty brave of Linda and Bev; they didn't know me, they hadn't seen the quilt, and they invited another 30 ladies to come as well.  Fortunately everyone had a ball.

CCCQ was stretched out for a close inspection.

Then it was hoisted up for a photo shoot. I've never seen it looking so good.


We got to meet some of the early achievers.  If there was a race to the finish Miriam would be the winner.

The day was great.  CCCQ didn't want to come home,  it was very happy to be the centre of attention.  Thank you Bev for your organising, thank you Linda for your hospitality, and thanks to everyone that came out for a bit of show and tell.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


The response to Elizabeth Cowan's block and the First Year Set has been remarkable.  I wish I could say everything was running perfectly, but we are talking about computers after all.

Update:  The website has had an upgrade.  Everything is working smoothly, there will be no more problems from the computer (and the pigs are getting ready to fly!)

So, a few notices:
Thank you to Lynne who pointed out that I was recommending a 1.5 inch turnunder for the applique, not 1/4 inch.
I fixed the 1/4 inch, reloaded the files, and put them in the wrong folder on the website.  Thank you to Adele who discovered she couldn't download her pattern but stayed very polite and calm while I got the right pattern into the right folder.
A message to Phyllis L. of Fayetteville - your email is bouncing, I need you to get in touch so I can send your pattern.

Payments:  I hate to say it, but PayPal is working perfectly and is giving no trouble at all.  I am recommending PayPal as the easiest way to make your payment.
A few people have had trouble with their credit card payment.  If you receive an error message as you finish your order, don't pay again, just wait and the payment will be processed.  I have contacted PayMate to find out what the issues are.
If you are in Australia you don't have to pay online.  You can print the order form which includes my bank details.  Then you can pay with real money at any Commonwealth Bank.

If I am at the computer when your order comes in, I can send the link to the pattern straight away.  If I am at work or sound asleep you will have to wait a while until I get back to the keyboard.  I check the computer several times a day (or more) so you won't have to wait very long.

The link will come as an email headed Downloads Access.  You get three tries to download the link.  If you have trouble with the download and use up the three tries you need let me know and I will reset the link.

This stuff is boring, isn't it?  I promise that the next post will be much more entertaining.