Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Map Maker, Map Maker, Make me a Map

I was searching on Ancestry.com 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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

20 Blocks / 100 Posts

Block 20 is on the website and Post 100 is in front of you.
It has been quite a journey since Post 1 in July 2012 and Block 1 ... and it's not over yet!

Margaretta Harris's block has a piecrust edge.  I know this because Barbara Brackman used a photo of the original block in her post on Pumpkin Patch blocks.

Although this block wasn't especially difficult I had to figure out how to get the pattern onto the fabric.  The concentric rings all completely separate from each other and I wanted to use a single piece for the whole block.  I don't have any how-to-applique books so I usually try to figure things out myself (with a little help from my friends).

I used a large business size envelope to trace the pattern onto.  The envelope already has one fold and I folded it once again.  I cut around the outside of the pattern, and also the inside circle.  I drew around those two edges for turning under line.

For the next circles I cut between the two turn under lines and traced the cutting line on my fabric.  That meant less lines to draw on the fabric.  I wanted to needleturn the smallest channel I could so I didn't mark the line.  I cut one section at a time, traced my cutting line, then did the next circle.

Before I basted the red to the background I cut slots along each circle.  I cut a slot, left a space, cut the next slot.  I left plenty of fabric so the pattern did not distort.  The cut slots gave me a space to slide my scissors under and complete the circles as I sewed.


Basted and ready to sew.

Circles coming along.

I hope these pictures assist you and your block.  You may approach Block 20 in a completely different way, if you do you could leave a comment about your methods.  There are no quilt police on this blog!