Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Appliqué eBook – a Review

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been sent the eBook of Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Appliqué to review by C&T Publishing. I was really excited to take a look as you know appliqué is my favourite quilting technique.

This book is a goldmine of information. For example, do you remember I was talking about the Autumn Leaf Quilt by Ann Orr in my post the other day? Well interestingly enough I found it mentioned in this Encyclopedia of Appliqué. It’s listed under the name Autumn Leaves rather than Autumn Leaf and it is says that it was a Needlecraft Supply Co. kit from 1935!

The book lists 2000 appliqué designs and has 5 patterns that you can make. My favourite is the Oak Leaf and Orange Peel Quilt. It looks lovely in the traditional pale browns, blues and indigo fabrics illustrated but I’d love to see it in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. It would be a stunner!

The designs are all listed both as pictures and by name so you should have no trouble finding what you’re looking for. This book is a great source of inspiration for quilters and an amazing work of scholarship for those who are interested in the history of appliqué in America. I give it 4 stars!


A Taste of Oman in Sydney

September 28, 2011 § 3 Comments

On Monday my husband and I visited the Omani Cultural Days at Darling Harbour in Sydney. It was a really lovely experience. I asked permission to take some photos and received it so come with me and visit a virtual Omani Souk.
These lovely ladies are wearing traditional costume. Isn’t it lovely? The man below was writing people’s names in Arabic Calligraphy. Here’s mine. It looks so much more impressive like this!
We were all give a goodies bag that contained some frankincense and a pottery burner, some glossy brochures and a yummy sweet called halwa which was made from dates, rose water, nuts and saffron. I was going to show you but I ate it. 🙂

Here are some more photos of the hospitality tent, the Henna tent and some traditional dancing to bagpipes! Who knew bagpipes were used in Oman?

Then last, but certainly not least, we were given this mini CD. What’s on it? Hmmm. Can’t tell you. Why? It’s inside my iMac and I can’t get it out! I didn’t even stop to think before I stupidly posted it into my iMac. I have tried every tip on the internet to get it out but to no avail. (Including putting a larger one in too so that they get ejected together. Er, no! That’s not how it works. They both get stuck. Fortunately that problem is solved and the iMac did spit out the large CD but it’s holding onto the small one so a trip to a free exhibition has resulted in a not so free trip to the Mac guy. Sigh… Oh well it was great while we were there and if you’re in Sydney it’s on for another few days. One little tip – don’t watch the CD unless you have a pop-out tray.

Surprise! Are you one of my winners?

September 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

Thank you

I wanted to say thank you to all my loyal readers and particularly to those of you who take the time to leave me comments. I didn’t want to run a competition to say “Thank you” because then I get comments from people who blog hop just to win. I wanted to reward those of you contribute to make this blog what it is. I really do read all your comments and I take note of your suggestions – even though I may end up picking something totally out of left field! I decided to add all the names of those people who have commented so far during September, to a spreadsheet and then consult Mr Random and pick five winners.

I have to tell you this was not an easy task. There is no simple way to export the names of the commenters. So it was cut and paste and format for Excel, cut and paste and format for Excel, cut and paste and format… you get the picture!  Anyway Mr Random picked Numbers 6,8,21, 50 and 46. And the lucky ladies whose names appeared in those spots were Linda, Kate, Helen V, Sylvia and Sue.

Congratulations ladies. You have won my bag pattern. I’ll be emailing it to you in the next little while. If you’ve already bought it then you can share this one with a friend without infringing copyright.



That Perfect Stitch

September 26, 2011 § 4 Comments

Today the postie brought my copy of the new edition of That Perfect Stitch by Dierdra A. McElroy. I’ve heard so much about this book that I was really interested to read it. The old edition when I searched for it was only available at exorbitant prices ($90+) so I waited for the new one. Now you can buy secondhand ones (presumably the old edition) for $4.00! I’ve only had a quick flip through it but it looks chock full of very useful information. Unfortunately I’ve given up the search for perfection but I’m still interested to read about how I can stitch more ergonomically and so on. I doubt I’ll ever count the threads of my fabric etc but I will be interested to see the difference between her technique and the Thimblelady’s.

Just look at the beautiful quilting on the back cover!



An interesting second hand book

September 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

The postman came again the other day and brought me this second hand book. It’s one that has been in a library and looks like no one ever borrowed it. It came from the Cherokee County Public Library in Gaffney, South Carolina and had been donated by the Western North Carolina Quilters Guild.

I hope the Guild will be happy to learn that it’s gone to a good home. The book tells the story  of quilts through the Depression years. It’s very interesting and there are some wonderful quilts in here.

My favourite is in a very small black and white photograph and is of a 1933 prize winning appliqué quilt made by Mary Hilliker of Carl Junction from a pattern by Ann Orr called Autumn Leaf. This quilt was displayed at the Chicago World’s fair and the pattern was sold by Sears and Roebuck. The photo was displayed courtesy of the Spencer Museum.

I’ve been looking everywhere for the pattern for this quilt but it appears there isn’t one anymore. I wanted to reproduce it in Kaffe Fasset fabrics and then learnt that Kim McLean had beaten me too it. She did a fabulous job too. Take a look here.


When life hands you scraps… make klosjes!

September 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

I’ve sewn 90 of the blocks together so far. That’s 450 pieces of fabric and countless seams but I like the look of it.

I’ve got a cold at the moment and feeling somewhat under the weather but all these bright colours cheer me up. So in between sneezing and wheezing I’m back sewing klosjes again.

The postman cometh…

September 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

The postman has been very busy at my place of late. First he brought my Hancock’s order. What a bargain – 2 king size cotton batts and 8yds of fabric for $100 and free postage!

Then he brought me a surprise package from Sylvia in the US. Oh my! Just look at these goodies.

The Peach and Ginger tea we sipped on her porch in July.

Two beautiful Indian silk scarves one of which I wore to work to complement my shocking pink shirt.

Three packs of Organ Titanium sewing machine needles.

My goodness I’ve searched everywhere for these. Sylvia found them at Hershey when she went to the Quilt Show there.

Some lovely little charms to go on the brooch she sent me last year.

Some very professional looking tweezers and last but not least, a lovely button necklace.

Thank you so much Sylvia. You really do spoil me. (And I like it. 🙂 )


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