Finally Cutting Into My Aboriginal Fabrics

I’ve been collecting Australian Aboriginal fabrics for a couple years now and have never made anything from them. That ended today! I’m making this quilt for my brother and his wife.


These fabrics are so amazing that I wanted to let them sing. So I cut the blocks to 9 inches square and have added a 2 inch sashing with darker cornerstones. I just love the way the larger blocks really let the fabrics sing. And the sashing adds color and pattern variation that is just wonderful. I just love the simplicity of this quilt.

I used 20 different 1/3 yard pieces of fabric. I got four nine inch blocks out of each piece, plus a full 2.5 inch strip that I’ll save for later. I haven’t really decided yet how big I’m going to make this quilt. I have enough blocks cut to make it a bigger quilt, but I’m thinking a throw is more practical. I need to give it some thought and make a decision.

My brother and his wife were at my place a few weeks ago so I took my sister in law into my sewing room and we picked out fabrics for this quilt. She tends to be a little less daring  with color so I pushed her on some of the fabrics. She loved what we pulled once we had it all together. I was very proud that she stepped out of her comfort zone.

These fabrics are so amazing. Just look at these blocks:


I got all of this accomplished in one day. It’s not done yet, but it’s well on its way.

When I make something like this I love to do chain piecing and i love to make it all as efficient as possible.

Once I had all the nine inch blocks cut, I cut the pieces for the sashing. I cut nine inch strips across the width of the fabric, stacked up three pieces, and cut them into 2 inch pieces. Then I sat down at the machine and sewed the sashing pieces onto all the 60 blocks I decided to start with.


Once this was done I started making the sashing pieces with the cornerstones attached.

I cut more nine inch strips across the width of the sashing fabric, then cut a 2 inch strip across the width of the cornerstone fabric. Then I sewed the 2 inch strip to the 9 inch strip. I pressed them open, stacked them up carefully and cut them into 2 inch pieces.



Once these sashing pieces with cornerstones were assembled and pressed, I sat down and pinned the pieces onto blocks until I ran out of pins, sewed all those blocks and pressed them open, then pinned and sewed again, and then again. I got almost 40 blocks completed this evening before I got too tired to keep going.

I really hate sewing long strips of sashing to blocks, so I assemble the blocks with sashing and cornerstones on two sides of the block. Then when these blocks are arranged for the quilt, you get a completed look and you don’t have to line up all those seams along the long strip. Each block looks like this.



Once I have my blocks all arranged on my design wall I’ll have to sew sashing with cornerstones to the outside edges of all the blocks on the ends and sides of the quilt.

I often will sew the completed blocks together into four block sets and then assemble those blocks. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll do this or do it in long strips.

Can’t believe how much of this I got done today.

Most of the employees at my place of work will begin working from home on Monday until at least April 1. I’m looking forward to saving my commute time for dogs and sewing. It’s going to be hard to stay out of my sewing room during working hours.

I’m a raging introvert, so the idea of being at home all alone for a few weeks is kind of wonderful.



18 Replies to “Finally Cutting Into My Aboriginal Fabrics”

  1. I, too, have a large collection of Australian fabrics! I’m especially happy to learn your method for attaching sashing and cornerstones to the blocks! So much easier! I learn something new every day – thank you.


    1. I don’t remember where I saw that method, but it really makes it easier to assemble the sashing with cornerstones. I’ve used it several times and I love it. Give it a try!


  2. Oh my gosh, those Aboriginal fabrics are stunning. I’d like to see the each piece in the full yardage. (Reminds me of my visit to Australia. I loved the Aboriginal art as well as the country.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really are gorgeous. And the fabric itself is wonderful to sew on. It reminds me of Kaffe Fassett fabric. Has a really nice hand… lovely and soft. It should be beautiful and comfy with a little bit of use.


  3. I just found your blog today. I, too had hoarded and added to my Aboriginal fabrics for years, but last year finally started a pattern with snowbaling the blocks and chevron “sashing”. I had to put it away for other things but hope to finish the top and quilt it this summer. I love your big blocks! I haven’t seen the bird one before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That bird fabric is one of my favorites. it’s a great pop of color and the birds are so pretty. I don’t see very many quilts made from these fabrics. I’d love to see yours when you have it done!


  4. I just wish I was good enough at long arm quilting to quilt that beautiful thing for you but alas I am still practicing and learning how to do feathers Deb


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