A Very Special Quilt

I started this quilt in earnest back in March. In fact the idea and initial cutting spree (until I got bored) was at Christmas last year. So it’s been almost a year-long project, with a the goal of being my Mum’s 70th birthday present.

I wanted to make something with the vintage sheet fat quarters I got through a swap and I knew that some of these prints would be wonderfully nostalgic to my mum.

I settled on the hourglass block after seeing Rita’s hourglass quilt and tutorial.
This is a double quilt, so there were a lot to make – 200 and something! (I guess I could have made them bigger!) I found a very handy labour saving half square triangle ruler on Amazon, which did help a lot.

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and then to start sewing them all together. There were even some perfect points!

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Then I sewed them into blocks of 12 in a rainbow-ish colour sequence

 

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There was some basting agony (isn’t there always?!)

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After our holiday to France and my sewing machine had made a trip back to the mothership for some attention, it was time to quilt!
I chose to do my favourite orange peel quilting. The curvy lines really helped break up the geometric look of the blocks and create these lovely flowers.

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And then with the addition of some lovely vintage stripy binding (which you can buy here!) it was finished (yes the backing fabric is a very funky vintage sheet!)

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My husband and I had a lovely couple of days in a Shepherds Hut in Somerset while the kids were my mum’s. This was the perfect chance to hand stitch on the binding in the cosy hut with the woodburner and enjoying the last evenings of summer. It was also perfect for photographs.

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Today was her birthday and we presented her quilt, she was really thrilled  with it and says she can’t wait to put in on her bed!

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I feel a bit sad now it’s gone!

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All Change

There is something about the post- Christmas lull (after sitting in my backside eating for a couple of days ) and the prospect of the new year, that makes me what to have a clear out.

I’ve been mulling over changing my sewing space around for a while. I moved into the 3rd bedroom about a year ago. I thought having a designated sewing room would be wonderful but it’s not been all I’d hoped. Not enough room to cut on a table – so that usually happens on the floor, then I trip over the cutting mat going between my machine and the ironing board ! Also being upstairs has meant I’m reluctant to go up there in the evenings when my husband is downstairs. We do sometimes like to spend time together!

So I’ve made use of this lovely cupboard which used to be in my granny’s kitchen and until today housed all the kids craft stuff. The craft dept isn’t what it used to be now they are older. So no, i don’t really need an extensive stock of play doh anymore. Sad but true.

It was chaos for a few hours but it’s all swapped over now and we have a office/homework desk upstairs and I have a sewing space in the dining room. We threw lots of stuff out. I even have a pile of fabric to go (back) to the charity shop.

I’ll stop rambling and show you some photos.

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Before……

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During….

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the fun bit….

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almost there……

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ta da….

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Quilting and Me

I’ve been recently pondering why I am a slightly reluctant quilter. Every day I see beautiful things created by my friends of the online sewing community and I wonder how they manage to be so productive – many of them also busy working mums.

One my sticking points is the location of my sewing space – which I’m hoping to work out a solution to over Christmas (watch this space!). The other is that I really hate cutting – big pile of fabric, mat and rotary cutter type scenario agggh!

Far too much accuracy needed and if I switch off, I end up taking off an inch too much or slicing it wonky. Hate it! I’ve had a bit pile of vintage FQ’s sitting waiting to be cut for the last 3 months – I imagine there is probably a layer of dust on them by now!

I guess I’m starting to learn bout what kind of sewist I am. What I most enjoy is digging through my scraps and improvising, sewing together strips or doing a bit of a scrappy block. 20131220-120040.jpgVery nice but not very do-able for a big project.

The other day this popped up in my blog feed. Not only did I fall in love with its beauty but I had one of those light-bulb moments. This quilt is made using a technique called foundation piecing or paper piecing. It’s too complicated to explain here but Kerry has a fantastic blog post about it here.
My lovely local sewing friends showed me how to do this when we met up for a bit of festive making last month – and I made these

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So with my new found skill I thought I’d tackle a quilt block myself.

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And another…

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What I really like about it is you don’t have to spend hours at the cutting mat before you can get started, you cut as you go. Although you do have to be accurate in some ways – it’s not a precise fabric cutting exercise. Hallelujah!

I may have found my niche!

I’ve decided to go with a grey/pink grey/aqua theme using solids and print…I have an order of solids on the way, hopefully in time to do a bit of post-Christmas sewing.

Have a great Christmas!

Vintage Lovelies

I’ve had a couple of nice vintage charity shop finds recently. The first was this eiderdown. It has a gorgeous vintage cotton floral top and that lovely snaggy fluffy nylon backing. I have got rid of the moth ball smell and now it’s in our living room for cosying up under to watch the TV. I just love it! It takes me back to being 6 and staying at my granny’s house.

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Yesterday whilst going to the post office, I couldn’t resist popping into a couple of charity shops ‘just in case’. I found this; a knitted shawl. I can’t say that I’ll ever wear it but the colours are so lovely and it’s price so reasonable, I just couldn’t leave it behind! At the moment it is draped over the arm of the sofa. I can sense my husband starting to wonder what I will bring home next! I love these little finds, I wonder where they came from and who else has loved and cherished them over the years.

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Vintage Fabric Love!

A while ago I mentioned I was taking part in a vintage fabric swap organised by my friend Mary. A after giving Mary about 62 fat quarters of fabric, today I collected my swaps. What a fantastic selection! The other swappers were from as far afield as USA, Switzerland and Ireland. It’s so nice to have such a unique collection. Thank you one all all (especially Mary!)

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