Category Archives: patchwork

Using Pinterest 

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My Throw in Progress (with basting stitches!)

If you were to take a look at my Pinterest boards (via the sidebar on my blog or here). You might be surprised at what you see, especially if you’ve known me for a while. I don’t think they’re much like what I’ve been making.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, so I’ll call this an aim for 2018 and beyond. I’m going to try to bring my sewing and crafting in line with the dreaming I’m recording on Pinterest.  So what about this throw?

I’m a member of a quilt group called Welsh Heritage Quilters and every two years we hold an exhibition at the Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes. You can show any quilted item you’ve finished since the last exhibition or which is in progress, but there are also categories to encourage us to push ourselves.  I decided to make something for the “Welsh” category. I’ve been learning a lot about traditional Welsh quilts at the Quilt Association and wanted to have a go.

My starting point

Frame quilts are very traditional so that was what I decided to make.  I bought many of the fabrics to make a throw as a wedding gift, but lost my nerve and left them languishing untouched in the drawer. The colours seemed just right for a traditional quilt.

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Close up of Quilting in Progress

Welsh quilting patterns are very distinctive and I set about trying to copy some, but then…

I decided not to try to make a clone but something based on all the boro and kantha quilts I’ve Pinned.  I’m using variegated Sulky thread to stitch what are traditional Welsh patterns, but in a way that seems to me more like boro or kantha. Don’t know if I’ve succeeded but it’s very satisfying. I’m really enjoying the quilting process.

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The back in progress

I’m not too concerned about my stitches as I’m hoping the patterns, when finished, will draw the eye away from individual stitches.

I’ve had difficulties. The only marker I could see was yellow chalk (seen on the photos) and that rubbed off, so I marked, worked outlines and marked again. It’s not fully marked yet and none of the hearts or circles are yet fully quilted – some infill is called for.

The wadding is cotton flannel that’s been sitting in my sewing cupboard for years on end. It’s not easy to hand quilt but I’m getting used to it. Many traditional Welsh quilts would have contained carded wool and were quilted very closely to keep the wadding in place during laundry.

So, I’ve started using my Pins to influence my quilts, but I’ve got clothes boards you really wouldn’t believe if you saw them and a shoe board brimming with shoe making ideas. But those are for other times, other posts.

Do you use Pinterest? How do you use it? I’d love to know so do join the conversation. And if you put a link to your boards in the comments I’ll take a look.

Enjoy your week.

Norma x

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under patchwork, Pinterest, quilts, sewalongs, textiles, traditional quilts

Bag Fest 

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This is a tweedy (with a bit of hemp) bag made from a pattern by Michaela Smith called “Night Owl”. The pattern’s for a cushion but I like bags more. It holds lots & is good for travelling.

These bags are made from this quilt.

Landscape quilt

It had been languishing in my sewing cupboard for months, so I washed it and made the bags. The fabrics are silks & silk lookalikes.

The binding on the quilt mostly couldn’t be saved but I had some bits of the original left so I cut some more. The original is leftover from making this skirt – still worn after all these years, but now as calf length rather than full length.

I made the original quilt following a holiday on Skye – it represents the view I could see when eating my breakfast.

I’m intending to take these patchwork bags along to Quillies in Rhayader to see if they can be sold alongside my fabric pots.

 

My favourite tote bag – and believe me I love tote bags… This is a furnishing fabric remnant that I just couldn’t resist.

Gratuitous dog photos!

 

And this is my jeans bag. Linda asked me to show it ages ago & I just didn’t manage to blog. Sorry!

So you can see I’ve been busy despite my blogging silence. Looking forward to catching up with you all.

Happy New Year

Norma x

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Filed under jeans, patchwork, recycling, textiles, upcycling

Scrap Skirt 

My new skirt.

Colour Block Skirt

I have a lot of linen scraps, some of them quite large – most of my summer clothes are made from linen or linen/cotton. The pale blue in the middle is the remains of a tablecloth I dyed in natural indigo a few years ago. The lavender is leftover from my first 1930s skirt. I’ve incorporated some pieces from an old skirt too.

The fastenings are buttoned pleats – they open up to make enough space to get in and out of the skirt. It’s a type of fastening I’ve been experimenting with recently. This skirt has a similar fastening. I like that I don’t have to have openings at the side.

The buttons have all been rescued from old clothes. I just can’t let a good button go to waste.

I’m joining lots of makers over at Scrap Happy June. Why not pop over and see what other people have been making?

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

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Filed under Clothes, patchwork, scraps, sewing, textiles

Enjoying the Slowness

My Tumbling Blocks quilt is growing: albeit very slowly. I’m really not far from finishing the top.

The bright white tunic – previously a sheet – is sitting in a pot of daffodil heads. They were flowers that needed deadheading so I popped them in the dye pot before going to the compost heap. I’m relying on solar power to dye the top. I heated it up when the solar panels were working and the pot is now sitting in the greenhouse. It will probably be there for 10-14 days. It’s not bright white anymore and I’m hoping for a pale yellow as a base colour. We’ll see!

The silk skirt is progressing well. I took it out of the dark and dyed it with onion skins today. I’ll rinse it once it’s dried – in some dyeing traditions this is done to help the colour to take better. I can see it from the window and it’s looking a lovely dark orange now. If I like the colour when it’s rinsed I’ll put it away in the dark for a couple of weeks before wearing it.

And then there’s my dress. Remember this top?

It’s Merchant & Mills Curlew pattern and I’m going to make the dress version using some of the big roll of undyed Irish linen I bought for OneYearOneOutfit. I’ve traced the pattern and I’ve been debating how to make it – machine or hand? I bought some undyed looking cotton to use the machine but now I’m not so sure. I enjoyed last year’s slow progress and wear the top a lot. The hand stitching is holding up fine. And if I do it at speed I’ll probably then make another dress – but I don’t need one.

What do you think?

I will be dyeing it once it’s made – usual slow methods.

Well, that’s the update. Hope there was something there to interest you.

Have a good week.

Norma x

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Filed under Clothes, dyeing, patchwork, quilts, sewing, slow dyeing, solar dyeing, textiles, traditional quilts

Mini Quilts

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The quilts each measure approximately 11.25inches x 8.25 inches. This size of quilt has become a bit of an obsession of mine. They get put into an envelope and sold in a sort of Quilt Lucky Dip to raise funds for the Quilt Association.

It’s quite a hard size because it’s not square – normal block patterns don’t work but it gives me the freedom to try out ideas. If they work I give them to the Quilt Association, otherwise they’re scrapped.

These two are made from the remains of the batik jellyroll I used to make this skirt.

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I’ve made a couple more mini quilts but one isn’t quite right yet so I’ll save them for another day.

You can see my velvet mini quilts here.

And there’s another 1934 skirt in the pipeline – they really are becoming an obsession.

Thanks for dropping by

Norma x

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Filed under patchwork, quilts, scraps, Uncategorized

Velvet Fest

I’ve just finished five velvet “quilts”. There are the mini quilts above for fundraising for the Quilt Association.

This bag uses up more bits.

 

 

And the quilt is finished.

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I’ve used up more or less all the velvet scraps but there’s more now.

A friend rescued some very long blue velvet curtains which were destined for a skip, so now I’m contemplating a cloaky sort of coat. And the contemplation is all part of the fun…

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under bags, Clothes, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, textiles, Thrift

This has been my go to skirt whenever we’ve had really good weather.

I made it at the beginning of the summer from most of a batik jellyroll. I bought the jellyroll thinking that it would do for a workshop I was taking but it was not to be, and I was left wondering what to do with it.

There’s a lot of fabric in a jellyroll: a knitting bag for a friend, one of my fabric pots, this skirt and a few scraps.

My other go to skirt this summer has been this lavender 1934 linen one. I love this skirt.

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And talking of the 1930s, Emily Ann is moving along with her 1930s dress and has been investigating laundry and dressmaking techniques from the time. Why not go over and take a look?

Thanks for calling by.

Norma x

18 Comments

September 25, 2016 · 5:25 pm

Velvet Scrap Quilt in Progress

This is a sort of scrap quilt. It includes bits of my old velvet dress, my skirt and my trousers. All of them probably date from the 1990s. It also includes other people’s scraps both donated and bought. Some of the scraps are in the form of long strips, so there should be plenty left for small projects.

The back used up what was left of my kitchen curtain fabric after I’d made the curtains.

The quilt is large throw size and strip pieced. I’m using some fancy variegated silk thread to add some extra quilting.

I’m linking to Scrap Happy September. Why not take a look at what everyone else is doing?

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under patchwork, quilts, scraps, textiles, upcycling

Scrap Happy May

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Random bits & pieces made into dog blankets. No, male dogs don’t mind pink!
I’ve been using up as much as possible this month : I’d like more space in my cupboard and prefer not to have so many bits & pieces hanging around.

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These are A4size quilts made for a lucky dip at The Quilt Association. The quilts go into an envelope and visitors pay a small fee to choose one – no way of knowing what you will get. It’s a fun way of raising funds.
The scraps are from my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday quilt. There are some strips left to make fabric pots.

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Pants in progress, using the remaining fabric from the 1930s dress before it was dyed lavender. 
I’m joining Scrap Happy May over at Tall Tales from Chiconia – why not go over & take a look at what the others are doing?
Thanks for dropping by
Norma x
PS I haven’t forgotten about my other sewing – 1930s and oneyearoneoutfit. There’s a lot going on and I’ll post very soon. X

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Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, textiles

Dyeing for the Scrap Quilt

Some of the blocks for my scrap double bed quilt.

I thought I had plenty but I had done my calculations on 12 inch blocks not the 10 inch ones I was actually working on.  Oh dear!

I searched around for more scraps that could be included and cut them out but there weren’t enough. I went for a long walk and came up with this.

Dyeing a piece of self patterned white cotton fabric leftover from the quilt I made for my brother’s wedding several years ago. Enough to make borders. The revolting looking dyestuff is coffee grounds collected and saved in the freezer. It produced a lovely coffee colour!

I used milk as a mordant and left the fabric soaking for 24 hours, stirring and turning from time to time.

I didn’t solar dye this fabric because it was too big for any jar I have and at this time of year would take too long. So I waited for the solar panels to kick in, brought the fabric and dyestuff slowly to the boil, turned off the power and left them to cool naturally.

The only drawback is the difficulty of getting the coffee grounds off the surface of the fabric: a lot of rinsing and flapping in the breeze did it. On the plus side, the dye pot contents can be thrown on the compost heap without fear. They’d have been there anyway if I hadn’t been saving them.

I went through my wadding scraps but can’t come up with anything like enough to piece them to double bed size so I’ll have to buy wadding.

I have plenty of backing choices in store, including the good bits of old sheets or maybe pieced from large leftovers.

I can’t get any further until I have the wadding as I plan to strip piece columns straight to the wadding and backing. Take a look at Mary Fogg’s work if you you want to see  wonderful quilts made using this method.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

PS. Linking this to Scrap Happy March.

 

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Filed under dyeing, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, stashbusting, textiles