Tag Archives: quilts

A New Machine and Some Quilts

My “new” sewing machine. It’s a Singer 201k and it sews like a dream. It’s incredibly heavy so I’m looking for a table it can sit on permanently.

I’ve bought it a buttonholer and a zigzag attachment. I’ve got to try them out yet. The tote bag I made to try it out had French seams!

So what else has happened?

These quilts I put my quilt group’s exhibition (one unfinished) appeared in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine along with lovelies made by my friends.

I’ve been mending, garden dyeing and refashioning. And I have another project idea afoot.

More to follow.

Thanks to Lynda who suggested I start blogging again. I promise to try.

Norma x

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Filed under quilts, patchwork, sewing, Singer sewing machines, blogging friends

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

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

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

I’m on a Mission….Stashbusting!

Scrap blocks

I found the three inch windmill blocks in a drawer. I cannot remember when they were put together, but it must be a long time ago as I’m a bit better at matching points now. The individual pieces are tiny so I don’t think errors like that will show up – the quilt will be double bed size and these blocks make up only a tiny part of the whole.

I’m trying to clear myself some space in the room where I sit and sew. The amount of stuff I have in cupboards and drawers is invading my head as well as the room. If only I could get rid of my chest of drawers ….. so I’m on a stash busting mission. I went through all my scrap boxes and slightly bigger boxes trying to get fabrics which would blend. There are dressmaking leftovers from the late 1980s and early 1990s, recent leftovers, tiny bits of quilt fabric and because there wasn’t quite enough, my solar dyed pieces.

I’ll machine piece into 3 inch blocks before assembly. I want to produce one of those really old fashioned unplanned quilts such as our foremothers made out of every last leftover bit of fabric. And just in case you’re wondering, I am still hand sewing the tumbling blocks but that’s only for when a bit of hand sewing is needed.

After reading this post from Kate I am going to piece the wadding too and maybe the good bits of my stashed old sheets for the backing.

 

Remember the solar dyeing? Remember the summer?????

These were previously leftover pieces, some of them very small. I’ve cut them all up to include in this scrap quilt and I’m fascinated that every tiny piece is different. So much more interesting than the bits of commercial plain fabric I cut up.

1930s Dress Update

I am toying with the idea of dyeing my own fabric for my 1930s dress and maybe trying to get some shade variation. Only trouble is I think I want lavender or maybe purple and I don’t think I’ll get that with a natural dye. I’ll keep on thinking.

1,000 mile update

74 miles by foot and bike this month – weather forced me into the gym instead and I don’t count indoor miles.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under 1,000 mile challenge, 1930s, dressmaking, dyeing, patchwork, quilts, sewing, solar dyeing, stashbusting, textiles, traditional quilts

Weald and Downland Museum Quilts

Frame QuiiltFirst Weald & Downland quiltCrib Quilt

Three of the patchwork bedcovers I’ve been involved in making at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton, West Sussex.

All the fabrics are as close to those used in the late nineteenth century as possible. The hexagon and squares were pieced over papers using English paper piecing as was the middle of the medallion quilt top left.

There are other patchworks and some quilted clothing. I’ll post some more photos over the next few months.

I’m hosting a day’s workshop on 22nd May at the museum and really looking forward to it.

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under history, patchwork, quilts, sewing, textiles, traditional quilts

Some Quilts in Progress

Detail - Tumbling Blocks

The idea behind this quilt is to use only fabrics and techniques that could have been used in the 1890s. As many of you will know, I have been making it for a very long time. But look! It’s growing!

I haven’t counted how many pieces it will need but I think the finished article will probably have more than 2,000 pieces. I get tired of doing it and put it aside for a while but every so often I get going again.  I’ve used my stash (once extensive and now rapidly declining), bought a bag of fabric in a charity shop, swapped pieces and been given some by generous quilters. One day I’ll be able to show you the finished article.

Landscape quilt

Another English paper pieced quilt

Landscape Quilt Detail

I plan to cut this one into three and make generous sized bags. The fabrics are silk and the handles and trim will be cut from my silk evening skirt – made by me and worn to a New Year’s party a few year’s ago. I used the leftover fabric for the binding.

Whatever possessed me to make something and wear it only once???

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

 

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Filed under quilts, stashbusting, textiles, traditional quilts