Friday, 31 May 2013

Vintage, before we knew what it was!

Hello again!

I was tidying out my 'blanket box' the other day, and I discovered some tablecloths I had embroidered many years ago.

I suppose I should really use them as I think they are quite pretty, but of course I put them back in the box again!

I did think to take a few pictures for you to have a look at, so here they are:

This is quite a small cloth, but could be used over a larger one I suppose. Here is a detail of one of the corners:

                                                 Then I discovered this one:

                                           This shows the detail at the corners:

                                                        And in the middle:

                           And then this one! I used a sheet to embroider this onto...................

                                            Goodness! It's a bit 'busy' isn't it!
                                                Some of the detail close up:

I used to do quite a lot of embroidery when the children were small.

I also used to do cross stitch. I don't do as much now, as my eyesight struggles with very fine work. However I have just had some new glasses from the opticians just for craft work, so I might have a go again sometime.

Here are some of the things I have made in cross stitch:

I made the Leicester map while I was recovering from a foot operation some years ago. I couldn't move about much, so spent my time making this.

Then I cross stitched these little pictures from kits I was bought. I like the blue frames, which I got from a craft fair in Norfolk. They compliment the pictures nicely I think

So that's all for now. I had better go and get on with backing a quilt I am making for the village show in August. (Chances are it will sit on the side until a few days before the show as I get side tracked easily)!!!

I saw this lovely quote on Pinterest (can't use it at all but one day will learn):

So very true!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Patchwork over papers.

(Otherwise known as English paper piecing).

Hello everyone.

I have put up a new page about how to do English paper piecing.

The earliest known examples of this type of patchwork can be traced back to the 1600's.

This method of piecing over papers has led to all sorts of fascinating finds of letters, diaries, and even newspapers being discovered having been left in the quilt.
These are often not found until the quilt needs conservation work, and they can then be used to date the quilt accurately.

The papers provided extra insulation for the quilts, so were not always removed.

All sorts of fabrics have been used over the years, and it has to be remembered that these quilts were not made as a hobby (like today), but were needed to keep people warm!

The most popular design uses a hexagon template (see my page for designs), but you can also use diamonds & triangles.

There are some wonderful examples of this type of quilt on the V&A website.

Hope you like the page.

As always, feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Vintage style!

Hello everyone!

Recently my old laundry basket looked a bit worse for wear. I was debating whether or not to treat myself to a new one, but then I thought, why not have a go at refurbishing it myself.

I measured the existing fabric, and used some lovely upholstery fabric in pale blue with roses on it to replace the boring cream colour.

I used french seams (as I had watched the 'Great British Sewing Bee' on  television & apparently they make stronger seams), and eventually got it to fit correctly.

I then lightly sanded the frame, and painted it a very pale pink. (I was lucky enough to have a tin of Dulux colour matched paint given to me by my sister. She felt it was too strong a colour for what she wanted).

I was surprised how nice it looked.

Anyway, thought you might like to have a look. As usual it is not perfect, & I would do things differently next time, but it is all trial & error!

My refurbished laundry basket!

So then I thought, what next?  I know, a peg bag! (I think my American friends call them clothes pins).

Again, I measured my existing bag & cut out some calico for the front as I had decided to embroider it, and a lovely spotty material for the rest of the bag.

I drew on the clothes line & flowers, then found some 1950's transfer lettering I had been keeping in my craft room for ages, for the word 'pegs'.

I embroidered it with three strands of stranded embroidery thread using a variety of stitches.

My daughter Beckie decided to help, and satin stitched most of the lettering, (her first attempt at embroidery).Then I just sewed it together, inserted a coat hanger and hey presto! A lovely vintage inspired peg bag. What do you think?
Oh, and Beckie also added the little bee..........!

My new peg bag.

Well, at least I have brightened up washing days!
Thanks for looking! I will be back soon, showing you the latest quilt I am working on. I really should get it finished.............................!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

All about the Farmers Wife Quilt.

Over the last few years, people have been talking about making a Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt. 
I must confess I didn't know anything about it until fairly recently, so have been doing a bit of research. So, what is a Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt?

In 1922 'The Farmer's Wife' magazine asked their readers: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?"

The magazine at the time had 750,000 subscribers, and received over 7,000 letters. The best answers to this question are included in a book (see below), along with the traditional quilt blocks they inspired.

The book "The Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt" by Laurie Aaron Hird is available on Amazon (& other booksellers)

In it she describes the history of the quilt and shows the blocks. It is well worth a look.

Now, anyone that knows me knows that I always like to "do my own thing" so I have set myself a challenge! How many different blocks can I make using a basic 9 patch block?
(My own Farmers Wife Quilt)!

Each individual square is 2 1/2" giving a 6" finished block.

Well, I have made a start, and here are some of the blocks I have made so far..........

My note book where I draw out the blocks

Fruit Basket

Union Jack

Blue Shading  (Folds)

Shoo fly


Hour Glass



Maple leaf

Christmas Wreath

Thanks for looking......!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

"Don't you get bored?"

Hi everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog.

For anyone who doesn't know me, my name is Sally. I have been happily married to Steve for almost 26 years, and we have three grown up children.

I live in Leicestershire in the East Midlands.

I also have a cat Sooty, and loopy dog called Toby.

Sooty as a kitten.

Toby celebrating the Queens Jubilee in 2012

Last year I retired early as I have had a few health problems. The question most people ask me is "Don't you get bored?". Answer: NO!

Thanks to my friend Jill getting me hooked on quilting, I always have plenty to keep me occupied. Also there is Toby to walk, and a million things to do. My day flies by!

Recently I decided to take up knitting. I used to knit a lot when the children were small. I started by making chickens at Easter for the baby ballerinas at my daughters dance school. Each contained a creme egg. They were very popular!
This was my first one. The ones for the children had embroidered eyes for safety.

Yummmmmm! Then I have knitted a baby cardigan. Not sure why, as no Grandchildren yet, but I just enjoyed doing it.
I have also made some items for the home which I will show on another blog. So bye everyone.
Call back soon!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Time on my hands? You must be joking!

                                        HOW I STARTED QUILTING

Well I have decided to come into the 21st century with a blog about my crafts and hobbies.
This is my first blog, so please bear with me for any mistakes!

When I was at school (many years ago)! I hated sewing and although I have always had a sewing machine, stuck to the very basics.

Just over four years ago, I met a lady called Jill who is a former City & Guilds Tutor in Quilting. 
Jill persuaded me to have a go at quilting. Having never tackled anything like that before I was a little reluctant, but she can be very persuasive! So I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my daughter who was going to Dance College that summer.

The first Quilt.
Jill helped me choose basic equipment, fabrics etc, and I set about tackling my first Sampler Quilt. She was very patient with me, and I found to my surprise that I was hooked!

I started the quilt in the February, and hand quilted it that summer. It was all finished by the time my daughter left for college that September.

That was how my obsession with fabric started.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting pics of some of my quilts.

 They are not perfect, (as the Amish people say "Only God is perfect")! but the fact is, that I enjoy making them.
I do not aim for perfection!

Have a look at one of my early quilts on the Calendar Quilt page.

Any comments/ feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading my blog, see you soon!

An example of the hand quilting.