Thank you so much to everyone who entered the giveaway for the printed vintage linen blocks to make the Calendar Bunnies Quilt. I was blown away by the number of entries … but sadly there could only be one winner – the very lovely Donna Joy. (number 47 on my list – chosen by random selection).
One or two people did ask about the vintage linen that I use – it is really lovely to stitch on and is at least 100 years old! I was lucky to acquire a suppy of these European mangle cloths two or three years ago, and hoard them jealously as since then prices have risen sharply, though they’re still reasonably easy to get hold of, and remain good value when you consider the quality and quantity of fabric.
Each cloth measures roughly 27″ wide and 120″ long, so that’s a lot of linen for about £35 ($60 approx), although you can often find seconds quality, ie with slight damage or stains for a lot less on Ebay. These mangle cloths were used to protect laundry when it was squeezed through the mangle to get rid of excess water, so had to be long and strong.
Do you know what a mangle is? Think pasta machine but much bigger. This is how the laundry was dried back in the old days by first being folded inside 9ft long linen cloths then squeezed between rollers. (My grandma had one just like this in her utility room. I was forbidden to touch it as a child – too dangerous for little fingers).
If the cloths haven’t been used they have a sort of shiny dressing – I wash them to remove this and also to shrink – I would say shrinkage is about 3% in the first wash. Then I press them while they’re still damp for a nice finish. They are slightly slubby in texture, but not too much and are fantastic to stitch on, they don’t stretch or distort in the hoop and nothing will show through from the back either!
I’m going to be printing the Calendar Bunny blocks onto vintage linen for Donna Joy this week, and while I’m doing this, if anyone would like to purchase a set, then please email me and I’ll be happy to print a set for you too. The price will be $37 including postage.
And finally, I’m extending the 50% sale in my shop for a final 24 hours, after which it will have to end, so don’t lose this final chance to snap up a mega-bargain.
Just enter the code BUNNYBOOK at checkout and you will receive an enormous 50% off any single order (no matter how large or small) placed until midnight Monday 14 May 2012 (BST).