When you’re feeling blue …..

by Helen on March 2, 2013

Feeling a bit blue today.  I always feel a little flat the day after magazine publication day – all the effort, all the planning and creating has come to fruition and – pouf!  That’s it until the next time!   I’ve also had some upsetting personal news …. so my flatness has turned into feelings of blue (does that make sense?  I’m not sure).  Anyway .. as my grandma used to say “When you’re feeling blue my girl, just stop and count your blessings!”  And I do have a lot of blessings to count, probably many more than I deserve.  But the real pick-you-up for me is fabric and sewing, so I thought I’d make something I’ve been planning for a little while.  Nice and simple, but lots of colour to cheer me up: 

Patchwork Picnic Blanket

 Doesn’t look very colourful at the moment does it?  But I’m sure you have guessed what it is ….. 

Patchwork Picnic Blanket

It’s a  picnic blanket – a patchwork one – with a waterproof backing (perfect for our damp English weather).  And it’s a gift for one of the most enthusiastic picnic-ers I know – my daughter Rosie.  I’ve tried to choose fabrics that she’ll enjoy, and not too much Cath Kidston!

Patchwork Picnic Blanket

I’m trying to convince Rosie that there are lots of other lovely fabrics to choose from  as well as Cath.  So there’s quite a lot of Tilda in this blanket, as well as some Cape Ann by Liesl Gibson for Oliver + S, vintage Laura Ashley and some pieces that I simply can’t remember where they came from.  I think the strong geometric designs of the polka dots and red gingham set off the florals nicely and stop the blanket from becoming too “wishy-washy” (another term from my Grandma!).  It’s nice and lightweight for carrying too.  I cut 5″ squares and joined them into strips and then into a 12 x 9 square rectangle which I lightly quilted onto a Hobbs Poly-Down Crib-size backing.  I chose this as it won’t shrink on washing and is nice and light.   

picnicblanket 001

I didn’t quilt the waterproof backing though as in my experience(!) water will leak through even the smallest needle holes if given the chance.  I simply stitched the backing to the top, right sides together and turned out, topstitching all the way around the edge to encourage the layers to lie flat together.  During this process I developed a strong admiration for anyone who works with waterproof nylon on a regular basis – it’s the most horrid, slippery stuff!    Two pink (very girlie) ties stitched into the turning gap when closing complete the blanket.  I do hope Rosie likes it.  

Now we’re off to the beach – perfect for blowing at least some of those blues away! 

Newfie on the edge

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Leavens March 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Sorry to hear you are feeling blue…I should have left you a note telling you how much I enjoyed the latest issue of Bustle and Sew. I, without a doubt, loved the patterns but was thrilled to see the Simnel Cake recipe. I spent 25 years living in Alberta,Canada attending an Anglican church where I was first introduced to this tradition. It was just the reminder I needed to make one this year! Also being introduced to other wonderful creative women, Jenny from Elefantz and Debi Birkin to name two that come to mind, has been such a thrill.
And I can’t tell you how much I enjoy hearing about and seeing the escapades of Ben and Daisy!!!! So thankyou for all that you do and share here and in your ezine,,,your are one talented Lady!!

xxKim

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Helen March 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Thanks Kim xx

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Julie March 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Oh sorry to hear you have had some sad news.
You are certainly one very talented lady.
Julie xxxxxxxxx

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June March 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Sorry to hear you are feeling blue and that today has not been a good day for you. As usual loved the magazine and looking forward to trying many of the designs soon. Hope you enjoyed the beach.

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Helen March 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Thanks June, yes lots of fresh air helps blow away the blues, at least a little x

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Linda B March 2, 2013 at 8:17 pm

So sorry to hear that you’ve received upsetting news and have been feeling blue. I know how that can be…I hope everything is or will be fine again soon.
The finishing of a large project always results in a let down for me as well. And nothing can lift spirits like a fresh sort through one’s fabric collection. I always find past favorite pieces saved and forgotten and new combinations to use in your beautiful designs.
I love Rosie’s picnic quilt, and the fabrics are so lovely together. I adore polka dots and the gingham is such a wonderful idea for a picnic quilt…
I’ve been so engrossed in reading the March ezine issue that I didn’t even take a moment to tell you how much I’m enjoying it. And as usual, I’m left thinking it’s the best one yet…!
Will be thinking of you…
X Linda

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Helen March 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Thank you Linda, and I’m so pleased you like this month’s issue xx

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Karen March 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Down loaded the mag – but haven’t had a chance to look at it. After lunch I’ll be able to sit down on a lazy Sunday afternoon here in New Zealand and enjoy it. Thanks so much for such wonderful inspiration. Sorry to hear you are feeling blue and I love Rosies picnic quilt!

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Helen March 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Thanks Karen xx

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Valerie March 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I’m so sorry for your sad news. Your picnic quilt is beautiful! Very girlie, love it, as I’m sure your precious daughter will. Boy you have brought to mind my mom ( Helen) and grandmas who I miss dearly today. The sea is my go-to place for serenity, sounds like a lovely walk with the pups. Thank you for all you do and blessings to you and yours. You always help make my day better and hope all the comments here will do the same or you! God bless!

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Valerie March 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Should be ‘for’ you.

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kathy March 4, 2013 at 3:01 am

saying a little prayer for you that He be willing to cure the blues and give you a joyous heart. I pray in Jesus’ name.

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kathy March 4, 2013 at 3:05 am

i’ll take no offense if you don’t want to post my prayer comment, just want you to be blessed & happy : )

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Helen March 4, 2013 at 3:41 am

Thank you Kathy, why wouldn’t I post such a kind thought? So lovely of you. X

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bethbutcher March 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Love the blanket, really pretty. It’s ideal for picnics :)

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Helen March 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Thanks Beth – hope Rosie likes it!

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Amy August 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Hello, I’ve been looking for an idea for a gift to make for my friend who is getting married in a couple of weeks and your beautiful picnic rug has totally inspired me! The colours you have chosen are fab and go so well.
I’ve just ordered some Tilda fabrics to mix in with ones in my stash, but I wondered what you used for the waterproof backing? This bit has me stumped.
Thank you!

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Helen August 10, 2013 at 11:52 am

Hi Amy

So pleased you like the pattern – I used waterproof nylon – the sort they make tents from – for the backing – it’s really cheap on eBay, and although it’s not the prettiest, it works and is very light-weight too. Hope this helps.

Helen xx

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Amy August 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thank you! I’m sat cutting squares as I type! X

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