fabric

Do I go too far? Sometimes I wonder ….

by Helen on February 9, 2014

I was brought up in a very thrifty sort of household – we never had much money when I was a child, so make do and mend was very much a way of life for our family.  These days of course, making do and mending is not just about thrift – we’re all so much more aware of our impact on the environment, so reasons to reduce wastefulness have become ethical as well as financial.  

I love to rummage around thrift shops and jumble sales, pouncing with glee upon all kinds of vintage lovelies unwanted and unloved by their previous owners.  I found this lovely old creamy-white jug at a car boot sale last year – it looks perfect on my kitchen windowsill …

And the wire rack these savoury biscuits are resting their delicious selves upon came from a charity shop in Kingsbridge …..

But sometimes I wonder ….. I am very hard upon my ironing board covers.  I use my ironing board for all my applique projects, happily cutting, fusing and spraying my pieces with fabric glue.  Over time, no matter how careful I try to be, my ironing board cover is spoiled by accidentally ironed-on Bondaweb, fused on fluffy bits and even, on one memorable occasion, by a long cut when I was cutting fabric and accidentally included the cover as well!  It’s important that my ironing board cover is nice though, as it is the background for a lot of the “how to” photographs in my patterns, so I regularly replace it – usually with a nice new Cath Kidston version.  And then ….

I cut up the old one!  This time I have saved some lovely soft white cord, trimmings from around the unspoiled edge of the cover – a small piece has already been incorporated into my latest project for the March magazine and some nice lightweight white cotton.  But looking at my rescued  - and soon to be recycled – treasures I did start to wonder … do I sometimes go a bit too far?  Do normal people cut up their old ironing covers?  How far do you go in your textile recycling?

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It’s colder in than out!

by Helen on December 12, 2012

Ooooh, it has been cold here today!  As my Mum used to say, “It’s colder in than out!”  This is because the (very nice) builder has been here for the last few days knocking out parts of our chimney to make room for our woodburning stove.  This means he has had to have the door and windows open to let dust out, and of course the cold air in.  I am sure it will be worth it in the end, but meanwhile, I am sitting here typing this post while bundled up in multiple layers (I can hardly bend my arms!) against the frigid air.  

Meanwhile, to help me keep warm, I’m busily creating new projects for the January issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  I finished this one yesterday afternoon and, after photographing her in the summer house this morning, I am pleased to present to you Daisy the Draught Excluder dog.

Daisy the Draught Excluder Dog

Much better behaved than I’m sure Ben’s new baby sister will be, although named in her honour, she will sit patiently against the bottom of your door, keeping those chill winds away..

Daisy the Draught Excluder Dog

with her cute little upturned nose and bright beady eyes she reminds me of her namesake.  

Daisy the Draught Excluder Dog

And do you see the pretty printed fabric I’ve used to line her ears?  Here’s a closer look ….

Daisy the Draught Excluder

It’s a vintage Liberty print fabric, given to me by my friend Esme, one of the members of our Pensioners’ Lunch Club.  

I have always loved Liberty fabrics with their timeless, very English appeal, and so was delighted when Liberty contacted me and asked me to design a tutorial using their new range of fabrics.  

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Aren’t they beautiful?  You can see the full range of their craft fabrics here - and I’ll be posting my free tutorial using some of their luscious fabric next week.   

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