patchwork

Roses all around the house ….

by Helen on March 9, 2014

Or … I’m still loving my vintage Sanderson fabric!  I think I mentioned a little while ago that I had the most amazing find while shopping in Kingsbridge – 3 1/2 yards of Sanderson roses fabric for just £5!!  It was the end of a roll and I found it in a small family-owned shop on Fore Street amongst lots of other bits and pieces – I think they’d been clearing out their storeroom.  I used it to line the blind in my kitchen and added a narrow border either side.  It’s quite discreet inside, but looks lovely from outdoors.  I didn’t take a photo outside (sorry) – but here’s a picture of the finished blind looking down the kitchen towards the back door …

It’s a simple Roman blind, and I was able to reuse all the fittings.  The most expensive part was the pink check fabric from Susie Watson at £25 per metre – but my bargain fabric and re-using the fittings meant my blind was still very affordable!  On the windowsill is possibly the last of my wonderful pink camellia flowers.  They have been wonderful this spring, but sadly are now coming to an end..

After finishing my blind, I still had well over a metre (about a yard and a half) of my Sanderson fabric left, so I decided to take spring into my front room and make a simple patchwork cloth for my table using a combination of my favourite Susie Watson fabrics as well as the Sanderson roses…

I included some sage green squares as I wanted the tablecloth to work well with the green wallpaper in the front room…..

I’m quite pleased with the result.  I think that incorporating similar fabrics into both rooms brings them together, helping them flow into each other harmoniously.  I don’t have curtains in the front room as the window still has the old shutters, so the tablecloth isn’t “fighting” with any other bold patterns.  

And finally – back to the kitchen – where two sleepy newfies are settling down for their post-walk afternoon nap – hopefully they’ve left room for me to clamber onto the sofa behind that snoozy Miss Daisy!

Back soon with my finished Alphabet Quilt – thanks for the suggestions – and I hope you’ll approve of my choice of border.

Share/Bookmark

{ 14 comments }

Bits and pieces … lots going on!

by Helen on March 3, 2014

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what I’d like to blog about – when life has picked up pace and so much has been crammed into a few short days – and now is one of those times.  Should I tell you about the tremendous thunderstorm we had here? The lights went out, the roof leaked and the flagstones were covered with enormous hailstones (which enchanted my furry friends when they went outside to investigate after the storm had passed)….

Or I could tell you about our wedding preparations .. Rosie and I spent a long time working on the invitations and maps on Saturday afternoon.  At last they’re finished to both our satisfactions and we’re eagerly anticipating their return from the printers very soon indeed ….

Then there’s my new Woodland Alphabet Quilt.  It’s destined to be a gift for friends who have just learned they’ll be bringing home a new baby boy very soon.  They’ve been waiting for adoption for quite some time and so I wanted to make a special present.  It’s still very much a work in progress, but here’s a quick snap of the first few blocks….

Not the best picture I’m afraid – I snapped it very quickly with my phone.  But I’ll take more photographs as I go along, and the finished project will be in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  Which sort of leads me onto my final piece of news … the March issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine is now available in paperback form from Amazon …..

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.co.uk and

CLICK HERE for the magazine on Amazon.com

{ 3 comments }

First of all, a great big “THANK YOU” for all your kind birthday wishes.  I did indeed have a lovely day – and an especially lovely time beforehand too, as I was away for a few days – I’ll tell you all about my special birthday trip later this week.   But it’s now time now  to announce the winner of the Fred – or Ginger – kit.  I absolutely adored all your comments and had to recount the winner three times as I kept dissolving into giggles when reading them whilst counting!

Fred & Ginger

And finally, after working the random number generator and having several recounts, I am pleased to announce that the winner is comment number 55 – that’s Gayle – well done Gayle – I’ve emailed you.  If you haven’t already you might enjoy reading the comments.  They are absolutely wonderful – thank you so much everyone and I’m only sorry I can’t send everyone a Fred or Ginger kit for Christmas.

And, thinking about Christmas, I wanted to share my Christmas tree stand cover idea with you.  This came about because, as usual I have been dreadfully disorganised.  I had planned to make a Three Kings tree skirt, but I didn’t get around to it so was faced with, once again, the problem of disguising the horrid plastic log at the bottom of my tree.  And I didn’t want to spend lots of money as I WILL make a tree skirt next year – I hope!  So …. I had a rummage around my workroom and managed to put together what I think is a rather nice cover, using only items I had to hand.  And it can be easily dis-assembled once Christmas is over and everything reused for future projects.  

Christmas Tree Tub

It looks a bit like a woolly tub I think!  If you’d like to make your own, you’ll need:

  • bendy card or plastic – sufficient to wrap around your tree stand/bucket  (I had a sheet of handbag base that I cut into half and joined with parcel tape – see pictures below)
  • Parcel tape if you need to join your plastic or card
  • an assortment of patches cut from old knitwear
  • toy stuffing
  • sewing machine

How I did it:

xmastreetub 002

 Measure around the base you want to disguise.  Cut your plastic into a strip that can be bent into a ring that will fit comfortably around your tree base – allowing for joins if necessary.  Make the cover as tall as you wish – mine was about 8″ tall.  I allowed a couple of inches for each join and stuck my plastic together  with brown parcel tape so I could easily peel it off and use the handbag base for its original purpose after Christmas.  

xmastreetub 006

Join your patchwork squares into a strip that’s about an inch less than your plastic strip in length, and half an inch taller.  I joined my squares with machine zig-zag stitch, allowing between 1/2 and 1/4″ seam allowance (I wasn’t too fussy) and pressed the seams open so that the machine stitching doesn’t show.  

xmastreetub 008

When your strip is the right length, join the two short ends so that it forms a circle and slip it over your plastic ring.  The woollens will be stretchy and as the woollen circle is very slightly smaller than the plastic one, this stretch will keep it in place without distorting its shape.

xmastreetub 010

 Place your cover in position with stand inside then assemble tree (you could also make this to cover an inelegant bucket or tree stand for a real tree).  

xmastreetub 012

 Optional step:  Untangle puppy from the decorations she has stolen while you were unpacking your tree and place the decorations out of reach.  

Image4Fill tub with toy stuffing to resemble snow.  Then decorate your tree – switch on the lights ….

Christmas Tree TubStand back and admire!  (I added my baby squirrel softies to my snowy scene – but I’m not sure how safe they’ll be with Miss Daisy on the prowl).

{ 4 comments }

Winter’s Comfort Quilt

by Helen on September 16, 2013

I’ve finished my Winter’s Comfort Quilt!  And, judging by the wind, rain and darkness outside my windows tonight, not a moment too soon! 

Winter's Comfort Quilt

 There are seven snowflakes – completely reworked  from an early 20th century design by Nancy Page and ornamented with tiny mother-of-pearl buttons for just a little frosty sparkle.  There are patchwork blocks …

Winter's Comfort Quilt

  …. a charm pack from Moda – Winter’s Lane” – a lovely soft palette of reds, blues and neutrals quilted in circles that remind me of frosty cobblestones on a winter’s evening, hurrying home from the shops,  perhaps laden with Christmas parcels ….

Winter's comfort wip

 …. and, I don’t know if you can see in the top picture, a row of tiny silver stars stitched into the dark blue sashing – to remind me of the brightness of stars on a frosty night in the depths of winter.  But I won’t mind the cold outside this winter as I’ll be nice and warm snuggled into my new quilt in front of the woodburner!  Oh, and there’ll be two large black furry bodies snoozing gently on the rug at my feet and a mug of cocoa to hand .. bliss!

The pattern for my Winter’s Comfort Quilt will be in the October issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine that’s published next week. 

{ 4 comments }