Recycling ….!

by Helen on September 8, 2014

One of the things I most love about fabric is that it’s so versatile, and can be re-used over and over in so many ways.  I have been researching American quilting for a series of short articles in my the Bustle & Sew Magazine (August – October issues) and was amazed and humbled at how those pioneer women incorporated even the tiniest pieces – that had often been recycled two or three times previously – into their quilting projects.  And this week I’ve been doing my own little bit of recycling.

As you may remember, I’ve been making Rosie some dresses to take on her honeymoon next week.  She purchased two new lengths of fabric, but funds were tight and she couldn’t manage another length although she would have loved a third dress.  So I had a little rummage in my cupboard and came up with the fabric we used for her wedding cake table ….


Seen here complete with yummy cakes and pin cushion mice standing guard (photograph courtesy of Emma Case Photography)  It’s a very pretty white cotton printed with tiny pink flower sprigs.  And I thought – that will make a lovely summery dress …..


And it has!  Seen here just waiting to have the hem taken up.  Lightweight, fresh and pretty – and (nearly) free –  RESULT!



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.