Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Fluttering along

Thanks for all the first quilt love. I've never had so many comments and really did appreciate all your thoughts.

Thanks also to everyone that commented on my quilt back conundrum 

I decided to follow your advice and went for the blue on white vintage sheet

I also added some butterflies to stop the quilt from being 'too blue' and decided to add Cadi's name to the front instead of having it on the back.

Really, when will I learn to take photos outside?

Above you can see my butterfly placement audition. I was really pleased with this so carried it over to the ironing board and managed to do this -

Can you spot the mistake?

I mean really? And the letters are fused to the quilt top - there's no way they're coming off. It throws the whole quilt off balance but there's nothing I can do about it now. So I carried out sewing the butterflies on.

Ops, that's the bobbin thread showing through - note to self - adjust tension next time.

I sewed them onto the quilt sandwich not just the quilt top so that the shape of the butterfly could be seen on the back.

Managed to get outside for this pic

And this is where I stalled. I wasn't sure how to quilt it. I've only done straight line quilting so far and, due to the deadline for getting this quilt finished, don't have time to practice fmq. However I really didn't think that straight line quilting would work on this quilt. I really don't want to sew over the butterflies and don't fancy burying a thousand threads. Anyway, I gave it a shot

Already too many threads to bury.

And hated it. Just wasn't right at all. So now I've unpicked it and am contemplating where to go next......

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over with Lee at Freshly pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sunday Stash #5

So here we are again. It's Sunday and I'm sharing my thrifty finds (I promise I only have one left after this!)

This week it's pillow cases

There's not really much to say about these.

Like the new prop?
So just look at the pics

I love the blue/green one!
Oh wait....... I do have a little to say about this one.

When trying to explain to my mum what kind of fabric she should look out for I went on ebay and showed her a vintage sheet.

"Remember this mum? It's the one I had on my bed"

"Oh yes, your Grandma bought it. I think it's in the attic somewhere."

"Are you sure? I'm think you used it when the dog had puppies"

"Oh, Sorry."

There are two duvet covers that I remember from my childhood. This one and a blue geometric one (which I'm pretty sure was also used as dog bedding) I loved both of them, but this was my particular favourite. Imagine my delight when the very day after having this conversation with my mum I found this pillowcase at a boot sale for the princely sum of 20p! Mum has also told me that she's pretty sure that there was a valance to go with the duvet cover and that she'll have a look in the attic for me (I'm not holding my breath). I plan on collecting more vintage bedding and eventually making a quilt from it with this print taking centre stage. That quilt will be mine, mine, mine!

Linking up to Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth with Fiona

Friday, 21 June 2013

A finish!

Ok, so this isn't a new finish but actually my first ever finished quilt!

Isn't the clematis pretty?
I bought the fabric when I was pregnant with Anwen - five years ago! We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl so we decided on a neutral spotty theme for the nursery. I found this fabric at my lqs.

I still have some in my stash, complete with selvage
It has spots in four different colours so I decided to pair it with four corresponding solids and a white. I bought enough of the spot to make some curtains too.

Now, remember, this was before I discovered all these wonderful blogs and tutorials on the interwebby so I started cutting it up into squares and sticking it to cardboard squares with Sellotape!

I still cry when I see how much fabric I used to waste on seams!
Unfortunately this is as far as I got. I really can't remember why I didn't carry on.

So along came Anwen

My favorite pic from that time - I look awful (after 53 hours without sleep I was allowed to) but we both look SO happy!
and the quilt was forgotten about :-( And I never got around to making the curtains either.

So roll on around four years and I was pregnant with baby number two. I would get tired so easily and was in bed straight after Anwen (sometimes I even beat her to it) but I wasn't ready to sleep yet. I needed something that I could do in bed whilst watching telly......I know! I sent Endaf up to the attic to retrieve a shoebox and there was my ready to be pieced quilt. I laid out all the squares trying to come up with a pattern. I decided that it worked better without the white.

So every night I could be found in bed sewing away, piece by piece, row by row until I had a quilt top! (Sorry - no in progress shots - 'normal' people don't take pictures of quilt tops). I was advised by the lovely ladies in my lqs that as I was planning on hand quilting I should go for a 100% polyester batting and a cotton quilting thread (Gutermann hand sewing cotton). I decided that as I'd gone for plain and easy on the patchwork I'd do the same with the quilting.

And then there was the matter of the binding. Due to the baby being upside down I had one or two extra scans but insisted that I didn't want to know the sex so it had to neutral. I didn't want to go with one of the colours that I'd already used but still wanted it to be quite bold. I toyed with the idea of lilac but thought that it would be to girly. In the end I went for a dark purple.

Now I'd never heard of double quilt binding at this point so went through the painstaking task of making single quilt binding. So much more work to make and to attach to the quilt. I'm afraid that I didn't do a very good job of the stitching which wasn't helped by the fact that I thought that I needed to use quilting thread to attach the binding and couldn't find a better match! This was a slow, slow process and I didn't really enjoy it. And that's where I left it because....

Yes hubbie is wearing the same T-shirt! I had this idea that I would change my Facebook profile pictutre from Anwen's baby picture to this one. I even had the same yucky nightie in my bag ready! What I hadn't considered is that all the tubes and wires that come with a caesarean meant that I couldn't take the hospital gown off let alone change into my own clothes :(
Along came Marged! Doesn't Anwen look proud?

Now anyone out there that thinks that they are busy with one child try having two! (how some of these quilty mums with five plus kids manage to sew at all is beyond me). Just the normal work involved with having two children was bad enough but feeding issues meant that I had to wake Marged (and myself) every two hours so finishing that binding was the last thing on my mind. So back to the attic it went.

Then this happened

Poorly baba
When she was sixteen weeks Marged developed bronchiolitis. It wasn't as bad as it looks but they wanted to keep her in to monitor her in case she got any worse. Only problem was the children's ward was full so we were shipped off to another hospital 90mins away from home.

So with no clothes to iron, no food to cook and no floors to hoover I found myself twiddling my thumbs. I sent Endaf into the attic again and by the time we arrived home we had a bound quilt.

I'm trying to vary my photos from the usual 'on the line' suspects
Now I know that this quilt is far from perfect but it was my first (well, first completed quilt. I have two quilt tops under my bed that started life long before this one!) and will have a special place in my heart for a very long time.

But at heart I'm a lazy girl so here's a picture of the back 'on the line'. The wrinkles?
The quilt was fresh out the washer and since it was on the line I took a photo. Did I mention that I'm lazy?
and it's been used. A LOT

We had a mini photo shoot on a rare sunny day.
(Like the dress? I'm going to have to try and find a picture of a super cute baby wearing it around 32 years ago ;-))
I was a nasty mummy and took the egg from her as soon as I'd taken the picture.
in fact it's keeping my legs warm at this very moment.

And that was it. I was hooked. And I know another little girl that could do with a quilt for her big girl bed.......

I've been following the Lets Get Acquainted Blog Hop and realised how important pictures are. I've tried playing around with some of the photos in this post. I'd be grateful if you could leave me some feedback. Thanks.

Linking up to:

this week with Aunt Marti at Thirteen in 13
Finish it up Friday
with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Loving vintage.

Between the vintage bus

DPB as DH likes to call her

the vintage car

Darling Morris

the vintage crockery

A car boot find

and the vintage fabric

Just the pillowcases from my stash
I think it's pretty safe to say that were a family of vintage lovers!

A couple of weeks ago we went to The Barry Festival of Transport (Honestly, only click if you have a thing for old buses, although there is a nice view of Barry Island). To tell the truth I'm not really that fussed on walking around looking at old buses but I go because my husband drags me along I'm a wonderful, supporting wife. What I do enjoy is that we get to spend time together as a family without trying to sort the laundry etc. at the same time. As a bonus, the time spent on the bus going from A to B and sheltering from the crappy beautiful Welsh weather gives me the perfect opportunity to hand sew bindings onto quilts!

Anyway, during the rally we were given the opportunity to have a ride in some of the other vintage buses. We went in a bus first put on the road in 1979 and WOW they put some effort into the interiors back then! (Please excuse the photos - I only had my mobile on me and was trying to get my four year old off the bus at the same time!)

Beautiful 'Sunny' flower
This beautiful flower motif was repeated all the way down the ceiling (if that's what you call it in a bus) of the bus.

Close up of the background
 Don't you think the background would make the most adorable 'low volume' print?

Why, oh why don't they make things like this any more?

(and yes I did get some very funny looks when I was taking these pictures lol!)

Linking up to Cindy at Live a Colourful Life

Live A Colorful Life

Monday, 17 June 2013

On the road again!

Ok, so we're on the way to another vintage fair! This time the mother in law and father in law have come along for the ride and we're meeting my sister in law and niece there - a real family outing. And if that wasn't good enough the fair is in Swansea city centre. Unfortunately I don't think that the rather large fabric store in town will be open on a Sunday and the bus has to be parked up between 10.00am and 4.00pm so I won't be able to go to the nearby lqs or Hobbycraft but Primark had better watch out!

I had the house to myself for a few hours yesterday. DH took the kids to a birthday party and the plan was that I'd get on with some sewing whilst the 'design floor' was clear. (Marged's crawling now so nothing's safe) but ended up folding laundry (it was piled up so high I couldn't get to the sewing machine) and then I decided that the easiest way to find a fabric I wanted from my stash was to have a bit of a sort out. 

I started with good intentions - look, Cadi's quilt is on the design floor!
I actually have a bigger stash than I thought but still nowhere near as big as some people's (that's how I justify new purchases and I'm sticking to it!)

Cocoon, Chashmere - Rubywine by Valori Wells
I found it! I've not had it long but it's exactly what I needed for Cadi's quilt. I also found a yellow polka dot for her name so after the girls had gone to bed (and Dad had gone to work bussing drunk people around until 5.00am!!!!!) I finally got some sewing done! Cadi's quilt top is finished! I even got it basted and started quilting!

I have to stop taking pictures in the middle of the night!
Anywho, Sunday stash! This week-pre loved clothes.

The blue shirt is another of my mum's finds. It's 100% cotton and feels very similar to quilting cotton. I love the print so at 50p I wish there had been more than one!

These are all ladies clothes made of quite thin cotton; totally unsuitable for quilting but I only paid £2 for all four and I really like the prints so I'm sure I'll find some use for them. (I'm guessing something for the girls but we'll see)

Lastly there's this skirt. It's quite heavy cotton a little like ticking.  I've already decided that I'm going to try and make a pair of shorts for Anwen out of it. All I have to do now is find the time to do it!

I did say that I was going to wait until I'd finished posting about my up cycling before sharing this little beauty but I just can't wait! I'm lucky that I work in a small town that has quite a large lqs (compared to the others in the area) and a few doors down from it there's a quilt museum. I'd always meant to go in but between the kids and everything never quite managed it. Anyway a few weeks ago I had to pop into work to finalise the arrangements for my return and as Marged was with my mum and Anwen was in school I thought now would be a good time to pop in. I'm so glad that I did! I was expecting to just find a few antique Welsh quilts on the wall. How wrong was I! They had quilts from all over the world for sale (although most of them weren't to my taste) as well as quilt kits, books and the like.

But what really got my attention were some fabric bins on the floor. I soon got in there and had a good rummage. To tell the truth I was a little disappointed as most of the bundles were of synthetic fabrics or miss shapes of upholstery cloth - not my cup of tea at all.

But wait what's that? 

A flash of green caught my eye. 

Mmmm that's a nice colour. 

Oh and look at the print! 

It feels like a nice cotton.  

How much is it. ....where is that label? 

Ah there it is. 


How much? 


You have to be joking! 

Oh, but look,

it's Liberty. 

But still. ... £45? 

But there's 4 yards. 

But £45?

But it's gorgeous. 

But it's £45! 

I put it down. 

I picked it up again.

So what do I do? I definitely couldn't buy it then as I only had £5 in my wallet (due to a trip to the aforementioned lqs(I was goodish - batting, thread and a few £1 scraps stash builders)) and I don't carry cards any more. But I wanted it really bad..... So I asked them if they would keep it for me. I wouldn't be back in town until my first day back in work - Monday the 3rd. "No Problem" they said. I was quite glad that I didn't have the money on me; I have some purchases in my stash that I regret buying and they're only FQs! So I took a photo with my mobile and walked out. (I did have a quick stroke first though). So I had just over a week to mull it over. I ummed and I ahhed. I did some maths (4yards for £45 works out at around £13/m - a lot less than the £22/m Liberty usually goes for)

O God! Who am I trying to kid! I'm buying the fabric. So lunchtime on the 3rd I toddle over to the shop and.....they're closed.


and I can't go back for at least a week.

They'll put it back in the bins. With that horrible synthetic fabric. Poor Liberty. What if someone else buys it? But it's my Liberty :( I went through a whole week of this. I couldn't go back until last Tuesday. I did a quick check of the bins. It wasn't there. Was this a good thing (it hadn't been put back in the bins) or a bad thing (it had been put back in the bins and someone had bought it). The lady behind the counter took an extraordinarily long time looking for it but in the end there it was - still with my name on it!!!!!!!

So here it is, all four yards of it

I'm thinking quilt back. and I can't use Liberty for the back without using Liberty for the front can I? So I plan on buying scraps of Liberty when and where I can. Hopefully in about a year I'll have enough to make a start. In the meantime this little lovely has gone to live in my stash but it does come out from time to time just for a quick gaze and stroke.

Linking up to Sunday Stash this week with Allison at Dreaming in Patchwork.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Sunday Stash - an on the road edition

So after my first five days back in work you'd think that I'd be glad to have some time at home. No such luck! I spent the day yesterday helping my brother with the shearing for the first time. It was wonderful. You might hear more about it in a future post but needless to say I'm very stiff today! So maybe travelling on a vintage bus with two small children for two and a half hours (one way) isn't the best way to relax my muscles but here I am a glutton for punishment.

Knowing that I have an ant infestation to deal with when I get home I don't think I'll get the chance to get to my laptop before I collapse on my bed tonight so I'm going to try and write my Sunday Stash post on my phone! (I did write quite a bit on my phone but I managed to get to my laptop in the end so I've added some more photos before clicking publish!) How I'm going to manage it considering my pics are on the laptop I don't know but I'll give it a shot!

So last week I said that I would show my car boot bargains in more detail.

This week I'm going to concentrate on the vintage sheets and duvet covers.

I regret buying the  green duvet cover on the top a little. I love the colour and the feel of the fabric but I can't say that I'm head over heels with the pattern. At £4.50 it was a bit steep for something that I might end up not using but it might be handy to back a quilt that I feel a bit 'whatever' about.

Really bad photo. Unfortunately the sun had gone down by the time I got around to snapping this one,
The spotty fabric under the green one is a single duvet cover that came complete with with a stripy fitted sheet. OK, so they're not vintage, more like hardly used, nearly new. It's from Ikea and 100% cotton. The colours are really vibrant and haven't faded at all. Ideal for  backing a kid's quilt. Not bad for a pound!

So Bright!
Under the stripy sheet there's a blue flannel cot sheet that I really do regret buying. It was in a plastic wrapping and when I got it home I realised that it was very worn and bobbly. The only use that I can think for it is as a thin batting for a lightweight blanket style quilt.  Totally not worth the £1.20 I paid for it! (am I starting to sound like a tightwad? ) Oh well, live and learn!

What a waste :-(
And I've saved the best for last!!!! Both are blue and white and I can't decide on my favourite.

A penny to scale
Good old mum (oh god if she saw that - not so old mum!) found this one for me and I LOVE it! It's a handmade duvet cover, around 50" x 75" so I'd say double size? It has the beautiful print on one side and the print below on the other. I'm not so fussed on this side and it seems to be a lot more worn that the side with the larger print so I'll most probably just use it to practice my fmq on. Still not bad for 50p (which I may have to give my mum for it one day!)

So that just leaves one! I found this the day after my mum's find above but this time it's a white flower on a blue background.
I really should have ironed these before taking the pics but I was running out of daylight.
A little more subtle than the last but still very pretty. At 90" x 100" it's a very generous flat sheet that I should be able to use to back two baby quilts and at 50p I challenge you to find a cheaper quilt back!

So that's my first detailed instalment of my up cycled stash and it's already given me a problem I'd like your help with. (apologies if your one of the eight people that actually read my last post but I only got one comment so I'm asking again!)

I don't know which one to use to back this little baby quilt that I've got in progress.

Cadi's quilt WIP
I'm going to appliqué on some little pink and purple butterflies and quilt using a combination of yellow, blue and pink thread. Which backing do you think I should go for?

A close up to show the colours a little better.
Your opinions would be greatly appreciated although I have no idea when I'll have the top ready and therefore be ready for the back!

Linking up to Sunday Stash at Findig Fifth