"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Old UFO quilt now a WIP quilt!

The handkie quilt might have to wait for a little while now, as I have something else I want to work on first.  I won't finish this completely, as  there is a lot to work on, but I want to make inroads into it before I lose interest!
A few years ago I found this bag of blocks and fabrics in an opshop and rescued it, thinking I would be able to finish it myself. 

No instructions, no pattern, nothing except six completed blocks and a pile of matching fabrics.  When I got home, I spread everything out and tried to make sense of it, but at that point in time, I lacked the experience to figure out how to make more blocks out of the fabrics.  But last night I finally got the help I needed.  Our lovely new Quilt Shop in Eltham has various classes up and running, and one of them is a once a month 2 hour workshop for those who have UFOs that they have got stuck and can't go any further.  I was the first person to sign up for this workshop,  and could hardly wait for Thursday night!  I took along my bag of blocks and fabrics, and spread it all out on the table for our tutor Leanne, to have a look.  She is indeed an expert quilter and stitcher - there were eight of us there and we all benefitted from her knowledge and experience, even though we had different projects to discuss with her.  It was fun seeing what everyone else had, and most of us learned more than what we expected, simply by watching as she advised each individual.

With my project, she showed me how part of the block was made up with flying geese, and the easiest way to make them.  Then she worked out how much fabric I would need, and how many pieces to cut, to make up more blocks.  Of course without a pattern, we had no way of knowing how many blocks were in the original design, but I said it didn't matter to me, I would just make up as many blocks as I could with the available fabric, and make up a quilt top with them.  So I was kept busy for the rest of the session, cutting my fabrics up into the required shapes and sizes.  I hadn't finished doing that by 9 pm, but at least I knew what I had to do once I got home.  So I was very happy indeed - went in with a UFO and came out with a WIP!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Links to quilts made with handkies and vintage doilies.

I have had a few people ask me where I found the idea for making a quilt with handkies, so I am providing a link to my Pinterest board for quilts using handkies and doilies:

Cross stitch and other items going cheap!

More moments of reality in this household as I opened the cupboard to look for something and everything else fell out....too much stuff!  So I went through it all AGAIN and decided what to keep and what to get rid of.  I am long over eBay, it has got so huge that it is hardly worth listing anything on there.  I don't even look at it these days (rather spend an hour on Pinterest, at least I can't spend money on there!).  So, getting back to my cull.   I took my bag of unwanted goodies to the Quilt Shop on Friday, and one lady took some vintage tablecloth UFOs off my hands, but nobody was interested in the cross stitch.  So I photographed everything and am posting it here, so my blog readers as well as Down To Earth members will be able to have a look and let me know if there is anything they would like.

I was going to give away everything and just ask for postage, but there are a few complete new kits that I have put a price on because they originally cost quite a bit, and I'm sure you will agree that it is only fair that I get something back!   If you see something you want, let me know by email and I will work out the postage cost.
Here we go:

The four kits above come complete with everything needed to do the project.  The Juniper ones have "Flower Threads" which I discovered cost a bit more than the usual stranded cotton!  So I have put a price of $10 on each of these.

The Indian chief has been started, just a bit of the headress has been done.  I am posting this pic to show that it is a pre painted canvas, not counted cross stitch kit.

The old cushion cover above was started by someone who was an excellent stitcher - not me! ...there are no threads with it.

Supper cloth above, a bit done, some threads were with it when I got it.

Tea cosy.  I would love to keep this and finish it, but my stitching is not up to this standard, and I don't feel like unpicking it all and starting again.

Handkerchief quilt

Ever since I saw a quilt made of vintage handkies on the internet a year or so ago, I knew I had to try it.  After giving away most of my handkie collection last year, I kept enough to make a quilt or two, and decided this weekend was a good time to start.  I've been working on chicken stitcheries and patchwork for months, and it was time for a break. 
There are several variations of handkie quilts in books and on the internet, and I'm planning to make two.  The first one that I started last night is with the printed handkies.  I bought two metres of off-white cotton, cut it up into 14" squares, and used quilt spray to adhere the handkies to the squares.  Then I machine stitched around the border of each handkie to hold them permanently.  The reason I cut the background squares into 14" is because the largest handkie was 12.5 " square, so taking into account seam allowance  for joining the blocks, I cut them all the same size for the rest of the handkies.  Here they are spread out on the floor in the layout I have chosen (with help from my husband who has a good eye for these things, I am finding!).

Because they are all so light coloured, I think I will buy some slightly darker fabric to use for sashing and the border.  Ken suggested much darker fabric but I don't want to 'drown' the handkies in a very dark border.  What do you think?

The other handkie quilt I want to do will use the embroidered handkies I have.  They mostly have something embroidered in just one corner, and to use them like I have with the ones above, it would be just a big expanse of white handkies, so I found a pattern which has them folded diagonally, with the stitched corner showing, and attached to background fabric in a different way.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Still in chook mode.

I have made a few changes to my No Eggs Today wall hanger.   I decided to add a thin black border after I'd quilted the back and wadding to the front, instead of doing the envelope finish.  Someone had suggested adding a border of lace to the stitchery, so after playing with various laces from my stash, I decided to use a red and white trim.  It still has to be hand sewn on, and I think it looks rather sweet.

I started the runner below on a whim after I saw a similar styled runner on Pinterest, with a chook print surrounded by chicken wire print fabric.  I received the panel from a friend in France, and I didn't have enough of the chicken wire fabric, so I bordered the centre section with black, and added a red gingham border, and will use a plain red for the binding.

Additions to my vintage linen collection.

I just happened to drop into an antiques market the other day....well, it wasn't quite like that.  I had passed it several times when Ken was driving, so I had to find a time to go there on my own!  There were a few linens, mostly whitework and crochet - on display, and I asked the lady in charge if she had any more.  She took me to a chest of drawers and opened it to reveal piles of embroidered cloths and doilies!  I didn't have time to look at everything, and she didn't have time to pull the whole lot out and show them to me, but she riffled through them quickly and four items caught my eye.

A machine embroidered supper cloth with roosters - just had to have that, even though I don't strictly collect machine embroidery.  A breakfast traycloth, and a doiley featuring Scottish dancers, which is a great match for a tablecloth that I have had for a while.  AND a fantastic find - a patchwork boot done in crazy patchwork!  I wish I knew how old this is, or where it came from!   All these items for a total of $28. :-)

On my way back home I stopped at the opshop to drop off some things I have had in my car for months.  I shouldn't have stayed to look around, but this cross stitch kit caught my eye, and in spite of swearing off cross stitch in favour of stitchery and patchwork, this rooster found his way home with me!  Sigh....

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


One more teacosy made for the Teacosy festival.   I called this one Carnaby Street, after the fabric pattern.  The lace was a piece that I had in my stash, just enough to go around the bottom of the cosy.

Decided to make the No Eggs Today stitchery into an all purpose mat which I can use as a centrepiece on the kitchen table or coffee table, or I can sew a rod hanger on the back and hang it up somewhere.  This is the top, I just have to add the backing and interfacing, no border, as I am going to make it up envelope style.

While in chook mode, I saw a lovely table runner on Pinterest, and it inspired me to make something similar with fabric from my vast chook fabric stash.  Thought I'd taken a photo of it, but can't find it, so obviously not.  Ah, just remembered - I did take a photo, but it is on my tablet, and I can't post from that to here.  Well, I suppose I can, but it is too much mucking around, so it will have to wait until I've finished the project and then I can show it here as an FO and not a UFO ;-)