Thursday, 27 September 2012

Cushion Love





Thought I'd share with you a cushion I've just finished today.

I made the patchwork front from pretty 30's style fabrics a few months ago, then finished it off today with embroidered red hearts and a plain cream back trimmed with a natural colour linen ribbon embroidered in red.(whoops no photo of back!)

I have been invited to sell my cushions and other goodies at a festive charity fair in December, so shall be busy sewing for that in the next few months. I hope to make a few more of these 30's style cushions to sell, some with genuine 30's feedsack fabrics which I have bought, as well as the linen cushions I've been making with vintage 50's and 60's fabrics, and some antique grain sack cushions.

I shall also start making some Christmassy (sorry, there's the dreaded C word already) goodies to sell, including the painted wooden tree decorations that I have been making for a few years now, and some embroidered vintage wool hearts, Xmas stockings and other vintage fabric items.


I'll share some of the new makes in the next few weeks - hopefully I've plenty of time to get everything done in good time. In the past I've been frantically finishing off stuff the night before!

Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post, and WELCOME to some new followers!

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pale Interiors and the passing of summer

Picking the last of the garden produce marks the end of summer for me.

But despite the change in the weather, and the resulting urge to make my home feel cosier by adding warm throws and cushions, I still find myself drawn to images of pale interiors.

Maybe it's clinging on to the idea of summer................

maybe it's because they always look so light and fresh

maybe it's because pale interiors appear timeless

maybe it's because they offset brighter colours so beautifully

maybe it's because they look so restful (see the feathered angel wings!)

maybe it's because they reflect the light and make spaces appear larger and lighter

maybe it's because they suit country style so well

or maybe it's just because they can make a room feel so pretty.

I also have a perennial love of  pretty floral fabrics, preferably vintage..............

Loving this simple country kitchen corner

and this pretty pale floral bedspread

And, nothing whatsoever to do with pale interiors or floral fabrics, I came across this lovely image, again reminding me of the passing of summer.

I love the weathered door hung with a knitted bag bursting with simple flowers.


Thank you all for your interesting comments on the last post about what Autumn means to you - it was great reading them all!

And a very warm welcome to my new followers!

Are you a lover of pale interiors, or floral fabrics? Or do your tastes lie elsewhere??

All Images (except No.1) from Vintage Home Tumblr

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Plodding along.....




...........with this work-in-progress too, following on from the topic in my last post.

It's interesting, and not really surprising I suppose, to hear that most of you fellow crafters also have this "problem" with project completion!!!  There are just too many wonderful things to make without having to finish what you're currently working on before starting the next project!

So I'm glad I'm not alone, it was lovely reading your comments - and now I feel less guilty about starting my next quilt whilst still finishing off this one!

It has reached "finished " status several times now - I set myself a target saying that once that bits done, thats it and it's finished, then having achieved said target I decide I really want to add some more hand quilting.

As it's all been hand quilted, and the binding was hand stitched, it's been a big job which could go on and on unless I call it a day at some point.


At the moment I am quilting the plain squares.
This is the first design that I did today, and I'm quite pleased with how it looks, and will probably do a few more of this design spread over the quilt.


So I'm hoping it won't be too long before I can proudly do a "ta dah" post on this, my first full sized quilt - a King size one no less, for Bella - I must have been mad to attempt such a large one, but it kind of just grew!

* * *
These gorgeous orange chrysanths caught my eye a few days ago as they are so very autumnal in shade, and have been making me smile every time I come into the house or pass through the hall.

They are so cheerful!

I love the change of seasons, and after such a wash-out summer here in the UK  (even though I'm loving this indian summer weather ) I am quite glad to embrace Autumn.

When I think of Autumn this year I think of.........

....sitting in front of the wood burner; feeling the heat, watching the flames, hearing the crackle of logs and smelling the occasional wonderful scent of an apple log burning.

......making some late jam from plums, and maybe some chutney with the last few tomatoes that still havent ripened, and the glut of late beans.

.......making Chocolate Courgette cake with the glut of courgettes (see link for the recipe I posted last year!)

......having a go at Crab Apple Jelly with the tiny red, jewel bright fruit now ready to pick from the tree in the garden.

....seeing if there are enough black grapes to make Grape Jelly again this year - I only made a couple of jars last year but it was well worth it - nectar!

Hmm - so it's mainly food that I think of when Autumn comes to mind!

Autumn always makes me feel like the mice in the wonderful Brambly Hedge books by Jill Barklem (Bella and I loved reading these when she was little), gathering up food from the fields and hedgerows to store for the long winter months ahead!

Do you like Autumn, and what does it make you think of?

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crochet Cushion Finished!

Remember this post?

Well, despite my good intentions in that post this poor cushion got abandoned yet again, but now it's finally finished!

I started this cushion cover last summer after finding an enormous carrier bagful of yarn, including a large quantity of cream aran weight wool, for £1 at a boot fair.

It's been picked up and set aside again several times since then,  but I was determined to finish it this time when I rediscovered it a few weeks ago.

I found a pretty dark rose pink vintage cotton velvet for the back


It was originally intended for the bedroom, but at the moment has stayed in the sitting room following it's photoshoot.

But............ SO many mistakes in it!!!!

As usual I broke all the rules, and so there are Lessons to be Learnt:

* Not a good idea to mix yarn weights - I had to use two different sized crochet hooks to allow for the difference in the thicker cream aran and the other thinner yarns - luckily I had originally annotated the pattern with hook size for each yarn.

* Not a good idea to leave a year in between finishing the squares - you forget the pattern, and have to painstakingly pore over the pattern as you crochet, and you STILL manage to make mistakes!'s finished now, and it's turned out how I hoped in terms of colours and design.


Do you have many ongoing projects and UFO's, or are you one of those disciplined and well-organised folks good at finishing a project before starting another?

I soooo wish I could be like that!

So which are you???!!!!

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Antique Quilts at the American Museum

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post, and a huge welcome to my new followers!

Having promised you some photos of  the beautiful quilts on display at the American Museum of Britain following my visit, I was a little disappointed when I looked through them this morning and realised how few I took and how poor they are in terms of light and clarity.

I was too entranced by what I was seeing at the time to focus on getting get good pictures, and remember clicking away rather distractedly without thinking ahead as to how I might want to share them here with you!

So apologies for the poor quality  - most of the quilts were hung in large cases covered with plastic and then  "bound" like a book, so you turned the "quilt pages" to see the quilts - hence you could never really get a clear face-on shot, but always a side-on (as other people were turning the quilt pages as well you couldn't really open them up too wide!)

But hopefully you can get some idea of the wonderful designs, colours, variety and intricate detail of these beautiful antique quilts from America.

Where I have been able to, I have got information on some of these quilts from the book "More Quilts and Coverlets from the American Museum in Britain by Shelia Betterton" (sold in the Museum Shop), and have included that underneath the quilt photo.

Please feel free to share any info you may have about any of these quilts.

Applique Quilt - wonderful HUGE quilt (see first photo) made up of different appliqued blocks - this was one of my favourites. May also be an Album or Friendship Quilt where each block has been made and signed by a different person.

Wreath of Roses Quilt - 82" square
The Rose has always been a popular pattern for quilts, and this one shows the influence of the Turkey red dye which reached America in the 1820s. The quilting is simple and neat, an outline around the applique pattern and the background quilted diagonally.
This quilt is a nineteenth century one from Bucks Co., Pennsylvania.
(source: More Quilts and Coverlets)


Appliqued pineapples!


I think this design is called  "Around the World" ?


Star quilt 

Tumbling Blocks

Irish Chain Quilt - these tiny squares (above) are just 3/4 of an inch, and made up into 9-patch blocks, set with white to make a variation on the Irish Chain pattern. It has a wide border in pale pink, quilted in a cable pattern and backed in the same fabric. This is from Kentucky and was made in the 1930s.
(source: More Quilts and Coverlets)

Red work quilt - wonderful pictorial quilt, with beautiful embroidered pictures alternating in red on white and white on red - I love the "Cow jumped over the Moon" embroidery! 
Probably made for a child - lucky child!

wonderful applique animals quilt - another quilt likely to have been for a child.

Friendship Quilt - the centre of each block is signed by the sewer.

a rather blurred School House quilt

Bella sandwiched between two quilts!

Wood Block Quilt - from New York around 1800.
A pattern of birds, pineapples, stars, fruit and foliage block printed onto coarse homespun linen, probably by a talented amateur.
(Source: More Quilts and Coverlets)

view of the grounds of Claverton Manor, Bath, which houses the American Museum in Britain.

I still have a few more photos of the Museum to share, which I'll save for another post another day - this one's taken me long enough to prepare and is more than enough for you to read!

Sorry about the length and thank you for your patience - I hope you've enjoyed seeing the quilts!

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