Thursday, 28 March 2013

Ta-Daah!!!! - "Happy Days"

My Scrappy Trip Around the World is no longer a Work-in-Progress. It is Finished.  Completed. Photographed.  Ready to be wrapped up and gifted.  Re-named.   And ahead of schedule.  My daughter's birthday isn't until the end of next week.

The story of this trip started way back in the eighties, I suppose.  Having two teenage daughters and a limited budget meant that I made most of their clothes.  They were quite happy to wear home-made as I was able to adapt patterns for latest styles and fashion trends, and they always had something that nobody else would be wearing.  I sourced fabric in the sales, especially at Laura Ashley as they always had really cheap offers, and their fabric was extra wide, too.  When my husband was posted overseas for short tours with the Army he would go to the local markets and send me back lengths of fabric, too.

Fast forward to last Christmas when I was in the attic putting away the decorations.  I stumbled across a bag full of my eldest daughter's old clothes.  She lived with me for a year recently when she was between house sales and stored  some stuff in my attic.  I thought she had taken everything with her to her new home, but this bag was still up there.  I had a nosey and saw that the clothes were all cotton, mostly the ones I had made for her, and way too small for her now, so I brought them downstairs and asked her if I could cut them up for patchwork.  After inspecting them and having a few reminiscences about wearing them at university she agreed.  I took my scissors to a pile of skirts, trousers, shirts, tops and shorts and cut them up into usable pieces.

I then used my rotary cutter and managed to get just enough usable strips of the right length to make a large size lap quilt.

The dark navy didn't come from an old garment but from an old sheet, but I thought I needed something in each block that would tie the whole lot together.  Looking at other quilts on the internet I found that I was drawn to the ones that showed the pattern a bit more distinctly so used the navy across the mid diagonal as a constant in each block to show the structure more.

I wanted it to be a surprise for my daughter's birthday, and it has been difficult keeping this away from her eyes.  She comes to me most days for her dinner after work, so I've had to be so careful about putting it away before she comes in, even to the extent of emptying my scrap and thread bins into bags and putting them in the dustbin so that she wouldn't recognise anything.  I've been putting other bits and pieces out by the sewing machine so that she didn't think I was slacking on the quilting front.

I bought some fabric in Ikea for backing.  It's called Julita, and was only £4.00 a metre.  The batting is 100% cotton.

I quilted it in diagonal wavy lines across every other block and bound it in the plain navy.

The finished size is 73" x 49".

I've given it a new name:  "Happy Days".  We used to love watching the programme on TV way back when the girls were younger, and I think the name goes with the thoughts of the fabrics used.

I hope my daughter likes it.

Thursday, 21 March 2013


I have been so busy with non-sewing stuff this week, but if you just want to see what I did achieve in the sewing line skip through this lot to the end of the post.  I won't be offended :)

On Saturday I had a trip to London with my eldest daughter to see Judy Dench in a new play, Peter and Alice.  We bought the tickets about nine months ago and so it's been a long time waiting, but well worth the wait.  Judy does not disappoint.  I love walking around London looking at the fabulous buildings, so instead of using the Tube we walked from Waterloo over Hungerford Bridge, past Charing Cross and up to Covent Garden for a quick browse and some lunch.  Then on to the theatre near Leicester Square.  After the play we walked down to Trafalgar Square and went in the National Gallery because we love to look at Van Gogh's Sunflowers and his Chair, took in a few Monet's and Renoir's and marvelled at one of my favourites, Turner's The Fighting Temeraire.  Back to Waterloo via the South Bank food market, where we had oysters and bought some gorgeous Polish pastries to eat on the train going home.  A great day.

On Tuesday I went to Portsmouth for the day to the Spring Meeting of Hampshire Women's Institute.  The key speaker in the afternoon was Clarissa Dickson-Wright, a celebrity cook and TV personality.  Another enjoyable day.

I've been trying to make life easier for Dad now he is getting old.  He is extremely hard of hearing now, even with his deaf aids, so I arranged for the Sensory and Occupational Assessors to come and see what help he needs.  I was amazed at what is available.  I spent most of today installing two new amplified telephones, one in the living room and one in his bedroom, with an extra loud extension bell in the kitchen.  He also needs two new extra loud smoke alarms, with a vibrating alarm to go under his pillow for when he's in bed and not wearing his hearing aids.. He's also going to get a portable Loop system for the TV so he doesn't have to have it turned up so loud and annoy the neighbours.  I've also been seeing about getting the bathroom made into a Wet Room as he finds getting in and out of the bath a bit of a job.  His stair lift needs replacing as the present one doesn't meet the newer regulations.  He's getting a motorised scooter to help him get around easier, so he needs a ramp to get over the step into the house, and a hoist to get it in the back of the car.  He's also going to have a Rollator for places he can't use the scooter.  All of this has required surveys, measuring, estimates, phone calls, form-filling, ordering, trips to various retailers to try out things, and waiting for people who say they are coming, and then don't.  The Wet room is going to take about 10 days to install so I shall have to keep Dad busy and out of the way whilst that takes place.

I was really getting serious sewing withdrawal symptoms after all these goings-on.  I just had to do some sewing, so when I saw this square on  Heartspun Quilts this evening I quickly drafted it out on squared paper, cut it out and pieced it.  About an hour and a half from start to finish.  Pam doesn't say what this square is called so I've named it Starbright.

Ooops, that looks a bit blurry to me.  Might try to take a better picture tomorrow in daylight.

This will fit in so nicely with all of the other starry blocks.  Fabric is from the Shabby Chic's Chambray Rose collection, Clermont Farm by Moda, and Kona Snow.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

A Trip to Ikea

Today's finish started with a trip to Ikea.  Whilst viewing quilting blogs I've noticed that several people have used Ikea fabric for the backs of their quilts, so I thought I would check it out.  The fabric in Ikea is cheap, and comes in wider than normal widths, so makes a good, cheap backing.  I had seen the Numbers one used before

                                BRITTEN NUMMER

                                                        Fabric, white/black

£3  / metreBRITTEN NUMMER fabric, white/black Width: 150 cm Pattern repeat: 92 cm

but I fell in love with this one

Fabric, white/black

£4  / metreJULITA fabric, white/black Width: 150 cm Pattern repeat: 92 cm

I bought 3 metres of each because I couldn't decide which one I like best.  I will probably use the Julita for my Scrappy Trip quilt.

Of course, a few other things dropped into my trolley as I went round the store.  I'm not sure how that happened, but when I got home I found this lovely pair of  Tea Towels in the shopping bag.


Tea towel, rose

£4.75  / 2 pack

As soon as I saw them in my kitchen, I knew I would never use them.  They are far too pretty.  I would be mortified if they got stained or burnt by using them as an oven cloth.  but I didn't want them languishing in a drawer never to be seen.  I needed to ponder so went and had a shower.   I washed my hair, and after I spent five minutes untangling the cord of my hair dryer from other cords and bits and bobs I realised what I could do with the tea towels.  A neat, storage bag just for my hair dryer.

I used a super tutorial by Jeni from In Color Order, just adjusting the sizing to make it bigger.  Jeni uses a very easy method of lining the bag, sewing the outer pieces and the lining all in one long strip and then turning it right side out through an opening in the bottom of the lining.  I didn't square off the bottom as I don't think my bag needs it. It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish.  I used a piece cut from a pink tablecloth for the lining, and I'm really pleased with the final result.

My daughter saw it and immediately said "Can you make one for me?"

There were a few little bits of tea towel left over, so rather than them going to waste I quickly made another little bag for my granddaughter to put her hairbrush in.

Aren't they just the sweetest little bags.   I see a few more drawstring bags in my future.

The only other thing I've managed this week is another block for my 2013 Combined BOM quilt.  I drafted out the Swoon block by Thimble Blossoms on squared paper and re-sized it to 12".

Friday, 8 March 2013

A Finish and a Thank You

I admit that this doesn't look any different to last week's post.  Last week I had finished making the squares, but this week I have finished sewing them together.  A subtle difference.  Yes, I now have a top, just waiting to be batted, backed, basted, quilted and bound.  So, here it is, a sewn together Scrappy Trip Around the World flimsy.

I must now quickly put it away before daughter comes in for her tea because she still doesn't know anything about it.  I'll lay something else over the sewing machine so she doesn't think I've been slacking.

Actually, I haven't done much sewing this week.  Dad is a lot better, thanks to the glorious sunshine we had earlier this week, and has been getting out and about again, so I've taken the opportunity to start a bit of Spring Cleaning.  Well, a bit more like Spring De-cluttering.  I want to move all my sewing stuff out of my dining room and create a sewing room upstairs in one of the bedrooms, but that means I need to get rid of a whole load of other stuff that is currently in the bedrooms.  I've already taken four sacks of stuff to the Charity shop and sorted some more for a Car Boot Sale or eBay.  I've bought a load of stackable storage boxes to house my knitting supplies and for fabric storage.  Hope to have it completed by Easter so I can host a Family Lunch in my dining room.  Wish me Luck!

And now for the Thank You.  A couple of weeks ago I entered a Valentine's Day blog giveaway over at This Year's Dozen for a lovely hand crafted necklace, and I won!

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It arrived today, and it is just the sweetest little necklace ever and I can't wait to wear it.  It fits my neck perfectly.  This picture is from Donna's blog as it is so dark here at the moment that my photo didn't do it justice at all.  I will get my daughter to take a photo of me wearing it later if it brightens up.

 Thank you so much Donna.  You are a really talented lady.