Using a doll pattern by Button Angel as the starting point I have made a rag doll which I christened Polly Patchwork. As a new method for me her arms and legs are only stuffed as far as the elbow/knee joint before attaching to the body. I have added a bosom made from two lightly stuffed circles which gives Polly a more “mature” figure. Polly’s face is drawn with coloured pencils and her rosy cheeks are from a light brush with my blusher. Her hair is made by wrapping pencils with garden twine, spraying liberally with starch and then leaving overnight to dry. At present her hair is a bit thin so I plan to do some more wrapping over the weekend to add fullness to her coiffure. Polly wears bloomers and a button “vest” and will also have a flannel petticoat which is currently under construction. I have made Polly’s legs a little shorter than the pattern which means that they are hidden beneath her dress. To rectify this I plan to make some decorative tucks around the hem of the skirt above the patchwork border. I had a problem making buttonholes at the back bodice so had to resort to narrow velcro fastening. The neckline of the dress is drawn up with a gathering thread and the collar simply sits above and fastens at the back with a tiny safety pin (to be replaced with a button or popper). To complete her outfit, there will be a patchwork jacket made from 90 x 2″ patches, a hat, a pair of shoes/boots and she will also carry a bag.
Inspired by the pin dog as featured on The Great British Sewing Bee series II, I was delighted to find a pattern through SEW magazine. I downloaded the templates some time ago and have only now got around to making up the Dachsund. I used some scraps of Pink needlecord left over from a Trouser Suit project and lined the ears with Pink satin also left over from a Boned Bodice Workshop that I tutored several years ago. The eyes are Blue heart-shaped buttons and the nose is hand worked using a double thread in Black. This was a really quick sew, what took the most time was the stuffing with polyester fibre filling. Dolly measures approximately 12″ from the tip of hernose to tip of her tail. I have yet to make the “coat” for Dolly and apply a collar and tag but for now she sits in pride of place next to my sewing machine.
Inspired by Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company I purchased the Twister template. Having downloaded the layout plan for a Wreath I adapted the colourway to take advantage of some Autumn-coloured fat quarters of cotton fabric that I had in my stash. Here is the completed project. A table topper measuring approximately 27″ (69 cms) square. I am delighted with the result and will no doubt make a larger piece of “random” twister lap quilt later in the year.
The king size sheet for use as the backing has arrived and been laundered. It was just as well that I washed the sheet as expected the cololur did run a little. Unfortunately there were a few other garments already in the washing machine when I set it off – hence we now have a few pale blue garments that were previously white! Whilst my husband was out this morning I layered up the quilt top with its 80/20 cotton/polyester wadding and the backing sheet. I used a temporary spray adhesive whilst laying out the 3 fabrics on the sitting room floor. The carpet is a good foundation for using the safety pins for “basting” the layers together. Whilst this method of stretching a quilt top is not really to be recommended it works for me – although once I have had knee replacement surgery I do not foresee being able to repeat the exercise on my next large project. Once I return from hospital I shall set up the machine for quilting and work a simple trellis design on the quilt before adding the final binding.
The Quilt “Sandwich” ready for quilting.
As part of a “team” project at Sprat & Winkle Quilters we have been making “Round Robins”. Each member chose a theme based on Houses, they could be Lighthouses, Dog Houses, Bird Houses – infact anything that could be considered a “dwelling”. I chose Beach Huts and today I finished the wallhanging which is approximately 90 cms square. Each block made by members of my team is highly individual and reflects the style and character of the maker. A charming reminder of the delightful ladies with whom I share a passion for patchwork!
At last, I have finished piecing the top of the magic squares quilt that was inspired by our bathroom flooring. The quilt top now measures 67″ square which is a little larger than I originally planned – it has been like Topsy – she just grew! I already have a large piece of 80/20 cotton/polyester wadding (batting for USA readers) and have ordered a Pale Blue King size flat sheet which I will use for the backing.
So now whilst I wait for the delivery I have made up a co-ordinating cushion. I have used some of the dark blue sashing fabric to make piping and the reverse of the cushion cover is calico with zip closure. I made the cover 18″ square but the only new pad I could find is 20″ so the cover is well-stuffed!
I have been stitching away with the quilt featured in my last post but it is taking some time. There are 200 strips of sashing and 100 cornerstones to be cut and stitched so that 81 blocks can be assembled to form the main part of the quilt, before adding the borders, quilting the whole and then the binding to finish.
By way of “light relief” I changed threads and needles today to make a couple of “crazy patchwork” items for a friend. The little scissors case is an old friend – I have lost count of how many I have made and the cosmetics zip-top bag is also a quick and simple project. I hope that my friend will be pleased with them. Front view
I know that I am supposed to be making the Hunstanton print cotton into a dress – but I got sidetracked. For a long time now I have been looking at the flooring of our bathroom and thinking that it is an ideal pattern for patchwork. Last year whilst on holiday in Cornwall I visited Butterfly Quilters in Kilkhampton and invested heavily in the purchase of lots of Blue-toned fabrics with a view to making up a quilt inspired by the bathroom floor! Well I have finally made a start. The basic design is of 3″ squares bordered with 1″ strips of striped fabric to make a 5″ square which is then joined to another 5″ square using the “magic” technique to produce a 6+1/4″ pieced block. As the resulting block has 4 triangles at the outside, all with bias edges I have found it best to “tame” the blocks by using straight grain sashing and cornerstones. I have made up the 81 blocks, cut 200 pieces of sashing and 100 cornerstones so now just the time-consuming task of piecing all together before adding 2 borders which will complete the top of the quilt.
auditioning the completed blocks before adding sashing & cornerstones.
Before cutting into the Hunstanton cotton fabric I decided to run up a trial garment using some Pale Pink floral-1/8″ gingham that has been “lurking” in the loft for a few years! I first drafted the bodice with five 1/2″ tucks either side of a centre front faux button band and also re-shaped the neckline so that it had more of a scoop and would be suitable for a narrow bias binding finish. (I love narrow gingham bias binding!) Having laid out the pattern pieces I discovered that there was insufficient fabric for the different sleeves I had planned so it was back to the basic lined cap sleeve as previously used. I adjusted the sleeve pattern slightly to reduce the width at the hem whilst retaining the shaping for the sleeve head. As the fabric was 100% cotton it was easy to press in the tucks although I noticed later that the set on the right side are rather irregular whilst those on the left side are perfect! I lined the sleeves with a fine White cotton lawn which I also used for the pocket facings. The dress went together fairly easily, but at first fitting I started to have my doubts about the colour and print of the fabric. Having completed the dress I have the following conclusions: I really don’t need a zip at the centre back when the neckline is scooped, it can simply be put on “pullover” style. The light-coloured fabric and “dainty” print is not suitable for use as a day dress. I prefer a box-pleated skirt to gathers. I deep hem of at least 2″ helps to “weight” the skirt. I need to try a different sleeve for a change. Taking the above into consideration I am now ready to make the Hunstanton dress which I would like to have ready to wear to meet a friend for lunch next week.
Full length Front view Full length Back view