Monthly Archives: February 2022

‘Secret Sister’ Cushion

I love attending the ‘Sewcial Retreat’ organised in March by Viv of Purple Stitches, Basingstoke. Each year we have the opportunity to join into a ‘Secret Sister Swap’. This year the project is to be a cushion cover. I received details of my ‘partner’ who had indicated that she would like an 18 inch square cushion in Blues and Aqua. She did not want a ‘Dresden Plate’ or WWII designs. That left me a lot to choose from!

I picked up a selection of 5 fat quarters from my local quilt shop – New Threads Quilt Shop based at Weyhill Fairground, Andover and then spent some time pondering what design to make.

I was reminded of the ‘faux’ cathedral window design (currently a quilt atop my husband’s grand piano) and decided to base the cushion cover on that. Using some 80/20 cotton/poly wadding, I quilted within the spaces around the outer patchwork pieces and added an applique heart to the centre space. I finished the cover with some medium size piping that I recycled from a new duvet cover (currently cut out as a toile dress). The backing is a plain Blue cotton (also from a new flat bedsheet) and has a zip closure. The finished size is approximately 16½ inches square.

Cushion covers really need a pad to show themselves at their best and I therefore added an 18 inch square feather-filled pad.

I am pleased with how this design has come out and hope that the recipient will be to.

Project #10 completed 23rd February 2022

At last – Dungarees!

Way back in the mists of time (about 30+ years ago) I made a pair of dungarees for my sister when she was expecting her first child. At the time I full intended to make a pair of dungaees for myself. Time has passed and over the years I acquired several patterns for dungarees but just never got around to making them.

Two weeks ago I was shopping in Sainsburys and decided to have a browse down the clothing aisle. In the ‘reduced’ section I came across a single pair of Indigo denim dungarees – in just my size! They were reduced to £7.20 and I knew that I had £7.50-worth of loyalty points so… brainer, the dungarees were quickly put into my shopping trolley!

When I returned home, I tried on the dungarees and was delighted to find that they fit! Only problem was that they were sized for someone at least 5’6” tall whereas I am only 5’4”. Not really a problem. I cut off 1inch from each leg, added some pretty ‘scissor-print’ cotton binding and turned up 1¼ inches. I had some Orange thread and using a stitch length of 3.5mm machine top stitched the hems in place. Perfect!

I have purchased some pretty jazzy cotton print to make a ‘Gilbert’ shirt by Helen’s Closet to go with the dungarees and will be able to channel my Childrens’ TV presenter vibe –

…….only about 40 years late!

Project #11 Completed 23rd February 2022

Newlyn blouse #3

In February I have continued ‘Going Green’ by using yet more of the pretty floral print on Light Green background Viscose from Rainbow Fabrics. This time I made up the ‘Newlyn’ blouse with my TNT short sleeves.

All seams were French seams as I have yet to re-install my newly serviced overlocker into the sewing room. I added the back darts and the ties plus shirt tail shaping to the hemline. The sleeve hem facing was machine top-stitched in place to avoid flopping down due to weight of this very fluid fabric. Hem on the facing and Shirt tail shaped hem on the bodice were folded twice and top stitched. I used five of the Cream buttons that I previously selected (and rejected) for use on the Janice #2 dress.

Conclusion: Another straightforward sew. I love this pattern but feel I really should try at least a couple of the many, many other blouse and top patterns that I have.

Project #9 completed 18th February 2022

‘Baby’ Quilts

As a member of Sprat & Winkle Quilters I am often included in the call to make small quilts for use in the Special Care Baby Unit at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester. These quilts are used as covers for the incubators and can be any colour and design with a maximum size of 24 inches. The 80/20 polyester cotton wadding is supplied by S&W but the patchwork and backing fabrics are supplied by the quilter.

I tend to make my contributions using scrap fabrics from my dressmaking plus odds and ends of Fat Quarters that I have picked up during my visits to various quilt shows and the local fabric store.

For quilt #one I had a large sized remnant from a pin tucked tunic top (Butterick 6024) that I made back in April 2021. There are many colours in the print which made it ideal to combine with a selection of sample squares that I picked up at Oswaldtwistle Mills many years ago. I matched up the size of the sample squares to squares of the print fabric. Once completed I then spent some time trying to decide how to lay out the individual blocks. I find it best to lay out the blocks according to my plans and then photograph the options before numbering each square in order 1-49.

Construction was quick and simple with these basic block. I used a remnant of Beige/White checked fabric for the backing and yet more of the print for the binding. Quilting was a simple trellis design also completed very quickly using my walking foot, quilting machine needle and stitch length of 3.5mm. I am particularly pleased with the completed quilt to which I added my ‘trademark’ appliqued heart shape.

For quilt #two I found a piece of Green background cotton fabric with motifs from the story ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and decided to use this as a central square for my log cabin blocks. Thus the colour scheme of Green and Yellow/Cream was decided upon. After a rummage through my various bags of remnant fabrics I located sufficient (including the pretty sheep print used as a lining for my recent ‘Jane’ pinafore dress) to make up 16 blocks with a finished size of 6 inches. I cut 16 squares of calico as a base for the blocks and got stitching!

Once completed I then spent 24 hours trying to decide how to lay out the individual blocks. In this case I decided on option 2 and went ahead to label each block numbers 1 -16 (but changed a couple around) so that they could be sewn in the correct order. I added two ‘trademark’ applique hearts before setting the quilt top to one side whilst I researched a quilting design for log cabins.

I decided to quilt in a spiral design, sewing across the centre square of each log cabin, travelling in a clockwise direction until I had stitched across the final log of each block. Once completed I discovered that this type of quilting design combined with the log cabins can have a strange affect on the eyes which makes the squares appear to be ‘on the squiff!’ I won’t be using that quilting design again.

I am pleased with my two quilts and although I plan to make a third, will have a break and do some dressmaking for a few days.

Project #8 completed 17th February 2022