Friday, 15 April 2011

Running repairs

I finished this quilt about fourteen years ago. It was the first quilt I made using a machine, and the second one I had ever done. I made it up as I went along. This may have something to do with why it took three years. That and the fact that I went to university in the middle of making it.

I didn't use the highest standards. I did not know about things like binding, or binding makers, or really have any  proper understanding of how fabric frays. The quilt goes on our bed every winter and currently looks like this:

Fourteen years wear and tear. I know how it feels. 

Around ten years ago, in a moment of madness I took it to the launderette to be cleaned, not knowing how else to do it. It came back faded, which at the time I was very upset about, but now quite like. 

Once, I filled the bath with warm soapy water and walked on it with my bare feet, grape crusher style, this was a lot of fun but it took about a week to dry. 

Any suggestions of how to clean a patchwork quilt are greatly appreciated.

Last week with the first sign of sun in our little north facing garden I hung it over the washing line and did some repairs. 

Just me, the sun, the birds, the radio, the local stereo soundclash and some sewing. It was lovely. 

And it lasted exactly twenty-nine minutes. But each one was bliss.

PS Giveaway winners Ju, Elizabeth and Claire from clarabella kindly send me your adresses and I'll get cards in the post. And thanks to all who entered.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Thank you very much - a giveaway.

In the corners of the blogosphere I frequent, I had heard whispers about this wonderful book. I bought it with my birthday book token (thanks Mum and Dad) and love it already.

On the back it says: 'This is a book for low budgets and high ambition'. Well. Christine Schmidt suggests you use any old thing to print on, and that working from your kitchen table is just fine, and she gently holds your hand as she takes you through some fairly sophisticated techniques. I am a Christine fan.

I decided to try some stencilling first. With the DIY spirit in mind I used some offcuts of tablecloth plastic from this project to cut the stencil.

The results were pretty blobby and fuzzy. Whilst I completely agree with her about loving the imperfections (as with all things handmade), I found these efforts a little too hard to love. The plastic curled up and did not lie flat enough.

So I bought some acetate which was a little bit of a shame, but I'll use them over and over again as they really did the business. No curling, nice and stiff and flat.

I used Rosewood font and did two stencils, one for the letters and one for the shading. Think it turned out well. 

I learned:
  • Less is more (paint on the brush, that is)
  • Acrylic paints and no water at all worked best.
  • Using a stencil brush is not necessary.
  • It's all in the wrist.
  • Cats and stencilling do not mix.
One for Mother's Day too:

Next, I am going to try a lino cut and make some bespoke stationary. When I was a little girl that was my favourite birthday present to give. No self-respecting seventh birthday party was complete without a writing set. I'm starting the comeback.

With this in mind, I have three sets of three thank you cards to give away. Just leave a comment by next Thursday (April 14th) and I'll pick the names out from a hat. Thank you!

a year above the shop

a year above the shop