sewing & needlework
…weekend flash backs…

…weekend flash backs…

Over the weekend, we had a houseguest. Our “guest room” is actually now the school room, and what used to be the formal lounge became a part time guest room after setting up a dedicated school space. In the interim, however, we managed to pick up a second hand piano on Gumtree, and that space is now a music room. One of the “fun” things about having renovated an old house, is one of rooms has turned into a kind of flex room that doesn’t really have a defined purpose. Long term it was going to become another bedroom, and my office which it is connected to would be come a teenager’s study. Instead we decided building a whole new house was easier than working out where on earth to stash my ridiculous quantities of craft supplies…

But this then leaves us with the question of what to do when we have overnight guests. The easiest option is we pop our spare single mattress, and the Beetle Boy’s (nearly called him Beetle Baby there for a minute! Stop growing, small child!) mattress on the floor of the big boys’ bedroom, and all four children have a sleepover, leaving Madame Butterfly’s bed open to accommodate our visitor.

Making it up on Friday with fresh sheets and bedding, I just grabbed the first two quilts on the shelves in our walk-in robe that I knew were clean and warm, not really paying attention to which particular quilts they were, until I actually made the bed. It was at that point, I realised, I had managed to pair my most recent quilt, with the very first quilt I made when I rekindled my love of sewing, all the way back in 2008. 


Still going strong, this Jacob’s Ladder quilt has worked it’s way through multiple children’s beds, still on occassion serves as a picnic blanket to protect the carpet on move night, and is one of my go-to guest quilts. It’s held up really well, and the constant use has left it warm and soft and snuggly.

The rainbow quilt I topped it with, has been a long time coming. Way back in November of last year, I decided I would make a quilt for our preschool, as our final gift as our last child finished up. Of course, I had to ponder it some more, and didn’t end up starting until 2 weeks before the end of term. By now, you would think I would have learnt to actually get a move on and avoid deadlines, but no, no I haven’t, and was up to my usual, last minute sewing tricks.

I chose to use a pile of Bonnie & Camille charms I have had in my stash since 2014, when Ms Midge ran a swap I couldn’t resist joining…and promptly shoved in a drawer because I was too scared to waste them! How silly is that! 2018/19 me is all about using stuff up, because gathering dust in a drawer is even more wasteful than using it on a less than ideal project.

I laid it out as a 10×10 rainbow colour wash grid, and was loving it. I even got it half quilted, until life happened and I ran out of time, and also ended up with a couple of puckers, and it became not-good-enough for gifting and donating. Into the WIP box it went.

Then, from the WIP box it got shuffled off into storage when out house went on the market. Last month, however, I had a quilting itch and a clean house, so on a trip to the shed, I collected my box and set myself up on the dining table. Getting it out, I was even more annoyed at myself for procrastinating so long – it was two thirds quilted, and in the end, only took me the afternoon to finish up.

I went with a simple grid quilting pattern, with two lines per seam, 1/4″ either side. Frustratingly, I hadn’t noticed that I hadn’t quite lined up the top row as precisely as I would have liked in my rush, and which I only noticed when trying to keep my quilting lines straight. I had decided before (re)starting, that it would be a caravan quilt anyway, so I will be the only one who notices it, but nonetheless, I am annoyed at myself for not taking more care.

I had the aqua for the binding on hand, so once the quilting was done, I kept rolling to avoid falling into another procrastination hole, as I am well known to do, and after umming and ahhing about the final step, decided to machine stitch the binding. While not my favourite method, it gets the job done quickly, and is nice and sturdy for a quilt that is going to see a lot of use and subsequently washing. Last camping quilt I made I also machine-bound I used a zigzag stitch which worked really well, but I had a bit more roll-over to play with this time and so went with a straight in-the-ditch sewing.

I made I also machine-bound I used a zigzag stitch which worked really well, but I had a bit more roll-over to play with this time and so went with a straight in-the-ditch sewing.

From a distance, the errors are less noticable and the colour wash effect hides all manner of errors. The border does look a bit wavy in the photo, but that’s more to do with the breeze I was fighting against!

Overall, I am pleased to see the colours worked the way I hoped, and it will make our caravan bright and fresh and happy, so I will stop being hard on myself, and instead enjoy it’s colourfully snuggly feel.

Of course, now I have one quilt out of the WIP box, I probably should start another, shouldn’t I? And by probably start, I mean, definitely already have. I’m 1/4 of the way through my next quilt top and oh my gosh I am in love with it. Now that today’s house filming is finished, I’m about to lay it back out on the studio floor and keep powering through. Conveniently enough, the kids also are asking to sew, so apparently it’s “home economics” on the lesson plan today…who am I to deny my children their heart’s desire, if they want to make their teddies some new sleeping bags?

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