Make Do and Mend

I used to ‘do’ upholstery.  I have all the gear – a hide mallet, tack remover, a webbing stretcher, hammers, tacks, horsehair, etc. etc. but after a few years I went off the idea.  I bought a chaise longue (interestingly, not called that in France unless you mean a garden recliner) from a junk shop and did it up but, nine years later, it had got a bit faded, saggy and generally in need of a facelift.  I know the feeling.  It was still comfortable – ask my dogs! – and the framework is very good as it was made before the days when most furniture is made to be chucked out after a few years, so I decided to pay somebody to re-do it for me.  It took her about a week – it would have taken me much more.
Chaise Longue Turkish Fabric

I can’t get a brilliant photo because it is next to a French window and the light is shining on the metallic threads so it is not quite as ‘blingy’ as this  but you get the idea.  I got the fabric from Turkey and could have had red to go with the cushions on my sofa but decided to go a bit mad with the orange – although there are dark red bits on it which you can’t see for the duff lighting.

blog25.4 (15)

Anyway, to make up for being lazy with the upholstery, I decided to buy some more of the Turkish fabric – both in the orange and also some red mixtures – and make new cushion covers for the L-shaped sofa we have as the current ones are splitting at the seams and spewing feathers all over the place.  Two completed ones above although not being displayed on their intended sofa because this one has better lighting.  Mr. Tialys has insisted – despite my protestations and tears – that they should all have piping.   I drew the line at zips though and they will all have envelope backs albeit generous ones.  Two down sixteen to go.

Then I had a couple of dog collars to make and, while I had the webbing to hand, I fixed my neighbour’s sandals.


All of which is to explain why my F2F quilt is still not finished.

Kate who, along with Sue, organized twelve of us for this block swap, is keen to see another finished quilt so I am trying to steam ahead with it and thought I’d do a progress report and prove to her that I am on the case.

QAYG Blocks

Thirty six blocks have been sandwiched and ready quilted (I’m using the ‘quilt as you go method’).  This will be the second row but I have laid them out as a double row for ease of photography.

backs of QAYG blocks

The backs of the blocks where you can see some of the quilting – machine only I’m afraid but I am trying out different methods such as free motion quilting on some of them as, at this stage, they are like mini quilts and easy to get under the machine.

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I had enough of this blue marbled fabric to do the requisite amounts of backing blocks but didn’t chant the ‘think twice cut once’ mantra  and so ended up two squares short.    After a fruitless search for more of the same fabric – including an unanswered pleading email to the wholesale supplier  (thanks for that Pascale & Beatrix) – I may have to ‘make do and mend’ by joining (as above) and quilting in a cunning manner to hide the join line.   ***

quilt cornerstones

Using the four backing fabrics, I made some improvised blocks for cornerstones.

F2F Patchwork Block

This block, from Emmely, was a natural choice for one of the corner blocks of the quilt and lends itself to my favourite form of quilting – on the machine, in the ditch, easy!

back of quilted QAYG Block

and it also worked well with the back.

Some of the blocks were a little ‘scant’ when I came to join them and didn’t quite get taken into the seams of the sashing strips.  I used this printed tape, attached with bondaweb and then sewn into the seam allowance at the top to hide the gap and prevent fraying.  It’s not an ideal solution but I couldn’t lower the sashing strip any more otherwise I’d risk losing details from the adjoining blocks.  Any other ideas gratefully received as I’m sure I’ll come across other anomalies when I join the remaining rows.

Repairing Scant Measurements

So, here’s one row sashed vertically and once horizontally just to prove that I am getting on with it.

MyF2FQuiltConstruction First Row

I’m waiting for more piping cord to arrive in the post now and all of my neighbour’s other sandals are in good condition so no more excuses and, hopefully, the next images will be of the finished quilt.

Now I’ve put it in print I have to do it!

*** My friend Sandra returned from a week in Spain, had her fabric stash raided and, as I suspected she might, had a length of the turquoise marbled fabric hidden away in there which is now with me 😉

SPOILER!! The block row joining is not going as well as I had hoped – the seam ripper has been put into service and many many tiny stitches have had to be undone.  This is mainly due to the fact that I was concerning myself more with attaching the sashing nicely and not with butting up the batting properly so ending up with empty sashing which is not a good look (or feel).  Although, now that I’ve put it down in plain type,  I think ‘butting up the batting’ ought to be a phrase brought into common usage.




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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on April 28, 2016 - 20:17

    I love the Turkish cushions and piping, brilliant.

    • #2 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 10:48

      I might not love them as much once I’ve made 16 of them!

  2. #3 by katechiconi on April 28, 2016 - 20:50

    Your chaise is fabulous, as are the cushions, but I ask myself why M. Tialys was consulted at all in the matter of piping. Presented with a fait accompli of unpiped cushions, I’m sure he’d have been quite happy…? Anyway, the F2F quilt is coming along very well, good trick with the ribbon, and yes, you have to butt your batt rather snugly to get a good result. Don’t worry. By the time you get to the bottom row, you’ll be an expert.

    • #4 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 10:53

      Well, he wasn’t so much consulted as stepped in as ‘adviser’. I sort of had to include him as he is planning on remaking the base cushions – which are in the same red fabric as the back and scatter cushions at the moment – in leather which is what the base, back and sides of the sofa is made from. He just needs to buy a super, duper, leather stitching machine but most of the ones he fancies are in the U.S. and the shipping and customs costs would be prohibitive. By the time I’ve finished sixteen fabric cushions, he might have made a decision.
      I am having to unstitch my first two joined rows in order to butt my batt which is a royal pain but, some of the cross sashing doesn’t match up in the middle either which will only annoy me so it has to be done.

  3. #5 by Abigail on April 28, 2016 - 20:53

    Love the cushions, and the blocks are looking amazing!

  4. #7 by claire93 on April 28, 2016 - 21:22

    everything is looking brilliant: the chaise longue, the Turkish cushions and your F2F blocks!!!
    ooh and I rather like the wall hanging you have behind, with the crow/blackbird & quilts hanging on washing lines! Did you make that? It’s gorgeous

    • #8 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 10:54

      Thanks Claire – yes, ages ago, I bought the panel and then embellished it with some amateurish quilting but I do rather like it. It was fun to do the ‘quilting’ on the little tiny one on the washing line.

  5. #9 by sew2pro on April 28, 2016 - 22:21

    That chaise longe looks so opulent. I would have guessed the fabric to be Designers Guild. This is one trip to Turkey I’d have loved to go on. The cushions I showed to Mr Marianna and he made the rare admission that they’re rather nice as I guessed he would (he really rarely gets impressed by anything on sewing blogs!). Not much I can add to the previous comments except to sigh at what a beautiful home you have!

    • #10 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 10:56

      I am beyond flattered that I have impressed a man with cushions! My life is complete.

  6. #11 by on April 28, 2016 - 22:28

    You are such a busy girl. Lovely work altogether.

    re “empty” sashing: I made a ginormous scrap quilt for my daughter, and like you, machine quilted it in sections, resulting in some size anomalies. I got round it by cutting strips of batting to put between the sections.. This gave a rather nice 3 dimensional effect to the sashing. Bon courage for umpteen cushions and finishig the f2f quilt.

    • #12 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 10:57

      Thanks Viv. I have started the ‘unstitching’ process in order to try to improve matters which will take some time but I want the quilt to be as good as I can make it bearing in mind all the work the others put in to their blocks for me.

  7. #13 by Oh Sew Tempting on April 28, 2016 - 23:32

    You are sooo multi-talented. I love the chaise and cushions too 🙂 On the blocks, I’d suggest that both the batting and backing are cut bigger than the patchwork blocks by about an inch all around. Then when the quilting has been done, trim backing and batting to the same size as the blocks. I hope this makes sense. This is going to be a wonderful quilt 🙂

    • #14 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 11:01

      I did cut the batting and backing to 13 inches to give me some leeway but, the problem is, several blocks have uneven edges so I can’t sew them with a straight line and, if I cut the block to fit, I would be cutting off part of the design if you see what I mean and, as the vast majority are nice and square, I don’t want to cut the perfect ones smaller. I will find a way eventually.

  8. #15 by dezertsuz on April 29, 2016 - 05:18

    “Although, now that I’ve put it down in plain type, I think ‘butting up the batting’ ought to be a phrase brought into common usage.” I absolutely loved that and it made me laugh! I agree! You have such creative solutions for the problems. I love seeing the row and that lovely turquoise. I’m glad your friend had more for you! I’m thinking you shop together at least some of the time. The chaise is no doubt lovely in your home. I can see some red bits right on the end. That’s a LOT of pillows to make – and all with piping? Ugh! Good you stood firm on zippers, though! My sandals need new velcro – any tips on that? =)

    • #16 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 11:05

      My friend is actually joined at the hip to her husband so they go fabric shopping together most of the time – something I can’t see mine doing – but she does use the same local shop as me so I suspected she might have bought some of that turquoise at one time or another and, sure enough, there it was in her stash and she kindly handed it over. That was my first stab at repairing somebody’s sandals. I was given a bottle of wine for my ‘trouble’ but I think he was just grateful somebody was willing to rummage around in his footwear.

  9. #17 by poshbirdy on April 29, 2016 - 11:19

    LOVE that chaise fabric. It has set my mind on a roller coaster of opulence! Beautiful blocks too, by the way. Love your posts

    • #18 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 11:34

      I’m happy so many people seem to approve of the opulent fabric. When I emailed a photo of it to my mother – it’s her favourite chair when she’s over on a visit – she said it was ‘a bit much’. Which it is I suppose but if you can’t go overboard with a chaise, when can you?

  10. #19 by Frivolous Monsters on April 29, 2016 - 13:11

    I thought all chaise longues had the back on a corner bit, so you had to drape yourself over it like a Victorian, but that’s a proper big seat. Looks very nice. I hate to ask what a week’s work on one chair cost though!

    • #20 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 14:48

      I know what you mean but, when I have a fit of the vapours, I find this style much more comfortable to drape myself over even if it doesn’t look quite so Elizabeth Barrett Browningish. Best not ask the cost but, having initially upholstered this one myself from webbing and springs to fabric, it was worth every penny to have somebody else do it this time.

  11. #21 by Kim Hood on April 29, 2016 - 19:59

    When you have completed that fabulous quilt, and had a melt down over all of those PIPED cushions, you can relax splendidly on that magnificent chaise! (I am so jealous- I would love one)

    • #22 by tialys on April 29, 2016 - 20:27

      Good idea. I shall install a small wine table next to it and recline graciously with a glass of something whilst dictating my memoirs. Ooer, I’ve gone all Barbara Cartland.

  12. #23 by nettyg on April 29, 2016 - 23:21

    Your quilt is coming along nicely, and what better way to learn the best way to batt your butt……or vice versa……than by doing and redoing. It will all come out nicely and we’ll be very envious you have your quilt. I wonder if it was one of mine too small, sometimes I forgot to measure if I was in a rush to get blocks in the mail……apologies if it was 😦
    Love your “bit much” chaise.

    • #24 by tialys on May 2, 2016 - 10:39

      I can’t remember who’s block it was – probably one of mine 😉

  13. #25 by Emmely on April 30, 2016 - 13:27

    I am sure your quilt will work out just fine! And small anomalies might just disappear when you wash the quilt and it becomes all wrinkled and squishy…

    • #26 by tialys on May 2, 2016 - 10:38

      True. I wish that worked for people 😉

  14. #27 by Postcard from Gibraltar on May 1, 2016 - 15:12

    All your projects look like you’ve been extremely busy! I love your chaise longue, I’d love to try my hand at upholstery one day too. My dining room chairs could badly do with some tlc.

    • #28 by tialys on May 2, 2016 - 10:37

      I was really in to it at one time – I did some caning too.

  15. #29 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 2, 2016 - 09:17

    Wow! You’ve been busy. The chaise longue looks gorgeous – despite the light not showing it off so well. The cushions are gorgeous too. Is the sandal mending for the neighbours who weren’t being very friendly and a sign of improved relations?

    • #30 by tialys on May 2, 2016 - 10:37

      No – it’s the neighbours on the other side.

      • #31 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 3, 2016 - 12:52

        I see. How’s it going with the others now?

      • #32 by tialys on May 3, 2016 - 13:05

        It’s just a single bloke – he’s not here all the time. He inherited the house from his uncle. All was going well until he said he was going to turn his barn – which is at right angles to our house – into a garage. However, the land in front of his barn belongs to us – it’s our front garden and where we park our cars so we told him he couldn’t! There is sufficient land in front of his house for him to park his car or he has another barn alongside it if he wants to turn that into a garage. In retaliation, he has half renovated the top part of the barn that adjoins us and now has boarded it over with nasty cheap stuff which looks horrible. Neighbours eh?

      • #33 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 3, 2016 - 13:23

        How mean of you now wanting him to drive over your garden 😉 At least he’s not there all the time. Hopefully he’ll move away completly.

  16. #34 by sewchet on May 4, 2016 - 13:40

    Ooh, what a fabulous chaise! Sorry, but I’m with your husband re the piping issue – it just looks far more professional and less DIY a la Kirstie Allsopp who bodges everything. I did half and half with my cushions on the sofa and now spend every day regretting it:)

    • #35 by tialys on May 5, 2016 - 10:27

      I know, I know, I was just thinking lazy thoughts. However, I am definitely drawing the line at zips.

  17. #36 by Texas Quilting on May 6, 2016 - 00:56

    I love the chaise lounge! I’ve recovered several chairs – mostly just cushions but a couple of wingback chairs which took a while. I also made one out of needlpoint several years ago and then covered the chair with it. Too bad I don’t have that chair any more! I bet your neighbors really appreciate you!

    • #37 by tialys on May 6, 2016 - 12:34

      Thank you! Upholstery – with springs and webbing and all the innards is quite hard work isn’t it and I used to find it fun but now I don’t! Cushions I can cope with – even sixteen of them – although I don’t know when I’ll have them all finished.

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