Call the (Quilt) Police There’s A Mad (Wo)Man Around

With apologies to the Pet Shop Boys for sort of ripping off their lyrics for my title, I hope you’re all enjoying a lovely long Easter/Spring break and doing whatever it is you like to do at such times.

Last time we had a chat I asked you for help in deciding on a border for the Friendship Braids quilt and then mostly ignored what everybody said anyway.  The Quilt Police will not be happy but I decided to dig out a vintage sheet I had actually bought a couple of years ago with the backing for this quilt in mind and use it for the border.

Tell me I was wrong.

I’m not normally a ‘green’ lover but I think it makes it look very fresh.

It is quite a low thread count I believe but, just to be sure, I washed it, made a sandwich with a square of quilting cotton, wadding and sheet and had a go on the machine.  I didn’t have any problems with tension or thread knotting or snapping or anything and I certainly won’t be doing any quilting this close together so I’m going to go ahead and if I’m arrested and given a long sentence it will just give me the opportunity to sew mini hexies together, learn to love cross stitch, do a degree in psychology and concentrate on trying to make an orange jumpsuit work with my complexion – although that would only be if I got arrested by the United States Quilt Police which is a possibility as I think they are the most rigorous.

As I’m in confession mode, I must offer as evidence to be taken into consideration M’lud that, even worse than it being a sheet, there might be a touch of ‘poly’ in with the cotton as there’s a vague chemical smell when I iron it.

With this in mind, I decided not to go the whole hog and use it for the backing as well.  As luck would have it, I had just dug a duvet cover out of the clean laundry basket that has been subjected to numerous treatments and washes in an attempt to remove some oil (I think it was some sort of body oil) that Mlle Tialys the elder had managed to spill on it some time ago.  There was a patch of oil that refused to come out and, if anything, appeared to increase in oiliness as time went by.  I cut out the patch, harvested the top Cath Kidston like floral fabric for future projects and pondered using the checkered side for the back as it is serendipitously the right colours and size.  (Woohoo, I got to use ‘serendipitously’ – and again!)

I did make another sandwich, it worked fine, it is now cut to size for assembly so it’s too late to tell me if you don’t think it’s a good idea and, anyway, you know I don’t always listen don’t you.  It is, at least, 100% cotton.

I rest my case.

I did have a vague idea about giving this to my Mum when I’d finished it but I think it might have too much green in it now for her liking.  She has a thing about green and, as with most of her superstitions, has passed them on to me.   Even though I don’t really count myself as a particularly superstitious person, I like to err on the side of caution.  I don’t put new shoes on the kitchen table, I don’t bring lilacs into the house, I don’t tell Friday’s dreams on a Saturday in case they come true, and other such tosh.  However, for years I believed the colour green to be unlucky until it turned out that her basis for believing that was that her own mother had once lost a purse while wearing a green coat.  Sometimes I worry.

So she will be getting my first ever crocheted blanket instead which, as far as I know, has no bad luck associated with it and will go very nicely on her sofa and across her knees if she gets a bit chilly

Flushed with success after harvesting 450g of gorgeous tasting brown mushrooms from the pot on the right and watching the new babies grow (you can just see them if you squint) – I spotted a pot for white mushrooms (or champignons de Paris as they are called here) and thought I’d give them a go too.  It’s quite amazing how much better they taste when plucked from their very own compost just before you cook them.  I’m a convert and our earth floor wine cellar – which never gets used to store wine as we drink it too quickly – may well be put into use as a mushroom growing room in the near future.

I found this little stool in the junk shop last week and, as with much vintage French furniture, it was covered in a very dark brown thick varnish. Yuk.  I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo but it was a flat, uninteresting, no grain showing, almost black, dark brown. Mr. T. had a go with the varnish remover and the sander and got it down to this.

I’m going to treat it with some woodworm killer – just in case – and, if all of the varnish has gone I want to use a white wax on it but, if not, I will probably use a chalk paint and then distress and wax it.

Off to baste a quilt before somebody stops me.

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  1. #1 by Fred the Needle on April 17, 2017 - 11:08

    what a fun post, your quilt does look lovely! I had an aversion to green because it was my wicked stepmother’s favourite colour! then a few years ago I realised that it was ludicrous – and now I have enjoyed green in my life!

    Using old duvets is a great idea, fabric that has been washed many times over has a lovely quality about it – something that you can’t get another way.

    What a pretty little stool, I am sure it will look beautiful when you have finished with it, you certainly uncovered its beauty by what you did already!

    • #2 by tialys on April 17, 2017 - 11:19

      Thanks Susanna – the duvet cover fabric has almost taken on a cotton flannel type feel to it so, with that and the cotton batting I’m using which will shrink slightly the first time it’s washed, the finished quilt will have a bit of a ‘lived in look’ before too long.

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on April 17, 2017 - 13:20

    Not Guilty M’Lud. The orange jump suit can go back into stores. Great fun,great quilt, yummy mushrooms, pretty blanket!

  3. #5 by claire93 on April 17, 2017 - 14:03

    I think your choice of fabric is lots of fun. Do be careful when quilting though. It’ll be softer than the brand new fabric in braids. I’ve read that a bit of spray starch can help, but I’ve never tried it. Green has to be one of my favourite colours because it just makes me think of fresh grass, Spring and sitting out in the garden. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too much green lol.
    Your Mum will love the crochet blanket – well done on that! Colours are very “soft” and mellow. A total contrast to your bright quilt, which I love too.

    • #6 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:24

      I’ve got it all spray basted together now – roped in the husband to help – so it might be a bit late to try the spray starch. I’m not doing any tricksy quilting – just in the ditch of the braids and diagonal lines in the borders so hopefully it will be O.K.

  4. #7 by katechiconi on April 17, 2017 - 16:02

    You go! You’ve done the due diligence on the fabrics, and that green is a brilliant choice for the front border. Whoever gets the quilt is going to be a lucky person one way or the other, as I personally find green a very lucky colour, and they’re getting a great quilt to boot. And just to show that I agree with you about that word: Serendipity seldom strikes singularly! I’ve been disgustingly slack today, not a stitch done, so I’ll have to buckle down tomorrow, got to get TWX done this week.

    • #8 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:28

      It’s nice to have a slacking day (or couple of days) every now and again. You can tackle TWX with renewed enthusiasm now.

      • #9 by katechiconi on April 18, 2017 - 16:44

        I was back on it today. Just the last two big seams to go, and it’ll be fully assembled. I reckon I’ll be able to mail it off by the end of this week.

  5. #10 by craftycreeky on April 17, 2017 - 16:50

    I think the border looks great, it makes a lovely ‘spring-y’ quilt, lovely fresh colours. Crocheted blanket is gorgeous too 🙂

    • #11 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:30

      Thank you – it wasn’t until I had put the border on that I realised how spring-like it would make the whole quilt look.

  6. #12 by sew2pro on April 17, 2017 - 18:48

    Everything is splendid! The bunny, the blanket, the quilt. Don’t forget to show us the finished stool (which looks good enough ‘naked’).
    Hope you’re having (what’s left of) a lovely Easter.

    • #13 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:31

      I will. I was hoping to put just a sort of liming wax on but I think too much of the old finish remains in nooks and crannies so it might have to be chalk paint.

  7. #14 by magpiesue on April 17, 2017 - 19:13

    You’re not wrong! I love that you were able to re-use those textiles. And there’s no doubt in my mind that was polyester you smelled when you ironed the sheet. What a darling little stool.Tell me though, why should we not bring lilacs into the house? (What a shame that would be!)

    • #15 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:40

      Apparently, it’s an old English belief that because the lilac blossom smelt so sweet it attracted faery folk and, in those days, faeries were feared so to have lilacs in the house might lure them inside and then they would spirit people away to wherever faeries spirit people away to. So, lilacs became associated with people disappearing for ever – or, more prosaically, death.
      But don’t let that put you off 😉

  8. #16 by jendavismiller on April 17, 2017 - 22:41

    I laughed out loud reading this, especially about the USQP and the orange jumpsuit. I think the green is nice (although I believe I was one of ignored who voted for red) and springy and fresh. And I’ll just bet your mum will love the crocheted blanket to wrap up in.

    • #17 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:43

      I think red would have been nice too but the effect would have been totally different and, more to the point, I didn’t have any red fabric to hand. I love to get everybody’s input though so I’ll carry on asking for help and advice even if I do end up ignoring it.

      • #18 by jendavismiller on April 18, 2017 - 15:18

        Hehe, I’ll keep giving “advice” and wait to see what you come up with. 🙂 I do think the green is lovely, and probably much nicer than the red.

  9. #19 by Janice Marriott on April 17, 2017 - 23:28

    Well, ‘greenery’ is the pantone colour of the year!
    saw you mentioned hot cross buns on the expat thread, I made them one year from an Elizabeth David recipe,nice and yeasty. I remember when you could only buy HXBs on Good Friday morning.

    • #20 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:48

      I was cross with the husband as he forgot to raid M & S Foods for their selection before he came home on the Thursday. He promised to make some instead but didn’t so Good Friday passed by without a HXB this year. The shop bought ones are usually disappointing – even though they come in all flavours now – and they start selling them probably just after Christmas :/ I did make some a couple of years ago and they were much better because they do need to be ‘yeasty’ don’t they and the shop ones usually aren’t. Of course, you can’t get them at all here.

      • #21 by Janice Marriott on April 26, 2017 - 15:35

        All flavours??????? What is the world coming to

      • #22 by tialys on April 27, 2017 - 12:13

        Belgian Chocolate, Cranberry and Orange, – I believe there was even a savoury cheese one this year 😮

  10. #23 by CurlsnSkirls on April 18, 2017 - 01:56

    Glad you listened to your heart whilst finishing the quilt – you’ll love it! And what a great stool, ‘specially after all Mister’s work cleaning it up. I’d forgotten about HXBs and it’s been too hot here to make any. Do hope you enjoyed lots!

    • #24 by tialys on April 18, 2017 - 09:49

      Didn’t get any HXBs in the end but probably just as well as I did get lots of chocolate.

  11. #26 by Frivolous Monsters on April 18, 2017 - 15:10

    I’m glad the mushrooms are working out.

    • #27 by tialys on April 19, 2017 - 11:32

      The taste is definitely better when freshly picked – I think we’re definitely going to get some spores in a tree trunk or something (the husband has been doing some research!) Talking about things being fresh – I was talking to a friend yesterday who used to work for a company involved in chocolate production and she said the difference in the taste as it came off the production line and after it had gone on sale – by which time it is a couple of months old at least – meant that all shop bought chocolate tasted stale to her for years after she left. Just saying because I never thought about chocolate being ‘fresh’ if you know what I mean.

  12. #28 by poshbirdy on April 18, 2017 - 16:02

    The crocheted blanket is a lovely colour mix. And that stool is very pretty

    • #29 by tialys on April 19, 2017 - 11:36

      It looks better already for having all that thick brown varnish removed – I’ve just been reminding myself about using chalk paint and I have three tins of it already from a previous project , just got to decide on a colour although I think it will be ‘antique white’ with a bit of intentional grubbiness at pertinent points.

  13. #30 by Evie Jones on April 19, 2017 - 09:26

    I think you’re safe! Everything is lovely. I’m rather impressed with the mushrooms…what fun!

    • #31 by tialys on April 19, 2017 - 11:34

      It’s always fun watching things grow isn’t it and the taste is definitely better.

  14. #32 by sewchet on April 19, 2017 - 12:06

    Oh, the superstitions that were passed on to me too, as a child! It’s bordering on OCD the way my hand shoots up in salute to any passing magpie for fear of “One for sorrow…” coming true! Funnily enough, I’m not a huge fan of green and yet I had a green painted kitchen for at least 8 years. Depends on the shade and context, I think – I don’t wear green clothes. Just right in your quilt, in my opinion. Not that my opinion matters in the slightest…..!

    • #33 by tialys on April 20, 2017 - 09:41

      Yes! I always have to greet single magpies but I have weaned myself off having to hold my collar until I see a four legged animal when a funeral car passes by :/
      As both a valued reader and a sewing and crafting ninja, your opinion matters a lot so keep on giving it.

  15. #34 by Born To Organize on April 21, 2017 - 21:42

    I think you’re amazingly talented and great fun, too. I love that you’ve asked for opinions, and also that you’re doing your own thing. Sometimes gathering a consensus helps reinforce what we already know but perhaps lacked the confidence or thought process to fully realize. Your quilt is gorgeous and well done using the former duvet cover for a backing. Personally, I love green. In fact it’s my favorite color. It’s the backdrop for everything in the garden and fills a good bit of my wardrobe. I love blue and purple as well. In theater green is considered difficult to light on stage so a villain or otherwise despised character is often cloaked in green. I’ve always found the use of color fascinating. Oh, and I LOVE your linen bunny. Be still my heart.

    • #35 by tialys on April 22, 2017 - 08:46

      Thank you Alys – that’s so interesting about the use of the colour green in theatre – I’ll look out for that in future.

      • #36 by Born To Organize on April 22, 2017 - 21:50

        You’ll notice it immediately. It’s fun once something is brought to your attention, don’t you think? There is so much to observe in this big world of ours.

  16. #37 by Beads and Barnacles on April 22, 2017 - 09:34

    Ah that duvet cover backing will work wonderfully with your quilt but would make my eyes go horrible. They have a very similar quilt backing in ikea and I just can’t look at it as the contrast in the colors makes the join between the colors jump unless I’m looking straight at it.

    I think a mushroom cellar is a wonderful idea.

    • #38 by tialys on April 23, 2017 - 08:43

      I know what you mean but it’s not having that effect on me – it’s usually checks with one strong colour and white that make me go all woozy. It is an Ikea quilt actually – the top was white with cabbage roses on, very Cath Kidston – but I probably bought it about 15 years ago. It was a very popular range and I think they might have done something very similar recently.

      • #39 by Beads and Barnacles on April 23, 2017 - 10:33

        Yeah I think it’s a similar one.
        I find the problem with a bright red and green or blue next to one another.

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