Archive for category Liberty Hatbox Project
It’s the hat box quilt of course but it sounds so lovely in French and makes a change in my list of blog post titles.
So, it’s done! Kate and I have been
furiously fairly calmly making hat boxes over the past year or so from a book we both happened to have – ‘Passionate Patchwork’ by Kaffe Fassett. Kate is making a full size quilt while I decided to make a wall hanging – which is why I’ve finished first. Well, that and she is hand quilting and I took the easy way out and used a machine. I have lots of Liberty of London fabric and decided this would be a good way to showcase some of them.
‘Perfection is the enemy of progress’ I’ve heard it said and that is certainly the case as far as this project went because, had I decided to go back and fix some of the mistakes I spotted after the event, I would still be putting it together now and getting fed up with it. Instead of that, it is assembled, hung up and, apart from one thing which will bug me forever because I thought about it beforehand and then forgot to do it, I’m quite pleased with it. So, you can zoom in on it if you are the Quilt Police and have fun finding all the faults but I know they are there and I can live with them.
I wasn’t sure how to hang it – I’ve got no other wall hangings in the house – but knew I didn’t want any hanging mechanism to show. I searched around a bit and found a tutorial based on the method used by a Museum of Quilts in the United States to hang the quilts they have on display – you can find the method here.
So now I’ve shown you the big picture, here are some of the quilt in action.
Astonishingly – you know what men are often like about such things – Mr. Tialys is quite approving of this and has even asked if perhaps we could have something in a discreet corner of the lounge (I did note the word ‘discreet’ by the way).
Now to go and put the books, tissues, glasses, alarm clocks, hand cream and all the other usual paraphernalia back on those bedside cabinets. Get me and my staged photos (otherwise known as ‘tidying up’). I’ll be applying filters, drawing faces in my cappuccino froth and using my Instagram account next!!
I can feel myself getting back into the swing of sewing and, to that end, have bought a couple of new dressmaking patterns and the fabric to go with them, I know, I know, I already have plenty of patterns and fabric but I needed to be newly inspired. That’s my excuse and I feel it’s a good one.
But first! I really need to get my hatbox quilt wall hanging off my WIP list and up on the wall so that I don’t feel guilty about starting a new project. ‘What?’ I hear you ask -‘ since when did she care about such things?’ Well, since recently and I don’t know how long it will last so I’m making the most of it.
A sneak preview for you – the clips will not be part of the finished project I promise you.
This should actually be finished today or tomorrow but Kate – with whom I am supposed to be ‘doing’ this hatbox project – likes to see progress reports and so I thought I’d make her happy. Kate is making a full size quilt and hand quilting the whole thing so is obviously not so far advanced but we started off by saying we would post our progress on the last day of each month. In the last quarter of 2017 this wasn’t possible for me so I’m a bit behind but, no matter, I thought I’d post the progress today and then the finished project on the 31st and all will be right with my World – especially as it will also be the end of Dry January 🙂
You may remember I have elicited your opinions on several occasions about whether a certain block would fit in with the rest of them or not, which layout of several options you preferred, etc. etc. All opinions duly considered and mostly ignored of course but that’s what makes it fun.
Well, when it came to adding the sashing in between the blocks I couldn’t be bothered to dig out my old posts and photos to see what had been decided so flung them down on the floor any which way and thought ‘Aha, that looks good, how wonderful a random flinging can be’. So I took a photo.
Then, I looked at the photo and immediately saw that I had placed some of the hatboxes higher on their backgrounds than others so things weren’t lining up. Disaster! If I ever make this quilt again that is just one of the many things I would look out for which I should have done the first time of course but you live and learn – though sometimes I think I just live. A couple of the other things I would do differently are to make the ‘wallpapers’ all the same and hand quilt them – I’ve no excuse as I made them as quilt- as -you -go blocks so it wouldn’t have been too difficult.
Still, moving on……
I was forced to put all the ‘lower’ boxes on the top row so that they would (more or less) line up with each other so, in the end, my layout was decided for me albeit not by you. Thank you for your help and opinions anyway.
You can see above that I put vertical strips of sashing on the blocks and joined each of the two sections of six blocks with two horizontal strips. This meant there was only one long (ish) vertical strip to grapple with down the centre.
My troubles then started as I wanted to put wider sashing – some might call them borders – around the edges. My sashing fabric is another Liberty tana lawn which has a sort of wood grain effect that I hope will reinforce the impression of shelving – an impression helped by having wider woodgrain top and sides I feel. I experimented several times with top, bottom and batting layers until I found a method that worked for me. I can’t tell you how much unpicking was indulged in and how many anglo saxon words were retrieved from my memory and bandied about the place. Luckily, I only had one helper and she doesn’t mind a bit of cursing just so long as it isn’t directed at her.
Here she is watching me hand stitch the back sashing down – I suppose she is giving me a bit of an ‘old fashioned’ look. Perhaps I’ll mind my Ps and Qs in future. I won’t go into the mechanics of quilt-as-you-go here because if you are not a quilter you will be bored to tears and, if you are, you probably already know about it. Basically, it avoids having to wrestle a large quilt (or medium sized wall hanging in this case) under a domestic sewing machine but it can also make hand quilting a more manageable and portable project.
So, here’s the back which I almost like as much as the front but the photo was taken before I attached a hanging sleeve or binding.
Mr. Tialys was sought out – he was in his ‘shed’ – to root through his wood stash and find something suitable for a hanger and I
made him asked whether he would kindly put the fitting up on the bedroom wall before disappearing to work in the U.K. for the week. He also retrieved some anglo saxon from his vocabulary (which definitely was directed at me) but did the deed and that means I will be able to take a nice photo or two and post the finished article on the 31st January, perhaps with a glass of wine to hand 😉
But first I have to hand stitch that binding down on the back – where’s my pain relieving crafting glove?
You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter than usual but that’s because I had a friend visiting for a week and then I went back to the U.K. with her to spend a long weekend with my Mum.
My friend and I go back more years than I care to remember but, despite keeping in contact with Christmas and Birthday cards we’ve only recently started to see eachother again so I was really pleased when she said she’d come over to France for a visit.
Here we are on holiday in Tenerife back in the day looking bronzed but blurry on the balcony of our hotel room.
I blame the cheap camera – or it might have been the cheap alcohol 😉
Another balcony, another country, another era.
I knew that the weekend spent with my Mum would be of the quiet variety as she is getting very tired lately and, once we’d been out in the morning for a bit of shopping or a brunch somewhere, she’d had enough of the outdoors for the day so I went prepared with fabric and pattern and used her sewing machine to make another couple of dogs for my eventual doggy garland while she had a snooze.
I’m going to make another three and figure out how to make a craft stall enhancing garland out of them but I’ve got until the end of November so something will come to me before then I’m sure.
Since I’ve been back and trying to catch up on emails, Etsy shop goings ons, reading blogs and dog and cat related problems, I haven’t got much done.
The Colette Negroni shirt I’m making for Mr. T. is still at the muslin stage – just needs the buttons and buttonholes and final hemming and then I can confirm what I’ve suspected for a while – it will be too small for him. I know it’s a muslin but I was hoping it would be a wearable one. We won’t know for sure until I finish it though will we!
I rush quilted a couple of my hatbox blocks which was easy because the machine quilting I’m doing couldn’t be plainer or simpler unlike the lovely hand quilting Kate’s doing on her version. Mine’s a wall hanging so nothing too fancy is called for – well, that’s my excuse anyway.
Here’s something I haven’t caught up on – the perennial ironing basket which I took from my laundry room up to my workroom as that seems to be the only place I brandish an iron these days. As you can see, my scheme didn’t work.
I did catch up with Mlle. Tialys the elder when I was in the U.K. as she came up to see me when I was at my Mum’s thereby killing two old birds with one stone. Oh to be young enough to dress up as a bloody (in the covered in blood sense) rabbit thingy and hug a dinosaur as she did last weekend.
The details of the whys and wherefores shouldn’t bother you – I certainly don’t like to delve too deep.
Off to look at the ironing basket again before doing something completely different.
In keeping with my pledge to add to my Liberty Hatbox wall hanging project at the end of each month I’m afraid I have failed miserably as I still can’t decide on the final block.
So, I made another one.
I won’t bore you rigid with the choices I face again but I’m still not sure and now I think I’ve made it worse by having three to choose from instead of two. Kate, on the other hand, is making great progress and has started hand quilting (yes hand quilting) her full size quilt and putting me to shame. See and admire here.
So that’s the hatbox pledge dealt with which would make for a very short post indeed .
Your hopes, however, are dashed!
Did I mention Liberty of London fabric? I think I told you they had a sale and I think I told you I indulged. I’m not sure I realised there were actual skyscrapers on this fabric when I ordered it but, now I know, I like it even more. The simple shell top on this New Look pattern that had come free with a magazine seemed just the thing….
and so it was.
I’ve decided I have a back problem in that nearly everything I make gapes a little at the back of the neck. I think I have narrow shoulders in comparison to my bust so, next time, I’m going to cut a wedge out of the centre top of the back bodice and see if that fixes it – a tip I found on By Hand, London. Unless anybody has any better ideas.
Also, I bought this astrology themed tana lawn in the Liberty sale to make a shirt for Mr. Tialys who had a hand in choosing the fabric.
I’ve never made a man’s shirt before but thought it was time I gave it a go as my wardrobe is full, one daughter makes her own clothes, the other doesn’t much care about clothes so that leaves the husband (or the pets and don’t think I might not go there!).
I chose the Negroni by Colette as it’s a nice, casual style but with some interesting features, it has good reviews and there is a very detailed sew along (from about six years ago!) on the Male Pattern Boldness blog so what could go wrong? Actually, so far, very little. I’m working on a muslin using fabric that was more expensive than the tana lawn due to the fact that there was 60% off in the Liberty sale but I always hope my muslins (when I actually bother to make one) will be wearable otherwise I get upset if all the work comes to nought – apart from ensuring you’re making the right size of course which is the main purpose of them after all.
Anyway – how’s this for a flat felled seam?
An inside view of course – the fabric is dark on the outside and I certainly wasn’t confident enough to use contrasting thread so you wouldn’t be able to make it out. This is the first time I’ve tackled a real flat felled seam, although I did mock ones on Tilly and the Buttons’ Rosa dress, and I’m pleased with the way this one turned out. I say ‘this one’ because the other one didn’t turn out quite as neat but I’m not going to show you that now am I?
Did somebody mention a sale by the way?
Fifty six 50g balls of cotton double knitting yarn in all the shades in the range and no, I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, thank you for asking.
Mr. Tialys is still creating awesome leather things in his ‘spare’ time which is strange because I didn’t think he had any of that or that’s what he tells me if I ask him to do anything in the house or garden 😉
This is a laptop bag he designed himself and is in the kind of leather that already looks as if it’s been ‘lived in’ which is the kind I like.
I decided to have a clear out in the cupboard in the conservatory and threw some stuff in a box ready to go to the charity shop.
I know I sometimes get fed up with having so many animals but I haven’t quite resorted to this yet.
What is it with cats and cardboard boxes anyway?
All the blocks are now finished for my Liberty Hatbox Wallhanging and I have the fabric for the backing, the sashing and the quilting can begin.
This bright one was a bone of contention as I didn’t feel it went with the rest of the blocks although lots of you did.
I made another one to try it out. The hatbox fabric is a Liberty of London tana lawn which has a musical ‘Hello Kitty’ theme and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it.
I don’t actually prefer this block to the other one but I think it fits in with the others better.
Here’s the first trial layout which includes the bright one.
and here’s the second that includes the Hello Kitty one.
What do you think? The jury’s still out and I haven’t joined anything together yet.
I chose this fabric from a local shop for the backing. I was going to do it using scraps or just any old thing but, in the end, I wanted something I liked because even if you won’t be able to see it I will know it’s there.
You can just make out the simple machine quilting I’ve done – it has to be simple machine quilting otherwise I can’t do it 🙂 .
Here’s a front view of the one and half blocks I’ve quilted so far – well I’ve quilted two blocks really but couldn’t get two complete ones in the photo and still show the quilting. Still, you get my drift.
I’ve just echoed the lines of the hatbox and done some widely spaced horizontal lines across the background.
Now for the sashing. It just so happened that Liberty of London had a sale on and they had what I think might be the perfect tana lawn to use to represent something that looks like the grain of wooden shelving or some sort of compartments separating the hatboxes. It was reduced to £9 per metre from £22.50 which is cheap enough for any old fabric, let alone Liberty tana lawn. I think it would make a really nice man’s shirt too. (I think they’ve still got some fabrics in the sale at that price here.)
What do you reckon?
I might have added the Liberty shop money box to my basket at the same time. Oops!
Ooh, and a tea-towel.
I might make it into a cushion – or a beach bag.
Only ten hatboxes left to quilt for my wallhanging and now Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia has completed all the hatbox blocks she needs for the quilt she’s making with hers so she can begin thinking about quilting and assembly now too.
Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts.
You may remember that I am making a wallhanging for behind the bed and am using a pattern from Kaffe Fassett’s book Passionate Patchwork which features hatboxes each in their own little cubby hole complete with ‘shelf lining’ and ‘wallpaper’.
I am making twelve 12.5 inch blocks for a 4 x 3 layout wallhanging and using Liberty of London tana lawn for the boxes and bands and scraps of what I hope are complimentary fabrics for the backgrounds.
Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia is making a full size quilt for herself from the same pattern and we pledged to make three a month. Kate has more to do than me (you can see her progress here) and these are (possibly) my final three.
This is probably my favourite one this month.
The ever popular Strawberry Thief design.
This gorgeous pink tangle of blooms was one of the fabrics I bought in a 50% off online sale that Liberty were having on their tana lawns – the band was from my box of Liberty scraps as all the bands have been.
Now I have all twelve or, as I hinted above, have I?
This is not necessarily the final layout and not a particularly sharp photo as I had all the blocks clinging to a flannel sheet hanging from some shelves and they kept falling off so I had to take it quickly but my dilemma is – do I keep the dark pink box with the strong gold/yellow background in this mix or not? I did wonder when I first made it. I really like it but I’m wondering if it’s too strongly coloured to blend properly with the others – although the purple one is strong too.
I am going to quilt them all separately using the quilt as you go method. The quilting will be simple as I can’t do complicated and then I’ll join them with sashing – another colour decision to make – and then tadaah! it will adorn our bedroom wall (if Mr. T. is in agreement – he’s always resisted ‘fabric art’ on the walls before 😉 )
So, do I ditch the one third from the left on the first row or do I keep it? What do you think?
It’s the end of March already so it’s time to show and tell the three hatbox blocks I’ve finished in time for this month as pledged to Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia. Kate is making a full size quilt from her blocks so needs to make gazillions plus she has been battling Hurricane Debbie for the last couple of days over in Australia and has had other things on her mind so if she hasn’t made her three this time I won’t be casting aspersions – even though we did have a bit of snow here the other day accompanied by thunder and lightening which, to be fair, only rendered me slightly perplexed rather than full on terrified.
Here’s a bit of Chinoiserie for you as a change from florals. As you might remember, I’m using Liberty of London tana lawn for all the hatboxes and scraps of other fabric for the backgrounds. I bought this when Liberty had a 50% off sale recently – I did give you all a heads up at the time and apparently cost some of you money.
The book that this quilt pattern comes from – Passionate Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett – has been on my bookshelf for ages and seems to be quite hard to get hold of now (at a reasonable price) . I had always fancied making this but was newly inspired when Kate started hers.
Some very art nouveau style flowers here – would they be fritillaria or some sort of poppy do you think? – or do you know?
These are definitely poppies – even I know that – and this one might be my favourite this month, although I do like the Chinoiserie one at the top just because there be dragons.
Unlike Kate, I’m only making a wallhanging 4 blocks across x 3 blocks high so I only need 12. I’ve already made 9 but I’m not sure about one of them so there may be 4 still to go.
Then I’ll have to think about how I’m going to quilt them – I’m not convinced about the suggestion in the book. I’m going to do each block separately using the quilt as you go method. If you quilt, how would you tackle it – something simple perhaps or something more squiggly?
Remember when I said that Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia was making a quilt from a Kaffe Fassett book that I had lusted after for some years? (If not, you can read my original post here ). Kate’s way ahead of me with her blocks but, then again, she started first and she’s making a quilt whereas I’m late to the party and am only making a wall hanging.
Here’s the version in the book that inspired us.
All my hatboxes are going to be made in Liberty of London tana lawn with various scraps of other fabric for the ‘wallpaper’ and ‘floor’ in the ‘cubby holes’ which each contain one hatbox.
We pledged to complete three hatboxes every month.
These are my three for February.
I used this gold/yellow tana lawn that I used to make a blouse some time ago although I seem to have quite a lot of it left. I like the backgrounds here – the duck egg blue is the predominant colour in my bedroom where the finished wallhanging will be displayed.
This was actually the first one I made but it went wrong and I was going to ditch it but, in one of my rare patient and resourceful moments, managed to peel off the appliqué, re-cut it, re-position it and salvage the block.
I need twelve blocks in total. Some might not make the final cut. Although I like the background fabrics in this block – especially the Tilda one with birds – the colours might be too overpowering to work with the others in the wallhanging plus I set the right hand side of the base of the hatbox a little higher than the others and it’s a bit on the wonk so we’ll see.
Here are all six I’ve completed so far which I’ve displayed on my design wall. I call it a design wall but, in reality, it’s a flannel sheet draped over a towel rail which the blocks are clinging to in the manner of a set of Fuzzy Felt – how I used to adore my fuzzy felts – and this is the extent of its displaying capabilities.
Eventually, the layout will be four hatboxes across and three down with sashing and, possibly, a border. Should be ready around May/June time.
Talk of Fuzzy Felt sent me off down a rabbit hole and I found myself looking at vintage sets.
I know I definitely had this one
and I had one with mostly shapes so you could be a bit freestyle.
I’m pretty sure I had this one
and I think I might have had this one………
………………although that might just be wishful thinking because I loved Noddy and – look! – they’ve got proper little faces and everything.
I know these were made in England but my non-Brit followers might have had them because, according to Wikipedia, since the creation of Fuzzy Felt in the 1950s, more than 25 million sets have been sold internationally and although Fuzzy-Felt reached its peak in popularity sometime in the mid-1970s, it remains an iconic children’s toy, still enjoyed by children who play with it and parents who nostalgically purchase it.
Don’t think I’m not tempted.
So – which sets did you have? If it was something like a My Little Pony set or anything else post 1980, don’t tell me as you are too young and I will become depressed.
Even though the patchwork block swap I’ve been participating in hasn’t quite finished yet – there’s one month to go – I have actually made all the blocks I need to and I’ve already started getting withdrawal symptoms. Kate and Sue who have run the F2F (Foot Square Freestyle) swap for the past two years, have decided they need a break from organising duties and as I am more of a participant than an organiser I didn’t offer to take it over so, sadly, when Claire receives her 24 blocks from 8 other quilters around the world by the end of February, that will be it.
I found that participating in the swap really motivated me to improve my work, try out some new techniques and get things finished on time
So, what to do next?
I searched around the web for other swaps but the few I managed to find had either already started or didn’t appeal.
Kate has started making a quilt – unusually it will be for herself – from a book both she and I have had for years.
We’ve both been in love with one particular quilt inside it – I even made the templates for it and one block back in the mists of time – but never got any further.
It’s rows of vintage hatboxes made to look as if they’ve been covered in wallpaper, as olden day people used to do, and each one set in the angle of a little cubby hole with a floor and two walls. So, lots of design decisions to be made.
Kate has been busy with it for a few months now – you can see her progress here – and I decided I would join in with her and we would aim to make three blocks per month and publish them on our blogs at the end of the month. This will be my motivation.
I am making a wall hanging for my bedroom rather than a quilt – there is an empty wall behind the bed and I thought this might go well there rather than a picture. I don’t want it to dominate the room or anything so I’m not making it too large, just four blocks wide x three blocks high. If I make three blocks per month, it should be ready to start putting together in May.
Each ‘cubby hole’ is constructed by joining two trapezoids, one reversed, plus an 8.5 inch square which is set in to the angle of the trapezoids. Eek! I was so pleased when I got it right first time and then realised my perfect seam would be covered up with the hatbox appliquéd on top – still, that’s patchwork for you. Here’s a ‘blank’ just so you know I can do it.
And here’s the block after the hatbox has been added.
I decided to use scraps for the backgrounds where possible and Liberty tana lawn for the hatboxes. I realised too late that, because the tana lawn is so fine, you have to be careful what you put underneath it. You can see the stripes of my ‘flooring’ vaguely show through but I thought it sort of looks like part of the design on the box so I’ve left it.
This one is a darker print so I got away with it here but, for the other blocks, I won’t use that particular striped fabric. I am not usually an ‘appliqué person’ but Kate has got me trying several techniques I’ve either never done before or previously said I’d never do such as foundation paper piecing so here’s one more to add to the list. I am using Bondaweb to attach the hatbox shapes and then using a turquoise thread and machine appliquéing on to the background.
This next one had to be re-done because I had used light coloured tana lawn for the hatbox and the ‘floor’ was showing through and making it look as if there was a shadow across the box. I had to peel it off – a tragic waste of both Liberty and Bondaweb -and use a darker design. You live and learn.
I’m enjoying making these hatboxes but my workroom is a mess – strewn with fabrics over every surface as I audition them for ‘wallpaper’, ‘flooring’ , the hatboxes themselves and the bands. Decisions, decisions……
I will finish by proudly announcing that I have managed to complete Dry January without a drop of alcohol passing my lips – apart from that used in cooking which doesn’t count because all the alcohol comes off as vapour (boo!) . I never usually touch Pastis – the favourite aperitif of the French – because wine is my poison and the aniseedy alcoholic tipple makes me go woozy very quickly which is a feat in itself. However, Ricard (the favoured brand of the French when imbibing their favourite aperitif) make a version called Pacific which has no alcohol, no sugar, no calories, no nuffink apart from quite a few E numbers but I haven’t looked them up to see whether they are dodgy ones. As with the real stuff, you dilute it with 5 parts water but, unlike the real stuff, it is already a cloudy colour.
This, and Bucklers non alcoholic beer (which is really Lager if you are British) , kept me on the straight and narrow when temptation threatened to overcome me. I don’t know whether you can get it (or Bucklers) outside of France but, if you can, and you are the designated driver or want an alcohol free evening for any other reason, I would recommend it.