Posts Tagged Liberty tana lawn
This weekend I’m hoping to finish my jeans and I’m hoping even more that, this time, they’re going to fit me. Despite making a stupid error along the way – which involved cutting excess fabric off that wasn’t actually excess! – I think I might have cracked it.
Here are the pocket linings I chose for fun even though nobody (or very few) people will ever see them but me.
I’m doing the top stitching using Gutermann’s top stitching thread in a silvery grey colour to go with the floral pattern.
I’m using the 1950s electric SInger my friend gave me which used to belong to her mother because life is much easier if you have one machine threaded up with the top stitching thread and another with the thread you’re using for basting and seaming and even easier if you also have an overlocker/serger for seaming or finishing or both.
So you end up with a set up a bit like this.
Sorry about using Babe for a pincushion but it was that or the charity shop.
Anyway, Bekki over at Dartmoor Yarns had asked to see my vintage machine top stitching in action so there you go.
There’s even a back view.
The machine is struggling a bit with the lumps and bumps of the various thicknesses but I think it probably just needs a new needle which I will sort out before I tackle the stitching on the waistband and pockets.
As for ‘Blue Jean Baby’ – obviously I’m far too vintage for that to refer to me any more but as this post concerns both jeans and baby stuff and, as they are the first words of one of my favourite songs, it just sprang to mind for my blog post title. **
As you know, I’m not sending the Foxy Quilt I made for my niece’s June baby until I can make a label for it with date of birth, etc. so, in the interim, I had a rummage through my previous hand made efforts and made up a little parcel to start her off although, knowing her, she’s already got cupboards and wardrobes full of designer stuff. I am reliably informed however – well, as reliable as my sister gets – that her daughter (my niece) loves hand made items so she will be inundated with my doomed plans to possibly add baby stuff to my Etsy shop. Doomed because I am not dedicated enough to make the same thing twice so, even though I made some pretty baby dresses in Liberty tana lawn and Tilda fabric, I only ever made them in one size and, when asked by potential customers to make one up in a different size, I couldn’t
be bothered quite get up the enthusiasm.
They will be in a future parcel 🙄
So, this time round she’ll get this bunny basket …..
……. containing a little bonnet
and four little bandana baby bibs.
So, let’s hope my sister’s right.
Have you got a big project on this weekend? I hear the weather’s not going to be up to much either here or in the U.K. so it’s the perfect excuse to stay cocooned and get creative.
** Just in case it was worrying you , ‘Blue Jean Baby’ are the first words of ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John. Now, if you cared at all, you don’t have to look it up.
In the face of an approaching cyclone, Kate is still hosting ScrapHappy day where you can use your scraps of fabric/yarn/paper/wood to make something – anything – and show it to the (blogging) World.
This time I made a crochet Christmas gift which isn’t a scarf.
I had some of this
and a box full of this
and made one of these for my friend Sandra
Hooks are model’s own 😉
Ooh, and I also made some of these with scrap fabric, wrapping paper and Christmas ribbon just because the mood took me when I was in my sewing room and it had to be done there and then, as is often the way with me. Whether any will get sent is another matter – where is the time going?
Here’s a little scrappy project I received through the post yesterday from Claire, bless her, which, if I ever get my tree up, will be hanging from one of the branches this year.
Meanwhile, nothing to do with scraps – although it certainly looks like it might be at this stage – my secret sewing gift is still underway and I’m hoping to have it done in time.
I showed you the muslin for the Kwik Sew pyjamas I made from the vintage sheet last time, now the real thing is finished.
I used some plain scrap fabric for the collar, cuffs and pocket top and some buttons I’d bought for something else at one time or another now lost in the mists of time and memory.
I bought the Liberty tana lawn on Ebay – 3m for 20 quid which was a bargain – somebody was having a de-stash which I might do one of these days (yeah, right!). I’ve only used 1.5m for these so I have yet more Liberty tana lawn in my stash now. I’m sure I’ll find a use for it eventually. Maybe I could make the long bottoms for when there are visitors.
I’m sure you will be glad that I decided to let one of my old mannequins model them, rather than subject you to another view of my legs (even though it was a blurry photo). I had to faff about with the shorts because of the pole and they’re still not hanging right but you get the idea.
I suspect flat buttons are the norm for pyjama tops but these go so well with the colours I had to use them even though they might dig in me when I’m asleep. I don’t sleep on my front so I should be O.K. but, if not, I’ll change them for something more practical. I don’t know how women sleep on their fronts – don’t their lady bumps get in the way? It’s not supposed to be good for your back anyway so don’t do it although it is supposed to be good for preventing snoring so I might suggest it to Mr. T. who is a champion snorer and hasn’t got any lady bumps so there’s no excuse. Anyway, I digress – note the double top stitching. One line is just down the edge and I did that easily enough on the muslin but I chickened out of doing the second line which follows the line of the facing. I didn’t want the bobbin thread on top so you sort of have to follow the line of the facing on the inside from the outside, if you know what I mean. It’s the sort of tricksy finishing touch you do at the end that usually goes wrong for me and then I get upset because everything else went well and then I mess up at the last hurdle. However – this time it worked.
Even though, in close up, they look like I’ve already slept in them (because I didn’t iron them again before taking the photos) I haven’t so I will report on the comfort factor after several sleeps.
Just to let you know – my hand seems to have recovered quite nicely from the repetitive strain injury, arthritis, tendonitis or whatever else it was that was causing me pain. I am still wearing my craft gloves though – when I remember – and have bought some more so that I have one up in my workroom for sewing and one downstairs for when I’m wrestling with wool.
Speaking of which, here’s my progress on the Eastern Jewels blanket. I’m making the squares and triangles for each row and joining up as I go, as well as weaving in the endless ends, so it won’t be such a shock at the end.
The more I do the less I feel I will want to part with it.
Now I’ve finished the second pair of P.J.s I am tackling a quilting project I started a few years ago which I kept glimpsing, peeking at me accusingly from a corner of my workroom. I’m not even sure whether I like it any more but the fabric was too expensive to discard so I’ll press on and see what happens. I want to get quilting projects out of the way in preparation for the next block swap I’m participating in which will probably start in March/April this year.
What are you up to this weekend? Are you starting a new project or continuing with an existing one. Or are you doing nothing whatsoever to do with crafting? I’ll still be interested. Honest!!
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?
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.
If you are a Liberty fabric lover I just thought I’d give you the heads up that they have a lot of their tana lawns and silk satins online now for 50% off.
Here is my stash so far
(the top gold bit is the paper wrapping!)
I can’t promise I won’t go back again for more – somebody needs to help me out here!! My
excuse reasoning is that I have a project in the wings for which I have decided to use Liberty tana lawns – it’s not that I haven’t got a stash of it already but I couldn’t resist a few more at that price.
If you fancy treating yourself , you can find it here but don’t say I didn’t warn you that the temptation is great .
I’ve had a bit of cabin fever recently. First, there was some snow. To be honest, not a great deal but we live up a hill which is not pleasant to drive down (or up!) once it is icy so I prefer to stay put unless absolutely necessary. Second, I had a dental implant and was not fit to be seen by the outside world. The inside world wasn’t too keen either but they live with me and had to put up with it. Don’t get me wrong, the procedure to have the implant done was no problem – just in case you’re thinking of having it done and don’t want me to scare you – it’s just that my face was swollen up a bit for a few days, I had an impressive bruise, some stitches which showed between my teeth and almost drove me crazy and a gap while I waited for the temporary crown to be made. No pain though. Plus the swelling plumped my face out somewhat and several wrinkles disappeared although, alas, that was only temporary.
So, using the time spent indoors profitably, I opened a new Etsy shop for my dog collars as they were starting to overtake my current shop and making it look a bit too ‘doggy’. Of course, this will not be a profitable shop because I am doing it mainly to help out the Dog Rescue but I can’t tell you what fun I’m having picking out the designs and trying to persuade my sewing machine that it really doesn’t mind stitching through multi layers of webbing and grosgrain.
I know there are lots of people making dog collars out there but I can’t take any more dogs on – I already have three plus four cats – and I’m a bit far from the Rescue Centre to help with walking the dogs on a regular basis so I wanted to do something else to help.
So I’ve set up ‘Ouaf Ouaf’ (or Ouaf for short) which is what French dogs say instead of ‘Woof’ and will gradually put them on there, along with the bandanas I was making before, as and when I can make them, as well as touting them around friends with dogs (and some without!) and local fund raising events.
I’m having fun taking the photos too as you can see although this dog looks rather more like a hippo which I’m sure don’t cock their legs up to wee but you get the idea.
My favourite cartoon dog of all time. I was chuffed when I found Muttley from Wacky Races on a ribbon.
These collars have caused a bit of a commotion in the house as, every time I finish one and brandish it, chrome D ring clinking, as I like to do, the resident dogs think it’s a sign they are about to be taken out on another walk. I’ve found it easier, in most cases, to take photographs of the collars off the dogs’ necks rather than on but a few modelling assignments have been handed out.
Sometimes, there is just curiosity and my photo shoots attract unwanted attention.
I tried making a sort of double fold bias tape from some Liberty fabric I had in my stash for this one which worked well and might end up being more cost effective than ribbon (especially if I don’t use Liberty tana lawn!!).
No blog post about dog rescue or dog collars is complete without a basket full of puppies of course. Just look at those little faces. Of course, being puppies these little girlies will probably soon find homes but the underlying problem is too many people – and it is a big problem in France – just can’t or won’t sterilize their dogs. Then they let them out to wander around unsupervised and this is the result. You can read their story here but, basically, the mother was rehomed by the Société Protéctrice des Animaux before they introduced a policy to sterilize all female dogs before rehoming and the new owner didn’t bother and this is the second litter of puppies that have had to be rescued from her as a result – the first litter and another three from this one she gave (or sold) to who knows who?
Anyway, I am off to do some vacuuming before Mr. T. gets home from the U.K. and thinks I’ve been doing nothing all week except mess with ribbon and webbing, set up amateur photo shoots and read up about what is good for bruising – arnica cream?? Then I’m going to make a bag – just for a change.
Much as I love this dog, I don’t really make quilts, especially not quilts made from Liberty tana lawn, for the benefit of my pets. Instead, I go to the local charity shop once every few months and buy up some used blankets which I put in their beds and, once they have been chewed, ripped to shreds or made ‘dog smelly’, I dispose of them and go back to the charity shop. However, Flo had other ideas and took advantage of the fact that I was doing some artistic ‘draping’ for purposes of photography to dive on top.
Although I used the fence around the chicken hut to lay the quilt over, the chickens don’t seem to feel the need to lay on soft blankets so the quilt was safe for the outside shots.
As a point of interest and not really relevant to this blog post, one of the words I have soooo much trouble with in French is ‘poulailler’. Now, most people could probably survive without ever having to say it but, as I keep chickens, and as it means ‘henhouse’, it is a word that I sometimes need to say, much to the amusement of anybody French that is listening at the time. The other word I have difficulty with, which also contains lots of the letter L, is ‘rouille’ as this also necessitates rolling the ‘r’ in front before twisting your tongue around the ‘ou’ sound and that double ‘L’. As ‘rouille’ means ‘rust’ it is a word that, for various reasons, I do find myself using quite frequently.
Anyway, I digress. As suggested by several of you when I asked for advice on this particular project, I quilted it using wavy lines which I think works well. Somebody said they would look ‘organic’ but, as I didn’t mark anything out apart from the distance between the lines and really just followed my (wonky) eye down the quilt, vaguely trying to echo the line before, I think that might be quite a flattering word for it. I’m going to stick with it anyway.
It appears that one of the advantages of using bands of fabric the width of the quilt means that, when folded lengthwise and placed on a sofa or chair or wherever, you are able to see the full range of fabrics used which is not always the case with more complicated designs.
Persuaded by a friend of mine to start a new quilt together, I have resolved to finish the last bit of hand quilting and add the binding to one I had almost completed but, as I had draped it over a chair in my workroom, it became to look like part of the furniture so I sort of considered it finished. It wasn’t!
So this weekend should see the ‘handbag quilt’, first blogged about an embarrassingly long time ago, completed and then I won’t feel guilty about starting a new one.
Meanwhile, I must remove a dog from a quilt.
No use pretending to be asleep.
I’ve pieced a top using some strips of Liberty fabric that I bought on a visit to the Liberty store a year or so ago. They came in a pack under the ‘Worn and Washed’ label like this.
I’ve made a quilt using Worn and Washed fabrics before. They are good for making quilts you want to look as if they have already had a bit of a life and, when used with cotton batting, and washed to shrink just a little, they can look a bit vintage. Here is one I made with a bundle of those fabrics a few years ago – actually, thinking about it, probably around 11 years ago now, eek!.
Not a great picture – I find it really hard to photograph quilts properly – plus we are having a very grey day today – but you get the idea – it already looks as if my grandmother might have made it (which would make it very old indeed and also very unlikely as my grandmother never sewed a thing in her life as far as I know!)
Anyway, the lady behind Worn and Washed which you can read about here, has a link with Liberty now and you can buy some of her bundles there. Otherwise, for non Liberty bundles, I think it is best to buy from the shows she attends as it is best to see and feel the fabrics which, by their nature, are quite individual.
This is the quilt top I have made with my pack – I’ve kept it very simple to highlight the fabrics and it will be backed with a silvery grey plain cotton. I took it into the fabric shop with me to match it with a plain for the back and the staff were stroking it because it is sooo soft and smooth, being tana lawn and also having had a bit of a wash I suppose. If you click on the photo it will allow you to zoom in a couple of times so you can see the fabrics better. I love the poppies and the sweeties at the bottom.
My question for other quilters is how do you think I should quilt this? I have a roll of Hobbs cotton batting and that needs to be quilted with no more than a 2 inch gap so I won’t be doing it by hand. The back is plain so parallel lines across the width would look boring. Also any bad stitches would be very obvious! I’m not very good with free motion quilting. Would diagonals work? Any ideas?