Posts Tagged Lily’s Quilts

Spring Has Sprung

Printemps TileTo celebrate all things greening up, I got this  handpainted roof tile from my friend Jan which she has done in the style of Alphonse Mucha.  I put it up on my terrace and the blue matches the window shutters so ‘le printemps’ has officially started in my garden now.

Because of the Great British Sewing Bee programme – the final is tonight and my money’s on Lauren although Ann is soooo talented too – my daughter has shown an interest in dressmaking which I am trying to encourage.  I found this easy peasy skirt tutorial over on Lily’s Quilts.  Being a quilter, first and foremost, Lynne has devised this pattern which only uses those implements beloved of  quilters and patchworkers everywhere, the rotary cutter, mat and quilter’s ruler – so I thought I’d give it a try.  Madamoiselle Tialys loved the Echino fabric ‘Buck’ that Lynne used so I ordered some in pink.

Quilters Skirt

I might put a bit of ‘ease’ in it next time as it does work out very body hugging but I think it looks quite cool and she is chuffed to bits with it.

Quilters Skirts (2)

(I think this is what the U.S. queen of posing – Tyra Banks – calls the ‘booty tooch’  – I blame satellite T.V.)

Of course, she is finishing Uni for the summer in another six weeks or so and it won’t be worth installing a sewing machine in her flat until the next academic year but, when she comes home for the holidays, I will try some more patterns with her and keep up the momentum.

I made a ‘rough’ copy first for myself, just to try the pattern out, but it actually worked out quite well so I might as well wear it.

Quilters Skirts (1)

The trouble is, I made it out of the same Ikea fabric I covered my kitchen stools with and, because I know this, I probably won’t feel right wearing it out and about.  However, it will be great for just hanging out at home during the summer months.  If you want to have a look at the tutorial I followed, you can find it here.

Do you remember I was going to make some hot cross buns à la Paul Hollywood.  Well, I did and they turned out good enough to photograph as well as to eat.  The problem was, I followed the recipe in the T.V. Listings guide which was not exactly the same as the method or ingredients  he used in the actual programme.  So, at one time, I was a bit worried the dough wasn’t going to rise.  Also, by the time they were ready to go in the oven I had to leave to pick Mlle Tialys the elder up from the airport so I had to leave the cross application and baking to Mr. T.  They were rather gorgeous if I say so myself and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to shop bought ones now.  I think the apple he uses definitely makes them softer even though I was a bit panicked about the amount of apple when I was mixing the dough.

My HotCrossBuns 2013

Flushed with success, I made some scones too – here displayed on one of my vintage cake stands before they were demolished.


Two new addictions I have are retro 1930s, 1940s design fabric and hexagons.  I bought some pre-cut fabric hexagons and some pre-cut cards for paper piecing and now I have something portable to sew that I can take downstairs and do whilst chatting with the family, watching t.v., etc. which makes a change from closeting myself upstairs in my workroom when I am sewing anything.  This has taken the place of crochet roses which, sadly, do not seem to be multiplying and are lying sadly neglected somewhere – I can’t even remember where I’ve put them.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with all these hexies when I’ve finished but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

fabric hexagons

Somebody asked me to make one of my throws with a patchwork top using Liberty tana lawns and, although I don’t usually do this as there is too much work involved in patchwork to recoup the hours spent in making one, in my opinion, I agreed this time as it has no batting and I very simply hand-tied it so it wasn’t too arduous.   I think it turned out quite well but, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with lovely Liberty.Liberty Patchwork (1)

I’m very excited because there are two ‘births’ on the horizon and I love making a quilt for a baby – a good, manageable size!  One will be in the summer and the father is a friend of Mr. Tialys mostly but I went to their wedding and I need no further excuse.  The other will be in October and the future mum is my goddaughter, Hannah, so I am very excited about that and am waiting for her next scan to see if she reveals ‘girl or boy’ before I choose the fabrics.

Mr. T has also been busy and in his own version of my ‘excuses not to do the housework’ which I call ‘excuses not to clear out the shed’ he decided to build a pond in our garden to encourage toads and wildlife.  This was no mean feat as our garden consists mostly of a very steep, occasionally terraced, stony terrain with lots of bedrock.  Still, I think he has done a good job and, when it is planted up will be lovely to sit by in the summer once the fig tree is in leaf and shades it a little and the solar powered waterfall is making the lovely trickly water sound.  I can just see myself dozing by the side of it whilst pretending to read a book.

DSC_0020We have put a few small fish in there who, after the first 5 minutes, have never been seen again.  This may have something to do with the fact that, as soon as one of our dogs saw the pond, he thought it must be his personal bathing spot and plunged in.  We might have to think about a small barrier…..

TazTaz.  I know he’s plain but we love him still.


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Made It, Making It, Going to Make It

tweeddressI think I told you, back in the mists of time that was 2012, I was having a dabble in a bit of dressmaking after a long time doing other things.  Well, I bought a pattern (Simplicity 2648) and some vintage tweedy stuff (it smelt and I had to wash it twice!) and I enlisted the help of my friend Sandra who is always making clothes and, anyway, has an overlocker.  I apologise for the photos but Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder is away at Uni and I had to model it myself and, as you can see, I am shy.

I was fairly pleased with how it turned out and I might even wear it in public.  I think I will use the pattern again to make another for the spring in less wintry (and smelly) fabric.  I used the rare occasion of allowing myself to be photographed to show you my gorgeous leather bag that I picked up in a flea market recently, intending to put it in my vintage shop.   Even though I don’t have that much occasion these days to carry anything resembling an ‘officey’ type bag (made up word!), it is the perfect size for an iPad, a couple of documents, a book, a wallet and a phone which came in handy when I had to go to Toulouse for an appointment the other day so perhaps I will keep it for myself after all.

Leather Satchel

I have been pondering on new things to make for my handmade shop as, although I love those  Bunny Bentos, they are a bit fiddly to make and I am getting bored with some of the other items as I’ve been making them for a few years now.  I was lucky enough to find a range of lovely Liberty Tana Lawn locally and, although the price in euros is not particularly cheap, at least there were no shipping costs.  I always feel a little guilty cutting up  Liberty fabric too small so, this time, I’ve gone in the other direction and kept it in one big piece, backed it with soft, cosy stuff, ‘quilted’ it together in a minimalist fashion and made a lap quilt, throw, baby blanket, whatever.  It’s a nice way to showcase the fabric I think and, of course, it feels lovely and buttery soft and silky on one side because of the tana lawn and cosy and cuddly on the other because of the towelling or flannel (I’m experimenting with both at the moment).

peachpaisleycuddleup (1)


I’ve free motion quilted (new verb!) some bird shapes on the second blanket but I used an erasable marker to transfer the shape and, I must say, it is taking a remarkably long time to disappear so I am hoping it will go soon, or at least after I’ve washed it, because I am panicking just a bit.

I went through a phase recently of throwing those retro crochet blankets over arms of chairs and backs of sofas.  I am ashamed to admit I bought them rather than made them myself as I don’t crochet much – although I am going to re-teach myself soon – and they seem to sell for ridiculously cheap amounts of money considering the work that goes into them.  However, they are a magnet for cat hair and, as anybody with cats will know, those buggers are incredibly difficult to get rid of once they are in the weave.  I can never understand why they sell dog and cat blankets made from polar fleece either – same thing happens and those hairs are there for life, even after being put through the washing machine.    So, I started thinking lately that I might make a throw from good old cotton fabric and, rather than keep it upstairs away from all fur babies as I normally do, I will sacrifice it to my lounge and I am sure it will stand up much better to the occasional sleeping cat as, surely, the smoother cotton surface will be less attractive both to the hair and maybe even to the cat!

Relaxed CatHenry – Wearing His Superman Pants and Getting Hairs Into the Weave

I was thinking of something simple but then this caught my eye on the Moda Bake Shop site and it would be a perfect match for my colour scheme and look brilliant over the back of my leather sofa (even though it’s described as a wall hanging) so, after foraging on Ebay U.S. for the exact same fabric, I will start collecting newspapers and embark upon a paper pieced, patriotic, luxury cat blanket.


I could have gone for different colours but this one suits me fine and I want to follow that tutorial to the letter and I feel that having the exact same fabric will make it somehow a little easier!  Maybe I should get my Mum to send me a copy of the Daily Mail too so that I can follow it even more slavishly.  This tutorial was put on the Moda site by Lynne at Lily’s Quilts and, when I popped over to have a look at her blog I found lots of things to slaver over and also interesting things to read so I’m a new follower.

And no, I haven’t finished Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger’s 18th birthday quilt yet but the fabric for the Union Jack  is coming from the States so it will take a couple of weeks and, anyway I have 32 days, including today, to work on it – it’ll be a doddle!

By the way, on the vintage side of things, did I show you this wasp waisted beauty? She’s missing her stand but still a bit gorgeous.

I wondered whether she was original at first but, the wood underneath the base is very old and the découpage is a bit ‘off’ in some places which wouldn’t be there if it were a repro.  However, I do believe somebody has varnished it at some stage, presumably to preserve it better which is why it has that shine in my photo.  The date, as proclaimed just under the right armpit, is 1898. when they obviously didn’t eat anything or waists were sucked in to the size of my thigh with a corset.

Decoupaged French Mannequin

I’ve been a bit ‘diverse’ in this post but haven’t written anything for such a long time that I got carried away.

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