Saturday, May 4, 2013

patched up

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this post - I just wanted to share it! Last weekend we went to see my aunt and uncle who live about an hour south of us. On the way we stopped at this cute old abandoned church. On the gate there were bunches of faded artificial roses. I had to tart the photo up a bit in Pic Monkey, if you haven't tried out this online (free) photo editor do.

This is what I want to show you - my first patchwork quilt. Well I'm not sure that it really qualifies as a quilt as there is no batting or quilting. But there is plenty of patching. I've made it for Miss L as she needed another layer on her bed for winter, instead she's ended up with two layers, as I've backed it with another woollen blanket, so it's quite heavy and very warm.

 It was quite time consuming cutting out the squares of blanket. Wool is quite hard to cut as it moves around on the mat. The squares are 30x30cm, and it's 5 squares across by 6 long, which means it's not quite symmetrical for the pattern. I used five different blankets, and made sure I had enough of the bright pink left to use as the backing.

As I've never done any patchwork before I used Susie from Flowerpress' tutorial for joining the squares together. As these are blankets it made very bulky seams and corners, and I couldn't find any other similar quilts on google, so had to make the rest up! Which was to top stitch, and clip the seams where the joins are, this worked a treat and it made the quilt look much flatter.

 It was a bit tricky getting to the middle squares with my little sewing machine. While visiting my aunty I mentioned I was looking for an overlocker and ta-dah she lent me hers! I've never used one, and it needed rethreading and cleaning. The Teenager was most excited and jumped to the rescue, as he's used the same model at school. So glad he's learnt something useful in Year 8!

So with the overlocker I went right round the edge of both the patchworked and plain blanket before sewing the two together. It was a bit of a tight squeeze to as the backing blanket was slightly too small, so the blanket stitched edge needed unpicking. I gave this task to Miss L who in her exuberance with the unpicker managed to make two small gashes in the blanket! Never mind mum to the rescue, I zigzagged over the area with another piece of blanket underneath, then embroidered her name and 2013 on it. Hopefully an heirloom in the making.

 Everything I used came out of my stash, and prior to that from the op shop. I did use quite a few reels of cotton up, so there are two slightly different colours on the top stitching. So it was upcycling at it's best.
It's the last weekend of the school holidays I should be getting the house tidy and packing bags as we are going to Hanmer Springs tomorrow, and then on to Christchurch, to see Danny Bhoy. If you haven't seen/watched Danny check him out. We all enjoy his dvds, so the kids are a bit miffed they aren't been taken to the show. One of the kids favourites is his skit about the Fruit Police.

Before I cleared the kitchen table I whipped up a wee drawstring pouch to put my camera in with the leftover pink blanket. I even found a patch with a panda doing aerobics for the front!

I'm linking up with My Creative Space and Show & Tell (yes I'm that chuffed with finishing this project!).


  1. I liked the old church and Miss L must be so pleased with her lovely blanket. Your sewing machine makes my singer one look so ancient!
    Hope you have a nice break away.
    Sarah x

  2. fabulous to see a sewing picture finished isnt it! i recovered my sofa this week and love it as well. that first pic is amazing, it looks like a cartoon! x

  3. This is fantastic Sally - blanket is so hard to work with and I admire you persevering and your machine coping! and the little bag - awesome! Thanks for linking up - great to have you along!

  4. Clever use of the old blankets. Lovely colours. Cc

  5. What a beautiful quilt! I love the colors and fabric you chose. It's so pretty - great job!

    PS - Thanks for the tip about our broody (or clucky haha!) hen. We ended up moving Ellie to a separate enclosure today. She kept getting booted off her nest then she wouldn't return, so now she's in a spot all by herself. I think this will work out much better. Thanks for the advice!

  6. Just read this Sally, your blankey patchwork is lovely. I have quite a few old blankets (some of them from your neck of the woods) but I can't bring myself to go near them with a pair of scissors. Silly really, they're just sat there doing nothing.