Monday, 9 April 2012

Sewing with a purpose

As I typed the title for this post I realised it makes it sound like sometimes I don't. Well I always do... but maybe sometimes it's just more important.

I've ad a busy couple of weeks, not least because the schools broke up for Easter so I've been at home with the girls. There are a few other things distracting me at the moment and I'll share more about these when I can.

However, last week saw a new addition to the family, a new nephew. So there wasn't a moment to lose, now that he had safely arrived, a gift was required. Lots of ideas crossed my mind but I settled on a patchwork quilt for the cot. I'd been talking to a friend about quilting in the week and with little sewing taking place for a couple of weeks it was sure to satisfy my cravings!

As I am in a tidying mood at the moment ( we even tackled our garage over the weekend and have the tidiest one you will ever have seen) up-cycling seemed the order of the day. A few of Mr B's work shirts had seen better days and the soft worn cotton is just perfect for quilting with. Don't worry - I did ask first!

Two were picked and I used the sleeve and front panels from both, saving the back panels, buttons and cuffs for another project. One was a lovely pale blue and the other a neat two tone check on a white background.

I chose to make 11cm squares using a 0.5cm seam allowance and worked on a sizing of 70cm x 100cm. I tried to size against some of Niamhs old blankets for guidance.

The downside of up-cycling is that the cutting out takes that bit longer as you're not working with nice square or rectangular pieces of fabric. New fabric is heaven as you can cut strips with much greater ease. However it wasn't long before the rows were forming.

Mr B had taken Niamh swimming so I was able to totally immerse myself in the task at hand and a couple of hours later the top was complete. That's the easy bit!

I found some lovely soft pale blue brushed cotton for the underside which has a small red print on it so I decided to incorporate red in my quilting. Having considered sewing buttons onto the joins (not perhaps the best idea for a baby quilt) I settled upon stitching little red crosses at every join and leaving tied threads on the underside.

So one evening and one film later the quilting was completed. Red binding seemed too strong so a dark blue saved the day.

In a rush to complete for our visit to meet the little chap today I had to rush the final stage with a little error from speed here and there. However I constantly remind myself that perfection does have a place but for some projects the charm is in the handmade bit.

So welcome to the world Leo and I hope this gives you many sweet dreams.


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