So we're getting cosy today but perhaps in a way different from what you were envisaging. This isn't going to be another of the plentiful posts abounding in blogland at the moment about Autumn because I don't want to accept that the Summer is over. I lurrrve Summer and to be fair, we've had great weather in London this week so to me, it's still Summer. Yes, resolutely.
Do you recall my trip to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC a few weeks back? I treated myself to a few books, one of them was "Quilting in no Time" which is seriously the most divinely beautiful eye candy. The settings for the photos are to-die-for and the fabrics used in the projects are right up my street. I find so many quilting books very old fashioned, not so this one. Herewith, a few eye candy pages for you...
So, all my little jobs over for the week, I was finally able to just make something, just because I wanted to, just to enjoy myself. So I turned to Quilting in no Time and selected the tea cosy project.
Here I am, having patchworked the front panel together. It was evening by this time, hence the rather "dusky" setting. I probably shouldn't have started sewing something so late in the day but after our time away in the country, I was gagging to get at the stash and the machine!
I chose to use the reproduction 1930's fabrics which I bought at Tikki Patchwork and at the Quilt Festival, I really do love these and have been itching to make something with them. I like to take a photo of the patchworked fabric before I chop it up, it always looks so lovely even before it is made up.
Beware! This is not at all a difficult project, in fact I hadn't realised making tea cosies was so easy, but I discovered that the smaller the squares are that you patchwork together (these are 2 and 3/4 ") the more difficult it is to get them to line up properly and the more obvious it is if they don't line up properly! I cut my squares out using a ruler and rotary cutter which is not only easier and quicker but tends to make your pieces more accurate so I would suggest doing that if you have the tools, rather than cutting a paper pattern as the book suggests.
Rather than using bobble trim round the top edge of the tea cosy, I opted for some large ricrac, I just personally think it looks better (also easier to sew!) I would also suggest cutting your lining slightly smaller than the outer tea cosy pieces. This ensures the lining fits cosily inside although it takes a bit more manoeuvring when you fit the outer tea cosy inside the lining to sew them together. I always do this for bags too, otherwise the lining is too big and doesn't sit nicely inside.
One other thing about this book which I'm afraid annoys me. All the pattern pieces, which are at the back of the book, are very small and all need to be enlarged on a photocopier. I do wish they had included full size pattern pieces, given that most of them are quite small, I think they could have included them full size if they had put a few more pages in the book. I'd gladly have paid a few pounds extra on the book price for the convenience. Lacking a photocopier on hand as I do, I used a vintage linen tea cosy I had here as a guide and drafted my own pattern piece. Just a warning if you buy this book.
So, I made not one tea cosy but two as I wanted to make something for my sister. I finished the second one this morning and after I had sat at my table sewing all the little buttons on, I encountered a problem. It seems a furry friend had taken a liking to the tea cosy!
Get off, Charles! Cosy doesn't mean you are supposed to make yourself cosy on it! Purrrrrr, umm, lovely and comfy, says Charlie-Boy.
Meanwhile, I'll show you a little something I made as a gift for friends of ours who have recently had a baby. I used a picture from an old soft toys sewing book I have to make this pig. It feels lovely as it has very soft stuffing inside and a fleecy flanelette outer so hopefully baby will like it. I would have put little buttons where the straps of his braces meet the trousers but that wouldn't have been safe for a young baby. Just shows how health and safety has moved on since the '70's!
Ah, Charlie boy has kindly vacated the tea cosy. Anyone ready for tea then? Shall we go into the parlour, as my nan would say.
Here's the tea cosy I made for my sister. I put little buttons onto this one.
Actually, most of what you can see in this photo has been thrifted. The table cost £2 from a boot sale; the little glass for the flowers, the book and the traycloth and china were thrifted at various times too.
Do you like the teacup and saucer? I found a pair of them (with sideplates) last week on one of our outings in the West Country. They are intended to be teacup candles but I've grown quite fond of them...
And did you spot the traycloth? I bought that last week too. The embroidery is beautiful. I find lots of embroidered linen with flowers on and even crinoline ladies but images of cottages are much more difficult to find. Sadly, it has a hole so I think I shall be taking the scissors to it!
For the other tea cosy, I decided to add a few crocheted flowers to the front rather than buttons. Now that I've made the one with buttons though, I think I prefer that one so I may yet change it!
My gift is all packaged up and ready to go...
Happy weekend everyone and if you might excuse me, I think I spotted some tiffin in those photos that needs eating!