Monday, 2 November 2009


Well hello! Good weekend? Woken up to bright sunshine today too? So far so good then!

It started last week, late on Thursday. Last week was mainly spent trying to catch up with myself given that we'd been away for a week. The Munchy one was at home because it was half term so I was fielding oh so many requests to decide which Lego car was best and I took him and several of his friends out for belated birthday treats which wiped out my Wednesday. So, by Thursday, anything else just had to be pushed aside so that I could just make something, to sit at my trusty sewing machine, get out my favourite fabrics and run something up. Ah, sigh, this is more like it...

I'm drawn to patchwork because it means I don't have to narrow down my choice of which fabrics to use quite so much. This time, it had to be my vintage stash, mainly from shopping chez Donna, and a few bits from here and there. I set off stripping.

What were you thinking? Shame on you lot.

Aren't they yummy?

I mean, would you want to have to chose between that lot? I'm afraid there was a bit of this going on too...

I then needed to chop up my strips into little squares. This soon became rather tedious. That is until I realised I could line up several strips on my cutting mat and if I was very careful when moving the ruler, cut many strips at once. Oh joy. It's the simple things, isn't it?

I recalled that I had a read about an interesting technique on Alicia's blog at Posie Gets Cosy and decided to give that a whirl. You take a large piece of lightweight fusible interfacing, larger than the sum of all your squares together and onto it you lay your mini squares in a patchworky pattern. You then iron them onto the interfacing to keep them in position. I ironed them through one of those handy Teflon sheets to save getting sticky stuff all over the iron. Hate it when that happens.

I then proceeded to butt up each line of squares and sew the seams, as Alicia explains. Et voila!

Sorry the piccies are a bit dark but it was fairly late in the day by this point and as we all know, the nights are really drawing in.

What to do with this oblong of patchy goodness? It had to be a cushion...

As I said, it was evening by the time I finished! Took a lot of willpower not to snuggle up under that eiderdown, I can tell you.

So, this pretty patchy cushion would, I thought, look rather nice on my stall at the Fair (12 days to go, eeek). But I thought I'd take it with me to the cottage and take a few pretty pictures of it in situ first, to share with you, my friends.

Where first? The sofa would seem the natural choice...

Quite nice. Then again, what about the window seat?

Mmmm, pretty good. What about the LLoyd Loom though? In fact, this prompted a little shift about in the sitting room and the cushion had definitely found its perfect spot...

Well, I so enjoyed that little patchworky experience and I had lots of little squares left over that I thought I'd continue with some more patchy prettiness. On a smaller scale though, there were a lot of squares in that little cushion!

I took my resulting sacks off to the cottage to finish off.

So, a set of 9 mini squares, interfacing, velvet ribbon, vintage button, more vintage fabric for the reverse, buckwheat and lavender later and we have some pretty and practical wheat sacks.

The munchkin and I pass a pleasurable half an hour playing "which sack is your favourite" (my just retribution for all those Lego cars)!

At the market in Bridport on Saturday, I picked up this dinky little suitcase, originally for the Munchkin to use at 1940's events but I think I might be borrowing it as a "prop" in the meantime!

I always fancied myself as a travelling sales (wo)man!

So, there you have it, last week's patchyness.

Saturday in Bridport was a joy, I must report. The sun was shining, it was not particularly busy (no need to fight in the car park for once) and the flea market stalls along the street were out in abundance. A picture of the scene would have been good, I now realise, but I'm afraid I was too eager to get mooching! The blue basket was not disappointed...

The charity shops yielded this pretty cake plate for a couple of pounds and the colourful flower-shaped candle.

Some more irresistible china, glassware and a few bits of "silver" made it into the basket.

One stall provided me with this job lot of linen for £2. Thank you, I can re-home that little lot quite nicely! As the sun is shining, it will be out on the line as soon as the machine has finished. There's something so satisfying about washing your thrifted linens and getting them on the line, admiring them fluttering in the breeze, don't you think?

I was particularly taken with this one which shall survive the knife!

Well then, much to get on with my friends so until we meet again...


  1. Oooohhh what a bumper post! Just jam packed with loveliness! I LOVE the quilt cushion, just LOVE it. Does it have to go in the fair, can it not go in your shop so we have a chance of buying it?! Pretty please? And all those embroidered linens, for £2! What a bargain! I know how precious, and how costly all those Donna Flower fabrics are, I so appreciate how difficult you found it to cut them up. I just need to say it again, please can you put it in your shop?!Lots of love, Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  2. Loving the patchwork, what a great idea to iron them on! Can you heat the lavender bags??? I've been waiting to make mayself one for months. I love them & use them all the time. BTW did I email you to thank you for my lavender bag?? I had a panic this morning that I hadn't! I love it & hope to include it in a post today. I'm so busy at the moment getting ready for the fair on Sat. It's only taken me about 15 years to get this far! I never get around to things! I'm thinking of pulling a sickie on the 14th so I can come to the vintage fair..hehehehe!! :) x

  3. Wow, a lovely long post Hen. Gorgeous cushion. What are the Teflon squares please? I hate getting glue all over my iron and do it regularly so anything to help is appreciated. Love the china plate with the laburnam on it. So pretty x

  4. Very pretty Hen :) Have to say I thought you were making a pretty stripy cover for your ironing board when I saw the top photograph, reminds me I have my wooden one yet waiting for me to crack on and make a cover.

    So am I right in thinking none of the cute little squares are sewn together, so you don't sew the squares and then sew the strips together, Ohooo methinks I like the sound of that, I like my machine very much, but am not quite in love with it yet so sounds like a good plan ;)


  5. Very good technique have to say, been looking at Posie Gets Cozy blog and shall definately have a go :)


  6. Lovely patchwork! Seeing the strips on the ironing board like that reminded me that I need a new ironing board cover and how lovely it would be to make a patchwork cover....
    Thanks for such a beautiful
    'eye candy' post. xx

  7. Thank you for reminding me about Alicia's patchwork technique - I read about it originally, and then it clean slipped my mind! My query is the same as Pipany's - what is the Teflon thing? I spoiled my homemade CK ironing board cover by ironing fusibly interfacing and getting the glue over it.

    Your end result is beautiful as always - I am sure you will do very well at the Fair. What is it about Bridport - they seem to have the most amazing bargains there!

    Pomona x

  8. Lovely,lovely cushion,such pretty fabrics too,and I love that eiderdown!!!
    Your house must look so pretty with all your wonderful handmade 'goodies'.


  9. Beautiful. Patchwork really lends itself to your style. I have started on a patchwork blanket (handstitched) and I think I'll still be under it this time next year.

  10. Lovely patchwork,Hen!
    Looking forward to seeing you soon! ;-)

  11. Your patchwork cushion is lovely, the colours and designs are so pretty.I thought they looked great laid out on the ironing board, I thought you were making an ironing board cover but I guess it wouldn't be flat enough. Your haul of vintage linens was a great find, I seem to be stock piling them myself at the moment, I can't seem to resist when I spot them.
    Ann x

  12. Another lovely post. I love the patchwork cushion. More lovely buys from Bridport. All that lovely linen for £2.00 I'm envious!

  13. What a brilliant idea with the iron on interfacing, never would have thought of it! Such a jam packed lovely post, as usual! Suzie. xxx

  14. Thanks for explaining it so well Hen, off to look now if you answered any teflon questions, 2 pretty ironing board covers and 1 iron have been ruined by me not protecting so shall have a little browse to see what you say :)




    I bought my Teflon sheet from Tikki Patchwork. You can find a similar one here:

    It's basically a sheet of Teflon, roughly 24" square, it's an off-white colour and flexible. It can withstand the heat of the iron so is perfect for putting over delicate items such as lace or over applique work.
    Hen x

  16. Some beautiful pictures, lovely crafty things here, yet again. I need to ask a question, so I hope you will read this..... on the gift tags on Vanessa's pressies that you sent recently, and on several other items, I have seen labels, which at first glance look like sewn, but are printed somehow and I am intrigued. Looking at 'gift' on the label, it looked like you had used a John Bull printing set... surely not? A few of us have been debating privately as to how they are done, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and simply ask... thank you.

  17. loving the patchwork cushion, very pretty. xxx Pixie xxx

  18. What wonderful patchwork! I love it - how much are those cutty mat things? I'm hoping to make a patch-work one of these fact I should get my arse into gear and get down to Shepherds Bush market for some fabric this week! xxx

  19. So much to comment on, Hen! The cushion and chair combo is perfect. The 30s plate with the laburnum on is wonderful and seems to be by the same artist as a waterlilies plate I picked up earlier this year. And finally, I say a new 'patchwork'-type technique in a French mag while waiting for 2 hours (scream) at the doctor's this morning! With loads of houswork, though, will I get to try it out? Better stop blogging; I suppose!

  20. Love the cushion,your finds in Bridport where very good,the charity shops near me seem to be getting a bit expensive I think they must be catching on to all this thrifting!

    Sue x

  21. Love what you've done soooooo pretty!!

  22. What a great way to patch and I wouldn't be able to choose from your stash either!looking forward to seeing it at the V and H

  23. With all the different arrangements that can be made with fabric, I do think I like simple squares the best! And the scrappier the better!

    I wish I lived in a flea market type area... love your treasures!

  24. What a lovely post! So full of gorgeous things. I absolutely LOVE buying second-hand linens and gently washing them back to life! Wonderful!

    love, Poppy x

  25. What a lovely post I love the cushion!

  26. A very pretty pillow. I would love to also try that sewing technique. And what lovely finds you brought home from your shopping trip!

  27. Hello Ms*Hen,
    I've been wanting to try Alicia's cushion patchwork technique since she posted it, but still haven't gotten around to doing it. Your cushion is absolutely gorgeous and looks right at home in all of your lovely surroundings. The lucky buyer will be sure to love it.
    I hope you're having a good week, no doubt flat out busy with the upcoming market!
    hooroo for now,
    xo, Kali

  28. Great patchwork. Love the fabric designs.
    Sandie at Rag Rescue

  29. Oooh, all those pretty things! I would find it very dangerous 'trying on' the cushion all round the house as I would want to keep it!

  30. Those fabrics are so gorgeous, and look so yummy together. I love the idea of iron on before you eew. Very clever. x

  31. Hello Hen

    Another post full of gorgeousness, if that's a word? I really like what you have made using Donna's fabrics! I have had another little parcel from her this morning..
    You have done so well in Bridport, what bargains! I love it all, just the kind of things I would have bought.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  32. Thank you so much for pointing us in the direction of Alicia's patchwork technique. I've always been terrified of patchwork ... all those edges to get lined up straight ... aaaahhh! But I gave this method a whirl this afternoon and now I have a lovely patchy cushion. So simple! Lacking any teflon sheets I tried using baking paper to stop the sticky bits getting where they shouldn't and it worked a treat. I'll post some pics of my cushion on my blog when we get some daylight to take photos in!

  33. Yummy - a wonderful, colorful, yummy post ! ! !

  34. I certainly LOVE all this patchy-ness! What a feast for the eyes, really. Mm-mm...


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