Sunday, 6 December 2009


Hello people. It's been a busy week for me, this week, December 25th is looming ever closer and for some reason, I've decided to take on a lot of non-Christmas related projects. Hmm, good idea! I've finally managed to finish "stirring up" so the Christmas pudding, cake and mincemeat have been made and we're on our second batch of mince pies. Yummy. I packaged some up yesterday to take for my in-laws.

There's been rather a lot of activity going on in the den. Some things I'm afraid I currently cannot show you as they are intended as gifts. Just a little glimpse then...

My main project is our bedroom which has been over looked really, in the five years we've been here. We picked up a few sample pots a week or so ago but realistically, I don't think we'll be tackling the painting until the New Year.

I have been able to get on with a few more quick and decorative projects, though. Inspired by Beata and her gorgeous edgings and cushions, and the marvellous book Crochet Adorned (remember I blogged about that), I took up a trusty felted blanket, some gorgeous Louisa Harding "Thistle" yarn and came up with this beauty...

The edging is from "Crochet Adorned".

I closed the back with some toning buttons and I find the effect quite amusing, sort of like a face!

So our bed is looking quite cosy today. As you can see, the wall behind the bed is less than attractive! We had a doorway to an en suite blocked up a while ago but we will finally deal with that when we get round to the painting.

I must tackle the headboard though as in those five years, my vision for this room has changed a bit. It's all going softer and a bit more vintagey. I think I will make a cover for the headboard from a vintage woollen blanket in a more colourful shade.

Did you spot the pillowcases? I got the idea to crochet the edging from Beata and you can see the fabulous ones she has made on her blog (she also has some for sale).

The rosey pillowcases came in a bedding set from the ever-dependable TK Maxx. I used the sheet to make curtains for the sitting room at the cottage and the pillowcases have been waiting patiently for their day of glory.

The edging has been crocheted in a Patons bamboo yarn (which I loathe as it splits dreadfully) and took me a few hours in front of the box last night. Thank you for the idea, Beata.

On to my other project and it's a biggie. I've always shyed away from a full-on patchwork quilt because I really prefer smaller projects, ones I can generally complete in a day. But for whatever reason, I finally decided I would take the plunge. I spent a whole two days cutting out 5" squares, 256 of them to be precise.

I laid them out on my spare room bed, it took me ages to place them all. They are a mix of vintage, vintage-inspired, modern Kaffe Fasset prints, Liberty tana lawns and vintage embroidered cloths.

It's really just a big hotch potch of all my favourite fabrics. Here it is, draped over the ironing board, the rows I have patched together so far.

Would you like to see some of my favourite patches?

I bought the green/white/rosey checked fabric (in the centre, below) from Donna and it is one of my most favourites. Thank you, Donna, she specifically pointed it out to me as she knew I would love it and I REALLY do!

I also love the central fabric below. This came from a scrap bag from Donna. I only had enough to cut four patches. Looks like eiderdown fabric to me. Scrumptious, truly!

Well, that's it my friends. There'll be more joining of squares next week. I've ordered the backing, a simple cotton flannel for guaranteed cosiness, and some bright, vintage-inspired fabric for the binding. I'm a bit scared of the quilting and binding though, so I might need you to hold my hand, please!


  1. The quilt will be fantastic when it's finished,can't wait to see it.


  2. Hello Hen'
    One day I hope to be a able to crochet edgings but I've only just got my head around the basic crochet stitch and I still can't get my tension right, but I won't give up!
    Love the patchwork quilt, you really have picked some gorgeous fabrics!I'm still working on a patchwork hexy quilt for my niece, I started it before she was born, she's 18 months old now and I've still got quite a way to go!
    Good Luck with yours!
    Rachel x

  3. Wow! Love your fabric choices for your quilt. It looks scrumptious enough to eat! Can't wait to see it all put together.

  4. Well Hen, for a hotchpotch, it certainly looks rather gorgeous to me! Lovely combination of colours and I love adding vintage embroidery in with it, it always looks great! I would make a cover for the headboard too, why waste it! suzie. xxx

  5. I sqeaked with joy when I saw your felted heart pillow. I was inspired as well - I snatched up 3 wool sweaters from a thrift store yesterday, and I hope to get at least one done by Valentine's Day!

  6. Well done for tackling your first full size quilt, it can be daunting at first but once you've taken the plunge there'll be no stopping you.
    Happy quilting

  7. It looks lovely - and well done for cutting it out in only two days. I started cutting out a quilt last January, and I have only a few squares to show for it yet!

    Pomona x

  8. Your quilt is going to be lovely,Hen!
    I saw Beata's blog and those gorgeous pillow cases...must hunt down a TK Max...think there's one in Torquay!
    Enjoy all your Christmas preparations!

  9. Suich pretty rooms Hen, I love the patchwork, so beautiful, the mix of the lovely vintage ones together with the modern prints looks amazing!
    Have a good week...x

  10. Your quilt is going to be absolutely gorgeous! I love all the vintage fabrics but most of all love all the little squares of embroidery tucked in here and there.

  11. Pretty projects Hen; way to go!
    I just made a throw-sized quilt using 5 inch squares as well. I machine quilted it (in the ditch) and it came out alright. It's my first one, so there is definitely room for improvement, but you have to start somewhere! I am happy with it though, and I have it out for snuggling under. I am now waiting for Santa to bring me some fabric for my next quilt...
    Good luck!

  12. That quilt will look fantastic. Once you have made one there will be no stopping you.

  13. The felt crochet trimmed pillow is gorgeous...and your room looks so cozy...
    That chandelier
    (or is it windchimes) is fabulous!

  14. I really want to make a patchwork quilt myself but haven't quite got the nerve up to attempt it. I think its the thought of cutting out all those squares!

    Loving the crochet. That's on my "to learn" list for the New Year!

    B :)

  15. It's all looking pretty good - you've been so busy! Love everything especially the pink edging on the pillowcases and the colours of the blankets you dyed - can't wait to see what you have been doing with them. You've plunged well off the deep end with your quilt and it's looking amazing. Never done one my self but absolutely love them - your colours and fabrics are beautiful. If you are going to quilt by machine then I understand that you need a walking foot which helps guide the layers of fabric through evenly - otherwise it can get a bit messy and the fabric can pucker and the stitches tangle. You can stitch in the ditch which I think is along the lines of the seams, a bit of a distance away from the seams or in some kind of pattern - making one up or you can get quilting patterns. Whichever way you do it it will be done beautifully I know and look good - because everything you make always does!

  16. Washed my hand, all ready for holding! I'm sure you won't need it though. That quilt looks gorgeous.
    Little tip, if you're going to quilt on the sewing machine, pin all 3 layers together with 1inch safety pins. Start quilting from the centre and roll the rest of the quilt using bicycle clips to hold it in its roll.

    Happy quilting. x

  17. LOVE the heart cushion...and your ideas for the bedroom.Patchwork quilt is gorgeous!


  18. I love the heart cushion. I am new to crochet and would love to try some trimming one day.

  19. The quilt is going to be lovely and taking on the quilting will be a big job. I'm nearly finished my first quilt but I am going to have it profesionally quilted. I know I'm too faint hearted to do the quilting myself.
    Keep up the good work!

  20. Your crochet cushion is scrumptious and your mince pies look to die for!!!!!! x

  21. Hello Hen,

    Before I get to that quilt, I want to say how much I would like to sample some of those mince pies!

    Baking takes a back seat in my world, yet I so love to bake. You are helping to inspire me beyond my annual brown sugar cookies (star shapes, and sprinkled with red/green sugar.)

    Definitely will be buying butter, sugar, vanilla, etc this week.

    Now, that quilt will be lovely, and you are always very good with all your color balances. Great to lay out the squares in advance and check how all those squares get along with each other. Looks like true harmony to my eye.


  22. I started a quilt years ago, just need to get it finished along with my crochet blanket! Yours looks beautiful & will be worth the effort. Love the cushion, I'm thinking about getting that book after seeing your post...... is it easy to work out?? :) x

  23. Hi Hen, sorry havent been in touch its mad up here with work and the fair next week. I love the quilt it looks fab, I think you have got the worst over, I did one by hand years ago before we got married...never again...thats what sewsing machines are for...I am sure it will be lovely everything you make always H

  24. Just delicious fabrics!! You are brave to start a big project like that, just before Christmas!!

  25. Hi Hen,

    Love the crocheted edgings! I have a few books with ideas like that but haven't had the chance to give it a go yet. I have a Rowan crochet book that has some fab edging patterns - but I can't remember what it's specific name is, and I have packed it to move now! D'oh!

    Love the quilt so far, you are very brave taking that on. My rotary cutter ad I would be quaking at the prospect of such a large project! It looks fantastic already, I can't wait to see it finished!

    Rose XXX

  26. Ooh Hen, so much to comment on so I will try for once to be brief! Firstly I am with you on homemade mince pies, but you have inspired me to wrap some up for gifts as your look so lovely.

    The quilt looks great too, but I want to know how on earth you get a double quilt through the machine without having one of those with an extra long arm? It is the only thing that has put me off attewmpting such a large one, but I will watch yours with great anticipation.

    Thank you for all the lovely links too (though I am already putting fof work as much as is humanly possible!). Have a great day hen x

  27. Hello Hen, just popped over from Pomona's blog to see what you're doing. I must say you are very brave attempting your quilt and such a big one too. I will pop back again to see how it's coming along and you never know, I may be tempted to try one myself!

  28. Wowzers lady, you have been super busy yet again!! Lovely mince pies, beautiful edged pillowcases and to-die-for quilt!!! You are going to love that quilt for many many years to come believe me. I have a similar sized one that I have not yet quilted, or bound, or backed come to think of it, it's just a quilt top and makes for a very useful stall tablecloth hahaha. One day I will finish it and snuggle underneath.

  29. paintdropskeepfalling7 December 2009 at 16:51

    Lovely quilt top! There's a really good tutorial for binding a quilt on Heather Bailey's blog.

  30. Ooooohhhh what a treat that quilt will be for people who come to stay!And I like you Hen, have gone the vintage way in the last five years. There was a short period when I had a break from all things Cath K, but now I'm back on track. Those edgings really add a bit of 'just so' to those cushions and pillow cases, don't they? Yum yum. Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  31. Hi Hen,
    Love that patchwork bed cover! Great job on that. Simply yummy! How on earth do you match the seams so accurately?!! I always go nuts when I try and do that. They go all wonky on me and every time I have to take out my seam-ripper! Aaarrgghh.


  32. I love the crocheted edging, it looks great.

    Your patchwork quilt looks great too.

    Victoria xx

  33. i love your cushion and pillow cases that book is on my christmas list! fingers crossed, your mince pies look yummy too!
    fliss xx

  34. I love the quilt...and the pillow, and the pies. :) Besides grandmother's flower garden, a simple square patch quilt is my absolute favorite! The basting, quilting and binding is also my least favorite of steps. Good luck! :)

  35. I love your pretty edging and your quilt is GORGEOUS. Well done. You are SOOOO clever.
    Rachael XX

  36. I love the rosy colored crochet thread on your pillowcases! I am going to have to teach myself how to crochet one of these days. Your quilt looks so pretty! I like the embroidered squares that you have incorporated in it. I collect embroidered pillowcases and tableclothes, so those caught my eye right away!

  37. Three words for the quilt, lot's of basting! Oh, two more... absolutely beautiful!
    I love the pillow case. Funny, cause I just saw Beata's before yours. I really, really love the heart pillow. That colour combination is just perfect.
    Thank you for a great post. I'm invigorated!

  38. oh hen!
    your raw talent when it comes to sewing and crocheting puts me to shame,i am having to enlist the help of others to make creations for my home..
    if there are any tips to give someone who is completely lacking in even the most basic sewing machine/crocheting skills please do share.i (and my family) will be truly appreciative

  39. I love your quilt and am really impressed on your single minded progress! I have one in my WiP pile for ages (at least a year and a half by now). I also hate not being able to post about Christmas presents before people get them. I found out this morning that my dad received the batch I sent home and I've scheduled posts for after Christmas about them :) Which isn't a bad thing as I won't have internet access for a while then too!


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