Monday, 15 July 2013

Patchy


Goodness me, such a long time has elapsed again.  Let's see what's been going on in the last few weeks?  Well, we no longer have a child attending junior school.  Eeek, as from September, the Munchkin will be a senior school boy.  Times flies, oh yes indeedy.  He was thrilled to see the new garden furniture arrive in a gigantic cardboard box the other day and since, he's been busy building his own den in the garden. I'm so pleased he still wants to spend his time doing this sort of thing and unlike the vast majority of his school mates, is not glued to an iPad/Pod thingy constantly! 

Anyway, crafty business.  Oh yes, a wonderful and very warm Saturday morning was spent at Stag and Bow in the presence of some lovely ladies keen to learn English Paper Piecing.  I gathered together a basket of goodies which I hoped would inspire them; my hexy project and holiday stars quilt, (being works in progress), as well as a completed Liberty cushion, doll quilt and some vintage pieces.  Amazing how much you have once you look.


In the background, the Summer fruits are in abundance so there has been more jamming of the strawberry and elderflower variety.  I do think this is the best jam I've ever made.



Talking of elderflower, Mr HenHouse's efforts in the hedgerows of Somerset did not go unappreciated and the cordial has been bottled and is going down nicely with some fizzy water.  I popped to Lewes on Saturday and my lunch in Bills was accompanied by a glass of "hedgerow fizz" which is sparkling wine (or champagne if you can stretch to it) with a dash of elderflower cordial and a dinky fresh raspberry atop.  That's one I'm going to try at home: delicious.


Back to crafty stuff, after my little lament the other week about finding the balance and getting back to quilting, well I've gone and done it.  Thank you for your kind and inspiring words.  I picked up a project which I had started way back.  I must say, I thought it was in January but having looked at my blog, the only relevant snap I can find is from 4 March.  So I got out my Tana Lawn from Liberty.  Always a delight.


And I found the vintage embroidered cloths which were suitable for salvage, and chopped out the good bits.


I'm not sure quite what I intended exactly when I started this project.  I wanted to combine that beautiful old embroidery with the delicate floweriness of Tana Lawn and some almost utility-type fabrics; spots, stripes, gingham, in free-form blocks.  I was thinking of just making a small throw type thingy, maybe even a table cover.  I recall whiling away my spare hours making blocks like these whilst watching the DVDs of Land Girls until my hands got too cold.

So last week, I got back to it.  I set up my fabric "buffet" on the little steps to the left side of my sewing machine so they'd be easily at hand.


To the left of my machine, I place a cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler on the table.  To the right, I put my spare little old ironing board, low down, and a travel iron.  The perfect work space!  No need to get up until either nature calls or you want a cuppa.


And my blocks are looking something like this.  Simple and pretty.


Someone else who considers there's seldom a reason to get up, especially when you can sunbathe...



As a little breather, and as it's not possible to go too long without baking, I whipped up a quick sponge with homemade jam, of course, to take to jive class.  So many reasons to bake round here.


In between trying to keep striking that balance, the pile of blocks has grown.  I confess, I am a little addicted.  


Phew, time for five minutes rest.  This patchworking is quite hard work!


Not all my blocks are pink, you know.


It's growing, I now have 42 blocks.  How did that happen?! 


Last but not least, there's been time for a well-earned rest at the end of each day, making use of that garden furniture at last.

What better than a homemade quilt to keep your knees warm.


Until next time... Xxx

79 comments:

  1. Your quilt is absolutely adorable. I love the way you have used the patches of embroidered cloths. Can't wait to see the finished article. X

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    1. Thanks so much. I will, of course, show you the finished article but it may be a while! X

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  2. How is the Jiving - I envy you I used to love Jiving. The cake and elderflower drink looks yummy. I love your sewing room. It is nice when young adults find there own thing do and not follow the crowd. My boys had all the games machines etc, (it was Nintendo and Sega then)but actually never played to the extent they were indoors all the time, they were always on their bicycles making there way over the local hills even in the rain! I also banned the games machines from the sitting room too. But don't get me wrong they did play on them but that time between homework and bed - well they got too old for stories.........!
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  3. Wow, it's BEAUTIFUL! Those colours and patterns work so well together! :) x

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  4. That quilt is going to be beautiful, there's some lovely bits of embroidery in there. I can't keep Lottie out of the sun either, but I think even she knows she's had too much now! xx

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  5. Very beautiful spread of log cabin patchwork! You have been a busy nee indeed again- and your cake makes me feel like baking one for tonight...if only I had such a gorgeous garden as yours to have it in!

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  6. Lovely to see a post here today! Always such a lift. And congratulations to the Munchkin as he prepares to start senior school. Those blocks are just so beautiful. Each one is perfect in color,design, and wouldn't a photo of each be a lovely notecard?
    Mary

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    1. That's a nice idea, Mary, to make up gift cards using the images of the blocks. How about wrapping paper with lots of blocks? Not that I would know how to do it. Thank you very much for congratulating the Munchkin. He's having a well earned rest now.
      Hen xxx

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    2. Oh yes, wrapping paper! No idea how to go about that, but for notecards, perhaps an online photography site? Like Shutterfly? I know that they take the uploaded images to create books and cards. I think people would love them. I would. The blocks are just so beautiful!
      Mary

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  7. That is going to become another beautiful quilt !!! And I love the way you arrange your working area !!! :o)!!!!!!

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  8. Wow! I love your blocks!! I have a small stash of vintage embroidery that I hope to make into a quilt someday, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Hi There Hen,I just love the way you organized your workspace!!!Everything's at hand!!!It's very clever the way you've included the embroidered blocks into your quilt!!!Can't wait to see the finished quilt!!!Seems as though it's going along quiet quickly!!!Have a wonderful crafty and happy week!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  10. I am just in love with your quilt blocks. They are fantastic. And I am so jealous of your work space, I want one just like it for myself!

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  11. Love the beautiful colours and patterns in your quilt.
    My little man prefers to be outdoors too, playing cowboys or some other imaginative game that I don't always understand!
    Hope you're enjoying this lovely weather.
    M x
    PS: My mum loved her hanger cover!

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  12. Look at those blocks! So nice to see them build from one to the grand total of forty two - looking forward to seeing them all put together. Do you mean strawberry AND elderflower jam - all mixed together - in the same pot? I think I'm going to google that as it sounds so incredibly Summery. Your balance looks just about perfect to me - you are just where you need to be x Jane

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    1. Hi Jane, the recipe for the jam is in a WI book of preserving, I bought it from a second hand shop for a few pounds. Basically, I just use the regular strawberry jam recipe and at the initial stage when you are cooking the strawberries down, I dangle a bunch of elderflower heads in the strawberry brew. Hope you like it if you make some, I am very impressed.
      Hen x

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  13. What a feast for the eyes. Those blocks are just so beautiful. What a great use of the embroidery. Always a pleasure to drop by here. Hope the Munchkin enjoys his den building.

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  14. Oh I love embroidered goodies and your lap quilt is just divine.

    Hugs,
    Meri

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  15. SIMPLISMENTE LINDO!! BOA SEMANA.VALÉRIA.

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  16. Love what you've done with your salvaged vintage cloth, I love log cabin in any of its forms and this really lifts the whole thing. Beautiful.

    Also loving that the Munchkin is still doing ordinary boy stuff - but be prepared for change as he settles into Big School! It's such a shame sometimes that they have to grow up.

    Lovely post, Hen, lots of lovely colour. Lx

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  17. Oh my goodness, I'm in love again, you blocks are beautiful! What a pleasure as always to visit you, I feel for you regarding Munchkin, they grow up so quickly, I blinked and mine were married with children of their own, who are now grown up too. But, my eldest grandson and partner feel they are settled enough and in a position to become parents so we'll become great grandparents.
    Will you sash the quilt or joint he blocks as they are, as said I love them soooo pretty. Looking forward to seeing this one completed.

    Peg xx

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    1. Hello Peg, that's such wonderful news that you are to become great-grandparents, many congratulations. I am going to just join the blocks as they are, in fact I am ready to start doing that today.
      Hen xxx

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  18. Hello Hen!
    Your patchwork pieces are so beautiful and love all the pretty prints!! And, your jam looks tasty!! Wishing you a crafty and lovely week! xo Heather

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  19. Oh my goodness, I absolutely love your quilt blocks! Love everything about them! Thanks for sharing these beauties with us. A day brightener, indeed. :)

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  20. Oh my goodness, I absolutely love your quilt blocks! Love everything about them! Thanks for sharing these beauties with us. A day brightener, indeed. :)

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  21. Hello! Loving those blocks- and as for the organised workspace- a "buffet of fabric"...what a dream....awesome looking jam, what a colour!

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  22. Hi Hen as always an awesome post, adore your work, it is just stunning. Your cake had me drooling especially with your homemade jam, delicious, if only technology enabled us to sample such delights. Have a wonderful Tuesday
    Lots of love
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxx

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  23. Your quilt is so pretty and coming along nicely. Whenever I read your blog, I feel like I have just visited a friend. Thank you for all the pretties. As for the Jive class. That sounds like so much fun.

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    1. That's a nice thing to say, thank you. I agree that it's the feeling of companionship about blogging which makes it special.
      Hen xxx

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  24. I have just spent a delightful hour or so reading your charming blog, and it has so brightened my day.

    Thank you for taking the time to create and share such a lovely place to be.

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  25. Your quilt is so pretty. I love the addition of the embroidered pieces.

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  26. Wow, wow, wow! I love the look of these blocks, you are so clever to think of using the embroidered pieces as a feature! Just a joy to look at.

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  27. What a pretty stack of fabrics. I just love reading your posts,you have certainly been busy lately. I love the way you have set yourself up at the sewing table. I do something similar with my sewing cabinetTthe sewing machine in front and the overlocker at the side but I sit on my computer chair because it swivels so I just sit on it and turn easily from side to side (good excercise too) Give your beautiful cat a scratch under the chin from me too.
    Hugs Vicki.

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  28. Oh I can see this is going to be another very, very lovely quilt! What a great use of the embroidery. Vintage embroidery like the tablecloths etc. are very difficult to find in the USA. And when one does they are over-priced! We don't have car boot sales here either - I wish we did. Just over-priced antique malls. There are flea-markets but they contain a lot of junk and it takes forever to find something worthwhile. But people sure are savvy here about vintage stuff because the prices are awful! I can afford very little, especially to cut up. Our thrift stores are still a good bet, but pieces are usually small and infrequent. Even then the prices are getting almost too high to make it financially feasible to use. You do such lovely work.

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    1. I didn't realise this sort of embroidered cloth was scarce in America, Robin. I always imagine you have plenty of everything over there! Here they are still extremely abundant. You can pick them up for 50p or £1 at car boot sales if you are lucky but in vintage shops they are more expensive now since vintage became so popular, say from £5 up to £20 or more for really beautiful work. I mainly but them thriftily but I have bought a few which were more expensive, with great workmanship. Interestingly, my two favourites are at opposite ends of the scale, one was 50p from a boot fair and the other £25 from the Country Living Fair.
      Hen x

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    2. From my perspective in America, your country seems to have a lot more embroidery type items then mine. You have that lovely Needlework School, so wish we had one! Embroidery is nearly impossible to sell here also. Your country seems to have many lovely embroidered "paintings" and such - something rarely seen here. Mostly it is cross-stich and more cross-stitch with maybe a bit of needlepoint. Embroidery is just now becoming fashionable to learn and so there is more interest in it and supplies available. Embroidery was bigger in the 50's or so but mostly on pillowcases, sheets and kitchen towels with cutesy animals in aprons and such. Not much like the flower embroidery you use in your lovely quilts. Then cross-stitch took over big time. There was a rage for intricate embroidery with silks on crazy quilt pieces for a number of years - very over the top and expensive because of the sheer amount of work involved. But those don't seem to come up for sale much in my city - maybe more on the east coast.
      There's a European flavor that is very missing from our crafts - hard to describe - Maybe to us it just seems nicer and more romantic if it came from the British Isles or Europe. Since I live on the Pacific side of America nearly everything we get imported is from an Asian country - lovely things but very different from European. Because we have Russian and central European immigrants here in Portland we are now seeing more of their crafts. I'm sure things are very different on the Eastern side of America with it closer proximity to Europe. Still, it's lovely to see your embroider linens.

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  29. Your quilt is looking very lovely already!!! xx

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  30. Hen...that is one stunning beauty of a quilt you are whipping up there!....talk about a whirlwind...!

    doeas this block have a name? (for us non quilters out here...although you are sparking an interest)

    bestest as always....Daisy j x

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    1. Hi LDJ, well not really but it is a variation on a log cabin, I suppose. With log cabin, you start with a central square and then work out, adding to each of the four sides in sequence. There are variations on this such as courthouse steps, where you add the fabrics to two opposing sides of the square, then the following two and so on. I just fancied doing something that was freeform. More recently, I bought a book called Sunday Morning Quilts and they have a similar technique in there which they call a "slab". That just makes me think of chocolate...
      Hen x

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  31. Can I just ask - when you cut into the embroidery what stops the embroidery coming undone? I fancy having a go but not sure about this bit.
    Lynn

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    1. Hi Lynn,
      You don't necessarily cut through the embroidery. If the embroidered motif is the right size, you just cut round it leaving at least 1/4" all round as a seam allowance. No need to worry though if you do into the embroidery as that will be within the seam when you stitch the embroidered patch to another fabric patch. I use a small stitch length on a project like this, say 2 or 2.2 on my Juki. Hope that explains it ok.
      Hen x

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  32. Gorgeous Hen! Just beautiful. I am completely jealous, in the best way, of your liberty stash. I bought some currants the other day. I might try my hand at a jam as well...maybe. :)

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  33. This is going to be a really beautiful quilt, I think I like it so much because of the embroidered pieces, trying very hard not to keep on looking at the cake!

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  34. I do love your quilt, and like Erica above, I am so green with envy at your Liberty fabrics. Where did you get them from? Your work area is so much better organised than mine. You've inspired me, and once I've got rid of the family to their various schools, colleges and work tomorrow, I am going to have a sort out. I need to make some sort of storage for teddy bear eyes and joints.

    The War and Peace Revival is on at Folkestone Race Course from 17th to 21st July, will you be attending? It promises to be absolutely huge as I have been watching them setting up camp from last Sunday, and there are now hundreds of WWII jeeps trundling around Hythe.

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    1. Hi Claire,
      I buy the Tana Lawn from Liberty on Regent Street but now they have made their minimum cut 1/2 metre, that's really not much use for patchworkers who just want bits. So, I have also been able to buy fat quarters at quilt fairs, eg. the Festival of Quilts which is coming up next month. I have bought a couple of scrap packs from KIm of Worn and Washed, in fact that is what I started using in this quilt to get a variety of prints. I have also bought some Tana Lawn recently from ebay but the service was pretty poor: it took a week to arrive, one piece was wrong so I had to email for a replacement and then send the incorrect piece back. She charged me £4.35 for post when the actual cost was £1.20. I hate being ripped off for postage! Sadly no to War and Peace, we would have loved to but Mr HH is bust at work this week and then we are busy at the weekend. Next year..!
      Hen x

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  35. That quilt using embroidered bits is absolutely stunning! You're amazing how many things you get done. We're excited as our daughter and 2 granddaughters arrive for a 10 day visit in a few hours! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  36. Love your little blocks! I too love the lovely florals and I love how you have incorporated the embroidery!

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  37. And you said I tired you out reading about my busyness, ha ha you've been similarly very industrious and it's all looking very good indeed. I spoke to a friend who said she has seven quilts on the go and she's getting distracted by the design of another one in her head. It's all very addictive and worthwhile this thing isn't it.
    Lisa X

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  38. What a gorgeous way to re-use embroideries!! Love it!!

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  39. I have been planning to do the same thing and love what you came up with! How did you decide what size to cut them down to? I love using up these beautiful little pieces that some one lovingly made.

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  40. That's a good question because I have no idea how I decided on the size! I guess to some extent, it's dictated by the embroidery itself and how the embroidered motifs are placed on the cloth. As a guide, the finished block size is 9.5" x 7.25", again, no particular reason, the size just seemed right to me once I'd made a few blocks so that is what I trimmed them to. I varied the size of the embroidered patches as I wanted it to look quite hotchpotch if that makes sense.
    Hen xxx

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  41. The blocks are gorgeous, looking forward to seeing the finished quilt

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  42. I just love your quilts so it's great to watch another one emerging! Look forward to watching the process and enjoying the end result x

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  43. Just started following your blog and love what you do. Absolutely love the use of those old embroidery sheets, something I have thought about doing and it looks great. Also love your sewing space, might have a little envy going on here! xoxo

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  44. Hi Hen,, long time since I popped by......as always...everything loks so lovely...your blog sure makes my day a lot brighter! I'm back on blogger......at long last...been so busy with things....kind of nice to be "home"...love Mel Melxx

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  45. What pretty blocks and jams and all sorts of stuff! Love it all!

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  46. Hi , I love your blog always has nice things here, hugs ...

    http://www.titacarre.com
    http://vitrine.elo7.com.br/titacarre

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  47. What lovely blocks. You must have quite a collection of embroidered pieces.
    Your jam looks yummy too!

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  48. I LOVE those Liberty blocks! I'm new here... I think that I stopped by from Pinterest. I'll be back to see what you're up to next!

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  49. What a lovely idea for using up bits and bobs of embroidery. Next time I'm in the thrift stores, I will keep my eye open. Many thanks for the inspiration.

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  50. hi! i been a long time blog reader and i think i might have seen you at exeter rail station today! I was going to say hi but was a bit scared of coming across as a bit mad especially as I was a fan and wanted to say thanks for inspiring me with your blog!
    :)

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  51. Wow - you are so clever !!! How neat you are too !! I'm super impressed x

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  52. QUE MARAVILLOSO...ES TODO MUY HERMOSO...
    FELICIDADES DESDE CHILE.

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  53. Thats probably one of the nicest looking (soon to be) quilts I've seen in a long time. I love your idea of creating a 'fabric buffet' for yourself to help the process along. And then you pop out to make a cake for a jive class... sounds like a PERFECT way to spend a day to me. :-)

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  54. You make me want to go back to England. I love these post. Thanks for sharing
    Gina
    Grass Valley California

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  55. I'm a new follower after seeing your post on Heartland Quilts. I love this log cabin design with the little embroidered pieces inserted! What is the over all size of the block? I'm going to start making my stash of little embroidered cutout pieces. Love your collection of materials too!

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  56. Hi Hen. Really inspired by incorporating the embroidered patches - I have a stack of them but find them as tablecloths a bit on the dull side - now I want to do this. Can I ask, did you have any problems washing the finished quilt with the differing weights and weaves of fabric? Did you even finish it yet?! Would love to know answer to both. Please email back if you can...BettyWestern

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    1. Sorry I cannot email back as you didn't leave your email address. I haven't finished this quilt yet, it's awaiting hand quilting but I have made other quilts incorporating embroidered patches and they've been fine.
      Hen x

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  57. Thanks for the reply and apologies re email, don't know what happened there!

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  58. Good morning Hen, at least it is here in Illinois, don't know the time difference. After reading Stitchin Therapy's post today, I hurried on over to look at your salvaged embroidery quilt, and after 40 minutes of browsing, decided I had to follow you in some way. I love, love, love everything on your website, and share most of your loves, with the exception of trashy romantic books, because I love thrillers and mystery books. Since I was born in 1936, you can understand why the 40's mean so much to me. I was looking for an e-mail address for you, but didn't find it, so I figured the easiest way is to comment and hope you are able to reply. I am going to follow you on Pinterest, which I love and get your newsletter. My Pinterest pages are mostly filled with sewing, quilting, crocheting and, of course cooking and BAKING! Hope to hear from you soon. lv2bquilting2@comcast.net

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  59. Love your vintage embroidery used in quilts. Do you have to back the embroidery with anything before cutting to keep the stitching from unravelling?

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  60. Is it finished yet? Beautiful!

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  61. Just stumble on your blocks on Pinterest so dropped by to see your post.
    Stunning use of old embroideries there, love, love the result!
    Lyn

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  62. Just come across your pinterest, the quilt is lovely. Did you ever get it finished? Would love to see the end result.

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  63. Hello ...i ran across your blog on Pinterest and its so sweet. i love reading it. i have recently got into quilting myself and absolutely love your fabrics. where do you get them? is it somepoace I can order online from? and how can i hear back from you? by just checking back on the blog? or can you email me? sharon.litty@yaoo.com

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  64. Hello, I love you site, always looking and I have now got some vintage embroidered table clothes. Could you tell me how you made your squares, where did you start with you beautiful fabric. This is a new thing for me so would love any advise.

    Thanks
    Janet

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  65. I love the combination of the embroidery and material in the blocks! Nancy

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