How have you all been, readers? It's been busy, busy, busy here. Lots going on at home and lots of quilt commissions to make. Oooh goody. The sunshine has made a welcome return, giving my Instagram pis a bit of a hazy glow.
In between the joyous task of making quilts for other lovely folk, I carved out a rewarding 36 hours or so for a little me-sewing-time. I was seized by the urge to get to grips with my Liberty Tana Lawn stash. Yummy.
I started by separating everything into bundles by colour. I usually try to keep my fabric stash like this anyway but I guess even I must pull something out and shove it back in any old how now and then!
After a couple of hours with the ruler and rotary cutter, I had a lovely Liberty fabric buffet and it was time to refuel with a late breakfast.
I headed upstairs to my quilty den in search of a little hoarded treasure.
I found it. I think you can guess what I had been stockpiling for a few years now. No, I hadn't pinched all of Mr HenHouse's shirts. Ok, I'd kept a few which had gone a little frayed round the collar or cuffs, and the rest had come from charity shops. One thing about living in London, lots of nice work shirts discarded in good condition by city workers!
It took me quite a while to cut those 5" squares from the shirts. Not quite so easy as cutting into a pristine fat quarter. I also cut some vintage sheeting and some modern polka dot and striped cottons to arrive at my desired fabric buffet.
Before too long, I was sticking squares on my design wall and liking what I was seeing.
Time to spend a lovely afternoon piecing away on Jenny Janome. Piecing is pretty much my favourite thing so I was a happy lady. Many of the shirts, if they are good quality ones, are made from fine fabric very similar in feel and weight to the Tana Lawn. Some, and the vintage linens and modern cottons, were a little thicker. It is true that patchworking together different weight fabrics is not as easy as quilting cotton. Tana Lawn can be tricky to sew as it is thin and a little slippery. I find it best to go down a needle size to a number 70 and use a smallish stitch size. I had no problems.
In between, I had pleasure in despatching another pretty quilt to a cat-loving repeat customer in nearby Kent.
Time to head back upstairs once the piecing was competed, and get that quilt top basted. It's not a thrilling job but made much easier working on a table rather than on the floor, and it's soon done whilst listening to the radio.
A finished quilt emerged, within two days of having started.
I'm really pleased with it, if I may say. This colour scheme of soft blues, pinks and aquas is a favourite of mine. I love the old, soft and faded look the used shirts and vintage cottons give. I love the contrast of the prettier than pretty Liberty lawns and the utilitarian stripes and spots. It goes without saying that the Tana Lawn and recycled fabrics feel deliciously soft and tactile. Liberty Lawn quilts are always very lightweight, too. Scrumptious.
I decided to treat myself to a Liberty Lawn backing and headed off to the very shop where I picked out my favourite print, Betsy, in a gorgeous china blue and pretty pink. A polka dot pink poplin binding was the perfect finishing touch. The Liberty Lawn backing is a bit of a nuisance to quilt, it does have a tendency to pucker, but it went well after the first main seams were in place.
Here it lives on my newly upholstered chair. More on that and other generally chair-sy news soon.