Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Passionate about Patchwork

Hello readers, how are we all this week?  It's pretty chilly here in the West Country but we have been rewarded with some beautiful bright and sunny days.



I've dusted off my Liberty wellies and they have finally been pressed into action rather than being purely ornamental!



Exciting news is that we now have a new friend in our paddock behind the house.  Smartie belongs to a neighbour, he's such a sweet horse and I love looking out and seeing him there.



Indoors, Mr HenHouse has been keeping out of mischief and is working hard, transforming our sitting room.  It's quite a large room and he is a perfectionist so it's all taking some time but will be worth it in the end.  It was a bit of a gloomy day when I took this picture a few weeks ago but it's usually light and bright, and we will have wonderful views from the windows once the room is finished.



The surprising thing is that The Mr has eschewed all offers of help from yours truly.  So I've taken myself off to my Den and set about making some accessories for the new room.



We're going for a soft and light look in this sitting room, sort of English country meets French faded,  so I turned to my stash of vintage fabrics.



I've been collecting these fabrics over the last year or so.  They are not easy to find and shockingly expensive when you do.  None the less, I have little bundles of soft quilt pieces...



Petite stacks of flowery faded linens and cottons...



...and some more colourful ones too, red being a particular favourite.



We have two new sofas for the sitting room so I decided I should get to work on making some cushions.  I had a look through a favourite book from which I made some pretty cushions last Summer, Cushions and Quilts by Jo Colwill of Cowslip Workshops, and settled on a pretty design.  My favourite bit was selecting the twenty-five different vintage fabrics for the patchwork panel on the front.  Once I had piece the front, I was treated to a pleasant few hours hand quilting with perle cottons and added a few old mother of pearl and linen covered buttons from my stash.  I bought  a whole jar of linen covered buttons for £3 from a garage sale in Bridport a while back.  I knew they'd come in handy one day.



It was quite an easy make though I did find the directions for the cushion pad were a bit off. A 12" x 16" cushion pad wasn't big enough and the suggestion to fold an 18" cushion in half didn't seem to work either.  I happily decided I would just chop the top off a large feather cushion pad I already had and re-sew it to the correct size.  Aaarrgghh, feather alert!  Perhaps not my cleverest idea but nothing the hoover couldn't sort out, and in the end, I had the perfectly shaped plump feather pad!  I think I would re-jig the sizes next time so that a standard sized pad will fit nicely.



I used some more of the linen buttons for the side fastening which I think is a pretty finish with the feature fabric strip and an idea I will use again.



I love my cushion!



Finishing this cushion left me in need of a new project and I fancied some hand stitching inspired by a cushion cover made from an old patchwork quilt which I spotted in a Cabbages and Roses book and a similar one on the feed of @flowerpotcottage on Instagram.



I've been obsessively stitching rosettes each morning and evening.



We had a day off and went to the antiques fair at Shepton Mallet where a few treasures and more fabric was found.



I stocked up on some more special fabrics from Sue (Vintage to Victorian).  You may remember in a previous blog post, I mentioned Sue had found a suitcase containing wonderful hand paper pieced blocks from a patchwork quilt along with the fabrics that had been being used to make it.  The papers used in the piecing were taken from old letters and Sue was able to find a date circa 1880.  Because they have been stored out of the light in the suitcase for years, the fabrics and quilt pieces are of incredible museum-worthy quality.



I wonder if you can see from this photograph the condition of the chintz fabric.  It is so stiff it is almost like folded waxed paper and the sheen from the size is still very thick.



I felt they would be perfect to give my latest piece a real vintage (even antique) quality.  I sewed up this block using one of the shirting-style stripes.  Oh my, but it was incredibly hard work to sew that stiff thick fabric.  I have worn a hole in my leather thimble!



I'm very happy with the way this is looking and I am enjoying choosing new fabrics each day.  Soon, I should be ready to sew them together.



Hopefully, we will have the best dressed sofas in the West!

Xxx

32 comments:

  1. What beautiful views from the sitting room windows! And I love the "buttoned" cushion! Can't wait to see the room finish.

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  2. Your room will look so pretty with the quilts and cushions
    Do you get the sun all day.........?
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  3. All your beautiful patchwork makes mew want to start another quilt but I am in 1940's knitting mode at the moment.
    I can not wait to see your new room finished. We have just done up our 1741 cottage so know how much hard work goes in to homes.
    I am really enjoying your beautiful blog.
    Fondly Michelle

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  4. You have made a lovely cushion and beginnings of another. I think a crocheted blanket using hexagons would be nice - done the way you have stitched yours.

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  5. I think the two of you make a great team :) xxx

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  6. Your cushion is so pretty. I can't wait to see the sitting room all finished.

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  7. My goodness these are pretty! Your new sitting room is going to be so charming!

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  8. Your new cushion is so pretty and will look beautiful in your redone room. I love honeycomb quilts but have never had the nerve to try one. Your's is coming along beautifully.

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  9. Your sofas are going to be amazing!! What incredibly beautiful fabrics you have in your stash, so wonderful to work with. I love your new cushion! xx

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  10. Hen, as always, I so admire your wonderful sense of style and marvelous sewing talents. Between you and Mr H, your new home is going to become more and more beautiful.

    Hoping that you will take your camera out for a walk (wearing the stylish wellies, of course) and let us see more of the area where you live. That vista in the first photograph is so lovely, I do want to see more. Yes, it's chilly, so do bundle up with lots of layers.

    xo

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  11. Gorgeous Hen, I can't wait to see it come together! Sarah xo

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  12. I love your cushion, the colours and the style. You live in a beautiful area
    Caz xx

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  13. Your house looks so amazing already, can't wait to see it finished. I love your cushion as well, especially the idea of buttoning it up on the end with those lovely buttons. Those 19th century fabrics are a real find aren't they? Will that be washable when finished? I suppose it will be OK to handwash it. Isn't it nice living in the country? As a child we lived in a tiny little hamlet called Hatherton close to Cannock Chase, and we had wonderful views and nature and animals all the time, and we did appreciate it.

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  14. Absolutely beautiful as always Hen, I do love my visits, how wonderful to have a blank canvas to decorate I love the cushion and the Hexi's I imagine it can get really hard pushing the needle through.
    Looking forward to your reveal

    Hugs Peg xx

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  15. Oooh I do enjoy visiting your world Hen. Particularly love your wellies. Lots of fab fabrics, loving the red fabrics especially. Happy decorating!!

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  16. Hello there ... I am your newest follower ... all the way from New Zealand :-) Just wanted to stop by & say your blog is a most lovely & gorgeous place to visit & I am slowly working my way through some of your older posts. Keep up the great work - just love it all :-) Julie x0x0

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  17. How lovely to have a new friend to look at, I think I'd spend most of the day with him! Loving the cushions, I will get around to making a patchwork cushion one day :( xx

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  18. What fabulous views! Love your wellies :-)

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  19. I love the look of your hexies, makes me want to do a similar quilt. And I can't wait to see the results of your updated lounge.

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  20. Fiquei encantada com o lugar... Amei o cavalo, é lindo!
    Já posso imaginar sua sala decorada com as coisas lindas que você faz! Ficará perfeita!Bjs!

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  21. That new sitting room will be delightful and well used I'm sure! Love your color scheme and new pillow you made! And yes for red from me too!

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  22. Lovely stuff, thank you for sharing!

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  23. Your blog is like falling into a soft old fashioned feather bed. Warm, cozy and comfortable. I love it here :)

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  24. I once did that cut a cushion pad in half thing. Never again!

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  25. The makes look truly lovely xxx

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  26. Oh, my word! I LOVE your blog! So happy to have "met" you today. :)

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  27. Hope things are okay and that you'll be coming back soon. Miss your posts!!

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  28. I especially loved that first view! Your fabrics are so lovely! I liked the empire dresses in the antique fair picture. Were they a postcard? A pattern? Wish I could see them closer. I have enjoyed visiting your blog. I came over from The Painted Quilt.

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  29. I love your cushion. You have inspired me to make one. I love your stash of fabrics. They are so lovely.

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  30. Hello Hen.....gosh you've moved!!
    I have to....I'm now in the Potteries.....in a lovely old Victorian potters house!!!!
    I'm just off to catch up on what else you've been doing......I'm so sorry to read that two of your hairy babies are no longer with us.....Pickle is doing well...though she's been ill and we had to have her to the vets.....but she's well on the mend now.....glad all is sooo good for you.....take care....Mel Mel..xxxx

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