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!