Monday, 4 May 2015

Vintage Treasure

Some of us have been taking it easy round here.

Charlie Boy is our only furry friend for now and never a more pampered cat would you meet.  He is eighteen years old now and a little more frail.  We treasure every day with him even if he is driving me slightly bonkers with his extreme food fussiness at the moment!

Meanwhile, I'm finding that early wake-ups are the norm for me with these light filled Spring mornings.  Yesterday, the rest of the HenHouse woke to the smell of freshly baked orange carrot spice muffins. (That's genuine sunshine in that there photo!)

When  we're not outside gardening, which is what mainly seems to be filling our time these days, I have of course, been slotting in a little making time.  It has been out with the ticking...

...and busy busy at Sally Singer.

My quest for textile treasures has continued and been very successful, I'm pleased to say.

Lots of delicious cushions have been emerging from the Den.

Now in my last post, I recapped on some of the trips we've fitted in, including visiting the Vintage Bazaar in Frome, after which we had a wander up Catherine Hill, well known for its vintage shops.  Teresa guessed correctly when I asked you what we might have brought home with us.  Gold star!

For a long time I've been hankering after an old French cot bed or similar to put in the newly decorated guest room and pile up with cushiony quilty heaven.  I pondered trying to turn a modern Ikea daybed the Munchkin had used at the cottage into a substitute but when I spotted the crib that day in Frome, which was my true heart's desire, the deal was done.  

It did not have a mattress but I just happened to have stockpiled some ticking for the very purpose so I set about making one to fit the old cot.  I made a simple bag type cover, using the ticking inside out for a more faded vintage look, placed two old duvets inside for padding and hand stitched the end closed.  I then set about the slightly more tricky task of tufting the mattress which I did with a very long doll needle, strong button thread, some discs of felt and mini rolls of linen.  Et voilĂ !

The cot bed was soon piled with cushions but what self-respecting quilter can have a cot bed without a quilt?  I decided something faded and vintage was in order and a fair few hours ensued, cutting a stack of 3.5" squares from my precious stash.  Every square is different; a charm quilt.

I decided to have fun with this quilt and rather than laying out the blocks first, I set about just randomly sewing them into pairs using my old Featherweight.  I then sewed these into pairs so I had a block of 4 squares.  I did then arrange these out on the floor.

It didn't take me long and the top was pieced, backed and hand quilted simply.  Later in the evening, Charlie Boy and I enjoyed some cosy time on the sofa while I hand stitched the binding which was made of strips from an old French linen sheet.


I backed the little quilt with a vintage French floral sheet.

It looks just right on the old cot bed.

The cot bed has proved perfect for my many cushions.

There's pretty ticking and floral hearts, lovingly hand stitched hexagons and gorgeous tactile old quilt blocks.

I have enjoyed being able to restock my Etsy shop  and there they wait, looking for new homes should you fancy a peek.  

I'll leave you with some freshly picked white bluebells (saying that seems very contradictory?) which the Munchkin found for me in the garden yesterday.  Happy Bank Holiday Monday, folks. Xxx


  1. Your makes are beautiful as always. How nice to see Charlie Boy looking so happy in his new home :) xx

  2. Your cushions are gorgeous! I love all those pretty colours.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. Love the quilt!! Such beautiful fabrics, making a gorgeous patchwork quilt. I like the iron bed, too! I'm a new follower, and enjoying your lovely blog. Greeting from Viriginia, USA!

  4. Your cot looks so warm, cozy and inviting....the absolute perfect place to curl up and read a good book. I'm so impressed that you were able to 'whip-up' not only a beautiful quilt, but the padding, etc. complete with tufts. Wow! You really do beautiful work and your home looks gorgeous.

  5. You use such beautiful, vintage fabrics in your projects, and I was wondering if you get them locally or if you order them from somewhere? Being that I'm here in the States, I don't have access to the same type of markets, unfortunately, but was hoping there may be a place that you also order from? I'm teaching myself to quilt via the internet and would love to make one similar to the one you made in this post. I love everything about it, especially the combination of fabrics.

  6. Love the little crib. Love even more the quilt and pillows!

  7. Beautiful cushions in romantic , pastel colours. I love them.
    The quilt is also very beautiful. Well done to you!

  8. Hi, as usual, everything perfect. You have such an eye for detail. Love the fabrics and the cot bed. Give Charlie Boy a stroke from me. Sharon x

  9. I'd love a vintage cot like this! But I'll have to make do with our ikea day bed, which I'm also going to pile with homemade cushions and a quilt....which will hopefully disguise its origins!

  10. Well, I knew you picked the lovely cot, because I saw your IG, so I kept quiet. Love what you have done with it. I would love to find something similar to pile quilts into!!!
    Your weather is warming! Charlie Boy, he is so fine. I had a cat live to that age as well. His name was Absorbine Jr.
    XO Kris

  11. Oh my goodness! Your cushions and quilts and all that glorious fabric . . . it's like dying and waking up in heaven.
    You are inspiring me to put away my garden tools and spend at least one day this week at the sewing machine.
    I miss it so much, but you know, "all the chores of springtime."
    Happy sewing!
    Connie :)

  12. Wow, it all looks gorgeous put together like that! I'm planning to make some more doll bedding this year for my daughter so I love seeing what you're up to in that general department. Very beautiful work!

  13. The loveliness of this blog and your handiwork is impossible to fully put into words! God has blessed you with amazing talent! It is a genuine pleasure to visit here. :) God bless you, the munchkin, Charlie, and all others in your life.

  14. I knew it was that pretty vintage crib, it looked right up your alley! You've worked magic with it by giving it just the right mattress and pillows. A very charming scene it makes. I actually have an old bentwood baby crib and a store-bought pillow just fit it for a mattress and I bought a baby quilt from a friend and laid it over the pillow, then set my collection of dolls and stuffed animals in it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  15. What a scrumptious post, I loved it! T`hose cushions are mouth-watering, and have prompted me to have a check through my own vintage treasures. I have a craft fair coming up in June - need to get cracking!

  16. Your cushions and quilts are gorgeous mrs hen. Give Charlie boy a big pat from us.
    julie and poppyq

  17. I'm in love with all those beautiful cushions. They are so well made and look fabulous.

  18. Charlie-Boy looks comfortable, hope he has settled well in his new home. Your beautiful patchwork,I love those cushions, off to have a look in your shop. I have just completed a quilt over on my blog. Is there a recipe for the muffins?
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  19. Straight into the etsy shop for me as soon as I've posted this comment. Your cushions are so scrumptious. I have so many ideas for making things for myself but my sewing business is beginning to take off, which is very good, but does mean very little time for anything else. It's handsewing the teddies arms, legs and bodies shut and tacking the meter cases together which takes hours.

  20. LOVE the quilt! It's simply is your cushions, cute little mattress...and well everything you make, really. ;)

  21. Simply Precious! Want to make one now too!

  22. The cot is perfect and I really love the new quilt and all the cushions.

  23. Oh those cushions are just beautiful - and the quilt is fantastic. These combined with that gorgeous crib is just heavenly!! Well done Hen! J9 x

  24. Me encantan los colores, las telas, las fotografias... precioso. Muchas gracias por compartir.

  25. Hi there Hen, just need to thank you for your beautiful blog, it has given me hours of eye candy, giggles and, let's be honest, envy! (But in the nicest way of course!). Love what you are doing with your gorgeous new home and look forward to the next instalment! Kind regards, Diane, Qld Aus

  26. Hen, just need to thank you for your beautiful blog, I have spent hours here over a couple of years now, it is always a real treat! Love what you and Mr Henhouse are doing with your gorgeous new house, certainly looks to be a heavenly part of the world. Especially Loving the little bed with all it's cushions and quilts - basically - love your work! Kind regards, Diane (henhousefangirl) Brisbane, Aus

  27. Goodness didn't realise Charlie Boy was such an old Puss, have you tried him on Lily's Kitchen cat food? Love the cushions and the quilt xxxxxx

  28. Wow Helen....that looks so really have a happy way of making everything so pretty!
    I had a busy bank, cleaning and a bit more cleaning ready for the photoshoot with the magazine the next day!
    It was great fun and I got quite tearful over some if the pictures......especially when they used my grandmas teaset and when Pickle posed beautifully for them in the settle.....if you pop to my blog you can see sweet!
    Have a great week!!

  29. Your cot bed is delightful, as are your cushions and glorious quilt. You really are a whizz with quilts! I suspect Charlie Boy may rather like to snooze on there. I love your header photograph too, so pretty! Love Linda x

  30. Hello, I'm usually a lurker on your blog.
    Just thought you might have tons of pictures to add to this:
    The topic is Vintage Fairs: share your photos and stories.
    Keep up the good work, by the way!

  31. Oh Helen these makes are just so lovely. I love the little tickings grouped together. Your home is really taking shape isn't it.

  32. Hi Mrs Hen. Your quilts and eye for colour are delightful. Can you give details on the ticking fabric - as to what collections they are?
    Many thanks.
    Jan J - South Gippsland, Australia


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