A Reverse Applique Waistcoat

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Reverse Applique Waistcoat

I made this waistcoat for my husband several years ago and never blogged it. No idea why.  I’m writing about it now because the quilt group I belong to, Welsh Heritage Quilters,  are putting on an exhibition 26th March – 9th April (Minerva Centre, Llanidloes) and I thought I’d show this.

The top is made of stretch velvet stabilised with interfacing. The underneath layer is silk taffeta. I beaded with glass beads and the machine threads are a mixture of variegated threads from cheap to expensive – silk to manmade.

Does he wear it? Yes, for several New Year parties or anything else where bling is an option.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

Rubbish? Another Quilt

Sweetie quiltAnother crazy quilt.

Raw materialsThese were the main raw materials. Anyone else think plastic shiney sweet wrappers are a terrible waste but very seductive?  I collected them over Christmas and sewed them to a piece of donated fabric – not fabric I could have used for anything visible.

Close upClose up of quilting & binding.  The binding was made from strips from a pair of lace tights I tore when I put them on on New Year’s Eve. I found it quite tricky to attach the strips because of the stretchiness but at least it went around corners easily.

Sweetie paper quilt

Happy New Year to all of you! xxx

Crazy but not Victorian

Crazy quilt21st century crazy quilt – machine made

As you probably know by now, I’m very interested in historic quilting. I’ve often looked at Victorian crazy quilts and wondered whether to try a version. All the embroidery on the nineteenth century versions is a bit too ornate for my taste but I figured I could still use the principles to make a quilt.

Inside my head I saw autumn leaves in a maze. I didn’t put anything down on paper for once, just started to see where it went.

I made it from cotton scraps rather than the traditional silk and I did everything by machine. The “embroidery” is zigzag stitch using variegated silk thread.

It’s a stash bust too – I used only fabrics and threads I already had.There’s something very satisfying in making something out of nothing. You might want to take a look at  Vix’s inspiring take on this topic.

Do you like making something with just what you have already?  It would be lovely to see what you’ve made.

I have just seen Loulou’s gift decorations from coffee filters. I think you might like them.

An exciting week!

I’m going to give a historic quilting workshop at the Weald & Downland Museum in May. Victorian & medieval to try & lots of other sorts to examine.  I’m in the brochure & I’m so excited….

The latest quiltThe latest Victorian style Weald & Downland Museum quilt.

Tumbling blocksMy own Tumbling Blocks – grown much bigger since this was taken.

And a new skirt…

New skirtNew skirt (and Gus!)

The fabric is very felt like and I bought it from the Turkish Market in Berlin.  I used the same pattern as the patchwork skirt I made in the summer. I love the way it’s cut on the bias.

Patchwork SkirtIt was hard to find interesting  fabric in Berlin – I should have asked people for tips before I went.

New skirtIt’s also a bit of a stash bust – the lining came from a bag of fabric given to me by a friend ages ago.

New skirtHeading off to the supermarket

New skirtPurple coat and pink skirt are me-made, boots from green shoes, denim jacket from charity shop and blouse from car boot sale.

The blouse is lovely but it crumples like a rag after a really short time. I’m thinking of using a bit of spray starch. Or does anyone have a better idea, please?

Happy Weekend! xxx

Old jeans Reused: How to make the bag (Part 1)

Lots of you wanted a how-to for the jeans bag, so this is it.  Part 1 is how to make the fabric.

Below is the finished bag. I bought nothing new to make it so it definitely counts as a stash bust.

Please leave a comment if you don’t understand any of the instructions and I’ll try to explain as soon as possible so that you can get started.

finished bag

Finished!Close up

To make it you will need:

The legs from a pair of jeans,

2 pieces of backing fabric eg. curtain lining – this acts as a support. It will be hidden by the bag lining.

2 pieces of coloured fabric (patterns are best but you can piece different fabrics to get a patterned effect),

fabric

a jeans or other heavy duty sewing machine needle, various threads for sewing the bag and lining and some bolder thread for the zigzags eg. quilting cotton.

2 pieces of firm fabric for the lining & an extra piece for the handle.

WARNING: DO NOT CUT YOUR FABRICS YET

The size of the fabric depends on the size of the legs of your jeans. I started with pieces approximately 16ins x 20ins. My handle was about 43 ins long and 3.5 ins wide.

Let’s start:

cutting the jeans1. Cut the legs off your jeans and cut away the side seams which are NOT topstitched.

fabric

Jeans fabric with side seams cut away. Note top stitched seam in the centre.

2. Cut the jeans fabric to bag size (see sizes above). Of course, your bag can be any size you like.

3. Cut your curtain lining and coloured fabric to the same size as the jeans fabric (see fabric requirements above).

FabricI used a piece of quilting cotton and some dressmaking leftovers from the 1990s which had to be pieced together to make the correct size.

4. Place a bag size piece of the curtain lining on the table, place the brightly coloured fabric face up on top of it, place jeans fabric on top (also face up).  You should have 3 layers.  Align the edges and tack together around the edges. This is called a sandwich!

SandwichShows all the layers of the sandwich.

The jeans fabric will not lay completely flat (because of the centre seam) but smooth it out as much as possible.

5. Using bold thread – I used leftover machine quiltiing cotton – make a line of zigzags near to the centre seam.  Try out the size of the zigzag first: mine was stitch width 4, length 2. Make another line of zigzags on the other side of the centre seam.

Zigzags6. Working from the centre outwards, make rows of zigzag stitches about half an inch apart. You don’t need to be especially accurate. You can see that my lines of zigzags wobble!

zigzagsRepeat until the sandwich is covered by rows of zigzags.

ZigzagsI needed to tidy up my sandwich afterwards as I had left the underneath showing to make this easier to follow.

7. Take out the tacking stitches.

8. Cut the jeans fabric between the rows of zigzags, making sure that you do not cut into the fabric underneath.

Cutting9. Cut back one side of the beween the rows gap almost to the stitching.  This shows more of the underneath fabric than if both edges were frayed.

Cutting between the rows10. Now the messy bit!  Fray the edge of the jeans fabric.

FrayingFrayingRepeat for the other sandwich.

Frayed!You’ve made the fabric!

I will show how I made the bag in the next post.

Happy Weekend! xxx

More Quilting & a bit of Me Made May

I’ve been hand quilting a waistcoat for the Weald & Downland Museum & thought you might like to see it.  Baasically, it’s a 17th century bodywarmer.  The top is a fine pale green wool, there’s carded sheeps wool in the centre and a linen backing. It’s quilted with linen thread which has to be waxed.

Quilted waistcoat

This is the waistcoat quilted & ready to be made up.

Quilting 17th century styleIt took me about 15 hours to quilt.  The thick linen backing means that it’s hard to get up any speed.

I decided to show a couple of Me Made May outfits because I particularly like them.

Me Made MayI think it might be the setting like best rather than the outfit.

This is a refashioned (altered & dyed) skirt and a top made from another skirt.

Top, no pattern requiredThis is my favourite top.  I made it from a Liberty Print skirt I found in a charity shop. Those are my me made shoes too.  I’ve worn them most days this month. The trousers are Olsen from a charity shop.

Some days I’ve only got one visible me made but I always wear my me made knickers, so that’s two. (In answer to Curtise).

I’ve got a dress in progress at the moment so I will have something new to wear this month. Hooray!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Toronto Skyline Quilt

Toronto QuiltA holiday souvenir

I’m inspired by Loulou’s blog to show this quilt I made a few years ago of the Toronto skyline. It’s one of my favourites – I don’t keep them all, the dog gets to sleep on them after a while.

For a look at Loulou’s wonderful photos of Toronto look here.

I made it using scraps left from other projects, charity shop clothes and my own old clothes.  For example, the binding is cotton velvet taken from the legs of very old evening trousers and I’ve used the rest of the orange wool tweed to make a skirt recently.  The columns are strip-pieced on to the wadding and backing using a sewing machine.

I started the process with these photos.

TorontoToronto from the CNN Tower.  Taken about 1990 – sorry I can’t get the photo to show up well – this was taken pre digital cameras and had to be copied to get it here.

Toronto 1990It was a hazy day and I tried to capture that in the quilt by using mainly muted colours.  I used the orange tweed to try to represent the golden bank building that was so obvious from the tower.

Toronto collageI made the collage to help me move my ideas along from the photos to the the final quilt. It helped me get the shapes into my head.  After that, I auditioned fabrics and shuffled them around until I was happy with the look.

I’ve shortened the dress in my previous post and I’ll be showing the change soon along with the “Flower Power” shirt I’ve just finished. Thanks for all the helpful comments about the dress.

Happy Monday everyone.