Home came some groovy '60s towelling which will make something funky for our seaside-themed bathroom at the cottage, some pretty buttons and lace, some rather fetching coasters hand embroidered with hyacinths and last but not least, another slightly bizarre doll. Just the way I like 'em, the more "characterful" the better!
Meanwhile, much as the long weekend was wonderful, by Tuesday when the boys went off to work and school, I was fairly gagging to get in my Den and get down to some serious crafty business.
However, I think I had forgotten that this sewing lark can be quite hard work (when you're used to lying down doing nothing for two weeks) and after cutting out what felt like a zillion blades, I just about mustered up enough energy to sort them into colour piles. Ooooh pretty.
Where quilts are concerned, my favourites are always those which come from the 1930s and '40s. I love the colours and the patterns. I also love the way they always use a lot of plain white muslin which only seems to enhance the candy colours more. Despite all this, I have never made such a quilt myself. I have books about them, I have cooed over them at exhibitions and fairs, and it's fair to say I now have quite a respectable stash of both original vintage fabrics and reproductions. For this project, I decided to finally make something both with a 1930's flavour and using exclusively reproduction fabrics from that period. My favourite design? Well, it has to be the Dresden plate.
So that's what all those blades were for! I'm aiming for a smallish quilt to go over the back of the sofa at the cottage. So I have made 12 Dresden plates, each with 20 blades. Following on from the photo of the blades, I took the scissors to them to slightly round the top edges. I can also tell you that I used a nifty gadget for cutting out the blades, a special wedge-shaped Darlene Zimmerman-designed ruler which makes cutting the blades much easier than using a template. I think I'd have lost the will to live if I'd used a template!
Today, I have been busily appliqueing the plates onto their backing squares of plain white cotton. Traditionally, one might have hand sewed all these plates to their squares (or even a large single sheet of muslin) but I went for the machine applique option, using the blanket stitch available on my machine. I remember using this stitch for the first time and thinking how fantastic it is! It makes really tiny tight stitches so they will be nice and secure, and it makes them really fast! I already have a hand sewing project on the go which I started on holiday (more of that soon), so I didn't want to start another here.
Whilst I was taking these snaps, these cushions lounging on the guest room bed behind me caught my eye and I couldn't resist a photo of what is clearly a signature colour palette!
So, a few plates remain to be appliqued then I've got to get down to the serious decision, what colour to use for the sashing? The Munchkin and I made a detour after school to the fabric shop. I'm pretty much set (???) on the darkish delphinium blue on top but I couldn't help picking up a metre of the paler blue. The green and pink, the quintessential colours of the period I think, I already had in my stash. Sadly/annoyingly, the shop didn't have the perfect yellow which I wanted to use for the centres of my plates so it may have to be something else. Pink? Or a trip to another shop?!