Monday, 30 September 2013

A quilt patch


When I was writing the post about my daughter's Liberty Print birthday quilt, I realised that I'd forgotten to make a quilt patch for it, so here it is, finished just in time for her birthday. I actually made it last weekend, when everyone was out of the house and I had several hours of pure, unadulterated sewing time. There was music*, the heating was turned on and there was a wonderful feeling of being back in my sewing cocoon, which I don't find time to retreat into as often as I'd like at the moment.


I made a border of tiny, tiny squares of Tana lawn, which felt like ridiculously good fun, as it fulfilled my favourite project criteria of being both miniature and utilising Liberty fabric. These tiny squares make me think of Tutti Frutti sweets, before they started making them using more natural colourings.


It felt such a long time since I'd done any appliqué and writing with my sewing machine that I had to remind myself how it all worked (I've just noticed that my daughter's name is covered with two different seam rippers in these photos...tip-of-the-iceberg-evidence of my library of mistake-unpickers). [Amended to say after Kate's comment: This isn't actually an embroidery machine and the in-built letter stitches are, sadly, too ugly and badly-formed to use. You can write like this on the most basic of machines by using a closed satin stitch, lowering the top tension, sewing at a snail's pace and raising the foot to turn the fabric very, very frequently. It took me around two hours to write the words on this quilt patch, so it's not a fast option, but quite satisfying if you like fiddly things].



My husband made my daughter a birthday cake that had a similar feel to the quilt patch, or at least half of it did. 


This photo was taken from above, but the sides were entirely covered too. Two days later when she had friends over for dinner, he made her another cake, this time entirely covered in chocolate sweets. My daughter had been given an extraordinary cake decoration by her Great Aunt and Uncle, which we jokingly put on the top, but were then wowed by quite how incredible it was. It was made from lurid pink plastic and when we first lit it a firework of sparkles shot directly up into the air. The flower then began to spin, the petals unfurled until they were spread out as they are in the photo below and a very tinny rendition of Happy Birthday could be heard coming from somewhere inside the flower. Despite it being neither tasteful nor stylish, I'm considering buying one for all our future birthdays as it made everyone squeal with laughter and had an odd synthetic magic to it - I think the unveiling of the annual flower decoration could be a family tradition that we'd all welcome. Just in case you're keen to get your paws on your own singing flower decoration, you can find one here. It will make your cheeks ache with laughter.


Florence x

* I was listening to Passenger, whom I love. However, my husband loathes them on the basis that they rhyme the word 'rocket' with 'pocket' in two different songs. This causes ranting and contempt not only on the grounds that he believes it a staggering display of songwriting laziness to not think up a new rhyme, but also that he adds insult to injury by using, what my husband believes to be, an affected cockney accent when saying the words rocket and pocket. It's easier to overlook these misdemeanours when my husband is out of the house, so not only was it a good morning for sewing, but it was a good morning for Passenger songs.

30 comments:

  1. 1. Your label is beautiful.

    2. Your husband sounds a lot like my husband.

    3. I must have this candle. I have already found one and made a cart for it.

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    1. 1. Thank you, 2. You have a good one then! 3. I'm so pleased - it will make a birthday several times more lovely. x

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  2. Wow, that's so beautiful, those little squares do indeed look like rather delicious tutti fruttis...

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    1. *walks to corner shop in search of tutti fruttis*

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    2. I did actually buy a pack after making that...

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  3. The fonts on your machine are amazing!
    That cake is also amazing as is the flower decoration, adding that to future birthday celebrations round here.
    That is awfully lazy songwriting and am with your husb on that one.

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    1. There's no need for machine envy as the fonts on my machine are dreadful! I was so excited about using them, but they just look awful, so I always do my lettering on the machine myself - it's a case of doing a closed zig-zag stitch, sewing at a snail's pace and stopping to turn the fabric every couple of stitches...it took nearly two hours to sew those words, but I actually quite enjoy it.

      So pleased you are adding a singing flower to your own birthdays. x

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    2. OMG I am in awe. In that case I am jealous of your precision and patience!

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  4. Lovely edging on your label. Pleased I'm not the only one who forgets, pleased you had time to add it

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  5. I am definitely going to try to find one of those candles for my daughter's 9th birthday next week! And I'm in awe of your machine writing skills - I know full well I wouldn't have the patience. Your label is perfect.

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    1. I'm so keeping my fingers crossed that these things work consistently well and that they make others laugh as much as they did us!

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  6. The embroidery is stunning, it really feels and looks like very personal handwriting- such a lovely touch. Passenger: maybe a little overuse of a glottal stop? But such a sweet melody

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    1. What's slightly odd is that my handwriting in real life is almost illegible...I wish my actual writing looked like my sewing-writing! Passenger: yes, so wrong in so many ways...is it tantamount to confessing a love of One Direction?

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  7. It all looks so lovely, I am sure this quilt will be treasured for generations. The cake looks fab too.

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  8. Such a nice patch for the beautiful quilt....this is sure to be a keepsake for your daughter!

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  9. you have the patience of a saint! having said that is is very beautiful x

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  10. 'Holes' is one of our current favourite songs - the lovely video must be very familiar watching for you, with gorgeous views of Brighton Pavilion.

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  11. Oh, your fabric label is so beautiful and personal. love it!

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  12. The quilt patch is gorgeous Florence and the cake is very impressive. I can only dream of sitting snuggled up either sewing or knitting at the moment, but soon I hope x

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  13. I love the patch almost as much as I love the quilt. I'm still yet to make my girls their quilts (and...err...finish my son's...ahem) but am looking forward to making them something similarly gorgeous and girly. I have a stash of Liberty fabrics in a secret drawer that they love getting out and stroking (such a proud Mama...) so I'd love to incorporate some into their quilts. Not sure I'll have quite the patience as you've had do do all that hand-quilting and machine writing!
    PS - I'm assuming that the artfully placed seam-picker is to hide your daughter's name? If so, you might want to remove the third pic down? ;)

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    1. Thank you so much - I so appreciate you letting me know about that.

      Isn't it lovely how Liberty fabrics appeal to children just as much as adults - I think it's the miniature print size. x

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  14. Such dreamy teeny bits of Liberty... And the cake decoration made me giggle as it reminded me of my Dad driving around with a boxful in his car boot for work which all began to slightly malfunction at the same time and burst into noisy tune. Thankfully that's the only bit of their rather spectacular show that they did in the boot. Dad then oh so kindly gave me one of the delights which I and a dear friend lit for another friend's birthday... we nearly erased any traces of eyebrows and almost set light to their kitchen cupboards. Oops. Do hope yours was far more well behaved, if still

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  15. Oh, that message was meant to end with if still delightfully tacky!

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  16. Wow, that is so sweet! I bet your daughter will really treasure this! Happy birthday to her!

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  17. The quilt patch is a work of art, the cake is gorgeous, the flower looks like quite an experience, and I agree with your husband :)
    Also, in a spirit of lyric-related sharing, one of my favorites is the bold attempt to pair "other side of the border" with "made my mouth water" in a 60's song by Jay and the Americans. Still makes me laugh out loud whenever I hear it.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x