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Patchwork Quilt Made From Old Tea Towels And Pillowcases

Every year the school holds a Summer fair to raise funds for the PTFA and I make various things for them to sell or raffle, often at the last minute, so I’m feeling a little bit smug that I’ve already started this year – and it’s not until June!

In three mammoth jam-making sessions I managed to make 42 jars of Blackberry and Apple jam, 25 of which are being donated for the school fair.


Last year there was a ‘Horsington’s Got Talent’ stall, whereby parents and pupils make all manner of crafty things to sell, and for which I made lots of things. It was a huge success, selling out completely apparently, so the Committee have put out another request for handmade items.

As I inevitably end up spending quite a bit of money on things I make like sugar and lemons for the jam, all the ingredients for 50 scones and cakes for the cake stall, I try to make the crafty items out of things I can source for free or that I already have in my supplies.

Like this pile of (freshly laundered) pillowcases and tea towels, all surplus to requirements and acquired from several different people who know I can’t say no to gifts of leftover/unwanted fabrics.

I don’t know what you see when you look at this mix but, add in a bit of vintage lace trim and it screams “Patchwork quilt” to me. No? Well, that’s how my mind works, anyway:)

The very word ‘vintage’ conjures up images of faded florals and linens, so I picked out the remaining old Ikea pillowcases (some of which had been cut up to make hats for the jars of jam) and 3 or 4 neutral tea towels which would work nicely.

My Olfa quilting set made short work of cutting out the 48 6″ squares needed to make a quilt just large enough for a single bed.

I laid them all out on the floor and fiddled around until I was happy with the arrangement.


All seams were stitched with 1/4″ seam allowance and pressed as each strip was completed.

This is the finished quilt top.


For the backing, I had to piece together bits of wadding and leftover curtain lining to make up the size I needed.

With right sides facing, lay the lining on the quilt top, then the wadding on top again.

I stitched around all four sides, leaving a gap through which to turn the quilt. Then the lace trim was sewn to the edge.

Finally I added a little “Sewchet” label.



I may go back and add a bit of hand quilting if I get time, but it actually doesn’t need it.


It’s just the right size to be a comforter on a single bed, or would make a cosy lap blanket for the sofa.



It took me six hours yesterday to make, so the fact that it will probably be sold for about a fiver has to be put to the back of my mind – but at least the fabric was free!


Sunday Sevens #100

Sunday Sevens is here again and guess what – I’ve kept it to seven photos for the first time in forever! Not that we haven’t done loads, just that I keep forgetting to take photos. No pub pics either this week; we had a lovely walk to the pub yesterday in the sunshine, but I forgot to take the mobile with me.

If you want to find out more and how you can join in, visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

1. This gorgeous, faded roses fabric was on sale at £5 per metre, down from £16. It is 2.5m wide, too, so I bought all of it – 3m for £15! It’s curtain weight fabric and is destined for the redecoration of the smallest bedroom, which hasn’t been decorated in ten years and needs a facelift.

2. As part of our ‘get the house ready for sale’ effort, we had a clear out of the wall-to-wall bookshelves in our lounge. I offered this lot to the school for their Christmas fair as it’s all in good condition, but they don’t seem to want it as no one has got back to me. Oh well – charity shop it is then.

3. I forgot to show you this book that I couldn’t resist buying last week. It’s just lovely – and there’s more space on the bookshelves now, so there was no reason not to buy it:)

4. Can you believe this? Spotted in a pub in Sherborne on 5th SEPTEMBER!

5. Hmm, not very picturesque perhaps, but an important part of our week. We had a heavy downpour and rain was pouring through the light fitting in the not yet finished sun room. A quick inspection of the single storey roof revealed two broken tiles. Easily fixed before any damage was done, thank goodness.

6. Progress so far on the quilt-as-you-go squares. Each square will be quilted the same, but the design doesn’t show up as clearly on the patterned fabrics as it does on this spotty one.

7. A sweet pic of the dogs to finish with. Wow, they do need a haircut. Time to get the scissors out again….


Annaprashan Gift

The weekend is over so it is time to reveal the project I was working on last week for which I showed you how to make some custom bias binding.

Sarita is my husband’s cousin’s little girl who celebrated her Annaprashan on Saturday, to which we were invited. Not being Indian or Hindu ourselves, I looked up all about this ceremony and discovered that, whilst gifts are not expected, silver and gold are traditional items to present. After a bit of indecision, I decided to leave tradition to the immediate family and create something myself, eventually settling on a personalized quilt.

I found some sweet fabric with an elephant motif which was perfect and couldn’t have been more appropriate – the most widely worshipped Hindu god deity is Lord Ganesha: The Elephant God.

Seeking inspiration from here, I made this: –



I used tailor’s chalk to mark out the quilting lines and then quilted the whole thing by hand!  It was hard work, but so much more aesthetically pleasing than machine quilting don’t you think?


The letters were backed with interfacing before being appliquéd on with a close zigzag stitch.


I used free machine embroidery to write the words on the heart, going over it twice for definition and trying to keep it quite ‘scribbly’;


Here’s a close up of that fabulous elephant fabric…


…and here’s how it looks on the reverse;


I love the look of trust in Sarita’s face while she looks intently at her grandfather as he offers her some rice, her first taste of solid food (the whole concept behind this traditional ceremony);

Sarita's first taste

She was so good and not at all overwhelmed by all the attention and rituals that go hand in hand with this type of ceremony.

Here she is with her proud parents afterwards;

Sarita, Gav & Sucheta

I hope the quilt is a keepsake that she will treasure in the years to come and, who knows, it might become an heirloom to pass on to her own daughter one day?


I think a personalized quilt like this would make a perfect gift for any occasion where you’re not sure what to give, whether it’s a gift for an Annaprashan, a Christening present or other celebration – so what are you waiting for, get quilting!