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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 #120

Time for another Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series showing your week in photos. Linking up with Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

We had my four children, two step-daughters, all of their partners, and our gorgeous granddaughter to stay at the weekend, and took the obligatory annual photo as proof!

1. While most went to watch The Boys play football, I took two of them and The Baby to Sherborne for the morning – here they are outside The Abbey.

2. Of course, we had a coffee-and-cake stop in a café. Do you think she’s enjoying her first taste of a jam tart?

3. No.1 Son bought these chocolates for me. I don’t like anything sweet as a rule, but these were amazing!

4. As many of you already know, I share a birthday with my daughter. We spent the day together at our favourite place, Summer Lodge.

5. A full body and head massage was the BEST way to while away an hour and a half, followed by leisurely morning using the spa facilities.

6. Hubby also treated us to the most incredible three-course lunch. Smoked duck breast with various different forms of apple, all steeped in alcohol anyone?

7. Mr H-L and I also managed to sneak a little lunch out on our own later in the week.

8. But……most of the week was dedicated to building work and, at last – decorating. The Koi Carp wallpaper went up in the downstairs loo!

9. I also finished gilding the mirror that will add the perfect touch of bling to the already-quite-bling wallpaper.

10. Did I mention that we are having our en suite done at the same time? Oh, the dust…….

11. It’s also well under way.

12. Do you remember that I mentioned I was searching for some mirrors, specifically the frameless type from the Forties? Well, this is what I had in mind – a wall of mirrors above the sink unit. Although the en suite isn’t quite finished, I was desperate for hubby to put the mirrors up and he kindly obliged. It was no mean feat, taking over two hours to get just right, but I already love the overall effect. En suites are modern by the very concept, and the old mirrors tone the modern-ness down a bit, especially as most of them are chipped or rusty in part.

13. I’ve still managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing which is a miracle. It’s actually for a Minerva blog post and is overdue, so I must try to finish it today.

14. I’ve completed the ribbing on the socks, too, but still need to sit down and google “see-through wellies”!!

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Vintage Treasures and The Craft Revival!

Unless you’ve been asleep since 2006 (pre-recession), you can’t have failed to notice the revival of traditional crafts and the resurgence in popularity of all things vintage.  

Being a child of the seventies with no television(!), we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves in the long winter evenings after the dusk curfew. My grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet and my mother inspired me to learn how to sew – I have been making things since the age of five. During the eighties I was rarely seen without a garment I had made, whether it was a mohair jumper (itchy, but very trendy back then) or a tailored jacket with “power” shoulder pads (ridiculous on my diminutive 5’2″ stature!).

My house was filled with junk shop and auction “treasures”, and my furniture was comfortably dressed with home made quilts, cushions, curtains and anything else I could make myself. My baby daughter wore the most adorable sets of all-in-one, bonnet and even matching shoes, all lovingly and painstakingly made by hand and shown off with pride.

Then came the late nineties and millennium. Ikea and Primark reigned supreme with their cheap flat-pack furniture and throwaway clothes. Everyone could afford to buy new, discard when they fancied a change and repeat every twelve months (about the length of time the furniture was made to last – only a matter of weeks for the poorly made clothes.)

I was embarrassed to admit that I could knit, sew and crochet. I would let people assume that the ironically fashionable “distressed” furniture were new purchases, not the genuine article having acquired a gorgeous patina during the course of an interesting century or so of being.  I am ashamed to say that, with the end of a long relationship, I succumbed to change and donated twenty years of accumulated “memories” to various charity shops or sold at car boot sales for pennies.

Out went vintage kitchenalia, antique pine dressers and patchwork bedspreads. In came soulless Ikea bookshelves and acrylic throws.

And I hated it.

When the recession took hold I was in a new, happy relationship (we’re now married with two children), in a house we bought together and the need for change took hold of me again.

This time, I reverted to my true nature and gradually filled our home with things I loved, mainly eBay bargains (easier than auctions) or charity shop finds.  Sewing and crochet were still not cool, but I didn’t care and made new heirlooms to replace the ones that I’d foolishly given away.

Gradually “Knit ‘n’ Natter” groups became The Thing, vintage tea rooms popped up on every corner and everyone knew what a Granny Stripe was. Charity shops are the place to be. Second hand is no longer a dirty word and hand made is valued over mass produced.

I’m in my element and I couldn’t be happier about the change – which is the only good thing to come out of the recession!

I thought I’d share with you the lovely bounty of things I bought at our local St. Margaret’s Somerset Hospice this morning.  I spent £12.49 in total, a snip and far more beautiful than anything you can buy today.

This vintage pickle jar complete with fork for all my home made chutneys;


An utterly divine jam pot – I swear my Wild Damson and Port Jam will taste even nicer served up in this!


A tiny mint sauce boat – just perfect.


This table runner, not vintage, but so pretty – brand new and still in its original packing!



All this second hand loveliness for £12.49 – amazing!


Do you love vintage and hand made? Show me your second hand bargains and hand crafted masterpieces – I would love to see them!