WIP Wednesday

I’ve been having a pretty productive time of late and hope to have some finishes to show soon, I made a quilt from start to finish in less than 13 days!

Yesterday I played around with a layout of the blocks from my month in the Siblings Together bee:

stqb cross

I pieced them last night and planned the quilt back, now I’m waiting for some fabric to arrive from the M is for Make sale so I can finish it.

I’ve made some progress on my vintage sheet Retro Flowers quilt:


Yes, believe me that is a photo of progress! More petal curves have been stitched and more backgrounds have been cut.

I’m linking up with Lee:


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#ALYoF October goal

Way back in March of this year I took some prepared fabrics on a sewing weekend with a plan to make a Retro Flowers quilt using vintage sheets.  I managed to stitch up a few pieces:

the beginnings of a retro flower

My goal for the month is to get fabric cut for 9 flowers. I’ve got some Kona Snow on order for the background and that should be here this week I hope.

If I get some petals stitched that will be a bonus but it’s already looking like a busy month with half term holiday coming up fast!

Linking up with:

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Vintage Sheet String Quilt finished (at last!)

At the beginning of July I set out my goal for the month, to get this quilt top finished:

Vintage sheet string quilt top

Made from vintage sheets strips I must admit the thought of getting on with this was dragging me down.  It took me until the middle of the month to pick it up and deal with it. I knew I had less than two weeks until the school summer holidays (and the end of the month) so needed to get on with it. It was really a bit too hot for basting but I cleaned the kitchen floor and got on with it.

My last child free Friday was cut short by preschool sports event and early pick up from school for the school fair.  But in that short window I quilted the whole thing in the ditch and diagonally through the blue mid stripes and even started stitching on the binding.

IMG_4413 - Version 2

I used my favourite stripy multi coloured vintage sheet binding (now available in my etsy shop along with a number of other stripes) and spent a couple of evenings and a sunny afternoon in the garden hand stitching it to the back.


So it is finished.  Now that I look at photo’s of it I’m loving it!  It has so many different fabrics in it, many of which have memories (recent ones about it’s discovery) attached to them, all are vintage sheets, most from the UK but a few from the US which I’ve found over here.  I know that there are prints in there that will trigger different memories for some of you too.


I backed the quilt with a vintage sheet I found recently and wasn’t convinced that it was suitable for cutting up into charms but I couldn’t leave it behind.  It’s a St Michaels one that I’d not seen before with trees on it.


This quilt is destined to live with us, great for taking out into the garden or to the beach.  Due to the fact that the fabrics have already been well used and washed countless times I think it will wear well and withstand the washing that might be required after being taken to the beach/park/garden, had salt water, ice-cream and dinner wiped on it!


Quilt Stats:

Pattern: Paper pieced 10″ string blocks
Fabric: a wide variety of vintage sheets (50/50 polyester/cotton) from my stash
Binding – stripy vintage sheet (cotton)
Backing – Vintage sheet
Wadding – Super-Soft 70/30 Eco-Blend by Sew Simple
Quilting – in the ditch and across the middle of blocks on my Janome Horizon
Size – Approx 60″ x 70″


Linking up with:

My Button

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Goodbye blouse, hello shirt

A month or so ago a friend, Kate who is sorting out her house ready to move handed me a bag on the school run containing a couple of lovely items.

One was a gorgeous vintage blouse, made in Switzerland for Harrods, very worn on the collar so only really fit for cutting up and repurposing.  The fabric is lush and I spent a bit of time thinking about what to do with it:

harrods blouse

You may remember that I’ve made a pile of shirts using Carolyn Friedlanders pattern, I was thinking about the shirts that I’m waiting to receive back from the swap (hint: round 3 may be happening soon if you want to join in) when inspiration struck; why not turn this blouse into a shirt:


So I pulled out a copy of the pattern and got cutting and stitching.  I decided to make a journal cover, something useful and practical:


I think it is my most lovely shirt yet! It came together perfectly but maybe that is because I’ve made approximately 30 of them! For the background I used Crosshatch in white from Carolyns’ Architexture range. I thought about quilting the piece but decided to keep it simple and just stitched around the block and just inside the block with Aurifil 2530 which was the perfect match to the pink in the shirt.


There’s just a simple flap around to the inside of the cover:


Before making this gift I’d already stitched up a little something for Kate. I love the label on the shirt and couldn’t resist a bit of fussy cutting:


And with the addition of some webbing and key fob hardware made this for her new house keys:


Keyfobs, I’ve decided are a great way to showcase special bits of fabric, I’m already thinking about other pieces of clothing that children have grown out of or worn out (or in some cases both!) that might be good to use, preserving some memories.

Kate and her family are moving away but won’t be forgotten; I now need to cook up a plan for the other fabric she’s left me (oh and I didn’t use the whole blouse so you’ll probably be seeing more of this fabric!).

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Yes I’ve been feeling a little bit sad that I’m not in London this weekend at Fat Quarterly Retreat, I’m enjoying seeing the photo’s appearing on Instagram though they make me miss it even more!

But we’ve been busy here with a preschool sports event, school fair and preschool graduation and fair.  I’ve managed to squeeze in some sewing time and got my vintage sheet string quilt quilted:


I also squeezed in time on Friday to get the binding stitched on one side, the evenings are being spent hand stitching it on to the back:

I’ve also had inspiration for what to do with this:


A vintage blouse from Harrods made in Switzerland, gifted to me by a friend who is moving house, I’m keeping the inspiration under wraps for now but I’m pretty pleased with it.

And if that was enough I decided on the layout for a baby quilt yesterday morning:


Yes, this is the black and white version in case you were wondering!

We’ve nothing planned for today, the children still have a whole week left at school so I feel like we need to reserve our energy for that, I’m hoping therefore that I can make some progress on one or all three of the projects above!

Linking up with:

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Goal for July

I’m cutting it fine this month entering my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I’ve had lots to do, but most have been small projects for teacher and birthday gifts which have been quick to start and finish so no good as a goal.

The one project that I feel like I have hanging over me is this one:

Vintage sheet string quilt top

I finished the quilt top as my goal for May.  I left it in a pile and picked it up again a couple of weeks ago and basted it.  I started quilting it but wasn’t happy with how it was looking so have just finished unpicking it!

Now it needs basting again and quilting (again).  It’s bothering me so I’m going to try to get it done, I’m pretty sure I’ll feel a lot better when it is ticked off my list.

Linking up with:

My Button

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ALYoF – May complete

At the beginning of the month I set out a goal to make a vintage sheet quilt top.  At that point I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do but after looking through my stash of vintage sheets it became obvious.  I had a stack of strings:

stack of strings

And a huge bag full of more offcuts:

bag of strings

Oh and there was a whole drawer full too! So I decided that the most efficient and economical thing to do would be to make a string quilt.

So within a week I had blocks that looked like this:

Vintage Sheet string blocks

Another week on and there were more (all blocks are paper pieced):

Vintage Sheet String Blocks (paper pieced)

At which point I had to decide how big to make the top and how many more blocks I needed.  I decided on a layout of 7 x 6 blocks (total 42).

Vintage sheet string quilt top

An attempt to take a photo of the finished top in the garden, it was a bit blustery and there is a large stack of bricks preventing a smooth drop:

Vintage sheet string quilt top

I’m not sure what the pirate was up to, maybe he was in awe of the beauty he saw!  But anyway the top is finished which was my aim so I’m rather delighted.  It was great to sew together, I randomly pulled strips, there was no planning of any of the blocks and minimal planning to the layout.

I’ve put some packs of strips for sale in my etsy shop so you can make your own, the listing suggests a minimum of 21 different prints in each pack but I think there must be 40 in this quilt top (I used approximately 1 1/2 packs to make this top).

Vintage sheet string quilt top

So another goal complete and there appears to be no less fabric in my stack of vintage sheet offcuts!  Now there is the small matter of basting, quilting and binding!

Linking up with:

My Button

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Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner

I hope you’ve had a fun week entering some great giveaways. It was fascinating to read your memories and thoughts on vintage sheets, sorry I’ve not got around to replying to you all I’ve been a little busy this week!

Before announcing the winner I thought I would share with you some of the sewing I’ve done this week, I’ve added to my vintage sheet blocks and they now look like this:

Vintage Sheet String Blocks (paper pieced)

Now I need to make a decision as to how big I want the finished top and how many more blocks to make!

On to the winner, RNG picked:

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 10.19.59

Now I’ve had a problem with numbering the comments, so you can either take my word for it that number 33 is Janne or you can count for yourself!

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 10.20.15

So congratulations Janne, I’ll email you in a minute, I hope you enjoy sewing with your ‘new’ fabrics. If you’re disappointed that you didn’t win and still ‘need’ some strings head on over to my etsy shop now!

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Vintage Sheet Strings – Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day (now closed)

Giveaway now closed, winner announced here

Welcome to new and regular readers of my blog.  Here I write about my sewing projects and fabric acquisitions, feel free to stay and browse.

Just over 2 years ago I opened my etsy shop selling vintage sheet fabrics from my rather large stash. I’ve sent fabric all over the world and I am continuously amazed and delighted at people’s enthusiasm/obsession for vintage sheets.  I’ve used them in quilts, cushions, bags and bunting:

Vintage Sheet Bunting

My goal for May for the #ALYoF is to make a vintage sheet quilt top and after a bit of indecision I opted for a string quilt. So it seemed like a great idea to enable one of you to join me in my current stitchy plan.

These are the blocks I’ve made so far:


You might be able to guess that there has been no planning, just string after string pulled from the pile, I think it’s looking pretty good so far.  I’ve use Ashley’s tutorial and I’m using a 10.5″ paper rather than 7″.

So today I am giving away a pack of vintage sheet strips for you to make your own quilt blocks.  The pack contains 450g (approx 16oz) of vintage sheets strips. Strips range in size from 1″ – 3″ wide and 5″ – 18″ long. In a sample pack there were 170 strips, however packs are made up by weight so the number of strips may differ. Each pack contains at least 20 different prints.


To enter:
Please leave a comment below telling me about your vintage sheet memories or why you’d love to win.

For additional entries:
Visit my etsy shop and add it to your favourites – leave an additional comment to say you’ve done that.
Tweet about the giveaway using the tweet button at the bottom of this post, then leave a comment with the tweet link.

That’s 3 possible entries.

Giveaway open internationally.
Giveaway closes at 5pm PST on Friday 16 May.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Winner will be picked by True Random Number Generator and notified by email and by update to this post.
Please ensure that your email is linked to your profile or left in your comment so that you can be contacted if you win.

AND for all of you there is a discount code for 15% off everything in my etsy shop this week, use code SMS14 at checkout.

Thanks for visiting, now click on over to Sew Mama Sew and enter some more giveaways.


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