Or: Some mistakes are just too daft to be photographed.
I recently finished a bed spread for my Mum. The one I wrote about before, yes. The pattern part should cover the top of the bed, and a border along one side and one end should make a nice finish.
The pattern part turned out just as I wanted it. There’s a centre part with so-called fat quarters measuring 20 x 20 cm. which are old denims. Around those are squares of 5 x 5 cm. pieces of calico in blues, and they are arranged in diagonal lines.
The quilting is done with buttons in random pattern on the denim part and in few, diagonal lines on the ends of the small squares part.
The bedspread is for my Mum’s guest bed in her sewing room. Being an old seamstress, she of course has a sewing room. She had one in her old flat, and she has one in her new, smaller flat.
In the old flat – my childhood home – the guest bed was in the far right corner looking in from the door. In the new flat it’s at the far left corner looking in from the door.
And now I don’t know wether I thought of the old flat or just didn’t really think at all. Fact of the matter is that I sewed on the edges to fit the bed as it was in the old flat. Not in the new one.
Mum was kind to me, praised it in high tones and left it with the top border folded in.
Yes, you’re right: I love my Mum to bits.
Do you know the feeling? You found all your patchwork material, spread it over half the living room and cut piece after piece for a specific project.
Then the minute you sigh and begin to re-fold everything to put it away you think of other patterns. Leave the mess, take up pencil and paper – in my case a standard checkered pad – and begin to draw. Come up with brilliant ideas. Or remember old and equally brilliant ideas not yet put into colours and cloth.
Lean back with sketches on the pad, smile to yourself and fetch the thick paper used for clich´s and begin to cut those. And then finally go on to cut the material for those patterns.
That’s what I did this past week. Well, not all of it, some of it. And now that I finally put all the material away to stop myself getting further ideas I have not only the 468 pieces for my Mum’s bedspread but also 2X5 for two canters, 15 pieces for one experimental pattern, 11 pieces for another experiment and finally 177 pieces for a square pattern. Because I stopped myself before I began to cut a hexagon cliche’e which would have meant countless other pieces.
Oh and did I mention I always hand-sew? Seems I have my work cut out for me very literally.
Cake, dinner, midnight.
Calculation, dedication, mass production
Chaos, disaster, moping
What have I been doing?! Well you might just ask. The answer is that Saturday my Mum came to visit to see the progress on her bedspread (see last post) and decide what should go on it now. We talked back and forth for a bit, thought a lot and finally decided to reduce the number of denim pieces and add a simple patchwork design of only squares.
A lot of them as it turned out. 468 to be precise.
We sighed a bit, then she began to cut out the squares, I began to edge them, and my daughter collected them in bundles of 10 to ease counting. All was well, we took a break for coffee / tea and cakes, another break later on to finish cooking a pot roast already simmering.
Time wore on but around 11 PM we “just” needed 80-odd squares and went on cutting to get it over with.
Minutes later disaster struck. My trusty old sewing machine decided to play up, eat material and make snares of the thread. 44 squares are un-edged, and all of them still need sewing together.
I really need the one CDM I didn’t have: Cadbury’s dairy milk.
Remember The Animals? If not, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgTSfJEf_jM
My Mum never learned how to make her own patterns, Taht never stopped her sewing and repairing scores of garments including worn blue jeans. Her sewing machine is sturdy and was only sold because she missed being able to make buttonholes easily.
She’s now 91 and recently moved to a smaller flat than before. This move prompted a clean-up, and because I bought her old sewing machine and make things out of cast-away scraps including patchwork, I also took home a bagful of jeans letftovers.
So when she talked of getting a bed spread for the guest bed I stopped her saying I’d make her one. And here’s the beginngs of it:
12 patches sewn together, 12 more cut and ready to be added. Depending on accumulated weight the restwill be either only regular calico patchwork or more Jeans pieces + calico. And I’ll be dot-quilting these pieces with some of all the buttons she gave me over the years.
So did anyone guess what animal I am? Yup, that’s right. The hoarding squirrel.
One folding cup, one mug bought for the cat motif, one cookie cutter, three bars of soap, fire bags of tea and a single blouse.
That’s hardly very material now is it? Soap and tea will gradually be used up and could very well be considered absolute necessities. Especially the soap.
Well I have to confess the real treasure is here:
Two books full of drawings just begging to be turned into embroidery. Calico for a shirt, calico with an almost art déco-ish pattern and red linen for a shirt. Oh yes and multiple-model patterns for medieval women’s dresses. None of the really necessary. But soooo irresistible …. The red linen shirt will most likely appear on occasion once work on it starts. Stay tuned.