Saturday, 28 April 2012

Going Vintage

I've got a bit of a fascination with 'Vintage stuff' at the moment. Maybe its an age thing? Who know's but I've found a couple of vintage style tea-dresses that not only fit but suit! 

Today's ensemble is a Turquoise and Orange Monsoon outfit. 
I love this dress and even my hubby passed comment so it must suit because he NEVER comments on the leggings and tops I normally wear (lol !) 

I been wearing this vintage brooch with it that I found at boxesintheloft 

 I love it!

The dress isn't vintage but it is vintage-inspired and I like that the designer looked to the past to make something new and fresh.  It's a bit like this ticking stripe fabric from Makower

Its new but based on a very old design.

Traditional ticking is thick and sturdy stuff used for mattress covers and pillow cases. In fact the word Ticking comes from the Latin THECA meaning cover or case. 

Ticking's very closely woven using a 2 and 2 twill or herringbone weave. 
I'm not a weaver but I think a 2 and 2 weave is where the weft thread (the thread that goes selvedge to selvedge) is passed alternately over and under two warp threads (the threads that go down the length of the fabric) with the bonus of a reversible weave pattern.

My mum had ticking pillowcases and my nan had a mattress covered in it. It was one of those utility fabrics that you weren't supposed to see.  Well you don't see it very often on new pillows today but it is still available and quite fashionable in home decor. Red ticking is popular for french-inspired rooms and blue ticking provides a seaside feel. 

(I noticed Clothkits currently have the heavy weight version if you are looking for it btw!)

Working with traditional ticking in patchwork is not the easiest  but not impossible.  I used it last year in a commission quilt and it looked fabulous with a bunch of Cabbages and Roses linens.  (even if you did need a few muscles to lift the thing when it was finished.. lol) But working with a medium weight quilting cotton that looks like the real thing is much easier. 

So it's great when a designer takes a vintage design and updates it for modern living. 

Not sure I fancy a ticking tea dress but I do have my eye on this one from Laura Ashley!

Monday, 23 April 2012


It seems hard to believe that the humble sewing needle has been around in various forms since early cave man days

At one point in our history needles were so highly prized they were
included in wedding dowry's and locked away for fear they would be stolen. 

Pins were equally as valued and from around 1700 pin cushions
were a commonplace way to store them. 

Today a quick sprint around the internet will reveal a thousand and one patterns and designs for functional and novelty pincushions. 

 I expect we can all lay our hands on at least one pincushion in our modern sewing kits too. I think I could probably find  5 or 6 in mine.  I  have the same number of needle cases as well as tape measures and scissors, stitch unpickers, marking pencils and rulers.

 Name a notion and I might well have it already. I'm a bit of a notions tart at the best of times but what I don't have is a 


Another new word for me (see new word "distlefinks" a couple of weeks ago). I had to go away and look up what it was. (Check out this good post )

A Hussif  is quite an old term, probably originating in Lancaster and going back to the 17th century and is a contraction of the word "Housewife". or pocket sewing kit!  

Popular in Regency England, most households would have a Hussif. Made from a roll of sturdy cloth, or decorative silk depending on your status, the Hussif would contain needles, pins, a thimble, a card of thread, small scissors or pocket knife as well as a few replacement buttons. 

I don't have a Hussif.  I have a plastic box!  - Well several plastic boxes actually! 

My plastic boxes aren't nearly as pretty as a roll of fabric and certainly not as organised as this pattern I found on Folksy from the Little Corner Shop.  Designed by Julie this PDF pattern has pockets and places for scissors, rotary cutters, pens patterns and more.

How cute would this kit be made from this Half Moon Modern Scissor fabric ?

 It even includes a little pincushion which you could fill with 

So lets hear a massif hurrah for the Hussif!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Bobbin filling!

One of my pet hates when piecing a quilt is running out of bobbin thread. Stopping to refill the bobbin, when you're on a sewing roll, is just really annoying.

Over the years I have somehow managed to loose my spare bobbins. They seem to be a bit like bic biros, or odd socks ... where do they go?

I did buy a bag of beautiful colourful bobbins from the Pfaff dealer last summer at the FOQ. They cost quite a bit too .. almost £20 I think but they were pretty (I'm so easily caught !) so you can imagine I was more than a bit miffed when I realised they didn't fit my machine. And here I was thinking a bobbin was a bobbin was a bobbin... Not so, it appears each domestic machine manufacturer has ones to fit their machine. Now that's something I didn't know before.

Anyway after struggling with just a couple of spares I but the bullet and brought a pack of the correct sized bobbins and now I'm all set. I spooled off 9 bobbins of Aurifil 50wt in colour 2800 and now I'm all ready for an afternoon of piecing. And if you're wondering why I choose 2800 which looks light green on the spool it's because it blends so well with so many fabrics.

I also found the perfect place to store those spare refills too!

Now I'm a happy bunny today.

Happy Easter Monday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Quilts for Siblings and a Competition

Quilts for Siblings Together

Siblings Together is a charity dedicated to bringing together siblings split apart by the UK care system.  In the holidays they organise camps for brothers and sisters to come together and maintain some sibling family contact. In support of the cause Lynne over at Lily's Quilts is seeking donations of quilts so that each child can take home a quilt from camp this summer.  

If you are interested to contributing to Quilts for Siblings either by making a quilt or blocks
be sure to visit Lilys Quilts here for more information.

I am supporting the cause too but in a slightly different way. 
I've added some bundles of lower-priced cottons to the Quiltmehappy Shop
and I'm running a competition to have your siblings quilt long arm quilted!

Interested ? Read on....

You can find a mystery pack of 4FQ's of suitable children's fabric for just £7.

The bundles are coordinated and you can choose
young boy, young girl, teen boy, teen girl (or you can be surprised).


You will also find some value-priced bundles of 
wide-width cotton suitable for quilt backs.

These 2m bundles of 150cm wide (60") cottons in a variety of
children's designs are just £10 per 2m bundle! 

So hopefully that will help to keep quilt making costs down a little. 

But if you don't fancy either of these options you can always use
Promo Code SIBLINGS to get 15% off your order total at checkout.
Code is good until the end of April

And the long arm competition?

I am also running a competition to longarm quilt one of the siblings quilts 


To enter the competition you will need to do any or all of the following, and the more you do the more chances you get .. one entry per follow type, so 4 follows, 4 entries!

So..... to enter the long arm competition ...

1. Follow this blog

2. Follow QUILTMEHAPPY on Facebook


4.Sign up for the Quiltmehappy NEWSLETTER

....all of which are worth doing ( even if I say so myself) just to get advanced notice of the daily

BOLT of the DAY savings.

The competition will be open until the end of April so you have plenty of time
 to sign up and tell your friends.

The winner will be chosen on MAY 1st  


The winner will be able to have their Siblings Quilt long arm quilted by me for free
(and if you twist my arm I might even supply the batting!)

 .. limited to a maximum size of 70" x 90" (178cm x 228cm) with a simple 12" overall pattern 

So what do you think ... fancy supporting Quilts for Siblings?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Green is actually my favourite colour and blue is not something I naturally gravitate towards .. or so I thought until a quick evaluation of my stash revealed otherwise recently.  So it was no surprise when I saw this new range of Blue fabrics from Makower UK , called BLUE that I found myself buying some in for the shop.  Five fabrics in 5 shades of blue!

They are really rather nice don't you think!

Did you spot the lovely little blue bird in the top fabric?