On the mend

Not much crafting has happened since I finished my latest memory quilt. Not much blogging either. I had every intention of doing a year’s review, but seeing as we’re over halfway through January, I think I’ll save that til May, and instead review what I’ve accomplished in the year since I started this blog.

I need to sit down and write a list of all my UFOs/WIPs. I’ve started another list. A ‘crafty ideas’ list. Things I’d like to try one day … So far it only has three things on it, but I’m sure it’ll grow quickly.

I’m trying a new tactic of ‘put down the tablet/smartphone and craft’. It’s not very successful so far – the tablet is winning out right now so I can write this – but I did have a productive hour or two last week when I worked my way through my ‘to be mended’ pile.

First up, was Gerald the giraffe who required major arm surgery. He looked much happier afterwards and my little man was delighted to be reunited with his very good friend.

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Next, repairing the pocket of my husband’s coat, where I tested out my slip stitch skills.

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Sewing a button back on to little man’s trousers. Albeit with different coloured thread.

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Repairing a shirt pocket.

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Reattaching part of little man’s quiet book, which he’d pulled off.

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And, finally, reattaching one of his mittens to its string.

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Which reminds me, one of my unfinished projects (from May) is to work my way through another pile of things to be mended, which has long since been banished tidied away in a hamper. Time to put down the tablet – less screen time, more craft time!

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The completed memory quilt and the many lessons learnt from it

Still on the high you get from a finished project – woohoo!

Picking up from my last post, this is how I got to my finished quilt.

I decided to just quilt the top of my quilt, and not the backing. So Friday morning, as soon as my little man was napping, the sewing machine was out. I ‘stitched in the ditch’ round the edge of the border, where it bordered the patchwork. I need much more practice stitching in the ditch. I’m still very much straddling it at times.

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And then I quilted star shapes on to the plain squares.

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Squared up the quilt top and wadding.

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Saturday morning, another nap time. I pinned on the backing. Then hubby took little man out for a walk so I could finish off.

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Sewed a 1/4 in seam round the edge, leaving about 12″ open at the bottom for turning out.

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Cut the corners and turned out, hoping for the best.

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Then all that was left to do was to close the opening with a slip stitch. Not easy for me as I’m ridiculously bad at slip stitch. Ideal opportunity to catch up on the Children in Need Sewing Bee.

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Then it was into the washing machine on a hand wash setting followed by a gentle spin. Little man was asleep again at this point, so I rewarded myself by sitting in the sun and reading my book.

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Once the spin cycle was done, it got an airing on the washing line, then was left to dry inside overnight. Some repair work was going to be necessary the following morning …

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One of the seams had come apart ever so slightly and my rubbish slip-stitching looked awful, so that had to be done again. On the plus side, I got to catch up on more tv, watching Strictly from the night before. I was determined to have it finished Sunday morning, ready to hand over on Sunday afternoon. Mission accomplished. I even had time to get out our posh camera to take some photos of it.

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And here is the blanket, being enjoyed later that afternoon.

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Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

While I’m enjoying the comedown from finishing this memory quilt, I’m also getting itchy fingers to get onto the next one. Even better, it’s a girly one for the big sister of this little boy. I find girls clothes so much nicer. I’ve also had some orders come in off the back of this one so my (imaginary) order book now contains three more quilts/blankets, a Christmas stocking (made from last year’s Christmas outfit), matching cushions for my first two memory quilts, a memory bear and, finally, a teepee! Think I could be quite busy over the coming months!

Anyway, to wrap up, here’s what I learnt from doing my first memory quilt:

  • cutting up the baby clothes takes a lot longer than I anticipated, especially once you factor in adding the interfacing
  • it’s better to have lots of bigger squares, as lots of smaller squares looks too busy
  • backing fabric is expensive!
  • so is wadding
  • ALWAYS to check the colour-fastness of unwashed fabric before sewing with it
  • I need to improve my stitching in the ditch
  • I need to seriously improve my slip stitching

I’m hoping the next one will be a lot quicker, now that I know what I’m doing. In theory.

Will this ever end/What a bind

Throwing in the towel for the night. I’ve slip-stitched less than a quarter of the binding and it’s taken hours. Will resume tomorrow when the light’s better and hopefully I’ll speed up.

This afternoon, during nap time (when else?), I attached the binding to my quilt and mitred the corners as I went.

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After that, I had to do a lot of unpicking where you could see the seam I’d done round the edge when trying to see if the quilt was square before trimming it.

Tonight, I’ve begun slip-stitching the binding to the backing. Not as quick as I thought it’d be.

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I’ve forgone the gym in the hope I’d finish tonight but no such luck. Tomorrow is d-day then, which is a shame as I was hoping to wash it before the weekend – which is when I’m hoping to hand it over.

Here’s how it’s looking.

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