Friday, 17 May 2013


Well, another quilt finished at last. I began it about this time last year but I don't machine or quilt during the dark months, my eyesight just isn't good enough to see accurately. I began it again perhaps six or seven weeks ago. I quilted it diagonally on the premise that by starting across the centre and working down to the corner I would feel that it was moving on quite quickly. Each pale green square (would you believe) in the centres has either a heart, star or flower quilted in each of them.
These are some of the patches which show the details of the material I used - these dandelions were brought back from the US y-e-a-r-s ago by a friend.
 Dragonflies came in a set of fat quarters given to me by Sarah when she was at Uni.
 More material given by a friend but this was a dress length. I shouldn't have used it, really, as it's too pale but seen at close quarters it looked OK. Never mind.
I can't remember whether I bought this at a tabletop sale or whether the seller brought it in a dustbin liner some days later with other pieces and yardages. It goes on and on but I expect to finish it one of these days. Weird and wonderful creatures...
 The only bit of cat related material and that's a scrap I saved...
 Another piece given to me which seems to go on for ever...
 This is the back of the quilt. The backing material came from the same shop - Fabric Land - where the dragonflies originated. I do like a black background with bright colours for backings or borders. I can't be subtle! The binding is made from a piece of purple/mauve material bought - New!! - from a website; the text on the selvedge indicates that it's copyright to the V & A, Sold for Noncommercial Home Use Only and not to be used for children's sleepwear.
These two views are closeups of the backing and you can just see the quilting symbols, too.

It's so important that whatever you make is named and dated and possibly a title, too. I took this photo as the quilt flapped to and fro on the line. Since I've looked at so many Records of Baps, Marriages and Burials plus Census records I find the different styles of handwriting are interesting. Victorian writing isn't all Copperplate by any means. That's the reason why I handwrite my name though I must admit it's rather stylised, It's not usually that legible.

 Can you guess what this is? Kath got it in one!
It's my Granny's lump of beeswax discoloured by smoky coal fires and since she used candles for light that must have contributed. I don't use it but don't want to throw it away. That's for someone else to decide on in due course when they don't recognise it!

This is something else I'm doing in my 'spare time'... In October there will be another craft fair in Haddenham and since every time I take Tiny Teds out to sell they all go, though this is putting the mockers on it, saying that. The teddy 'skin' takes about 1hr 50 mins to make (I'm getting quicker) and because I know the pattern by heart I can make them at the new Knit and Natter group which has started recently in Haddenham library, which is now run by volunteers. I try to keep up a production line for the various stages then I don't get tired of doing just one operation. This is the first batch of finished Teds.

I haven't managed so many cat blankets recently, just these three on the line on a dull day. I bought a book a year ago of 'Ripple' patterns and these zigzag patterns are one way of trying something new but not t-o-o huge! I forget that these patterns tend to pull in the work so that it's not as wide as you think it will be; I added pink garter stitch borders to the one on the left, not totally successful but I don't expect a cat will bother too much that it's now a bowed shape!

Talking of cats, Stuart's stable cat, Tigs, had to be put to sleep a week or so ago. She had recently- diagnosed diabetes and was not happy. The photo was of her two years ago when she was well, looking just like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. She's on top of the hay bales, out of the way of everyone. Now she's buried in the field beside the dog, Keira, who died a couple of years ago.
More mundane matters - I've been let off paying my parking fine by a letter which told me the fine has been waived - on this occasion. Hmmm.

Do you think our weather will ever settle down this summer???


Christine said...

Hi Sylvia
Do you use a pattern for your Tiny Teds? I would like to make them for my church's Fall Festival. I love your quilt and the backing as well!

Sylve said...

Hallo Christine, thanks for getting in touch. Yes, I did use a pattern. It's at
If you're looking for small, quickly made items you could also try She's a very good UK designer of knitted toys.
I hope you find something you like and good luck with knitting Tiny Teds.

Kath said...

Love that backing Silve and all the different fabrics which have all their own memories.

Sylve said...

Who knows, Kath - I might have a scrap or two over when I've finished the Darks and Brights top...

Bernard said...

One thing I have pondered - are all these quilts 'empty' like a duvet cover, or are they full of 'stuffing' like an old-fashioned Eiderdown?
Perhaps the stiching goes right through the whole thing? Do you buy special 'stuffing' or do you use up old bits of Terry-towelling?
Sorry - too many qyestions, but you see I know nuffin' 'bout quilting.
That wax looked like a bit of old dried-up toadstool to me! (smile)
But now I look back, I remember my Mother had a bit of beeswax like a large 'Polo-mint'. The wool went through the 'non-fattening' centre as she knitted. (How do you spell 'centre' - Spell checker keeps putting 'center'? Curse it!
Gosh! Your poor fingers never seem to get a rest, do they?
Your cat blankets look fantastic, but you don't half have huge cats up 'addenham way! (more smiles)
Cheers..... B

Sylve said...

I'm slipping, Bernard, I haven't looked at this for a few days! I'll send you a long, extremely detailed article on What's In A Quilt which should send you to sleep in about two minutes!! I don't know about a Polo Mint bit of beeswax.. and don't these American prompts for incorrect spellings just drive you mad?