Steamer Trunks, Edgar and a Flag!

Hi everyone,

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Lots to share with you today on the blog and I know I haven't written in a while, but I have been trying to finish off my final submissions for my 'on-line' embroidery and textiles course and it has been the most enormous amount of work.  I hope to be sharing more about this whole experience soon, but for now I am just sitting with my fingers crossed!!!!  Well sort of.... I have been sewing a little too.

First up - the Steamer Trunks Quilt is finished and its my favourite-est ever quilt!  It is just so pretty and cheerful and fills the room with dreams of travelling to far away lands in bygone times.   It was super fun to make all the labels and extra appliqu├ęs that make it special.

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When it came to backing the quilt, I had a problem, because the fabric that I had originally bought, somehow didn't really sit well with the finished quilt.  I hunted through my stash and found the same fabric in a lighter colour way which worked perfectly, but I didn't have enough of it for the whole backing.  What to do.... solution.... a bit more patchwork.  I added two side panels of a gorgeous Kaffe Fassett spotted fabric on either side and it worked perfectly.  

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I thought about the quilting alot, but am not entirely sure I made the right choice.  My daughter suggested a paisley design and this was the right choice, but I am not sure that I shouldn't have done something different on the trunks themselves.  I think that the problem was I thought the design of the quilt was so beautiful on its own, that I didn't want the quilting to distract from the picture.  On reflection, it may have enhanced it.  My other quandary was what colour thread to choose as I had the light newspaper prints and then the heavy bold colours of the trunks.  I used a fine 50 weight Aurafil ivory coloured thread, but it was not a brilliant solution against the trunks.   Perhaps a grey shade would have been better.  

On the whole though, it all comes out in the mix OK and the quilt is just lovely.   Our sitting room is starting to take shape now and the new addition will be perfect on our new sofas, if they EVER arrive!  

Now to introduce you to Edgar Owl.

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In between everything else, I couldn't resist having a go at making up this Heather Bailey pattern that just charmed the socks off me.  You can find the pattern on her lovely website, along with delicious fabrics and heaps of inspiration.   It was so fun to do and a quick little project.   I have never really made stuffed animals before and he probably could have done with a little more stuffing in his tummy, but I think he might need a little girlie companion to keep him in line, so perhaps she will be a little rounder, shall we say (figures.. huh?!?!?!).  'Edgar' though,  is just the handsomest dude and sits beside my sewing machine now, inspecting everything I do.   He is supposed to be a pin cushion.... but honestly, I can't bring myself to stick a pin in him - he is much to serious for such a frivolous occupation.  Chief consultant on stitching decisions, seems way more appropriate although, in truth, he has as much to say about it as the rest of the boys in the house...LOL!

Finally, there has been some nice programmes on the TV recently to mark the anniversary of the Victory day celebrations after the second world war and an especially charming one about the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, sneaking out of the Palace to join in with the crowds in the Streets of London. This prompted me to think about making a Union Jack quilt for the garden and I made a start on this new project.  The pattern I have is called Jumping Jacks from Joanna Figuero of Fig Tree Quilts.   I love her vintage style and it seems perfect for a project that has its roots in the 1940's.  The creams and tiny prints of her fabrics make you think of WI cake stalls, bunting and Land Girls. 

The first block is done and I am thrilled with it.  It is not the easiest block to make though because of the angles of the stripes and this takes a bit of getting to grips with.  I have it sussed now though, so the next blocks should be much quicker.   I'll be writing some tips about this as I go along in the next few weeks, so if you are interested check back, because making those points work is not as easy as it might look.

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I hope the Bank Holiday weekend brings you all lots of sunshine and time for pondering all the wonderful sewing projects that are out there.   A little Alice in Wonderland coming up next time.  Meanwhile, Happy Stitching.... Love Ruby x