Hello there and Happy New Year to you all. I do find this time of year quite hard, taking down the decorations and feeling a bit flat after Christmas, so the best thing to do is hole up in the sewing room and create something….the result is a new mini quilt pattern to start off my new project ‘Literary Threads’.
I love typewriters and the funny thing is that I didn’t really have them on my radar at all until last year when a friend posted up a picture on Instagram of a retro typewriter that she had been given as a present. I was instantly smitten and filled with nostalgia for this wonderful thing that must have revolutionised the world in it’s day. I learned to type on a typewriter at Secretarial college in Oxford, many moons ago and although almost as soon as I started work, an IBM pc landed on my desk (and I loved it!), I did begin my working life with a typewriter, carbon copies an’ all.
A few years ago, our oldest son (a bookworm) got a vintage Underwood typewriter and I remember the incredulity of my other two kids when pressing the keys and trying to understand the physicality of this piece of engineering. The idea of absolute accuracy seemed an anathema to them - correcting 4 lays of carbon paper - not fun! It is amazing to me how the world has moved on in my lifetime so far. Technology has swept all this aside, but the typewriter was queen bee for over 60 years. It doesn’t appear to have been invented by one person, rather it sort of evolved from a melting pot of ideas, one person adding this and another that. As early as 1808 in Italy it was emerging, but didn’t really become mainstream until around the turn of the century. By 1910, the typewriter as we know it was a fully evolved piece of equipment all over the world and it remained the workhorse of office life for decades. Can you imagine how it transformed things and how it enabled documents to be preserved for us to draw on today. You sometimes see typed film scripts for sale, and for writers and journalists, it must have been heaven to be able to pop out book manuscripts and news articles that were not scruffy handwritten affairs. The portable typewriter was the laptop of it’s day and I am rather partial to some of the brightly coloured versions that you can still find today in retro shops. The click and the ding….the rhythmic tap …tap …tapping - now all sounds of the past. Being a bit of a vintage girl, the typewriter has a special place in my heart and I am absolutely thrilled with this little project .
A little bit pieced, a little bit of appliqué and a little bit of embroidery all contribute to this mini quilt. This is a scrappy project and you will probably have enough fabric in your stash to put it together. The finished version is only 19” x 16”. It is fun to do and relatively quick. You can use some of the wonderful text print fabrics that are available now, or you can personalise it too to make a special gift for someone.
I made a second version in a different colour way and added some extra touches like a second appliqué piece to form the paper going through the roller and some embroidery to add a little touch of humour. Routing through my grandmother’s button tin, I also found this love metal button that seems to have some off a uniform of some sort - I think it looks rather cool on my cushion. After I had finished it, I thought that metallic thread would look pretty good on as well. Making this into a cushion makes it the perfect accessory to an office, study, book room, writing room or in my case, sewing room.
You can find the pdf pattern in my Etsy shop, along with packs of the little buttons needed, if you would like to make one. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RubySeppingsDesigns I might also have some fabric packs available next week too.
Toodle-ooo for now…