Thursday, 20 October 2016

Vintage Suitcase Makeover


We had a lovely weekend at the Pickering War Weekend in the North Yorkshire Moors.  The weather was a bit dodgy but there were some dry spells.

There were lots of interesting vintage stalls, mainly 1940's clothes alongside some vintage treasures.

Couldn't resist this old slightly tatty small suitcase.

At first I thought it was made of fibre board stuff but looking more closely at the scuffs, could be really hard leather.  Cleaned with my saddle soap which got the grime off but it still looked faded and scuffed.  So working on the principle that I couldn't make it any worse, gave it a coat of Danish oil.  I know Danish oil is normally for wood but...

It worked, brought the colour up nicely and gave it a nice sheen. Turns out its a case made for the Post Office, no idea of its age.  I am guessing around 1930/40 but if you know better, please let me know.

Was going to line the inside with Liberty Fabric but decided to leave it well alone.  Filled it with fabric (now there is surprise).

The other suitcase is another find, its in really good condition so apart from a quick wipe over, nothing to do with that one apart from filling it with, yes, fabric!

They look great together.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Victorian Cased Scissors

Good afternoon

Its a lovely sunny afternoon in North Yorkshire, just been out on the horse through a country estate with wonderful views.  Sorry didn't take my camera, Jester can be a bit tricky so need my hands on the reins not holding cameras.

Its a while since I have blogged, naughty girl!  Been changing my work van just before we went on holiday so a bit hectic.

We had a day trip to  Edinburgh where I found a little antique shop just off the Royal Mile.  Couldn't resist this little case.  Think that I paid too much for it but its sooo cute.

What's inside?

Stock scissors and a Sterling Silver thimble which is the right size for me.  Yippee.

The scissors are really sharp but a bit of tight fit in the case, especially the band holding them which got me thinking. Don't think they are original to the case, along with the Thimble which is slightly too small for its holder.  Did a quick check on the makers mark on the thimble, its a H.G & S. which translate to Henry Griffiths & Son.  Its just marked Sterling Silver so unable to date it but its also got the words "The Spa" marked on it.  He moved to Leamington Spa in 1920 he made these thimbles around 1930.  The scissors have a France mark so highly unlikely they started out together.  I am sure that the case will be Victorian.

So had a quick hunt on Ebay to see if I could find some Victorian scissors and found this very distressed case with 2 pairs of scissors

The small ones were just the right fit for my little case, they fit perfectly.

While I was on, glued the double case back together using a scrap of fabric to support the hinge.

Its still a tatty but I like it.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Vintage Button Display


Had a long weekend away in the rain.  Gosh, did it rain!  We were supposed to come home on Monday so that I could ride the horse in the afternoon and go back to work on Tues morning.  We only got 6.5 miles away from Settle, driving through long shallow floods in the road. Then a bloke flagged us down asking for a lift back to his drowned car, so off we went in our motorhome.  He wasn't joking about his car being drowned, the car behind him was being bailed out as well.  He kept saying "you'll be ok in your diesel van"  yeah right!  We are going to take notice of someone who was daft enough to drive through without checking.  So on with my new wellies, I went for a paddle, only got a couple of strides in, it was just about at the top of my wellies about turn pronto.  We (this is the royal "we") had to back the motorhome up the road for a while until he (see I wasn't driving it) could get it turned round, these dales roads are narrow.  Luckily in the village we had just gone through there was a cracking little campsite so we stayed the night as going back to Settle wasn't an option as the shallow floods had turned into very deep floods.  I know that I had wanted rain for the gardens and lawns but not that much!

Luckily took some hand sewing with me, a Red Work pattern by Mandy Shaw I have had this pattern for a while and its dated 2004 so not on her website anymore but if you like it, she might still do the pattern if you ask nicely.

I had a small collection of vintage mother of pearl buttons so put them on it.  They are soo pretty, had to add a couple of modern buttons to make up the numbers.

Made an extra one for the lovely Sarah Oatley from Drawn Threads Drawn Threads  She has just moved into her new studio/shop in Darlington.  Looking forward to sewing circle in new surroundings.  She has been working so hard to get it up to scratch, it looks beautiful now.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Bloom Along Quilt


My sewing has been very neglected recently, my garden takes a lot of looking after in the summer and that's on top of my customers gardens.   But gardening 7 days a week makes Sharon a very unhappy girl!  So took a bit of a break from it this last weekend and did a bit of sewing.

First made a pressy for someone special.  Liked it sew much, made another 2 for good measure.

Heart shaped pin cushions with a handy scissor pocket.

Put some home grown lavender in the filling so they smell nice too.

Then I tackled the Lori Holt Bloom along quilt.  I have had the blocks done for ages but couldn't decide how I would do the borders.  Finally made up my mind after much dithering (which is not like me at all).  Put a border sash around each block so its slightly different to Lori's  (Bloom Along Quilt)

I loved doing the blocks for this quilt.  Its the first time I have really done applique on a grand scale.

Now all I have to do is put the quilt together then dither on how I am going to quilt it!

Feel better now I have some sewing under my belt.  Back to gardening today.  No peace for the wicked.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Fabric Sample Book Quilt


Haven't done much sewing recently, been busy with my gardening business, the weather has been kind to me until this week.  So seeing it rained on Wednesday had a date with my Singer 201K.

I was given a fabric sample book which I took apart and cut the fabric (upholstery) into squares.  Ended up with a considerable pile of squares.

The fabric was very good quality retailing at around £50 per metre.  Some of it was heavyweight fabric,  the linens had an open weave, a few frayed badly,  all of which is totally different to my normal cotton quilting fabric.  Made them up into 9 patch squares to make into a quilt.  I used a fake suede type fabric for the sashing which again was a fairly thick.  It was tricky to put together as some of the fabric squares moved around, especially the thick pile ones.  The Singer coped fairly well even when I added the fake suede sashing.  Added some wadding and cotton sprig backing.

Then the fun started, the 201K has hardened steel gears so is a very strong machine and boy, I needed that strength.

Please note that I do not recommend that you trying sewing stuff like this on a normal modern machine, especially if it has plastic  gears.  My other vintage Singer 327K wouldn't have been strong enough to sew this and that has metal gears.  So be really careful, I once broke an Elna by trying to sew a thick horse rug.

I used a walking foot and Size 16 needle (which was the thickest one I had), I still had to ease the fabric through the machine, it was really tough, some of the thick seams pushed the foot across so my quilting lines are far from straight. The quilt is heavy had to keep the weight on the table so that it didn't drag the quilt sideways through the machine.  It was the trickiest quilt I have ever done, glad I didn't make it larger.  Used the backing material to bind the edges.  Lucky the weather had cooled down as its an extremely warm quilt to have on your lap while sewing the binding on

So pleased with my heavyweight, not sure if I would make another one I was pushing my luck with my machine, I think this was the limit of what it could cope with

Oh, the fabric book had a really strong back cover on it so I made it into a patchwork design board by covering one side with wadding and finishing the edges with a matching bias binding which was glued on.

The back is a fake leather.


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Fabric Sample Book Cushions


The lovely Sarah from Drawn Threads gave me some fabric squares from a sample book, the type that you choose your sofa fabric from.  I had the idea to make some new cushions out of them. Managed to get 5.5 inch squares out of each one of the pieces of fabric which was handy as when I sewed them into a nine patch it was exactly the right size for my existing cushion pads.  Phew. Backed them with an off cut of fabric that I bought for £2.  Used the zips unpicked from my old cushion covers.

While in the cushion making mood, made some more using the leather I was given along with pieces from Sarah's free fabric box and upholstery fabric I was saving for a rainy day.  Covered some buttons for the middle with matching fabrics.

I like the idea of thrifty makes, gives me more pleasure than just buying new cushions.


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Quilts for Twins


My nephew Lee's wife is haviidentical so I made a couple cot quilts for them.

Used the same fabric but made them slightly different.  One has patchwork butterflies and the other cute bunnies.

As I had some fabric over, made a useful bag to put them in.  I was lucky to be given some leather from a local furniture company, the green was the perfect colour to match the green in the fabric, jammy or what.

Babies arrived safely one last night before midnight and the other early this morning so different birthday dates which will be nice for them when they grow up a bit.  They are both a decent size so should be home soon.


Update, babies doing well, identical girls.  They have called them May and June.  X