Bespoke hand stitched indigo quilt

Bespoke hand stitched indigo quilt

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A long time ago I was shown photos of a quilt made in India, sold for a shocking price by a well known interiors shop, and asked if I could make something like it but unique to the client. Of course I snapped up the commission and I’ve been working on it on and off ever since.

I’ve never had such bad luck with a project.

We bought this beautiful hand printed linen for the back and I sourced lots of indigo prints online. As always I washed all the fabrics first to make sure they were then colour fast and had done all their shrinking.

I decided to hand quilt it, using a thick cotton bedspread as wadding as this have the quilt a heavy bed spread like quality.

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After working on it for many hours I realised I didn’t like what I using instead if wadding. It was heavy but not comfy, bulky but not lofty. But I had put so much time in it ready. I carried on stitching.

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It needed washing after one of my cats used it for curling up on so without a thought I bunged it in the machine on a cool short wash. All the fabric had been pre washed so I did not expect what was about to happen. Something blue ran so badly all the gorgeous linen and all the white in the patterned fabric was patchy blue. I almost cried. Instead though I decided it was a sign to start again. I ripped ALL the stitches out, months of work. I separated the front and back and took out the offending middle. I washed all pieces in colour run remover twice to remove most of the blue wash.

Then I started again with a gorgeous cotton wadding.

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This time everything went according to plan. It still took a few months to hand quilt but I was so chuffed when it was done. It looked gorgeous. One last gentle wash cycle and then it could be handed over. No. Way. What happened here? I took the quilt out of the machine only to find it covered in tons of white “bobbles” like some cheap polycotton duvet cover. No. Way. Turns out the expensive cotton wadding had worked it’s way out through the quilt top. Many mang tedious hours of removing most by hand later and I was SO ready to send that quilt off to it’s new home! I love you but I cannot live with you. Sorry quilt. Off you go.

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Utrecht, Netherlands, pt1

Utrecht, Netherlands, pt1

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Max and myself are just returning from a week in Utrecht. I only lived near and in Utrecht for 8 years between the ages of 11 and 19 but it is a beautiful town which I love visiting. It will always hold a special place in my heart. My parents live in nearby in Zeist which is in the woods and pretty (although too quiet for me!) And of course some of my best friends still live there, the lovely Aster, Annemieke and Nancy (with her brilliant kids Eva and Diede).

One of the highlights of any visit is always the weekly fabrics market. One long street is filled with stalls selling fabric and trimmings.

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European fabric is cheap and very cheerful. It is almost always 100% cotton and usually 1.5m wide (compare to the UK’s 1.2m) so you get even more fabric for your buck.

Needless to say I try to go over with a purse full of money and an empty suitcase. It never quite works out as I’m travelling with kids so I cannot travel light but I always come home with treasures all the same.

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This time I didn’t buy too much fabric, still being on a fabric diet and trying to use up my stash instead, but I spent a fortune on ribbons, pompom trims and thread. Bit of a neon theme I discovered later!

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I did buy a little fabric, I was quite taken with the combo…

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I highly recommend a visit. The market is on every Saturday morning until 1pm. I can find the address for you if you leave a comment. Apparently there’s a big one in Amsterdam on Mondays but I’ve not been there before.

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Bespoke quilts

Bespoke quilts

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just a cheeky little quilt photoshoot in the spring garden this afternoon with some input from Jasper and Theo
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New quilt commission

New quilt commission

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It has been ages since I’ve been commissioned to make a new quilt and I’ve missed it. A lovely local woman who’s got 6 month old twins (as well as two older children) donated money to my crowdfunding campaign in exchange for two quilts for the babies.

We had a meeting and she showed me some lovely things she had collected for their room including the playmat above. I then went away and came up with a design and bought some fabric and now I’m working on them.

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I’m making a central panel for each with their name on it, and their twins name worked into it too, and I’m using scrappy log cabin blocks around the outside. They are big blocks, about 10″ square. So much fun to make!

I have lots of other work I should be getting on with but I’m addicted to these blocks and the yummy colours

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Watch this space for more and don’t forget there’s still time to get your own heavily discounted quilt, or sewing classes, by donating to the crowd funding cause for a new sewing studio here.

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cheeky handmades