Tag Archives: Designers Guild

A New Rocking Dog Quilt In The Kennel

Latest Rocking Dog Quilt,Rocking Dog

Latest Rocking Dog Quilt

I am still a deaf old bat! Holding conversations has been difficult and so I have used the opportunity to seek solace in my sewing machine. A new quilt has been started and finished in the kennel and i’m rather pleased with it!

It all started with the glorious 1930’s embroidered bolster cover bought at Bermondsey Market. For a long while I contemplated how I was going to do this embroidery justice. I started collecting together lovely floral materials and vintage linens from Material Mountain. They stayed together in a lavender scented box waiting for the day when I could give myself the time to make an heirloom quilt.

Looking at the worn bolster cover I decided to remount the fabulous flower border embroidery onto a new backing. With some intrepidation I ironed Bondaweb onto the back of the embroidery. The Bondaweb was used to help prevent fraying and to eventually adhere the embroidery to the new mounting fabric. I carefully cut around the Delphinium and Hollyhock spikes, there was simply no going back now!

I then cut squares of ticking for the central panel and a variety of floral fabrics to create my double sized quilt. I used a patchwork template, rotary cutter and cutting mat. I spent time creating my quilts layout and as in the past chose to use pattern throughout. I worry that plain fabrics can really “kill” a quilt! Some of my squares were sewn with vintage lace and embroidered coasters to add additional texture. The squares were collected up into rows and pegged together. Sewing could begin!

Rows of squares were sewn and then the resulting rows sewn together. A quilt was forming! All the seams were pressed neatly and then it was time to adhere the embroidery onto its custom made ticking panel.There followed the somewhat laborious task of hand sewing the embroidery using carefully matched threads.The quilt panel was then laid onto its “filler”. For this I used the thick interlining of a bargainous curtain I had purchased a while ago in John Lewis. I pinned the quilt to the interlining using safety pins, working from the centre outwards. I then “stitched in the ditch” sewing carefully through each seam of each square. There was a tremendous amount of fabric to feed through the machine and I found it helpful to roll the quilt to help with the manoeuvrability.

It was now time to add the backing fabric for my quilt. This time I used the actual fabric from my aforementioned Designer’s Guild bargain curtain, it continued the floral theme. Again I used the safety pins to attach the layers together. I then laid the quilt out on my dining room table and sewed vintage buttons to each corner of the patchwork squares (leaving the outer edges free of buttons). On the reverse of each button point an embroidered thread tie was knotted. I chose white and clear buttons for the ticking panel so that the beauty wasn’t taken away from the delicious embroidery. After all that button sewing I added a quote from Oscar Wilde to my quilt. On a vintage coaster I wrote in indelible ink “I have many beautiful flowers” he said “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all” (The Selfish Giant). I Bondaweb’d and hand sewed this in place. Finally I sewed a 5/8ths line of stitching around the outer edge of my quilt before shearing away extra fabric and interlining.

I chose a deep ribbon from The Makery to provide the neat edging for my quilt. I pressed the ribbon in half along its whole length and sewed this in place with two rows of stitching. I finished each of the corners with a pretty button. Loose threads cut, remaining safety pins removed, and quilt pressed Rocking Dogs 2017 quilt was complete!

Happy footnote. I entered this and another quilt into the Frenchay Flower Show. I won first prize in the quilting class and a cup for best handicraft in show. I was quietly chuffed!

Piecing The Patches!,Rocking Dog

Piecing The Patches!

Sew The Rows,Rocking Dog

Sew The Rows

Choosing Thread,Rocking Dog

Choosing Thread

Hand Sewing,Rocking Dog

Hand Sewing

Ditch Stitching,Rocking Dog

Ditch Stitching

Fabric Roll,Rocking Dog

Fabric Roll

Pretty Backing,Rocking Dog

Pretty Backing

Button Anchors,Rocking Dog

Button Anchors

Showtime!,Rocking Dog

Showtime!

Rocking Dog Does Each Peach, Pear, Plum…

Each Peach, Pear, Plum..., Rocking Dog

Each Peach, Pear, Plum…

Rocking Dog does each peach, pear, plum. Just what project to complete or embark on? Having had a bit of a long lasting headache this week, decision making has been rather difficult. On Tuesday night I was awake at 4am and I decided on a peppermint tea, pain killers and cuddle with Real Live Rocking Dog. The thought of clandestine sewing or ironing I couldn’t contemplate, so I watched a little TV. A programme about Hitler’s drug habit followed by a smaltzy Christmas movie soon sent me scuttling back to bed!

So  on the Rocking Dog workbench there are indeed a number of projects which require my attention. There are three Roman blinds to finish for the newly weds. They require complete accuracy to ensure a good fit and un-wrunkled drop. Accuracy, I am the first to admit is not one of my strong points! I must persevere and deal with the mathematics of the folds. Curtains next time Alex and Kylie..curtains.

There is a sweet cross stitch panel (number 3) which has been worked by my very brave friend. It is so lovely to spend time bonding over embroidery. Panels completed, I then do a “Tailor of Gloucester” and make the work into something pretty and useful. I am SO proud of my lovely friend’s incredible strives for recovery. I am so sorry for my oh so painful needle threading- it must be so exasperating to observe! x

Talking of cross stitch, I loved the apron stitched by one of the East Quantoxhead village hall ladies. I did ask if I could photograph her charming cross stitched bosom!

Also on the bench is a bale of scrumptious yellow striped silk which will become simple window panels. They will be edged with some coordinating ribbon (fantastic choice to be found at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport).

A fabulous floral single quilt cover also awaits my attention. The cover will be engineered into four pillow cases to accompany a much larger quilt cover. Perhaps you are asking why I didn’t just buy pillow cases. In short, I bought the single quilt in TK Maxx for £16 and now discontinued, the pillow cases are a ridiculous price on eBay…so…

Other sewful things to contemplate are squares to cut for my heirloom floral patchwork quilt. Then somewhat scarily there is sewing for Christmas. My Rocking Dog sales at the kennel will soon come around! Weds 30th November 6.30pm St Andrew’s Day Celebration pre Christmas sale, and Sun 11th December 11am – 2pm Christmas at the Kennel. Profits from refreshments for Young Carer’s and BUST

In the kitchen, the table is laden with jars, jam sugar and local cider. Today I am going to ask my neighbour if I can buy apples from his mini orchard. We affectionately know him as the Log Stealer, for if we ever have any tree work he’s there in minutes with his mini tractor and trailer, helping himself to the lopped branches. Cheeky!! Apples hopefully scrumped i’ll make Apple & Cider Jelly. It will hopefully be for sale together with other preserves and festive eats at my sales.

I REALLY haven’t got time for any more headaches.

Sew Blind, Rocking Dog

Sew Blind

Vibrant Pillowcases, Rocking Dog

Vibrant Pillowcases

Silken Windows, Rocking Dog

Silken Windows

Brave Cross Stitch, Rocking Dog

Brave Cross Stitch

One We Made Earlier, Rocking Dog

One We Made Earlier

Quantocks Cook, Rocking Dog

Quantocks Cook

Patchwork Squares, Rocking Dog

Patchwork Squares

There's Always Christmas!, Rocking Dog

There’s Always Christmas!

Plea For Apples, Rocking Dog

Plea For Apples

Rocking Dog Let Loose In London!

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles

Rocking Dog took a trip to The Big Smoke for Country Living’s Build-A-Business Day. The trip also provided the opportunity to catch up with my girls, and to revel in the joys of Liberty. A stroll down the entire length of the Kings Road followed. My intention was to eventually get to the V&A to see the Undressed-A brief history of underwear exhibition. However, my love of rediscovering all the wonderful items on sale at Liberty rendered time too short to do culture. What a Philistine I am! Filming was going on in the store, with the TV crew shooting “The Apprentice”. That duly explained the sinister convoy of black people carriers outside. I received some of the best customer service ever from Clare in the china department. Thank you Clare you were so helpful.

Along the Kings Road I was stopped in my tracks by a window display under construction. I needed to find out more about the truly beautiful vegetables and flowers that littered a little section of Anthropologie. They were the amazing free motion embroidery work of Rachel Nettles who is the temporary artist in residence. Her work perfectly complements the advent of the up and coming Chelsea Flower Show. Absolutely delicious and covetable items and an amazingly personable woman.

Back on the street other shops are also beginning to show signs of Flower Show fever and there are frenzied bits of frou’ing going on.

Wednesday dawned with a walk to Hackney station, a misty stroll took me on pathways bordered with swathes of cow parsley and neatly stacked gravestones. The commute into the heart of the Metropolis was a baptism of fire. I find it difficult to contemplate how Londoners cope day in, day out with the misery of overpacked tubes and trains. I salute you!

The Build-A-Business Day was held at the Good Housekeeping Cookery School in Soho, and it proved to be a really interesting day. Apart from some inspirational speakers including Emma Bridgewater and Sophie Conran, it was lovely to meet other creative bod’s who were already running businesses or looking to set up businesses. There was good information provided on business planning, submitting press releases and the importance of social media. An opportunity was given for those who wished to pitch their products, so out came my stockings and advent calendars! A delicious lunch together with goody bag completed a very enjoyable and thought provoking day. The CL team were great, very approachable and friendly. Once this wedding is over I am going to have a serious talk with myself, and try to decide how to go about putting Rocking Dog firmly on the map!

On the way to Paddington I couldn’t help myself from making a beeline to a stall in Soho selling material and trims. I bought some gorgeous vintage braids, a plan for them I have not, but a gorgeous addition to Material Mountain.

It was so lovely to be indulgent with time for myself, and I even had the courage to ask for an eyeliner masterclass in MAC. Adele eat your heart out!

Planet wedding really starts gathering pace, and today i’ll perhaps finish THE coat! Other tasks await me on copious lists.

PS Many thanks to Liberty, Designer’s Guild and Osborne and Little for being so receptive in my request for fabric swatches for a special project.

Liberty Flowers, Rocking Dog

Liberty Flowers

The Apprentice Cars, Rocking Dog

The Apprentice Cars

Anthropologie Window, Rocking Dog

Anthropologie Window

More Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

More Rachel Nettles

Ready For Chelsea, Rocking Dog

Ready For Chelsea

Iconic Landmark, Rocking Dog

Iconic Landmark

Hackney Walk, Rocking Dog

Hackney Walk

Feeling Inspired, Rocking Dog

Feeling Inspired

Vintage Braid Buys, Rocking Dog

Vintage Braid Buys

Little Projects For The Week

 Vintage Buttons For Embellishing, Rocking Dog

Vintage Buttons For Embellishing

In amongst various admin’ tasks for Andyman, chores, house guests and muddy dog walks I have some little projects for the week!

I feel I am on the sort of home run with the quilt, with stitching in the ditch completed, borders cut and the backing on the horizon. I am looking forward to sewing on all those vintage buttons whilst nestled beside the fiery wood burner, watching something good.

A rather coveted selection of vintage buttons are also going to be neatly sewn in place. Whilst doing last minute Christmas shopping I spotted a sumptuous Ghost velvet jacket which I loved. Alas, it was hideously expensive. January 2016 beckoned, and I found the said same jacket with a seriously reduced price tag….. It was meant to be! I have decided to make it “mine” by adding a collection of buttons. The trove has been carefully stashed away for years, awaiting their star moment to adorn something gorgeous. Therefore blingy paste, carved Mother of Pearl and Art Nouveau gilt will proudly adorn this timeless garment.

Rather less glamorously a new cover for Real Live Rocking Dogs’s bed needs to be made. An ageing Designer’s Guild remnant from Material Mountain will fit the bill. Given the choice that naughty dog would much rather snuggle up on (or even better in) our bed!

If not a little overly ambitious already, there are some seriously huge red lanterns to de-Christmas! Bought in the clearance section of TK Maxx for £13 each, they will be repainted in chalky white and grace the wedding tipi at the boys wedding in May.

It’s lovely to have some little projects to get my teeth stuck into, now let me see now which one do I tackle first!

Naughty Real Live Rocking Dog, Rocking Dog

Naughty Real Live Rocking Dog

A Dog Bed To Re-cover, Rocking Dog

A Dog Bed To Re-cover

On The Home Run With The Quilt, Rocking Dog

On The Home Run With The Quilt

De-Christmasing The Lanterns, Rocking Dog

De-Christmasing The Lanterns

From A Jack To A King, From A Top To A Bag !

Gather Supplies, Rocking Dog

Gather Supplies

I apologise for today’s posts title. For some reason while I was doing a very slow walk with Real Live Rocking Dog the song lyrics “From a Jack To A King” came into my little brain, very strange, very true! I continued my walk quietly humming the song, wrestling with just who did sing it in yesteryear. I came up wrongly with Max Bygraves and then all the horrible memories of Saturday TV came back. Saturday Night at the Palladium, Dick Emery, Val Doonican, The Black & White Minstrel Show etc… etc… Yep, even then they thought that everyone suddenly lost their brain on Saturday’s and weren’t capable of coping with a gritty drama, documentary or good film. Agggghhh! Something’s never ever change.

Back home having Googled “From A Jack To A King” I think it was probably Slim Whitlam’s version I was remembering. Sorry you will have probably lost the will to live by now!

Yesterday’s little project, because I was still behaving, was to reconfigure a top into a bag. A little bit of a conundrum that Sorrel bravely left me with on a recent visit.

The top in question had been bought for £5 at a recent sample sale. Sorrel could not resist the textural crocheted quality of this garment (that’s my girl!!). Ridiculously tiny, she bought it in the knowledge that it would need to be Sewing Bee’d into something else. She came up with the idea of a chic string bag, and so the project was left with me. I am sure Sorrel was sadly confident that the top would be mulled over, cast aside and then eventually abandoned on Material Mountain! Therefore, she will be somewhat shocked today to find that The Dog has stitched and not bitched the top into a bag!

I came up with a cunning plan over a cup of coffee and a bit of Elgar mixed with Slim’, Elvis and Ibuprofen. I’m not going to give the explicit details of how I went about completing the task but I hope the photo’s give you a little flavour of how I went about it. In short, I reinforced the straps with bias binding to create the bag straps and up cycled some lovely Designer’s Guild silk for a strong inner liner prior to sewing the bottom hem of the crochet top.

Voila! The bag is ready to be laden with everything my modern business woman daughter wishes. Purse, Oyster card, keys, lippy,…… sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, squid, figs etc.. Working for Abel & Cole this bag will be no chici little number!

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a great one and I hope that you are able to brave Saturday night TV better than I can ever do!

Voila! One Top, Rocking Dog

Voila! One Top

Textural Close Up, Rocking Dog

Textural Close Up

Up Material Mountain For Lining!, Rocking Dog

Up Material Mountain For Lining!

Lovely Lining, Rocking Dog

Lovely Lining

Pinning Lining, Rocking Dog

Pinning Lining

Pin & Sew Side Seam, Rocking Dog

Pin & Sew Side Seam

Reinforce Handles, Rocking Dog

Reinforce Handles

Cut & Sew Lining Hem, Rocking Dog

Cut & Sew Lining Hem

Anyone Up For Retail Therapy?, Rocking Dog

Anyone Up For Retail Therapy?