Tag Archives: Ticking

Sewing Into The Wee Hours

Sewing With My Little Helpers, Rocking Dog

Sewing With My Little Helpers

Sewing into the wee hours, Rocking Dog is making full length bay window curtains for Sorrel (and Pete). Ticking, lined with blackout material they will keep out street light, winter chills (!) and prying eyes. The four finished drapes will be hung from a copper pipe pole and will look great set against the Inchyra Blue walls. A minimalist house my girls’ house is not, there are lots of boho treasures to delight guests.

So it’s just me, Beloved Bernina and my little deep south helpers sewing into the night. These lovely gingham frocked girls probably date from the 30’s and are modelled over sand filled American lemonade bottles. They are obviously not very PC, but I love their loving handmade-ness and honesty. With buttons for eyes and brass curtain rings for hoop earrings they are so “Gone With The Wind”.

Whilst I sew I am enjoying music from the movies, including themes from “Gladiator”,
“Dances With Wolves” and “Out Of Africa”. Maybe i’ll even put on “Gone With The Wind” for the girls.

Sleep Well. Love a sew happy Rocking Dog x

Monochrome Ticking, Rocking Dog

Monochrome Ticking

Prototype – Masculine Aromatic Spice Sachets

Masculine Prototype, Rocking Dog

Masculine Prototype

I put cleaning on the back burner (that often happens, i’m ashamed to say!) and decided to make a crafty prototype. Having previously made pretty vintage lavender stuffed hearts I wanted to make a masculine alternative. Men get moths too!

I decided to make a little stack of mini pillows made from masculine fabrics. I chose a ticking, dog tooth check and toile de jouy. The toile curtains were a lucky charity shop find many years ago. I deconstructed the lining fabric and heading tape, leaving lots of lovely monochromatic fabric to use for a host of interesting projects. Pin stripe suiting, tartan and tweeds would work equally well.

If you want to make these simple aromatic spice sachets, here’s how I made them.

1. Choose some fabrics which complement each other. I selected three in tones of black and white.
2. Make a template. I find when cutting small swatches of fabric a template is great to draw round quickly. My mini pillow template measured 20cm length x 10cm width. I also made a template exactly half these measurements to make the strung square sachets. Cut out your fabric pieces. I created 2 mini pillows and 2 strung sachets for my finished package.
3. For each sachet put two of your fabric pieces right side to right side. Pin if wished.
4. Start sewing by lining up the fabric to give you a 3/8ths seam allowance ( your sewing machine stitch plate should be marked to help with this). Begin stitching approximately 2cm in from the bottom of one of the short sides.
5. Continue sewing right the way around the little pillow until you get to the original short side. Do a small amount of stitching, before stopping to leave a gap to fill your pillow.
6. Cut each corner diagonally close to the stitch line. This will help give you some sharp corners when the fabric is turned out.
7. Turn the pillow right ways out, using a pencil end or chopstick to poke out the corners.
8. Press with a hot iron (remember woollen fabrics will require a cooler iron).
9. For the strung sachets, machine stitch a loop of ribbon to the corner of your small sachets.At this stage you can stitch a pretty (oops! manly) button at the point where you have stitched your ribbon.
10. Stuffing begins! I used a mixture of English Lavender, Allspice Berries, Cloves, Juniper Berries, Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise and a few drops of Lavender Oil. Create your own concoction. I fill my sachets using a dessert spoon to pour in all the goodies, but you could use a funnel for the smaller elements. This fiddly stage can take a little while so enjoy a sing.
11. Very neatly hand stitch the open seam. Cut any loose threads and give your sachets a gentle squish.
12. Stack your sachets neatly, and package. I used a band of fine corrugated card, twine, Ikea blackboard label and a cinnamon stick.
13. Voila! a wonderfully aromatic stack of manly spice sachets to keep any sock drawer smelling sweet.

I might just do a little batch of these, the smell is simply intoxicating!

Enjoy your weekend whatever it brings. I’m going to get busy with a tin of Farrow & Ball – so i’ll be sporting a whole new hair colour next week!

Feminine Sewing, Rocking Dog

Feminine Sewing

Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Material Mountain

Choices Made, Rocking Dog

Choices Made

Simple Sewing, Rocking Dog

Simple Sewing

Scented Stuffing, Rocking Dog

Scented Stuffing

Fairy Pillows, Rocking Dog

Fairy Pillows

Hambrook Quilting Bee Hangs Up Her Needle!

Ready To Slumber Under, Rocking Dog

Ready To Slumber Under

Yes, the Hambrook Quilting Bee has hung up her needle- the quilt is finished!

Lots has happened since my last quilt making post. After sewing the squares together I backed the patchwork mass with some cotton batting (wadding) using safety pins to secure the layers. Following this I used a special walking foot on beloved Bernina to do something called “stitching in the ditch”. This is a technique to topstitch accurately between each square and to anchor the various layers together. I then added a border of dog tooth gingham before cutting backing fabric of traditional pillow ticking.

Some very late nights followed, sewing vintage buttons between the squares to further secure the three layers. I used green embroidery thread for the task and left decorative knotted threads on the quilts reverse.

Searching through fabric mountain for edging fabric I came upon my dusty French ribbon box. I remember buying this box at some street market in a now long forgotten French city. I remember seeing boxes upon boxes of ribbons, obviously the contents of some ancient defunct haberdasher. Sadly with space at a premium (no doubt a car bulging with three children, tent and camping paraphernalia) I could only choose one box! This box is labelled “bandeaux autruche coul” Translated, bandeaux means strip, often pertaining to fabric strips used for the hair. Autruche meanwhile is a place in the Champagne region of France, whilst Coul I see as an abbreviation for coleur (colour). As most of the ribbons are in shades of creams through to browns could this be the box that the Haberdasher labelled “Champagne coloured ribbon” ? I am reminded of the custom of buying and wearing new ribbons in books by Jane Austen and the like. In my box I found ribbon to edge my quilt and some lovely old Swedish braid to completely over gild the lily!

I didn’t quite make it round with my edging ribbon so I improvised with a little braid that originally came from my Mum’s sewing box. I have an old Welsh quilt that has lots of odds and ends incorporated into its fabulous make up…and I love it!

Loose threads cut, quilt pressed, there was just one final flourish. I added a verse and chose something from Virgil, the Roman Virgil and not the Thunderbirds Virgil! Incidentally, it reminds me that my son Alex’ as a little boy hated going to have his hair cut, so the promise of a Virgil (the Thunderbirds variety) hairstyle was the only way we could avoid tantrums! Back to Roman Virgil, I love “the dank night is sweeping down from the sky and the setting stars incline our heads to sleep”, thus I penned the verse onto a vintage linen coaster, backed it with Bondaweb and ironed it to the quilt.

Voila! The quilt is finished. I just need to decorate the room it is destined for, so that I can let the patchwork slumbers begin!

Stitch In The Ditch!, Rocking Dog

Stitch In The Ditch!

Laborious Buttons!, Rocking Dog

Laborious Buttons!

Quilting Bee, Rocking Dog

Quilting Bee

Swedish Border, Rocking Dog

Swedish Border

Champagne Strips, Rocking Dog

Champagne Strips

Vintage Haberdashery, Rocking Dog

Vintage Haberdashery

Edging Improvisation, Rocking Dog

Edging Improvisation

Finishing Touch, Rocking Dog

Finishing Touch

Folded & Waiting, Rocking Dog

Folded & Waiting