Monthly Archives: December 2013

Quilting the big quilt

My quilting station is organised. The quilt is so huge that I am using all of our dining table and the sofa in front of it to drape the thing over and keep it as flat as possible.

I have started in the middle and shoved half of the quilt under the arm of the sewing machine so that I can smooth out any lumps and bumps towards the edges as I go along.

My thread spool is too big to be held tightly on the machine, so I have put it in a cup which is just about as wide as the bottom of the spool. I just rested it on top of the machine and amazingly it stays where it is while I am sewing.

I have a pot to hand to stash the safety pins in as I take them out when I have quilted a section of the quilt and also my trusty rubber gloves with the fingertips cut off to help me glide the quilt smoothly as I free-motion quilt.

I’m all ready to go!


The small armchair is finished

The first piece of fabric to be secured was the bit covering the seat and the front of the chair. Then I moved onto the arms.

After securing the sides of the chair cover over the arms and underneath the chair frame with staples, I grabbed part of this piece of fabric from the back of the chair to pull it tightly and fix it. There wasn’t quite enough of the fabric to staple securely, so I tacked a piece on (the bit you can see me holding) and sewed a length of cord onto a very tiny piece to help me yank it through from the front.


One of the next jobs was to sew the two sections together with an invisible ladder stitch into the seam with the piping. You can’t see my stitches, can you? That’s because they’re invisible.

I may only use ladder stitch ever again on every project from now on. I have grown to love it.


In order to get a straight seam along the back of the chair, I used a length of thick cardboard tape, which I stapled to the top of the chair. I covered it with a bit of polyester to smooth out the edges before flipping the fabric over and revealing a beautiful seam in which all of the squares in the pattern lined up (this took a very long time to get right).

I then ladder stitched the back panel to the chair using a curved needle and working a little way down one side, then switching to the other so that the seams were even and the tension equal on both sides. I had to use three panels of fabric for the back panel, to use up bits I had left over. I am very pleased that I was able to match these squares up too.

After having secured the cover (I know I make this sound easy; it actually took a lot of hours and much unpicking of staples and re-stretching of fabric), it was time for the fun jobs of making a piped cushion with welts for the seat of the chair and a mini piped scatter cushion for my son’s back (and stapling black bottoming onto the, er, bottom)…



It's finished! It just needs its feet.

It’s finished! It just needs its feet.


Making a cushion for the seat


A reminder of how it used to look

An upholstery project for an evening

I’ve had this large blanket box hanging around for ages, winking at me and flaunting its faded fabric and stained wood.







So I decided to take the lid off…:







…remove the panel from inside the lid and recover it in new fabric:







I now have a blanket box that matches the little armchair I am re-upholstering. All it needs now is to be repainted. That will take me longer than an evening, but be assured, a blog post charting its progress will surely follow! 


Quilting again

Hurrah! Posh new sewing machine has arrived and I can get on with quilting my first quilt.

Here’s a practice piece before I start on the real thing. It’s a tiny dolly’s quilt that I made for my son.

Notice the low-tech quilting glove solution to help me glide the quilt around as I free-motion quilt.

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