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Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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sewing for teenagers

Sky Quilt – a teen project

It’s finished. Middle Teen has finished her first quilt. I’m so pleased with how it has turned out, but far more importantly, she loves it. It’s her quilt. Apart from the odd pointer from me, she’s just got on and made it all by herself. Transferring the skills she learnt while making her patchwork tote and cushion.

I love her choice of fabric. This is a girl who dreams of flying. I don’t just mean that she wants to fly, but she also wakes up, on a regular basis, from dreams where she is flying. A quilt made of images of hot air balloons and space seems even more of a perfect choice to snuggle under, while dreaming her dreams.

(photo from 2012)

The project

Selection of the fabric and cutting out happened back in 2012. She was eight. I took her to a local fabric shop and gave her full rein. She chose hot air balloons, cosmic images and flags fluttering in the sky, along with a blue to break it up.

After cutting out the squares, she spent ages playing with the arrangement.

Then the project was put aside to gather dust.

Move on to 2017 and she dug out my old hand-cranked Singer sewing machine, to sew the patches together. She was pleased with the arrangement and enjoyed stitching them. The slow rhythm of the manual sewing machine is something every person, who sews or not, should experience at least once. Good sewing therapy.

Anyway, then the project was put aside again to gather dust. (Not literally. She did store it in a box)

Time shift to early 2019. She’s 15. I gave her a piece of wadding and an old duvet cover for a backing fabric, which she duly sandwiched together.

Slight pause. Dust bunnies formed and multiplied….

This holiday, I encouraged her to finish it. Partly because I needed my curved safety pins back which she’d used to pin it all together. Out came the old Singer sewing machine, once more. It really is a good machine for quilting. She sewed in the ditch, which basically means where two squares meet.

She was on a roll now. Using the backing fabric, folded over to the front, she made the binding. She even figured out how to do mitred edges for the corners, which I was hugely impressed by.

Quick, light press of the fabric and it was done. My funny, gorgeous girl had finished her quilt. Several years may have elapsed, but I really do believe she tackled each stage, when she was ready for it.

She’s starting her Textiles GCSE course this September. I hope finishing this quilt will give her just that little bit more confidence to take on any project. I want her to fly. I want her to believe that she is capable of anything, because she is. Oh, yes. My girl can do it. There is no doubt.

Spring top for a teen

I’m over as a guest on Minerva Crafts today, with this lovely top I made for my eldest teen. Lacy fabric coupled with, and breathing fresh life into, an upcycled fabric I had in my stash.  A perfect spring combination. The lace is soft to sew and wear, which suited us both fine. More photos, on their blog today.

A homemade birthday blouse

mccalls m6951 view A front floralWhile I add the finishing touches to my latest sewing project, I admit, I do ponder about the best place to photograph it. Take the latest blouse I’ve made for Eldest. It’s floral. I couldn’t help thinking that a beautiful garden in full, flamboyant bloom would fit the bill.

So. This week we revisited Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Bishops Palace Wells CathedralApart from the wonderful waterside views, it does have beautiful flower gardens. Perfect.

mccalls m6951 view A side floral

Sewing Details

Before I talk about the gardens, just want to say that I’m really pleased with how the blouse turned out. Eldest is too. It’s made using the pattern McCall’s M6951.

A tiny word of warning about the pattern. There is a “Girl” size and a “Girl Plus” size. If your children are willowy, like mine, go for the “Girl” size. Might sound obviously. I assumed it was the difference between a tween and a teenager. My mistake. Should have checked the measurements. Oops!

mccalls m6951 view A back floral Fortunately, nothing had been cut out before I realised my mistake. The pattern is easy to follow. Not too many pieces. Only part that made me think was attaching the collar to the collar band. Got there in the end. Don’t be fooled by the photo above. There is no tuck in the back. I should have made sure it was flat, before the photo.

Fabric quantities seem to be out as well. I ordered fabric for view A. It calls for a contrast fabric for the back. Turns out I had enough to do the whole garment in the floral fabric, with some left over. Not sure if the suggested lace is meant to be an overlay. I’ve double checked in case I’ve made a mistake, but I seem to be right.  Admittedly, I seldom follow the suggested layout, so that might help to explain. But then again, who does?

willow dog bishops palace

This is going to be a popular blouse. She has asked if I’ll add an extra button, but otherwise it is perfect. The fabric is scrummy. I loved sewing with it. I’m told it’s lovely and soft to wear too. Very comfortable. Making it an ideal choice for a day out.

leapfrogging willow structure bishops palace wells

Bishop’s Palace, Wells

As for the venue, Bishop’s Palace has two new exhibitions on at the moment. They have willow sculptures by Elaine Marks, dotted around the grounds, and in the Palace there is an exhibition by a local artist Chris Lee, that I was keen to see. Children loved seeing both of these as well as the stained glass wings from last year.

willow statues at Bishops Palace

 

While some like to sketch what they see, others like to express their own interpretation of the sculptures. Hmm. Still figuring out this one.

willow deer head Bishops Palace

They all enjoyed it. Inspired by all they saw.

mccalls 6951 view A floral

This girl turned into a teenager this week. Would you believe it? I, of course, can’t believe how the years have flown, and may demand a recount. Quite relieved that her new blouse was ready for her birthday. Yeh!

Details

Fabric, pattern and thread: Minerva Crafts  (tulips flowers cotton poplin dress fabric)
Buttons: Local fabric store

Have a look at the talented Shirley’s version of this top. She’s used lace on the back.


Noticed as I went through the photos that all the children are wearing at least one homemade piece. Middle has a pair of leggings, which I don’t think I’ve blogged. Youngest is overacting in his new car shirt and hand-me-down recycled trousers. Nice to see my handiwork still being used and appreciated. Smile.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don’t just take. Written permission only. Don’t pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It’s not nice.

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