confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Sneak Peek

For me – one bathmat

Ages ago I bought a lovely bathmat from Ikea (I love Ikea – just their fabric section can keep me happy for hours). Well it lasted for ages, looking lovely and blue (my favourite colour and obviously a good colour for my blue and white bathroom) and small and perfectly formed to fit in the minuscule space between the bath, the washbasin and the door. That is, it lasted well until a certain young lady of my family wasn’t as careful as she might have been when colouring her hair and got a big splodge of deep red hair dye on my lovely bathmat.

I put up with it for a bit and then decided that I could use an excess hand-towel for a bath mat instead. I have a whole set of duck egg blue (another favourite colour, which features in my living room) towels in the airing cupboard originally bought to deaden the sound of my son’s drums. When he went off to university the drum kit got packed away and the set of towels went to live in the airing cupboard with their new friends.

I’ve been looking for a replacement for the “dropped towel on the floor” look for a while now.  I’ve seen several I like,

this one:

this lovely one:

this one,

and this lovely one

But while they are all lovely, and importantly, do-able, nothing got me reaching for my clean used towels and quilting cotton stash. Until I saw this photo on Stichery Dickery Dock;

I’ve loved Cathedral Windows quilts since the first time I saw one, but how much work is in one? Too much.

So when I saw the link to Amy’s tutorial on her blog I clicked and then read through the tutorial.

Simple, maybe even easy. I know that this tutorial is for a playmat, but would this work with white towelling for the backing?

Well, I’ve spent all day waiting for the quilting cotton to wash and dry enough so I could iron it. I’ve even ironed all of my laundry while I was waiting for the quilting cotton to dry (desperate times…).  I’ve cut out the fabric circles (using a dinner plate as the template, because I don’t have Amy’s flash circle-drawing thingy) and now I’m stuck.

I have cut too many circles for a start (d’oh!). I think 3 by 3 will be a good size for my bathmat, so I cut out 9 towelling circles, and then 9 each of the two fabrics that I love and want to have in my bathroom. But I only need 4 of one and 5 of the other. Or I could have all the circles in the same fabric, but then I’d have to choose which fabric, and I can’t choose.

So I pinned some circles together to give myself an idea of what the finished mat might look like. I took some photos and I played with them on picmonkey to give myself all the options I could think of.  Now I need some help to decide which is best. Please bear in mind that my bathroom is white, with sky blue and white tiling and pale yellow painted walls above the tiles and pale yellow (non-slip vinyl flooring), and very small. Also the finished mat will be 3 by 3 but  the photos are only 2 by 2.

All batik

All stripe

Alternating batik and stripe


I really love the batik (it’s not real batik, it’s a print but I love it anyway and I don’t feel nervous about using it for something that’s going to get used a lot), but I want to use the stripe too. I suppose I could make two, one of each fabric and alternate them, but two bathmats? really?

I give up. What do you think?


Not panicking at all

My sister has gone into hospital to be induced today, which means that my niece will be appearing today or tomorrow (fingers crossed).

The quilt for my niece is not finished (to be honest, not actually started, although I did pick out the fabrics for it last night). Not that I’m panicking (well maybe a  little bit).

Partly worrying because the baby’s not due for another week and my sister’s having to be induced. The medical people have decided that the baby is coming out now. And partly because I haven’t started cutting for the quilt yet, never mind sewing.

These are the fabrics I have chosen (although I don’t have enough of the purple/violet ones at the end, so I may have to dig something else out of my stash):

And these are the quilts that I have seen on the internet that I like and pinned on my pintrest board so I wouldn’t forget (click on the photos to see the original blogs they came from):

by Krista at Spotted Stone Studio on flickr

so far, all of these are too much cutting and sewing for the amount of time I have, eek!

I need something simple and quick

I want to make a zig zag one like this

or a rail fence like this

but this stripy one would be quick

I haven’t done HST before, but is this really the time to learn?

or I could go back to the one I made before

I think I’m leaning towards the Purl Bee’s stripy one, or maybe a really large rail fence, with three rows, two squares per row and some white sashing.

I want to start cutting today or tomorrow, so fastest one could be the one that actually gets made.

Wish me (and my sister) luck!

Claire Bear

WIP ~ Quilt in progress

When my daughter went off to university (sorry, proud Mom moment there) she asked me to make her a quilt that she could throw over her bed when friends come to her room in halls, so that she can hide her mess. It didn’t have to be thick and warm, just big. She didn’t want cutesy Cath Kidson style prints all over it either (I was stunned when she said that, she has been CK mad for years now), she wanted something more grown up that she would still want to use in several decades time. (OMG, my daughter has finally got the concept of not buying something, using it twice and then getting rid of it! Sorry honey if you’re reading this, but it’s true. I love you anyway.)

A bit like the rainbow quilt I did, but much bigger and more colourful.

I cut the fabric for it a while ago before she left home, but I needed to finish this cloak first

Well the other night I got fed up with sorting out stuff for my new home, tidying and cleaning, so I started to sew.

(felt sooo good to be machine sewing again. Hello sewing machine my old friend, sorry I ignored you, I didn’t want to)

Here’s the pile of fabric that’s been sitting waiting for way too long:

The dark red/mauve at the bottom of the photo is the backing fabric, the rest is destined for the quilt.

This is how far I got in about 3 hours of chain piecing:

132 very big rectangles, joined together into 12 rows. No, it wouldn’t fit in one photo, yes I am rubbish joining photos together to make one long one.  Lots of ironing now, before I sew all of the rows together and then I can back and quilt it.

UPDATE: The day after I wrote this, I got fed up with this quilt already and ironed it while watching TV and sewed the strips together as well.  It now looks like this. It just needs a thin layer of wadding and the backing put on, and then I can quilt it with some variegated quilting thread in shades of brown and gold to match the chocolate brown binding that I choose for it.

Yes, it’s huge. No, not all of the corners match up, but I’m not stitching in the ditch on this one, so I don’t mind. I’m too scared to try free-motion quilting, but I’m going to try wavy lines instead of straight ones and a couple of patterns in the quilting (maybe).

Have you noticed that as soon as I start to blog about a piece of sewing  I haven’t touched for ages, I zoom ahead with it? This is the second one now, it went from piles of cut fabric to a completed top in 24 hours.

Maybe I should blog about my WIP’s more often?

What do you have on the go right now?

Claire Bear

%d bloggers like this: