I'm joining Elizabeth and friends again for her weekly online sewing circle, sharing sewing projects and current reads. I have done a lot of sewing this week! It seems I kind of go in spurts here. Not long ago someone asked me if I sew much and I quickly replied I really don't. I went on to explain it's Josiah who really sews prolifically, and how we even bought him his own sewing machine. Well, that was then. Josiah and I have both been sewing fiendishly this week.
First off, I made a quilt. With spring here and all the work we're doing to tidy up the landscaping and make things pretty, I couldn't abide the unattractive swing on my front porch. Observe-
Blah. (said Toad) I got it into my head to make a pretty quilt to cover up the ugly faded brown that used to be green stripes, something to coordinate with our blue front door and its springy colorful wreath like so-
So I set out to make a quilt made from thrifted vintage sheets and pillowcases. I like the soft colors and florals and it seemed like the perfect material for a porch quilt as I didn't want to invest a lot of time or money for something to sit out in the sun.
I decided to make the quilt out of ten inch squares, mainly because standard pillowcases are twenty inches wide. I calculated an array of seven by seven would fit the swing nicely. I used a variety of pillowcases for the front, and a large blue floral sheet for the backing and 'binding'. I admire the musings of Pleasant View Anna (as we fondly refer to her around here) on how quilting need not be intimidating, and I followed her method of binding by just wrapping the backing fabric around to the front for the edging. The batting is actually some sort of thin blanket or mattress pad type thing also picked up at the thrift store.
I cut out all my squares and spread them out on the floor, and this is where the fun began. I asked various children if I should make a pattern or do it randomly, and their answers were quite typical of their personalities. The vote was for 'pattern' and so I came up with this -
What he came up with is based on the concept of the Magic Square, with the different fabric patterns functioning as numbers. It's all very mathematical and logical and I love that it's designed by my son's mathematical and logical brain. I sewed the top last Thursday, machine quilted it on Friday, and did the hand sewing of the edging on Sunday. Et voilà!
I also made a few little gifts this week. My dear sister, who loves her tea as much as I do, recently sent me the cutest little teapot cookie cutter she found in a shop somewhere. So I thought I would send her a little tea wallet so she could keep her favorite Tetley British Blend tea bags (what else?) handy in her purse.
I think it came out pretty cute! Pattern found here: Tea Wallet Tutorial
I also made a little purse for Mary Rose for her birthday using this sweet rose fabric I found. I was smitten with the tiny bees on it amongst the flowers. Pattern here: Buttercup Bag As you can see, I added pink ribbon for trim instead of the button detail, sewing it on to cover the seam.
And finally, the Books! These are our two current read alouds. I am reading Manalive during afternoon teatime. What can I say? We love Chesterton. It's such classic Chesterton in which nothing is really as it seems and we really shouldn't be surprised by the plethora of surprises and we know that everything will all make more perfect sense than we ever thought possible in the end. The only trouble reading Chesterton aloud is I perpetually want to say 'I love that sentence' or 'just look at that fabulous alliteration' or I bang the table so often my fist hurts. (such perils I can live with) We do love Chesterton.
I'm also reading The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc as our evening read aloud when everyone is together. It is a sort of travel journal of Belloc's pilgrimage on foot to Rome at the turn of the twentieth century. The quaint descriptions of the countryside juxtaposed with droll introspective commentary on the nature of humanity makes for a delightful read. The only problem with this one of course being everyone wants to gather some bread and wine, don some boots and go traveling through rustic villages in a time and place that no longer exist. But we delight in the dreaming and Belloc's recounting, along with so many memorable gems such as It is a good thing to have loved one woman from a child, and it is a good thing not to have to return to the Faith.