Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sewing Again

Isn't it good to get back into a routine after endless days of holidays, chocolate & Christmas cake!!

I made a gentle start to my sewing by making two Bee Blessed blocks. The January block is Maple Leaf and Judith has a great tutorial on her blog. Pity I didn't pay more attention to it!! My blocks are straight & square but were snapped lying on the back of a settee so they look a bit weird. I am trying hard to use the pre cut, useful fabric that I organised last summer and pulled what I thought was perfect for these blocks. I decided to compromise and have a contrasting stalk, so far so good. However, I hadn't looked out the 3 x 4.5" print squares and of course, didn't have enough to complete without adding in the little imposter, and I had already made the HSTs.............hope it's ok.

Next I want to share a great tip - during this next term, my students will be joining the blocks of their Modern Sampler quilt and getting ready to Quilt As You Go. I have always tried to encourage a bit of creative thinking when it comes to backing fabric in an effort to save the pennies. Those of you in the US will be shocked to learn that craft cotton here in the UK is averaging the best part of $22m - totally not an economical option for backing. I have seen loads of gorgeous quilts over the last couple of years appear in blogs, with backings made from the ever popular Ikea number fabric - secretly I felt I was slipping dangerously towards recruitment for the Quilt Police because I have looked at this fabric a couple of times and turned my nose up at it.
About a year ago my friend Janet, clever girl, took herself off to Ikea in search of ideal backing and opted for a duvet cover. Now this is just genius because you basically get twice the fabric for your money. A double duvet cover is 2m x 2m and you get both sides, that is a lot of fabric.
So I threw caution and prejudice to the wind and took a trip too. And got this -

I grabbed the double duvet cover at £15, not realising until I got home that the quilt that I am making is 84" long! You might be noticing a pattern in my approach to projects............
Anyway, inspiration struck and I unpicked a couple of the pillowcases that were included and would you believe an unpicked pillowcase measured 70" wide!! So I have joined sections on to the panels I have cut ready to layer up.

Onward, ever onward.


  1. Sheila, you made me laugh; didn't I have the very same thought while traipsing through IKEA with my daughter a couple of months ago! Unlike you I didn't dare take the plunge; I was worried the weave might be too loose, and not withstand repeated washing. However, I trust your judgement, so IKEA, here I come!

  2. Thank you for the blocks S! They are great! Watch out buying Ikea covers - some of them are ridiculously thin! Jxo

  3. I've also used IKEA duvet covers as quilt backing. It's nice cotton but you must prewash it as the 100% cotton covers shrink a lot

  4. We are heading off to IKEA soon with the youngest son, so I will definitely be checking out the bedding section now!

  5. Here's to normality resuming although haven't quite got there yet. Your BB blocks are lovely.

  6. I have this set too that our generous snoozy friend in the north donated a couple of years ago, but I haven't used it yet, or the H&M ones I grabbed too, thanks for the reminder!

  7. I think duvet covers are the way to go for economical quilt backing!

  8. What a great idea - I've often eyed up duvet covers for backing but they've never been quite cheap enough for me (and I'd have to be sure I wasn't going to hand quilt it!) so Ikea is a great option. Just a pity it's a bit far for me to drive...



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