Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Keeping Cosy

Hot Weather Crafting!

We're having the hottest weather in a decade here in the UK and I'm sweltering whilst stitching a cafetiere (French Press) cosy and quilt but I'm not about to complain!  


We were given this 'Marks and Spencer' coffee set by a lovely friend earlier this year and Mr. Larkin found the coffee pot to be the perfect size for his desk at work.  My sister-in-law has a big birthday coming up, so I bought another set and stitched her a little personalised cozy to go with it.


It features cute appliqu├ęd versions of traditional British biscuits including Jammy Dodgers, Party Rings, Nice Biscuits and Pink Wafers. These names probably mean nothing to overseas readers but for many Brits they invariably conjure up childhood memories.  Here's a potted history for those not in the know;

'Jammy Dogers' have been an iconic British biscuit for over fifty years, and were originally named after Roger the Dodger from The Beano.  The 'Nice' biscuit is a coconut flavoured delicacy which was first mentioned in an 'Army and Navy Co-operative' price list in 1895. Wafer biscuits have been around even longer and sailors used to be given a basic version as part of their daily rations but the Edinburgh based bakers 'Crawfords' made them sweeter and added bright pink colouring.  'Fox's Party Rings' are an iced fancy created in 1983.

Sweet treats for a sweet sister-in-law!


It's been a busy sewing week, as I've also written two features for upcoming articles in Sewing World Magazine and, in-between times, started my first ever 'proper' quilt!  I kept drooling over the fabulous creations made by all my bloggy friends and thought it high time I finally gave it a go.  I dutifully cut six hundred rectangles and started stitching.  It took just two blocks to discover that a pair of loose weave upcycled linen trousers did not equal a crisp finish!  Undeterred I rummaged in hubby's wardrobe and found an old blue shirt with a (very) worn collar to go with the equally well used duvet set I had already sliced up.  At this point the quilt dimensions shrank as I was only able to get 100 rectangles from the shirt, although this will probably be quite big enough for a first effort.

My big confession is that I am not loving quilting!  It took me hours and hours to starch and prepare the thin and out of shape upcyled fabrics before even beginning to cut the strips.  I then had an afternoon piecing before I got bored - I've got another couple of projects to finish but I guess I'll get back to it by Friday (perhaps).


15 comments:

  1. Love the Cosy! I shall have to make one for my Cafetiere. As for the childhood biscuits I am a little disappointed not to see Custard Creams :-) Keep up the fab work x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie, your tailoring is always a work of genius!

      Delete
    2. Now you make me blush! I have made a Coffee cosy and I have to admit, not only does the coffee stay warmer but it looks damn good too! Thanks x

      Delete
  2. Oh dear - I am sorry that you didn't enjoy your first steps of making a "proper" quilt. Although we all want to be green and recycle, perhaps that's not worth doing when the effort outweighs the pleasure. I would definitely recommend using cotton fabrics of the same weight (which shouldn't need starched). Also check out youtube for videos on "strip-piecing", which make the work go much faster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strip-piecing sounds like the way forward, thanks so much for the tip!

      Delete
  3. How adorable! I love this! What a nice gift. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh! These are adorable embellishments on an adorable gift! All those treats made my mouth water! {I love sweets!}

    Hugs and happy weekend to you,
    Kelley~

    ReplyDelete
  5. You can't beat a good ol' Jammie Dodger Josie!

    Loose-weave linen for your first attempt at patchwork?? You do like making life hard for yourself, don't you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've finished this quilt but am waiting for a dry day to take some outdoor shots. I've now started a shirt quilt but the bias edges on the pin-wheel blocks are a pain, especially on out of shape upcycled cloth!

      Delete
  6. Hi Josie, I am very impressed with your first quilt and your dedication for recycling. Its easier with new fabric! Here speaks a fabric shopaholic. There is a quicker way of doing these blocks, sew them in strips of the three colours, as long as your fabric allows and then cut them into blocks, this saves having to cut out individual rectangles. Hope this makes senses. Regards Sharon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharon, Anne also pointed this out to me, how could I have missed such an obvious tip!

      Delete
  7. What a brilliant first effort. I wish mine had looked like that - come to think of it, I never finished it!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this. It is so cute with all those lovely biscuits from the past. I have fond memories of them.What a lovely gift.
    Didn't know that about Crawford's the Bakers. They used to be all over Edinburgh when I was a child. They did the most wonderful Scotch pies and made birthday cakes with the best madeira sponge ever. Sadly, they closed down when the ubiquitous Gregg's invaded. I love your quilt. It is so neat and the colours are lovely together. It does take a bit of willpower to get through all the cutting out. I take my hat off to you with 600 rectangles though. Did you use a rotary cutter? I know that they are supposed to save time/wrists but I can never get the hang off one. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was just me who struggled with them - I've started a new 'shirt quilt' but have already had to discard a number of blocks as I keep slipping with the dratted thing!

      Delete
  9. Your cosies look great and your quilt is looking lovely. I hope you enjoy making the rest of the quilt. I expect when it's finished it'll look so nice you'll forget about the boring bits :)

    ReplyDelete