Saturday, 19 August 2017

Starting Jane Austen coverlet/quilt

Do you remember some time ago, I rescued a pair of 1980s curtains made of Warner fabric in the same design as the centre of the Jane Austen coverlet? The time has come to start it.
I have measured the angle of the diamonds on the original, it seems to vary between 70° and 75°. To fit the smaller diamonds around it, whatever size I use, needs to be divisible by 11.

I cut out diamonds in multiples of 1¼", 1 1/8" and 1".  And with both, I cut it at 70°and 75°. I tried to align the flowers and the birds the same as the original. In the original the base of the basket is not quite on the horizontal.... I wasn't aware of being OCD but this annoys me. I know they did it to accommodate both the birds at the top but it is like a painting hanging askew.

It seems the colour varies according to the camera.....

Lis kindly gave permission for me to use her image from the Bowes museum where you can see the complete panel.  Click on her name to see her other photos.

You can see my fabric, back at the top, has a different treatment framing the basket of flowers.

This is based on 1¼" x 11 and 75°
 The same but twisted a little.

 1" X 11 at 70°

1" X 11 at 75°

 1 1/8" x 11 at 70°

1 1/8" x 11 at 75°

I am going with the 70° with a 1 1/8th base.

Then came designing the layout. It seems the Austen sisters (if it were them who made it) Joined the sashing in many different ways.


I quite fancied doing it like this until I realised how many partial seams would be involved.


I am fairly sure this will be the way I shall piece mine. You can see how those little diamonds at the bottom and the sides have to be a third the edge and vertical length of the bigger diamonds and why the bigger central square has to be divisible by eleven to fit the sashing which also has to fit the tiny diamonds at the edges.

Had you realised that the larger and tiny diamonds are mirrors imaged both side to side and top to bottom? I think I will go the extra mile to mirror image in the centre section, but the outer border, probably not. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

I forgot to say

Peony Ring won runner up for Best in Show at Quilts UK back in May. Happy Dancing.


 I went through another episode of having workmen in the house when we had our en suite shower room remodelled. You know how magazines show bathrooms, with no shampoo, body wash or conditioner in the shower? In real life no bathroom is like that, so here it is in all its normal use.

I have managed to get rid of most of the clutter since this photo was taken but not all of it.

Next month all the windows and doors will be replaced except for the front door. I am looking forward to having a draft free home come the winter but not perhaps another episode of workmen......

Then there is the saga of the sitting room.  After living here five years we thought back in April it was time to decorate and actually use the room.... It had an exceptionally ugly fireplace which would not be too big a deal to replace, were it not for the fact the hearth went right round the chimney breast and that would mean replacing the oak floor..... So we thought we would try painting the bricks whilst we got the rest of the room painted. That involved having someone in our space too.....  These guys are all OK but they're in my space.....  Anyway, it was done and painting the fireplace worked and the room looked fresher for a coat of paint. There was just a slight smell of paint so I opened all the windows and did the same the following day.

Wouldn't you know it? A tom cat got in and sprayed. The room stank. Really stank. We removed everything except the sofa frames from the room and placed it all in the hallway. None of the stuff in the hall smelt so that meant it had either sprayed the sofa frames or the walls. I bought a UV torch and went slowly round the room. The only things which showed up on it were a few tiny spots on the backs and the sides of the sofas and the white polyester thread used to hem the curtains (drapes). At this point, I got some kids in who could crawl around and find the smell offering sweets to whoever located the source. They got some sweets anyway.

 I had left the very small windows open to let some air in hoping the smell would fade. It didn't. My only chance now was to get a professional upholstery cleaner in to try and remove the smell from those tiny dots on the backs of the sofas. For 24 hours or so the smell disappeared. And then came back again....  There was nothing for it but to get rid of the sofas. I offered one to my handyman as he has a barn. I thought if he left it in there until Christmas the smell would surely have gone by then. He said if his wife liked it, they would try that, but if she didn't he would burn it. Another month went by and the room still smelt of tom cat.

So I offered our beautiful antique sofa to anyone on the village Facebook Group with a barn to store it in until the smell disappeared. One person took it and very delighted. We had spent a fortune getting it reupholstered. But what could we do?

Then a few weeks ago I saw an article saying the brand of paint we used had a preservative removed and thousands of people had been affected. It was the paint!!!!! I had searched online for paint smelling and the brand we used was recommended as the go to paint for its low smell...... People had ripped out carpets, moved children out of rooms, lost rent on rental properties.... so many people affected. They have offered to replace the paint, supply some primer which will seal in the layer with the smelly paint and pay someone to repaint it. That really doesn't cover it at all. As I write, I still have a smelly sitting room with two replacement sofas in it...... grrrr

Millie and Rupert are doing well. Rupert is just starting to calm down a little, not a lot but a little. Having two is definitely a good thing. 


And they adore Fliss.