This is a fairly quick post today: just a few more of the very quick to make Laura Ashley mini quilts. No. 5 above is one of the ones cut from a much larger piece of yellow fabric dyed with natural dyestuffs which I was working on when my sewing machine packed up midway through a line of stitching. Even when the sewing machine, the beloved, battered but beautiful Bernina, was repaired, I couldn’t bring myself to finish this much larger piece and so cut it up to use the pieces in the mini quilts. I like this piece because it has the typical Laura Ashley script down the selvedge, here announcing that it is 100% cotton. The quilt also has a large flat glass ‘feature’ bead over a small piece of lace. I like the combination of the blue and white and the yellow. I also like the very typical Laura Ashley print.
This one brings out the haberdasher in me. I think I could have been very happy running a Victorian haberdashery, and I love those trimmings shops you still get in Italy and Spain. There are some wonderful braid shops in London, and there are increasingly good ones in chains like Fabricland, and the odd excellent speciality shop like Bedecked in Hay on Wye (which is as much a draw for me as the second-hand bookshops) (www.bedecked.co.uk/), but I am always surprised that all Southern European towns seem to have glorious shops selling all sorts of trims and mysterious ‘findings’ for very specific dressmaking tasks. Anyway, this one has a piece of stretchy cotton lace trim and the last remaining piece of a coffee-coloured lace edging from a piece that I have used a lot. This last fragment was hanging round in my little portable sewing kit, and finally made it onto a piece. The very glamorous paisley motif came from a wonderful stall at the Festival of Quilts at the National Exhibition Centre at Birmingham last year. If I can find it again this year I will write about it. The woman running it had two big bins of ends of rolls at bargain prices. My friends just left me to it and came back to drag me away later.
This last one is a bit different, rather understated for me, and I have been trying to decide whether or not it is finished. I keep looking at it and wondering if it wouldn’t be better with some beads on it, but it has quite a pleasing Little House on the Prairie simplicity to it. It shows quite a lot of the base fabric which is a contrast with some of the previous pieces, so perhaps I will apply a reversal of my usual more is more rule to it.
These are very quick to make and usually take less than an evening. And they are a good way of preserving even very tiny pieces of fabric. The big question remains, what to do with them: incorporate them into something bigger? Put them into disproportionately large frames? Mount them into some sort of artists’ sample book? I wait for inspiration to descend.