All our yesterdays

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I have been clearing out the stuff we had to clear out from my mother-in-law’s attic in something of a hurry, and finally got round to a bag that I don’t think I have opened for at least fifteen years.  It turned out to be full of beautiful but now very dated Liberty woollen shawls, long lengths of calico which smelled really musty and required two good long cycle washes to be bearable, and a selection of my very first attempts at a number of things.  Some, like the dull Hawaiian applique piece, aren’t really worth sharing, but some are a bit more interesting.  So today’s second  post is a bit of a gallery rather than having anything very profound to say.

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This is a very early quilt made from a pattern which dates from a time when I had the leisure to make things for Christmas.  I expect it was hand-pieced over papers. It looks okay from a distance, but close up you can see that the quilting is so bad that I had to stuff the centre to make it look deliberate:

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The points aren’t bad, though.

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I have no idea why I made this piece.  I think it fitted over a dull arm chair we had when we first got married.  It looks like it was ‘inspired’ by a workshop I did with Dawn Pavitt many years ago.  She famously told me: ‘If it offends the maker take it out.’  She didn’t believe in only you will notice it once the binding’s on.  She thought a mistake would irritate you every time you looked at it, and I think she was right.  It’s done with quilt as you go.  It has a fair bit of Laura Ashley fabric and some from Clothkits which used to have a sort of factory shop in Bath when we first moved here:

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Notice the skilled use of decorative machine stitching…

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And one of my earliest attempts at free machine quilting.  I am delighted to say that at least my competence in this area has improved.

Here are a couple of place mats that I was inordinately pleased with:

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A Grandmother’s Fan.  Incidentally, I am now of an age where I feel that the fan should be reinstated as a fashion item.  Anyway, here is a log cabin version:

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The quilting on this isn’t bad:

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The fabric on the right of the picture gives some indication of the range of quilting cottons that were available.  Okay but not spectacular.  We did tend to use a lot of Liberty fabric.  I made this little quilt to go on top of a wooden blanket box we still have.  It sat in the window, though, and more or less disintegrated in front of my eyes:

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This had very clear colours when it was first made entirely from Liberty tana lawn.   I always wanted something like this, very faded, almost eighteenth-century looking, but I was hoping to buy one one day rather than making one myself.  This does not help in the quest for eternal youth:

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I’m not sure where that green stain came from; I think I might have to wash it again with some stain remover.

So, not all that lovely, but definitely like meeting old friends again.

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