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Making a quilt from baby clothes

Making a quilt from baby clothes

by Clare Mansell

Being a quilter, an upcycler and a mum, it’s probably a little surprising that it has taken me this long to try my hand at making a memory quilt, but I have good reasons. The first is that I really like structured simple quilts with some sort of design and colour scheme which most of the memory quilts I’d seen lacked. Secondly because of the raw materials you are using, making a memory quilt nearly always involves stepping outside my comfort zone of constructing quilts with fabrics that are not 100% cotton.

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Starting Alice’s memory quilt

Starting Alice’s memory quilt

by Clare Mansell

At this time of year I always find myself turning back to quilting after the summer and a couple of weeks ago I started work on Alice’s first quilt and my first quilting project since the spring. I’ve done the odd bit of sewing over the last few months, but its obvious I’ve not been around in the cabin much as both my pairs of fabric scissors had gone walkabout when I went looking for them!

This project is a little different from any I’ve done before because I’m making the blocks out of old baby clothes. There’s a couple of reasons why I decided to take this route, firstly because (obviously) it’s nice to be able to look back on, but secondly because it has proved to be surprisingly tricky to find a home for Alice’s old clothes.

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A healing quilt

A healing quilt

by Clare Mansell

Last month a week before the school holidays started, we received some devastating news. One of my son’s reception classmates had been involved in a freak accident which had left him badly burned and facing a lengthy hospital stay. His father who stepped in to help him was also badly injured.

As soon as news spread in the local community people wanted to help. Fundraising begun immediately to try and help the family in a practical way with the costs of travelling to and from the hospital, but the parents of reception class also felt they wanted to do something to show our support.

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sawtooth star quilt

Sawtooth star quilt

by Clare Mansell

Today I’m sharing a quilt I completed just before Alice was born, but have only just got round to photographing. November is not the best time of year to photograph anything, least of all quilts, so it’s probably not shown in (literally) the best light, but it’s a long time till spring…

I’ve wanted to make a star quilt almost as long as I have been making quilts, but there is one big problem with star quilts which is that there are SO many ways of doing them. I spent hours browsing Flickr and Pinterest seeing patterns and I’d like them for a bit, then I’d see another and like it more. In the end I settled on the Sawtooth Star block and used the tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.

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Zoe & Ian’s wedding quilt

Zoe & Ian’s wedding quilt

by Clare Mansell

As I mentioned in my previous post we spent last weekend in East Sussex for Jim’s sister’s wedding. She was engaged for about a year before the big day and right from the start I planned to make her a quilt as a wedding present. So over the last 12 months I’ve done a lot of thinking about making her a quilt and quite a few sample blocks of quilts that I abandoned. Then a fortnight ago I announced to my husband that it just wasn’t going to happen and we’d have to buy her something from her wedding list instead, news that he took completely in his stride.

The day after I told him that I walked in to the Eternal Maker, saw a fabric that was perfect made firm and bold decisions about accompanying solids and the design I was going to do and walked out with everything I needed to make the quilt.

So then I had two weeks to make a quilt that I could have started 50 weeks previously. Gahhh!

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