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A baby quilt 9 years in the making

A baby quilt 9 years in the making

by Clare Mansell

The story of this baby quilt goes back to 2009 or there abouts, when I was working in Canada with a good friend of mine. There was a quilt class running in our village (where I first learned to quilt) and my friend came along too. If I recall things correctly, this class lead to her making a quilt for her niece, but also more importantly to the purchase of a couple of Moda charm packs and some meterage.

I’d forgotten all about her fabric purchase, until after announcing her first pregnancy a few months ago, she brought the fabric to our house and asked if I could turn it in to a quilt for her – but of course!

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T-shirt memory quilt

T-shirt memory quilt

by Clare Mansell

T-shirt quilts are something I have always loved the concept of, but I’ve struggled a bit with their style. One of the things that appeals to me about quilts is their graphic simplicity and regular shapes and t-shirt quilts are very often composed of irregular blocks and a higgildy piggedly design.

My turning point with memory quilts came when I made Alice’s one using clothes from her first year, I kept it simple, used regular sized blocks, complimentary colours and mixed in some plain squares. I surprised myself by loving it so much when it was complete, so I decided to try it again on a much bigger scale with Theo’s t-shirts.

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DIY Titanic life jacket for fancy dress

A few weeks ago my son came home from school with a request to dress up for a Titanic themed day at school. We quickly realised we had very little that was era appropriate for him to wear and it occured to me that the easiest thing to make would be a life jacket.

I did some googling and found this example of a bouyancy aid for the ship and I used this as my inspiration.

What follows is the instructions for a very loose replica. The instructions are detailed, but the process is very quick so do not be put off! Our version was very successful, so much so that he ended up being appointed as Captain of the ship on the day.

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two stitches charlie hoodie sewing pattern

Sitting outside our holiday gite in France last summer I drew up a short list of things I wanted to achieve after the holiday had ended, which included mastering sewing with jersey and getting healthier and fitter. By Christmas I had shed a stone, started running and had one unfinished (failed?) jersey project.

It turns out that for me at least, losing weight, giving up alcohol and getting up early every Sunday morning to run 5k was easier than sewing jersey – how could this be?

Jersey and I have been at a stand off for many years. I let a mental block develop that I could only sew jersey if I had an overlocker and I could only have an overlocker if it was a ‘decent’ (+£500) one. Even attending a class last Christmas didn’t help, because I didn’t sew with my own machine and I never got to the end of the project, but this week things finally took an about turn and I have whipped jersey into submission, let me tell you how it happened.

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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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