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Customising and sewing for a four month-old

Customising and sewing for a four month-old

by Clare Mansell

Last weekend I had a rare chance to walk round Chichester without children. It was also the first time I’ve tried looking for baby clothes for Alice in actual shops rather than online and I was slightly taken aback by the prices of some of the things I found. I’m convinced this is at least in part because she’s a girl and girl’s clothing is often more appealing and therefore easier to price up.

In the end I came home almost empty handed except for a multi-pack of M&S t-shirts and I got the sewing machine out. It’s not just the cost, I didn’t want to be sucked into fast fashion of dubious quality and provenance. I have a pretty good fabric stash already and most of the stuff she needs is pretty simple to make and customise. Baby clothing only requires a small amount of fabric and a little knowledge and you can knock up a couple of things in an evening.

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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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Quilted giant floor cushions

Quilted giant floor cushions

by Clare Mansell

The nice thing about this period of waiting near the end of my pregnancy is that as my diary is relatively empty, I have time to do less urgent things. These giant floor cushions are a classic example of a really enjoyable project which I would never have got round to normally and it was doubly satisfying because I put them together using only the supplies I had already…

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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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