Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sewing a birthday presents....

It's my brother's birthday on the 7th April and every year I struggle with what to buy him.  I always say that he has more clothes than Marks and Spencers and because he has learning difficulties, he is unable to read or use a computer.  He loves the Carry On films but has all those, and a person can only have so many pairs of slippers, can't they!!!  So I generally send vouchers for the local theatre and he and my mum go and see a show as John particularly likes musicals.

However, this year I thought I'd do something completely different.  John has a nautical themed bedroom so I thought I'd make a small 'quilt' for him.  I had some ideas in my head and went to the local haberdashers to get some supplies. I bought some thick beige linen, some natural thick undyed cotton (I think there is a name for this but I can't think what it is) and some fabric for the back.  And I also bought something which I think is called 'batting' a sort of thick stuff for in between the two outside fabrics.

I bought a set of ten 'nautical' themed embroidery patterns on line, downloaded them and made a start.  I didn't use the suggested colours for each design as they were all a little bit dull, instead choosing various colours that I thought would work well.  



When I got to this point, I wasn't quite sure where I should go from here, having never made anything remotely like a quilt before!!!  And it took me ages to realise that I had to use a damp cloth to make the batting stuff 'fuse' to the fabric!!!!  I wondered what on earth was going wrong when I'd stood for more than half an hour ironing it only to find each time that it hadn't fused!

And then I just winged it.  I made all the embroidered 'motifs' into the same size and then I sewed them by hand onto the linen using running stitches.....now please don't laugh, my hand stitching is not very good but I thought the running stitches looked quite effective!!!  After that I started just sewing straight lines all over the place!  And then I attached everything together and this is the end result. 

If you click on the photos they will enlarge and you can see the details better.



This is the fabric I chose for the back, I thought, being of old maps, it suited the theme quite well.



I really really wanted to mitre the corners but I just couldn't do it so in the end I just made them overlap.  I sewed on this tiny metal 'made with love' tag on to one corner....


Hanging on the fence to dry after all the steam ironing!



The finished size is 112cm wide by 56cm deep.  And it's quite heavy.  I cannot imagine how someone could sew a full sized quilt on a home sewing machine, but know that lots of people do it and I really admire them!

I'm not sure I will do another too soon but might consider doing something for my mum for her 80th birthday later this year.  But this time I hope to start sooner and not try to make it all in 3 days. 

It's not perfect, but I'm very happy with how it came out and hope my brother will love it too!

Thanks for visiting.  I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter weekend and that the week ahead is great for each of you!


22 comments:

  1. What a great Idea Sharon. I love the nautical theme you had for John, I am sure he is going to love it.
    I think your stitch really sets off the patches of embroidered cloth and the back fabric is a wonderful choice.
    Well done you! I do think that you should make your Mum one for her birthday too! and yes starting earlier may be easier although sometimes a close deadline is better! :) xxx

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    1. Thanks Dee, I hope he will like it, I sent it off yesterday so hopefully will know soon!
      I'm thinking of ideas for my mum now :)
      xxx

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  2. How sweet idea!!!I love the end result too~ Presents made with love are the best, and I'm in love with that maps fabric, it suits the theme so well.
    Can't believe you did it in 3 days, you are truly gifted!

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    1. Thank you! I'm also wondering now how I did it in three days....would explain the back ache at the beginning of the week. I am crazy to leave things to the last moment, aren't I!
      xxx

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  3. It is lovely - interesting but still subtle - I hope he loves it!

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  4. Love hand made gifts Sharon and coming from a Naval family myself, I think this one is perfect for a boy with an interest in the sea. It's an original design which has been put together well and I'm sure John will treasure his very sprecial gift that obviously been made with love.
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. Thanks very much Xanadu, I'm glad you like it and can relate to the theme.
      I'm hoping he will like it too :)
      xxx

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  5. I'm very impressed, and I think the motifs look lovely - like a wall of framed pictures. So I'm certain your brother will like it. What a great idea!

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    1. Thanks very much Ursula, I'm pleased with how it came out. I love my embroidery machine, it's just so fun to work with.
      xxx

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  6. Fantastic result Sharon - so much nicer than anything you could buy.
    I love your motifs and all the top stitching, I'm sure your brother will be delighted. I can imagine he'll spend hours enjoying the motifs and the map.
    I have made patchwork bed spreads in the past and know how heavy and cumbersome they are to work with - but to make this in 3 days - most impressive!

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    1. Thanks very much Rosie. I am very happy with the end result but I just wish I'd been able to do those mitred corners, maybe next time.
      I admire you, and anyone who can make a fully bed spread, much as I'd like to do one, one day, I cannot imagine how I would be able to work with such a big item!
      xxx

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  7. Omg. So impressed! This is a beauty! And so much work in 3 days. No doll play I bet! lol Lucky brother...

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    1. LOL no, no doll play last weekend! I will have to make up for it soon then :)
      Thanks very much, I'm glad you like it!
      xxx

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  8. That's a fantastic idea, and the end result turned out brilliantly! Impressive work!

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  9. Wow, this is absolutely stunning. Fantastic work, Sharon...you are so crafty and creative!!

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    1. You're very kind Farrah, thank you. I'm glad you like it!
      xxx

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  10. That is a wonderful present! He must have loved it! :D

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    1. Thanks so much Lynn and yes, he received it on Tuesday last and he did indeed LOVE it!!! I was so pleased :)
      xxx

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  11. I'm in AWE! Absolutely GOBSMACKED with the idea never mind the actual finished/completed artical AND in just three days!
    He couldn't fail to be 'over the moon (ocean/sea)' when it arrives in the UK. How clever are you!?!? Love the antique map pattern on the back cloth. (Were 'Hession or Calico' be the words that you were looking for?)
    (PS. Just adding a little reminder here for April 7th 2017, as it's MY birthday too! and just in case you need reminding I'm into Sasha Dolls, rather than nautical themes!)

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    1. Thanks very much Kendal, it was a labour of love I think! I am now thinking shall I make one for my mum's 80th in November....? I might, but I'm definitely NOT going to leave it until the last minute this time. John really loved it, he has already put it across the end of his bed and it's very much admired aapparently!
      Is that just the slightest hint you're giving me there Kendal? LOL ;)
      And yes, those are the exact words, I couldn't for the life of me think of them, but 'calico' is exactly the word I wanted, a natural undyed cotton, I beleive!
      xxx

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