Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Blocks of Boredom: Patchwork on Location with Lelia

Hello lovelies! Well I haven't dropped off the edge of the world. Just not getting much access to computers out of work hours so you will have to put up with a fairly short post with blurry phone photos taken in my bedroom. *Ooh err, Missus*. I will be getting my ankles out next.

I am working away from home again as you know so to pass the time of an evening I have brought one of my vintage machines out of storage. After a good clean and a bit of TLC she is up and running again.  Meet Lelia 513, a Necchi machine built in Italy sometime between 1960 and 1971. 
I bought her from a bloke on Gumtree. His mother owned her from new (he said the 1960's) and had only just stopped sewing with her as she sadly went into a care home. He said that she would be glad that she is still being used and I am very glad to have her. She stitches beautifully, although is a little fast!

I have been sewing patchwork as I can cut out the bits when I have a little time and piece them together in dribs and drabs.

I am using this book, "Traditional Patchwork Quilt Patterns with Plastic Templates - Instructions for 27 Easy-to-Make Designs" by Rita Weiss. It is a very thin book, only 32 pages, but it has 5 pages of instructions in the front and the rest is a block layout per page, in black and white. I bought this from Amazon about 10 years ago. I know how to have a good time.

The templates supplied are on sturdy plastic with the 1/2-inch seam allowance marked. There are four pieces, A-D and combinations of these make up all the blocks. I have mislaid the one that I have been using already (C). I hope that I haven't binned it when I was tidying up. Typical me, I was so worried about losing it that I must have put it in  the black hole that is a "safe place". *sigh*

First up is the "Pieced Star", all in Amy Butler fabric that I bought years ago in John Lewis. I have loads of odds and sods of quilting cotton, strangely enough a lot of them in these sorts of colours. I normally use quilting cotton to line corsets as it is nice and sturdy and comes in some very funky patterns so lots of these blocks will be made from leftovers.

It is a wee bit wonky but I am unrepentant. This is neat work so waaaaaayyyy out of my comfort zone. Each block is 12-inches square (haha!) when sewn up, if you have cut/sewn nice and straight of course. I am hoping to make a decent sized quilt so will be making probably 24 blocks plus some sashing in between. I will probably have to order a few more bits of fabric to make up the numbers.
Anyway, I have a lot of wee bits sewn out so am going to try to do at least one block a week if possible.

Anyway, it is nice to spend a night or two doing something that is not science. My sewing room at home is still all in boxes and bags as I am decorating the rest of the house first. This might be the only sewing time I get for a while.

 Do you manage to find time for sewing or do you struggle to fit everything in? Do you find that sewing in little bits is more productive than one big splurge? Do you feel really guilty, like me, if you can't get things done?

Hope that you are having a great week!


Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Century of Style Exhibition at Kelvingrove

Back in Glasgow for the weekend, Sprogzilla and I decided at visit "A Century of Style - Costume and Colour 1800-1899" which is on at Kelvingrove Museum until the 14th Feb. All the clothes were chosen from the Museum's collection of European fashion with emphasis on clothing from Glasgow departments stores and some gorgeous Paris gowns

I had wanted to go to this as I had heard it was fantastic and wasn't disappointed. There was some stunning exhibits. Unfortunately both my DSLR and my phone really struggled to cope with the extremely low lighting so apologies in advance for the fuzzy photos. 

Anyway,  take your glasses off, screw up your eyes and join me in taking a blurry look at some of the fancy frocks.

All the exhibits were grouped by colour and  I have to say that some of the dresses looked really vibrant and fresh. Maybe if I stay in the dark I will look as good as them at 100+.

There was lots of interesting information about the dyes used and how the use of synthetic dyes allowed using previously expensive colours like purple and red to be available to the working classes.

I loved the attention to detail and tone-on-tone embellishments They weren't shy with a ruffle or two especially on the bridal wear.

Mentioning the Better Pictures Project after you have seen this sorry lot might seem a little silly but I had a go with Adobe Lightroom to try to redeem all the dark shots. Just worked out how to change the white balance on the last photo! Typical.

Anyway after too many dodgy photos I am going out with The King who is alive and well and performing in Kelvingrove.

MOR has left the building.

Sending you lovely lot best wishes. 

K xx