Wednesday 25 January 2012

Dipping into DWR blocks

Having recognised that a Double Wedding Ring quilt is way beyond my abilities at the moment, and salved my conscience by signing up for the Sew Happy QAL to make a quilt for my son and daughter-in-law, I thought I could at least take a tiny, baby step on the journey towards a DWR quilt. One of my birthday presents last year was a copy of I (heart) Patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale, which has instructions for a linen teatowel with appliqued DWR-like patchwork arc, so what could be more perfect for a tiny, baby step?

Whilst living in the Baltic States means that quilting cotton is not easily available, the same cannot be said for linen, there is lots of beautiful linen here and I am happily building up a sizeable stash whilst I can! A recent trip to Vilnius, Lithuania, for example, yielded these lovely linens.

So with a delve into my "scrap bag" I was able to come up with enough small scraps to make two arcs for my teatowel, as opposed to the one given in the instructions. Initially I thought that the finished arc didn't look quite as curved as the example in the book, but by the time I had hand-appliqued them to the teatowel there was a definite curve there I am pleased to say. I hadn't intended to hand-applique but for some reason the tension on my sewing machine went completely to pot, and neither rethreading nor adjusting the tension made any difference, so hand-applique it was. Actually I think it looks better that way, but I hope it holds up to the rough treatment I usually mete out to my teatowels! If you have any suggestions as to what else I might try to sort out the tension problem they would be much appreciated.

This is actually the third project I have made from I (heart) Patchwork, which makes the book a winner for me. I have lost count of the number of books I have bought or been gifted that I have discovered have only one project in that interests me enough to attempt. The previous projects were an apron for my daughter-in-law to go with the pastry course she wanted for her birthday and a cute little pincushion holder for myself.

The dish is a paint tray and cost less than £1 in a local craft supplies shop and as the rest was from scraps of stuffing and fabric it was a very economical make.

I find it difficult to resist new sewing/craft books when I see them, but they don't all live up to their promise and turn out to be expensive patterns if I only make one thing from them. Which books are well-thumbed in your collection and which have gathered dust after your initial look through?


  1. Lucky you, having access to all those beautiful linens! Your tea towel is so nice too!

  2. Oh, don't you hate that? Your towel looks marvelous, though. Is it just that your machine doesn't like the tea towel texture/weight/whatever? Maybe try putting a stabilizer underneath (like some cheap newsprint or children't doodle-tablet paper) that's super easy to pull off after the sewing?

  3. I love your linen and your tea towels look fab! I hope you manage to get your sewing machine fixed:)

  4. I love your tea towels! The curves and colors are beautiful. And the pincushion is one of the cutest things I have ever seen! Good luck with your tension issue, I know that can be frustrating. Mine ended up being a combination of loose bobbin tension and the wrong needle brand. I can use any brand except Singer(too short) and, of course , I had bought Singer needles. I wish they had mentioned that in the manual!

    1. Thanks Taryn, that is a pretty basic bit of information for a manual to miss out on. I have never even given any thought to there being "wrong" needles!

  5. What a gorgeous use of tea towels. It is really inspiring.

    I know what I'm asking my FIL to bring me back next time he goes to Spain.

  6. that tea towel if fab- really pretty! and baby steps are good!

  7. Beautiful teatowels, thanks for sharing. I also have been making pincushions, I hope to post on my blog later on today, you can never have enough pincushions.

  8. Great idea to practise on a tea towel, Fiona. How did your applique stand up to constant use? I'm guilty of buying books, looking through every page thinking which ones I'll make, then putting on the shelf and forgetting all about them... LOL!!!


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