Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Making My First Quilt!

A little while back, I won a bundle of fabric to make a Snow and Ice Strip Quilt from The Village Haberdashery.  This was a lovely surprise and it seemed like a perfect introduction to quilting as all the fabric combinations have been chosen for me and the strips cut, so all I need to do is sew it together; fabulous!

I spent some time laying the pieces out on the floor, driving myself bonkers as to what would be the best combination of patterns and colours, but in the end, you just have to get on with it.  Having never made a quilt before, I did a little look-see online and found that a strip quilt couldn't be easier.  I have just started sewing my strips together, so it will be a few more weeks days until it's finished, but I feel that huge amounts of gratification are due my way when it is completed as I'm mostly just sewing in straight lines.  Hopefully, I will maintain nice neat straight lines and won't end up with a wonky quilt; better lay off the gin whilst sewing then.

The super thing about the blue and red fabrics in the fabric pieces are that they match my living room rug and sofa perfectly, so this will make a lovely quilt for snuggling up on the sofa with on a chilly evening.

I have always been quite intimidated by the thought of patchwork and quilting as it seemed massively time consuming; all that cutting little triangles or hexagons and gubbins like that didn't seem the thing for me.  A lovely book by Nicki Trench inspired me to look at quilting in a different way that I think will suit me a lot more than that English-paper-piecing-malarkey.  A Passion for Quilting is full of really simple projects that have inspired me; lovely crib quilts with simple squares of pretty vintage style fabric and quilts using chopped up vintage table linen are particularly lovely.

Making a patchwork quilt is also the answer to having a massive de-stash and using up all those small bits of fabric that are languishing in drawers, waiting to see the light of day.

A couple of months ago, I found a lovely handmade vintage quilt in my local charity shop; it is mahoosive and easily covers my super king sized bed; it looks like it was made in the 70's/80's and is in calming greens, white and peachy roses.   It is in absolutely super condition apart from a couple of tiny marks which I have since washed out.  I put it through the washing machine at 60 degrees and it came up fresh as a daisy, although I was half expecting it to disintegrate.  All that lovely hand crafting for twenty quid was money well spent.

Wish me luck with my strip quilt!

TTFN. Galx

Source for the snow and ice quilt and fabrics strips photos is The Village Haberdashery blog

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My Quirky Vintage Hunting Ground!

 I thought it was time I shared one of my favourite haunts for vintage browsing and just a half hour drive away from me is the quirky seaside town of Hastings; it's an interesting place to muse away a lazy Sunday and what I particularly love are the shops that sell vintage-come-junk in the  'old town'.  Starting at the pedestrianised George Street and heading up the old High Street you can find all manner of vintage curiosities and a liberal dose of tat.   Vintage hunting makes me enormously happy even if I don't spend a single penny or come home with any goodies.  

Some of the vintage home-ware shops are beautifully laid out but a bit pricey; some are higgledy piggledy but you can find yourself a bargain as you delve further into the labyrinth of rooms and cellars within; others are a tad grubby and full of tut but no less fascinating than their more exclusive neighbours and certainly full of curiosities.  Whatever your vintage fancy, you are going to find something to tickle it in the vintage shops of Hastings old town.

On my most recent visit it seemed that many of the shops had tarted up their image and there were a couple of newcomers focussing on a particular theme.  There was a lovely shop specialising in vintage toys and childhood memorabilia where I spied this cute child's sewing machine.  

Another shop was more expensive than most but had some fab 50's and 60's vintage goodies.  Naturally, my eyes were drawn to this lovely vintage food mixer that could give my sexy KitchenAid a run for her money in terms of looks; looks like a prop straight out of The Jetsons!

To save me the bother, there is a fabulous guide to Hastings Old Town vintage shops in this blog post  to further whet your whistle; such beautiful photography in this blog.   We always refuel with a coffee at Hanushka Coffee House in George Street; the coffee is excellent and the walls are lined floor to ceiling with all manner of vintage books which customers are free to browse.  

The window display at Hanushka used to be quite saucy with it's book titles full of glorious double entendres, as you can see from above.   Sadly, it's lost this cheeky edge and is more refined now, but you can still find some fun titles on the shelves if you look hard enough.

Apart from the ubiquitous fish and chips on the seafront, there are some great restaurants in and around George Street too.  A particular favourite is the Two Bulls Steakhouse where you can get amazing aged steaks with all the trimmings at a very reasonable price. The Steak Satay Skewer for £8 is brilliant value if you fancy something different and really love peanuts, like me.   The staff are always friendly and the restaurant is always busy so get in there quick or make sure you book; oh and don't get me started on the cheesecake!

There is so much more to Hastings old town than I could do justice to in one little blog post so never fear, we'll be back again.    If you visit Hastings for the first time, don't be put off by the slightly tacky seafront and noisy amusement arcades, just head for George Street and turn left when you reach the end; go on, go exploring and have a rummage!  Hastings is in East Sussex on the south coast of England for those readers from across the pond; do visit if you are in the area and fancy experiencing the magnificent quirky beast that is an English seaside town.

Good Hunting!  Galx

PS The photo at the top of the post was taken in Little Treasures Vintage which is full to busting with gorgeous vintage clothes and Biba make-up and has a sexy boudoir feel to it; add it to your visit list!

PPS!  Linking up with

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