Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Weekend sewing

Just as I'd written my post on Saturday, having given up hope of receiving my fabric for the weekend, my postman made a late and unexpected afternoon delivery with the package. I delved straight in, cut tiny swatches, put the fabric in the machine to prewash it, then raced down the road with the swatches to buy some matching thread so that I could start work on a wedding gift for this coming weekend.

It's a napkin set of 6 double sided napkins with a matching linen pouch to hold them. The friend who's getting married has collected vintagey bird items for as long as I've known her, so this fabric from the Blossom line by Moda seemed like a good choice. Her fiance is also a bird lover, so hopefully they'll like them!

I carefully photographed all the steps with a view to maybe writing a tutorial on how to make the set - though I wonder now if it's too simple a project for a tutorial. I've made a set like this before, but with single-sided napkins with a turned hem. These take a lot more fabric, obviously, but they have a lovely weight to them, which is what I was after for this set. Just need to sort out some pretty wrapping now!

I was a bit remiss and forgot to photograph the contents of the package of fabric as I was so anxious to start work on the gift! It also contained some more fabric from the Summer in the City line by Urban Chiks, which is now the backing on this quilt:

I machine quilted it yesterday, using a wavy built in quilting stitch on my machine. I'm really pleased with the end result. Now I have a decision to make about the binding. I think I'll probably turn a binding from the backing fabric, with mitered corners ... like this:

... though I'm also tempted by a turquoise binding like this:

Hmmm decisions, decisions! I'm having a night away from the machine this evening - too sleepy after a little boy alarm call before 6am the past two mornings on top of a couple of late nights. Fingers crossed for a lie in (7am) tomorrow!


  1. What a great gift! I think a tutorial would be fab.

  2. the napkins are gorgeous!
    I second a tutorial!!

  3. What a lovely, lovely, thoughtful present! It's gorgeous.

    I don't think a tutorial can be too simple, can it? I rarely use them for the actual pattern (due to fundamental problems on my part with following instructions), but more for ways that other people make things - the ordering of doing things, or a way of approaching something differs so much from person to person and I always seem to learn something new and helpful from each one that I look at.

    Yet again, you win the Miss Gorgeous Fabric Stash Contest...have you found somewhere wonderful online in the UK for all these lovelies? (I am currently in the doldrums after having things shipped from America and being hit with a large customs bill...they just have so much more choice though...and it seems so first!).

    Oh my goodness, a mini essay! STOP!!!! x

  4. I request the tutorial! Those are wonderful.

  5. Really pretty napkins :) please post the tutorial, always nice to see how people do things.

    I like the turquoise for the binding, but it is one of my favourite colours :)

  6. Lovely present - I'm sure they will love them. A tutorial would be a great idea. The quilt is really pretty too - nice colours.

  7. OH what a lovely present! I'm sure it will be the lucky bride and groom's best one!! I too am having a "moda moment" and have posted about my recent Swell consignment! I love Moda! I agree with Florence that finding delicious fabric in the UK is so hard and so expensive!

  8. wow, you,ve been on a roll. Definately put up a instruction is ever too simple when it comes to me sewing, and I'd love to make some napkins. Gorgeous gift, I'd have loved to get something like that...

    I love that little quilt didn't ask for opinions but if you are at all interested I think the turquoise binding looks beautiful. What are the fabrics you use in the patchwork front? I love those birds

    beautiful work all round

    hope you get a bit more sleep now

  9. What a brilliant gift! A tutorial would be a fab idea too. Just love the quilt, the fabrics are brilliant.

  10. The napkin set is absolutely scrumptious.

  11. A brilliant gift but would anyone ever actually bring themselves to use them as napkins!

  12. they're beautiful, and so is that quilt!

  13. Thanks for all the kind comments, and for the vote of confidence for writing a tutorial - I'm going to get on to that this week.

    Florence, marmaladekiss and annieb - the fabrics are by Moda, Summer in the City (Urban Chiks) and purchased from in the US. I too have found it difficult to find affordable fabrics, as well as the kind of range you find in the American online stores. I do buy from UK sellers on ebay, and also from U-handbag for lovely carefully packaged fabrics and speedy delivery! Ouch to Florence's customs bill! I think you can get round this by ordering below a certain limit, though I'm not sure how much that is!

  14. Hi Helen, I just found your blog and I love the post on napkins. My friend is getting married and my mother wants to make them a set of napkins - a tutorial would be great!

  15. I would love to see a tutorial for this item! I want to make napkins for gifts, but wasn't sure what fabrics to use. I love your title about being a 'bad' housewife... I feel the same way!


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