Saturday, 12 October 2013

Thrifting and fabric combinations

I've been giving some thought to what background I want for my oak leaves. I was originally thinking I'd have a patchwork background but, after working on my Flower Quilts and finding my original plan too busy, I've decided to go for a plain background and just make it an applique quilt. The applique is all going to be in wool, so I really wanted to have a wool background too. But after rummaging through my wool blanket supplies I realised I didn't have a big enough piece of any suitable colours (quite surprising considering the amount of wool I have hoarded!). So there was nothing for it but to go on a charity shop browse - life is hard sometimes!

I did find a wool blanket, but I don't think it's quite what I want for my oak leaves.

It's a grey blanket in very good condition, and it's got a really nice fleck of other bright colours running through it.

Definitely will be great for something, just not right now. And that, unfortunately was the only wool blanket to be found. But, of course, I did find lots of other things! Like this old, chipped enamel jug:

These two vintage pillow cases - wouldn't they make gorgeous pillow case dresses?

A couple of interesting scraps of fabric - one of them wool:

A pair of brown corduroy trousers! I know, strange choice! But they were very cheap, and the corduroy is a really lovely quality (the label says it's got cashmere in it, I've never heard of cashmere in corduroy before!) and most importantly, the next quilt working it's way up my quilt queue is going to have a tree theme, so these will be perfect for appliqued trunks and branches.

And then another wool find. I don't usually go for wool jackets - they're generally fiddly to cut up and you don't tend to get many big pieces of wool from them once they are cut up, and they're often priced quite expensively. But, this one was very cheap, extra large and a lovely, soft mustard colour - the good side of mustard rather than the 'bogey' side!

The photo doesn't do justice to the colour.

Look away now if you're of a slightly squeamish disposition - when it comes to seeing a beautiful wool jacket chopped up anyway!

A pile of 'waste' fabric and a lovely pile of wool ready for the washing machine.

I don't know whether you can see what I mean from this photo about not being left with many decent sized wool pieces. Even in extra large my useable pieces are quite small. Skirts and jumpers are much better!

One more wool find to go - and I don't think I'm going to be allowed to chop up this one. A very cute, tartanish, mohair beret. The girls both have a thing for hats so this one is lost to me!

So that was my booty, pretty good, but it still left me stuck for my oak leaves. So I've had to have a bit of a rethink and another rummage. And I'm wondering whether I can combine the wool applique with a different fabric background. It's not something I've ever done much - only once in fact, for a wool applique picture on a plain linen background. That one worked (sorry no picture, it was a long time ago) but I'm still very wary of trying it. But, since I don't seem to have a good alternative, and since I have found two, good sized, possible fabric pieces, I've decided to give it a go.

One is a mustard colour - again safe from the bogey side of mustard. And the other a denimish blue colour - both old curtains and a good size.
So, watch this space next week for, hopefully, a bit of progress. Off to finish off the bee quilt first though.

Have a great weekend, Sally.

PS. Damsons - thank you very much for the suggestion of damson gin, going to try that one soon, and I've made a bit of damson jam which turned out well - can't believe how much the flavour changes though from raw to cooked, and then tonight I tried a red wine and damson sauce with lamb - and it was delicious, I can definitely recommend that combination.

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