There’s no place like home … mini Hand Embroidered Quilt from vintage linen scraps

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I began this project back in March when the snow was thick on the ground and we were still hoping for signs of spring! Like my previous quilts – it is made up from the scraps of tablecloth I bought in a charity shop a couple of years ago. The backing was a little vintage napkin with a beautiful edge.

As much as I find I cannot resist buying crisp linen napkins in charity shops when ever I see them – they inspire domestic dreams of beautifully laid tables and elegant dining, another age when there was time to do things with grace.  The reality is that for every day use it it just doesn’t work. I have watched too many of these pristine white surfaces be smudged with pasta sauce – by guests who gave them as much thought as they would a throw away napkin. These things should be treasured – and this napkin measured just 15cm square the perfect size for another mini quilt.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

The little scraps of fabric came together delightfully – the square of blue has come out much darker than it does in reality – it is more of a soft winter blue. I used a blue washable ink pen to write out the words, I wanted the embroidery to be in my own handwriting. It did take a few revisions until I was happy with the words, they needed to be larger than normal to accommodate the stitching.

I liked the way the home ended in a little heart. I needed a strong blue to stand out – so I chose this beautiful winter blue – it is a vintage shade that I have combined with red for Christmas – so it made sense to use it for a winter quilt. I wanted the blue embroidered words and the house block to be the only colours.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I chose the phase, ‘there’s no place like home’  because I am so contented in my life and I am a real home bird there is no other place I like to be. Our home is the first time I have lived in a Georgian house – the high rooms and tall bay windows make every day a pleasure. Only 8 years ago I was homeless – living in a friend’s spare bedroom – which has made me appreciate having my home much more.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I think it was the right hand side piece of lace that inspired the quilt – it looked so much like the sun – all the other elements fell into place. Including the house roof – which came from another napkin – the curves also made a lovely detail for arched windows.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

Allowing a project to evolve over time – is one of the delights of making things for yourself. Having written for magazines I always felt restricted by the original idea – which I had sold to the editor – they expect it to be delivered exactly as you proposed it – which ended up restricting my creativity. Don’t get me wrong, it was delightful to see something in print, but it was a bit like in the Wizard of OZ – once you see behind the curtain you see all the illusion for what it is, and it changes you, forever. It was wonderful at the time – but it did have its downsides – like making things for Christmas during the August. So allowing a project to evolve is something I relish and this project has changed over the last few months.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

As the quilt grew I made brief decisions about what to stitch next – just going by what I felt like at the time. I followed the edges of the entredeux with a blanket stitch and chain stitching.

The centre sun outline was raised using couching, I had some charming fluffy wool that was a chunky knit in pale cream. It raised the centre sun panel swirl nicely and I love the added dimension it gives the quilt. The only difficulty with that is that you cannot see it from a photograph!

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I repeated the same couching around the flower in the garden,  you can see it half done in this photo. I also widened the lace pathway to make it more artistically pleasing.

It was then I noticed the house was not square and I was not happy with the windows, I used a couching/blanket stitch which made the struts of the windows look chunky. I also did not like the effect of the door. I only had one small square of blue so I tried a new piece of fabric for the house this time an aqua stripe.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I made the door from a weaved stitch and did the same to make a dome like addition to the windows. But I really did not like that either. The vertical lines were too dominating so I unpicked it and unpicked all the windows from my original house and began again.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I worked on the garden and the sky for a while – to give myself time to think about it. In the end I went back to the original, but the lovely curves looked far too chunky – I did not have any more linen to begin again so I just have to make the best of things.

Mini Quilt - No place like home vintage Linens

I really enjoyed making all the little daisies – for me the joy in this piece is that on the surface it just looks like a white picture – its only when you get up close that you can see the white stitching on the back ground. It adds dimension to the quilt, and the way the daisies dimpled the centre – added to the quilted effect.

No place like home quilt

I did a cloud like shape around the words, but just used a simple quilting running stitch over the sky, following the outline of the sun. I also couched the lose shapes in the rays to bring them under control a little more – as they were going out of shape. I would have liked the curl of the sun to be a little more regular but then perfection is not as important as the hand finished effect. I am not happy with the windows, they are still too chunky, but I’m ok with that.

No place like home completed

So here is the whole thing now completed with a crochet edge boarder. I am not really sure how to mount it yet, its on the blocking board ready to go when I have decided what to do. I don’t think embroideries should be behind glass because the pleasure of textiles is that they are touchable.

Its been a lovely journey – I think I am at the end of my mini quilt phase for now. Its taken three months to complete – but that has not been a constant project – just one I have picked up and put down between other projects.

I have to admit that while it is delightful to finish this – it has left me with a bit of gap now and I will have to find something else to do. I love embroidery because it is so portable – you can stitch sitting on the sofa together rather than being at the sewing machine on my own. I am going through my craft supplies and rescuing various UFO’s – who knows what I will find to do next.

Thanks for popping by, it is always such a joy to read your comments will be back with more when I have something to show.



Foxy Cushions



While I was in Dorset, visiting the wonderful Becca’s Fabric Larder– I discovered this lovely quilting panel.


My daughter has a lovely blue sofa so I thought they would make a good present! I machine stitched the one on the left, and hand quilted the one on the right. I have to say that the hand quilting was much more relaxing to do.


They look so cosy together – she was delighted with them!

A log cabin square

I fell in love with this beautiful blue flower fabric at Beccas Fabric larder in Bridport. We were staying in Dorset for a couple of weeks recouperation. Not one to sit still for long I signed up to the log cabin quilt block class.

I haven’t done much in the way of quilting but I have always admired these blocks and it is always great to learn something new! The wonderful thing about classes is that you can meet other sewers and be inspired by their projects. It was a lovely class everyone was friendly and Becca was a great teacher!

By the end of the morning I had a lovely teapot stand. I edged it with a small crochet fan pattern at home. It’s a wonderful reminder of a delightful holiday.

Malvern Quilt Show 2015 – Three Counties Show Ground

I realise I am very lucky, Mr D not only enjoys doing the Art Trail and shares my passion for painting, but he is also kind enough to accompany me to various sewing events! He discovered the Malvern Quilt Show was at the Three Counties Show Ground, so I headed to the Cotswolds for a lovely relaxing long weekend.   The Malvern Quilt show was about a 40 minute drive away from Broadway, we headed off in the bright sunshine in my little red car, with roof down and some 1950’s rock and roll playing on the radio, winding round the glorious countryside. Perfick! to quote Pop Larkin!

After reading the Last Runaway, I have come to look at quilting in a new light.


This quilt was outstanding, the piecework was incredible.


each one of the fans are made up of six or seven pieces!

I believe this is entitled Curved Lines by the incredibly talented Fiona Macaulay Davies.


While two colours might be considered simpler,  this quilt entitled Cappuccino by

Gwenfai Rees Griffiths put so much detail in the quilting stitches creating a whole new pattern.

It was so delightful I spent a good while following the intricate lines.


I loved the smaller quilts, this little one was a delight

It is called Little Meitdrranean Village by Julia Gahagan


I loved the nautical theme, with the centre piece reminding me of degrees on a compass

It is called Winter’s Day, by Andrea Ashwell


Yhis beautiful colourful horse was amazing!

It is Called Horse of Many Colours by Danai-Rae Matthews who is amazingly only 11 years old!


This is entitled Red Arrows over Sandy Bay, by the very talented Patricia Denholm

I think this little one was my favourite, it has inspired me to design a small quilt of my own.

The grass was long and loose threads, and the movement of the kite and draws the eye in.

The curves in the sky are the red arrows.


This adorable cot quilt had three demential sump work  lilac flowers and butterflies.

It is called Flutterbies – by Sheila Warman


None of these shapes is regular, quite a work of art.


These little flowers were free motion embroidery

giving a three dimensional effect.


Pretty, pretty flowers!


Oh yes, David Bowie!  this is called Ziggy by Ann Beech

she hand dyed the cotton and used blanket stitches!


I could not believe this was a quilt! There was so much detail!

It is called Cocktails in Manhattan by the marvellous Jane Hopkins.


This is a small section of one of the ladies dresses, Jane Hopkins is a very talented lady!


I could not believe the padded detail of this quilt,

the stitching was used to raise or squash the layers


with artful precision.


Four seasons in a quilt


I loved the shading of the fabric leaves, summer turning to autumn


Beautiful flowers – the dark background enhances the flowers


Another three dimensional quilt, so beautifully done!

It is called In My Garden, by Penny Armitage

There are a number of shows all round the country and definitely worth a visit.

While I wanted to share these works of art with you, I have kept the pictures small out of respect to the makers.

Be inspired to create your own while giving due regard to these artists creativity.