Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A little tribute to Pearl part 4

30th November was my Nan Pearl's birthday so today I am remembering her by sharing another lovely thing she made, that I am lucky enough to still have.
This patchwork bedspread was made using the English paper piecing method and was hand stitched by my Nan for me back in the 70's. I have no idea how long it took her, must have been months and months.
I have mixed feeling about this, I wasn't allowed to put it on my bed when I was first given it. I was about 7 or 8 and my mum was worried I would damage it somehow. She was probably right, I often ended up with felt tip pens or crayon on my bedlinen and I even cut a hole in something once (by mistake of course) By the time I was old enough to be trusted not to wreck it I only used it for a short time before fashion changed and we all started to have duvets or quilts instead of sheets and blankets. You must remember at this point I am a UK child of the 1970's!

The good news is it is not wrecked, the bad news is it has not been used and therefore enjoyed much.
The patchwork is a walk down memory lane for me, so many bits of fabric that are from clothes I remember. I can see lots of bits from clothes I had, a few of my grandad's shirts, fabric that my dolls had dresses made from etc.
It's bright, there is no getting away from that, it was the 70's after all!
I also love how my nan didn't worry about having 2 hexagons of the same fabric next to each other, she was not one to spend lots of time on fancy things like design and colour balance.
It is backed with a big piece of seriously retro print, and has a ruffled valance to hide all the stuff that was under my bed at the time.
I am wondering if I should do something with this bedspread. We don't have any single beds in our house now, hence the photos of it draped on the sofa and laid out on the floor!
At the moment it is in a bag in the wardrobe. That seems a waste, but I'm not sure if I could bring myself to chop into it to make it into something we can actually use today. That said, I can almost hear my nan telling me not to be so silly. She never had any problem refashioning and recycling pretty much anything.

Any brilliant ideas would be welcome.

For now I am happy it has had a airing, is being shared here today and helping me to remember my nan, Pearl.

You can read the other stories I've shared about things made by the women who inspired Sum of their Stories here.
update:
I've actually gone and done it! A massive thank you to everyone who left suggestions, tips and ideas. You can see what I ended up doing here.
Julia Nyanyo
Julia Nyanyo

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.

19 comments:

  1. It's beautiful. I would take off the ruffle and use as a throw. You might get more use out of it then K xXx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea, once I take it apart I might be able to add a layer and make it into a cosy throw. I think the ruffle needs to go whatever happens, and then I'll have loads of blue fabric to use for something else.

      Delete
  2. Hi Julie! I enjoy your postings! Aah, patchwork from family...treasured stuff.
    One option would be to unpick the ruffle & re-attach it to make a larger quilt--if you'll use such a thing. Another idea would be to take it apart and make pillows or even frame smaller pieces for the wall. 0r leave it the full size of the single bed quilt and hang it on your wall. I think if you opt to hang it that you should still take the ruffle and re-make it into a flat border of some kind)(Problems: if you are fussy about 'decor' issues that wouldn't work). How sentimental are your siblings and children to cherish such a piece? That can dictate how much effort you want to put into remaking a piece or just to leave it in your bag & take it out occasionally...(It is a beautiful reminder of her love for you! Thanks for sharing it with us) Laura/USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awh, thanks Laura, it is a treasured thing as you say.
      I don't think I'd go for a wallhanging (I would if I lived by myself! Everything would be bright bright bright!) I could add a boarder and make it a double size bed throw or quilt - I like that idea. I also like the pillow /cushion cover idea, but I would have to be brave and cut into it then!
      I could make several though and then give them to other family members, share the joy so to speak.
      Thanks so much for your ideas and for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. I made cot sized quilts in the 70's for my newborn daughter in 1975 and then for all my friends. I cheerfully cut hers up and made covers for dolly bunk beds. If it were me with your precious quilt, I would unpick the outdated valance and bind the remaining patchwork before adding some handquilting to outline favourite fabrics. Don't keep it hidden away-it carries so much love and history in every stitch that it deserves to be used and shown every day. Look forward to seeing what you do! Catriona (fabricaholic)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catriona, that's a good idea. I think the valance definitely has to go, everyone seems agreed on that!
      If I'd made this I think it would be easier to chop it up, because it was my Nan's hard work I worry I'll mess it up!

      Delete
  4. Oh my goodness, what a treasure to have this gorgeous quilt !
    I used to make little things like this for my girls when they were small, but now I just don't and I miss it.
    I think maybe the ruffle should go and you can cuddle up with it in the winter days with a good book and a cuppa tea, lol..
    FABBY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had me at "good book and a cuppa tea" - sounds irresistible!

      Delete
  5. Hello Julie, What a beautiful treasure you have there and yes you must use it. Removing the valance is a given, but to turn it into a more snuggly throw I would add a fleece backing and then use that material to bind it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats a good idea Carol, I was thinking maybe I could use the valance fabric to bind it, and add a soft snuggly layer between the patchwork and the backing, but fleece would be nice and soft. In the Christmas holidays I'll try to find some fabric shopping time, and see what I can find.

      Delete
  6. I love those bright, fun colours, Julie. What a precious thing to own - all that work done by your Nan, especially for you. I'm with everyone else - get rid of the ruffle. Is the backing quilted or sewn in any way to the hexagons, or just attached via the ruffle? Is there any batting between the backing and hexagons. If the backing is just attached at the ruffle and with no backing, I'd add some batting for warmth and turn it into a lap quilt. Here in Australia I remember the change from bedspreads to doonas (duvets). My mother is the only person I know who still has a bedspread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's just attached round the edge with the ruffle but I've not been brave enough to start taking it apart yet. I'm motivated to stop leaving it in the wardrobe and give it a new life asap with everyone's great suggestions. Once I have it apart I'll have a better idea of how joined up inside it is.
      I don't think I know anyone who still has sheets and blankets and therefore a bedspread - remember the candlewick ones, with the tufts in patterns? I used to love them!

      Delete
    2. I had to Google 'candlewick bedspread'. We had chenille bedspreads that looked very similar.

      Delete
  7. So beautiful and made with love. Have you thought to take off the ruffle and edge then use as a throw at the bottom of your bed or over the back of an arm chair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great ideas Caroline, the ruffle must go!

      Delete
  8. What a wonderful keepsake. It sounds like she wouldn't mind if you made changes to make it into something you would use and love. Thank you for sharing at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am featuring you at Snickerdoodle this weekend.

      Delete
  9. Sounds like you have a majority vote about ruffle, from there you will need to see how it's constructed. Decisions like you're facing are hard - if you are person who cares about article - sure sounds like you are.
    Think you have few people who will be anxiously waiting to find out what you do.
    Do know how you feel. Hubs Mother made gorgeous quilts, but - they reeked of cigarette smoke, p- ew. So as not to hurt hubs feelings would air them out after washing and hope for no smelly quilt. By then hubs had stopped smoking and realized how terrible anything she gave us smelled.She had crocheted a gorgeous rag rug but just never got awful smell out of it. Even hubs said to put out in shed so we did, finally gave it away. Hated to but shed stunk of smell. Hope whomever got rug from thrift store appreciated it, I still feel terribly guilty.
    So many of family and friends smoked I suffered for years from smell of them and had allergies, asthma so decided had to call halt on having to deal with cig. smoke/smell. I literally get sick to my stomach now when have to smell it somewhere.Avoid having to as much as possible.
    No offense anybody or yourself is you're a smoker.
    Enjoy rest of weekend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so nice to read a thoughtful comment from someone who understands my dilemma. I am going to have a go at removing the ruffle in the Christmas break, see what it's like inside and then take it from there. I really appriciate everyone's input and suggestions.
      I'm not a smoker so do have a pretty sensitive nose to smoke too. We had some dinning room chairs I brought from ebay once with fabric seats that smelt SO bad. I fabreezed them every day for months and used to put them outside on sunny days and eventually it faded, but for a long time it would hit every time we walked in the house. At least we weren't sentimentally attached to them (just financially!)
      I imagine it would be much harder when precious handmade gifts smell bad, but you have to do what is best for your health at the end of the day.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete

I love to hear your thoughts/comments, thank you for taking the time.