Summer Memory Quilt Project

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago. He is now in a Southport EMI care home and has settled in well. He still knows me and I visit often when I’m here. Even though we are keeping his flat, I thought it was time I cleared out some of the stuff he’d been hoarding for ever.

In amongst the bedding I came across some old sheets that I remembered having on my bed as I child.

old cotton SheetsThey were threadbare in the middles and a bit yellowed in places but the edges were still pretty good. So I decided to make a summer memory quilt that will remind me of my childhood every time I come to Southport.

First I needed a sewing machine as mine was back in Southampton.



I thought something elderly was quite fitting for the fifty-year old fabrics I was using.

Summer memory quilt

So here’s how I did it.


The quilt measures 70″ x 76″, which fits a standard 4’6″ double with a 10″ overhang on the sides and bottom.

For this I needed 90 x 8 1/2″ squares made up of

  • 45 x green stripe
  • 23 x sprigged fabric
  • 23 rose-print (fussy cut so I had a rose in each square)

You will also need 4 metres of cotton batting or curtain interlining (much cheaper!) and a white sheet for the backing.

  1. Join the squares in rows of nine alternating the green stripe with the floral as shown in the photograph. Ensure four of the rows rows finish with a floral square at each end and the remaining five have a green stripe square at each end.
  2. Lay your rows out in quilt formation until you are happy with the arrangement.
  3. Press all the seam allowances of row 1 to the left, those of row 2 to the right, row 3 to the left and so on until all rows are pressed.
  4. Join all the rows together, slotting the seams together at the little step (produced by pressing the seams in different directions). This is your quilt top.
  5. Press these joining seams open.
  6. Press the quilt top on the right side, ensuring that you don’t dislodge any of the seam allowances on the wrong side.
  7. Press and lay the backing sheet on the floor.
  8. Cut the batting or interlining to size, joining by butting the edges together and using a loose hand stitch. Lay this on top of the backing.
  9. Lay the quilt top, face up, on top.
  10. I quilted my piece, using a walking foot, 1/2″ in from each long vertical and horizontal seam but any quilting you choose will be fine. Or, if you don’t want the struggle of getting the rolled up quilt through your machine, use buttons!
  11. For the binding cut 4 x 4″ strips, 80″ long, from the green striped fabric. To avoid the risk of the binding looking a bit skewed, if it wasn’t quite square, I cut the binding with the stripes going across the strip instead of down.
  12. Fold each strip in half widthways and press.
  13. Pin one strip to one of the outer edges of the quilt, lining the raw edges up with the raw edges of the squares. Stitch 1/2″ from the edge. Trim all the excess backing and batting off flush with the raw edges of the squares.
  14. Pin and stitch a second strip to the opposite edge.
  15. Now flip the binding over and press. Fold under so it touches the stitching you joined it with. Press and pin.
  16. Attach the other two strips, leaving a 2″ overhang at each end. Flip over the binding and press. Turn in the overhang then fold under, press and pin.
  17. I machined round my binding, 1/8″ from where it joins the quilt, but it was tough stitching over the corners. Hand stitching will give it a softer finish.

Summer memory quildetail2I really enjoyed making this quilt. There’s a lot of sheets left over and next time I might add some old photos printed onto fabric.



A Case for the Not-So-Mobile

I love gadgets and, in an effort to get round the problem of needing mobile broadband in my studio and a device I can email etc at home, I have acquired one of those not-quite-phone, not-quite-tablet devices. It is too big to go in my pocket and will have to travel in my handbag. But it looks so fragile! As soon as I got home from the tortuously drawn-out purchase, I set to and ordered one of the standard boring cases from Amazon. But today I thought ‘it’s not here yet and I’ve got to get this baby to work and home again’.

Please note that I don’t normally attach human personalities to technology and this phase will pass…

So here is the solution – made to fit the Samsung Galaxy Note but adaptable for any phone or tablet.

Phone/Tablet/Inbetween Case

To make:

  • Measure your device and make a note of its dimensions.
  • If you are going to embroider the front (I did mine with a simple programmed embroidery but you can use any sort of decoration) do this first. If you are doing programmed embroidery make sure the fabric is large enough to fit into the hoop and do the embroidery before you cut the fabric to size.
  • Now add 1″ to all your measurements and cut out two pieces of fabric to this size.
  • Cut two pieces of pure cotton wadding the same size as the fabric.
  • Layer one piece of wadding behind each piece of fabric and iron to adhere the wadding to the fabric.
  • Quilt in a crosshatch design using embroidery thread and a 3mm stitch length and using a quilting or even-feed foot if you have one. If you have added any decoration or embroidery to the front, crosshatch up to the edge, finish off your seam and start again at the other side.
  •  Now, using a quilter’s ruler and rotary cutter if you have them, trim the quilted pieces so they are the dimensions of your device plus 1/2″ all round. this may seem a little close but you want your device to be snug in its new home.
  • Cut two pieces of lining fabric to the same size as the quilted pieces.
  • Place one piece of lining fabric, right sides together, against one quilted outer piece and stitch a 1/4″ seam across the top edge. Repeat for other pieces.
  • Press the seam open using a hot steam iron.
  • Now place the two outer/lining pieces right sides together ensuring the seams are perfectly aligned.
  • Pin the seams to ensure they don’t slip.
  • Stitch all round using a 1/4″ seam and leaving a turning gap at the bottom of the lining.
  • Turn the right way out.
  • Turn in the raw edges at the bottom of the lining and stitch close to the fold
  • Press and push the lining into the outer.
  • Press the top edge thoroughly ensuring that the lining cannot be seen.
  • Stitch round the top with a toning or contrasting thread.
  • A final press and your device is safe for ever.
So all I need to do now is return the boring case to Amazon…

Back to the Blog!

It’s no excuse I know – but the blog has suffered while I’ve been setting up the new workshop. But it’s all looking great. We, or rather the Brickworks Museum where I’m located, has had its first open day of the year with over 1000 visitors through the gate. Most of them seemed to be in my workshop at the same time! But the comments were all positive and our swanky new leaflets – a different colour for each craft, designed by my tireless other half, Andy – were disappearing faster than we could print them.

Our visitors on the Open Day

My new mosaic entrance plaque, made in a workshop with the mosaic artist Martin Cheek  was up for all to see.

The new Time4me Entrance Plaque

which went rather well with the olive tree sent by my youngest daughter for Mother’s Day.

As well as the new look and the sewing classes, we’ve also got some new tutors on board with lots of new courses to offer this term:

  • Fabric dyeing and printing
  • Mosaics
  • Clay modelling and pottery
  • Hand Knitting
  • Dorset Buttons
  • Drawing and painting
  • Silver Jewellery
  • Encaustic Art

It’s the start of the new term next week and I can’t wait to see how it all pans out. Watch this space!