I have been holding on to this gorgeous Anchor Jobelan #28 in Pale Green for years, intending to design and make (my first) hardanger project. (Yes, I appreciate it’s a bit daft, but this is what I do…)
There are two pieces (it started out 60 cm x 50 cm and I cut it in half) and they’ve been washed but are otherwise untouched. If you’d like it, leave a comment about what you’d use it for (I promise not to hold you to it)!
You have until 4th March to comment, I can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your collective sleeves!
I know I’ve posted about this in the past, but I’ve had another go and I thought you might be interested in the results.
Part of the problem with the previous recipe was that it made gallons of starch! Although I managed to use up all of what I had without mishap, it did start to degrade as I got to the bottom of the jar.
So if you’re not starching a dozen hankies for each member of the household plus tray cloths and doilies, here’s the revised recipe.
Vintage Starch1 teaspoon cornflour 1 teaspoon cold water Mix to a paste. Add 275 ml boiling water and stir until smooth Top up with 125 ml cold water. Immerse items in starch, squeeze out excess and hang dry. Iron when damp.
I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard to get rid of fabric! Single-use things are easy, but if something has the potential to be anything at all, I become overwhelmed by the fear that I might want it sometime for something.
So I’m assuaging my doubts by distributing things to other lovely people, who I know will give it a good home (or at least not tell me if they don’t).
If you want any of the things below, leave a comment with an email by Friday 9th November, and it’s yours!
This is a wee bundle of silk and silk-like samples from The Great Wedding Adventure. As you can see, there are a range of colours and reasonably large sizes (the largest pieces are about 20cm lengths).
This definitely falls under Odds and Sods (unsuitable for vegan-atarians due to leather and fur scraps). Some quilt squares, some waterproof fabric and other bits and pieces.
Nothing but String – or at least vintage (and some modern) crochet cotton in a variety of colours. (I’m looking at you Denise!)
Fancy a bit of embroidery? I’ve got some lovely borders for cross stitch and some paper thread bobbins for you.
…and this one I’ve got a person in mind for already.
I have a new obsession…
As I finished my bottle of spray starch the other day, I was musing on the alternatives to yet another aerosol bottle of mystery ingredients.
So I had a wee search, and had to ask myself, “Is there nothing that can’t be done with cornflour?”
I wasn’t thrilled with the recipes I found online, and after all, what’s the point of buying vintage household management books if you go straight to Google for all your answers?
It was a pretty good start, but for ease of use, here is my slightly adapted version:
Boiling Water Starch1 tablespoon cornflour (because it’s all lace to me, darling) 1/2 teaspoon borax 3 tablespoons cold water Mix into a smooth paste and add 1.136 litres (although precision is not crucial) boiling water, stirring constantly and then 525 ml (see note above) cold water. I added 12 drops of rosemary essential oil because I am keeping the leftovers and I didn’t want it to go fusty on me. It has since started to settle a little (but reconstitutes easily with a shake), from my reading online, I believe that if you boiled the starch mixture and boiling water, you would get less settling. If you try it, let me know. Once finished, dip your damp laundry into the starch, give it a squeeze and hang until not-quite-dry. Iron with a hot iron (no steam) and marvel at the creaselessness! On the left, ladies and gentlemen, is the pile of spray starched fabric awaiting designs, on the right are some finished pieces using my new recipe. Begone spray starch!
I’ve finally had a change to do something that’s been lurking on one of my Pinterest boards for ages…using cornflour paste to stick fabric to stuff.
It’s a great (and temporary) way to play with different fabrics, once you’re bored with your fabric you just peel it off and give the surface a wipe with a damp cloth and your landlord is none the wiser!
The first thing I did was to replace the cardboard box which was protecting the wall behind our shoe rack from scuffs with a bit of sheet. Then I got a bit keen and decided to recover a drawing slope which I inherited from Batman’s great aunt.
You can see the result in action in this post (behind the Helvetica piece).
The instructions in the original blog post from How About Orange are very clear (so I won’t repeat them), but since I was covering much smaller surfaces, I thought I’d break down the ratios into smaller quantities for you.
The original recipe was 3/8 cup or 5 tablespoons cornflour to 4 cups water, I halved it and had enough to do both projects (although I didn’t use the same batch of paste) so you could quarter it easily. If you make the paste in advance, it’s worth reheating it slightly before you use it to make it runnier when you spread it. It should be no more than tepid really.
It’s a lovely forgiving paste, you can adjust and tweak as you go without too much trouble.
Don’t forget to clip your corners…
I cut the original fabric a bit short, so I added an extra strip at the back to hold the edges down, and it seemed to work very well.
It dried beautifully (the dampish patches dried out without leaving a residue) and held up to being schlepped about with lots of frames and things.
Verdict: I may cover everything I own in fabric….you can spread it with your fingers (very satisfying) and if the cat eats a little, you don’t have to panic!
I’m still a bit undecided about the backing for Dragon’s quilt.
One thing they tell you to be aware of when making quilts is the tonal value of the overall quilt. The easiest way to explain it is to take a photo of your fabrics in black and white and see what happens. (Here are two examples of other people’s quilts in colour and black and white.)
I’ve always struggled with the tonal values with this quilt, mainly because I bought the fabric on two different continents and really struggled to find fabrics that I liked. I don’t usually faff about with the black and white photos, but rely on my eye and instinct to sort it out for me.
But since I was swithering between two fabrics, I thought I’d show you what I’ve got so far.
I have to say I’m secretly a little thrilled at how spot-on my complete lack of tonal variation is. I bought some of these fabrics without having swatches with me and I had to reject a fabric that I panic bought against my better judgement on the strength of its tonal depth when I got home with it.
Here’s where I swither… do I carry on with the toneless-ness or do I introduce a little more contrast on the back?
In my head it was always going to be a very soft, subdued quilt so part of me thinks that the back should carry that on. On the other hand, the lighter gray is very close to the beige (unspotted corner pieces) and I don’t know how it’s going to read. (In fact I may need another post on the design for the back anyway.) Thoughts? Suggestions?
I’ve just had a rather epic trip into town (you know the kind you have panic attacks about more than 24 hours in advance). Part of it was boring (seeing if my little laptop Bertie could be fixed after he got his feet wet) and part of it was fun (looking for more backing fabric for Dragon’s quilt and getting iron on patches and glue to mend our household’s Toms).
There’s a normal fabric store upstairs, but on the ground floor is a maze of bins where everything is sold by weight. I don’t know why it makes it so much easier to buy vast quantities, maybe because it comes in pre-cut bits (you can have smaller pieces cut, but I rarely do) but that place makes me want to crawl into one of the nicer bins (suiting, not stretch denim) and curl up like a happy cat.
I was only going to buy only what I needed for the quilt backing, until I found myself in front of the linen section. But, I left the saffron yellow and just bought gray and gray and gray. But it’s ok, I have a plan for the two I’m not using for the quilt. Despite being pathologically opposed to the idea of ironing clothes every time you wear them I have a little linen problem. I seem to want an endless range of gray smocks and smart suits. I fear early exposure to Jane Eyre and Vertigo are to blame.
I’m meant to be working this morning, but I can’t seem to settle to anything. I’ve been having that problem all week, and it’s driving me nuts. So I decided that reading a paper (Abdominal muscle recruitment during a range of voluntary exercises…not The Guardian), doing a spot of spray painting, drinking three cups of tea and checking my email counted as work and I could devote the rest of my morning to working out what to do with the back of Dragon’s quilt.
Here are the things I’m liking…
Using the fabrics from the front on the back, in fairly small quantities.
I’m very into continua of colours…but I’m not sure my colours really work this way.
I love the horizontal stripes!
This is the most logical solution, but I don’t know how it will work with what I’ve got.
So off I go to ponder a bit more.