From where she left off

Hello to you all,

Despite not having created an actual blog post for a little while, I have been making plans behind the scenes and as usual the creative juices continue to flow – too many ideas and not enough time! However, I would like to share with you a rather personal project that I have recently started and now that I have done so, will be sure to finish soon too.

My mum originally came across this project and started to gather the materials during the beginning of her treatment for lymphoma. She came across the article in a magazine that she had recently subscribed to, although it has since come to light that the project originally features in the book, Patch! by Cath Kidston. Mum obviously intended to complete the project and had purchased about 6 cotton tea towels that are all different, yet coordinating in colour. She had even started to trim a few of them to size, although the cutting is a little off due to her eyesight having started to weaken – thank you for that Mum! She never got to do any more but when I came across the pile of tea towels and the article that she had helpfully kept together, I made a promise that I would one day complete her tea towel tablecloth. And so here we are…

Having the few tea towels that mum had already chosen is wonderful as I have an idea of the colours and patterns that she was thinking of and would have continued to buy to complete the table cloth. We both shared similar tastes so I am quite confident that I will be able to find more tea towels that will continue her theme in order to make a large tablecloth.

For now, I thought I would start off with the tea towels that mum had bought and begin to attach them together before then finding more. Working from the original article, the instructions are easy to follow and give you all the steps required to complete the tablecloth, provided that you have the correct number of tea towels to make the desired size of finished tablecloth.

The hardest task at this stage was to trim all the tea cloths to the same size, without losing too much of the pattern. In straightening up the edges on a couple of the towels, I had to lose some of the original size but once I had done this I had a template for trimming the rest of the towels so that they are all the same. I have actually transferred this template to a piece of large card so that I can use it when I find more tea towels to add. Once the tea towels were all cut to size, it was time to position them for sewing together. I laid them out on the table and had a bit of a play with putting different towels next to each other before I was happy with the layout. The instructions suggest that you have all the tea towels together before you start sewing so as to get an idea of the overall look of the finished piece. I can see how this would be ideal although I really wanted to get this project started; I just know that if I waited until I have all the tea towels then I would be waiting another 5 years before it is finished!

I have now joined together a block of 3 tea towels and a smaller block of 2 tea towels. Why not just join all of the towels together? Well I did think about that but having laid them all out, 2 of the towels are too similar to be so close together on the finished cloth so I have kept the blocks separate for now and will join them together once I have a suitable design to go in the middle – there is a method to the madness!

Now that I have started, I am on a roll and actively seeking out more tea towels to create a large tablecloth – I have decided to make it big! I like the idea of adding the cloths as I go and creating a real patchwork effect – I think that is what mum would have liked. This will be a real labour of love and I already envisage the finished piece being used in our garden in the summer as well as a feature on our dining table. Who knows, we may even use it as a picnic cloth. All I know is that I am excited to create something that’s origin is with my mum and I will think of her every step of the way.

This one is for you, Mum.

L x

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