Creating · Stitch

More Stitch

A few years ago we decided to buy leather sofas against everything we ever said about them. We’d had them before and remember how cold and slippery they were. We thought with the dogs it would be an easier, cleaner option. That turned out to be at the expense of our actual comfort. After 4 years John decided he wanted sofas he could actually be comfortable in. Off we went on what I thought was going to be another looooong round of trying out every sofa available in Dorset. John has very, very long legs and the seat has to be a bit higher and deeper than normal. I suggested we went to a smallish local store where we had been lucky in the past with buying things for the house. Still many sitting downs later I found a sofa in an area he hadn’t considered looking in (they had legs rather than to the floor) and actually found a sofa that he was happy and comfortable with so we chose complimentary if different fabrics for them and ordered. The (not so) old sofas have been donated to a local charity who helps families in need so I hope they will be enjoyed.

They are light silver blue and certainly lighten the room up. The orphan Stressless footstool I kept after getting rid of a chair had been covered in tweeds which matched the then brown leather sofas. They had been a bit tidier than the actual leather of the footstool. This now didn’t match so I came up with a cunning plan! I have many sample books of furnishing weight fabrics and found some in the silvers and grey blues that would match the sofas, cut them into rectangles and laid them out on a backing fabric of a piece of old curtain.

Most of the fabric was from a gorgeous range called Glendale by Voyage Maison in a lovely cotton viscose mix which is lovely and soft to the touch. I zigzagged all the pieces down to the background and then re covered the footstool. I think it matches really well!

So that’s another patched together piece done.

I’ve just placed some other pieces on a base to eventually use as a cover for a little book type case for my fine crochet hooks. I will be using some nice silk hand dyed thread by Clare Bullock as I like the green tones.

The fabrics are all my own printed or dyed/stained and from the scrappy bag. Now look at how gorgeous and clear these eco print pieces are.

They have one snag. When I first started my C&G 13 years ago we gathered together many types of cottons and linens to dye and print with to see how different they could be. One lot of fabric I had was pillowcase cotton. This turned out to dye the brightest and took prints, including eco ones like above, better than any other. It’s just that it was pillow cotton. Feather proof pillow cotton. Getting a hand needle through it is tough work as it’s designed to keep all those tiny feather quills in. It machines noisily but at least I can use it for that. I have a fair amount of it mixed in with other stuff in my scrappy bags and I keep coming across it, often after it’s a part of a project and I find I can’t stitch it properly! I’m slowly finding them out, testing with a needle and putting them together in a bag marked for machining only. I will learn!

We had some very sad news last week when I found some of our bats on the drive under one of the bat boxes. At first I found 6, then a couple more and in the end 18 were sent off for testing, mostly mothers with pups. There are many rules in place regarding bats here in the UK. You need a licence to handle them and another licence to build anywhere where they have a roost. You need to put gloves on to pick up dead ones. Bats, as well as carrying diseases like rabies (thankfully not often here) are an indicator species and are closely monitored and we had to take them to the local bat rescue people for them to be sent off to the Animal and Plant Health Agency in bulk. If you find a single one you can be sent the correct equipment to send it into them here. Did you know the biggest problem bats have is cats?!

Anyway they were quick to come back to us that they were long eared bats and they believe it was heat exhaustion from the couple of very hot days we had at that time. It was just super sad that the timing was when the pups were there too and it got the whole family group.

I can’t tell you how upset I was as we do like seeing them in the garden, we still have many more, just not the family in this one particular box. It’s even more sad when you read these facts: –

Reproduction & life cycle
Mating takes place in the autumn and active males will continue
to seek out and mate with females throughout the winter.
Maternity colonies are established in late spring, with one young
born around late June to mid-July, and then weaned at 6 weeks.
Colony size is between 10 to 20 bats (up to 50), and each brown
long-eared can live for up to 30 years.

On a happier note, Gwyn is learning about morning yoga. The struggle is real!

Have a great weekend.

22 thoughts on “More Stitch

  1. Loving those fabric samples, they’ve made a grand footstool cover. My husband is an ecologist and has been doing lots of bat surveys lately. Such a shame that the heat has wiped out a whole little family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sad. We had maternity roosts in the loft space before we built up. Part of our licence was to have boxes added around the property, under supervision, including this one in the cavity of the house near where they were before. That was 2015 so either it’s taken a long time for them to use it as a maternity again or the timing was really awful this one particular year. I’m looking at buying more boxes for different aspects of the house.

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  2. HI Amanda. My husband has been involved with bats; conservation, habitats, talks, and education etc for many many years. He has stepped back a lot now, as he is involve with many different wild life projects in Cornwall, particularly with the seals. That takes up most of his time now, as he does two seal surveys every week as well as talks to schools, and adult groups, and he is called out to strandings frequently at certain times of the year. Love the foot stool cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the footstool, what a great idea! I love your other fabric too, I like the soft muted tones of that one, looking forward to see what you do with that one 🙂 Sad news about the bats, will you move the box before another family move in?

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  4. I too think the footstool is a triumph! You seem to be on a roll with random patchy things at present. The prints are lovely but I understand your problem with down proof fabric – I got some to make covers for a couple of pillows that were leaking and pinning it was a nightmare! It is a shame about the batsbut there is nothing you can do to protect them from the vagaries of the weather. At last you are giving them homes. I have them in my roof too but so far haven’t seen any casualties – maybe because the heat here was less intense than in the SE. Animals seem to be attracted to yoga – my cats like to join me.

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    1. I bet your garden is an amazing bat haven. 😊 I think they are trying to rescue us (well me) from flailing around on the floor. They don’t quite see it as yoga 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and sometimes, ‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it didn’t much matter which way she put it.”
    Sorry to hear about the bats. Footstool looks lovely though and fascinating leaf prints.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your piece made me smile as we’ve always hated the thought of leather sofas! After noting how quickly you swapped back to squashy fabric (four years?) I don’t think we’ll be giving leather a try! But I do love that patchwork footstool. And guess what? Have just the thing stored in the garage waiting for a transformation. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least with the fabric the covers can come off for cleaning and they can flip. I can also put a strengthener under them should they start giving too much! Look forward to seeing a transformation 😄

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  7. the cloth on your new couch looks much like one we had and loved … but when we moved into the intense Texas heat, we searched for a new couch with relatively matte leather (not shiny hard, as so many are) … it’s just right for our 6-8 months long summers

    love your new footstool cover … I’d be anticipating the opportunity to patch future worn spots (wink)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So sad about the bats. We have some that come whirling round at dusk and I love to watch them hoovering up the insects. The footstool looks fabulous and it a lovely match for your gorgeous new sofa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We love going out and standing with them too. They definitely notice us being there. Maybe it’s our heat or the insects we flush but they do circle.

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