Sunday, 6 July 2014

Reviving Laura's Wild Clematis

Many thanks for your lovely comments on my last post-I do so enjoy reading them! Have you had a sunny weekend? A few showers here earlier but a lovely sunny afternoon-definitely one that truly makes England in summer a beautiful place to be. Such afternoons bring to mind picnics by the river and endless sunshine as you flit about on your vintage bicycle amongst the wild-flowered byways, in a big floppy hat. Such days always evoke thoughts of Laura Ashley's wonderful  tiny country floral fabrics from the 70s and 80s.

 One such fabric is 'Wild Clematis', a traditional country cotton. Many of these designs are becoming increasingly rare and it has become my quest to track down as many as possible so we can enjoy them once again! Whilst I do like to enjoy gazing at my 'finds' sitting on my collection shelf, my prime motivation for collecting is to re-use them  into various projects.

'Wild Clematis' features such a pretty rambling floral design  on a plain background in various shades. It was very popular for home furnishings, especially curtains as this seems to be where I find most to reclaim. It is possible to discover unused fabric-what a find it is when you do. This can still be in pristine condition, I'm still amazed by the quality of the fabrics.  I located some colours in my 1987 catalogue, but the design must have been around some years before, as someone reports furnishings made from it with fabric bought in 1979 on the Laura Ashley blog. The fabric generally retains its colour so well, with just some fading to edges, depending on where it has been situated.

A while ago I came by some of the lovely green, which I incorporated into a quilt along with a mix of other fabrics. I don't do quilts very often and have never done one where you have a pattern or plan, my designs just sort of evolve, usually from some central fabric that I fancy the look of. I wanted a very natural mix of country style designs with a soothing, green theme, for a bedroom which has the more up to date Laura Ashley 'Heligan' (natural) as its main theme. As there was quite a bit of this it made a pretty border.

Recently I came upon some very small pieces of the brown on cream colourway. I had a small fabric panel of a black labrador which is exactly like our lovely Bonnie, and knew my younger daughter would love this as a cushion for her room. I also wanted to incorporate some vintage Laura Ashley for her and the cream pieces were ideal. I just need to finish backing it now!

Suddenly I was on a roll of little fabric pics and made a little padded kitchen hanger with this cute cat.

I also like to revive these fabrics to be shared and used by other sewers and incorporate quite a lot of my reclaimed fabrics into themed collections-here I used  'Smoke' in a blue themed collection.

Hope you have had a lovely sunny, floppy hatted crafty weekend! I don't have a pic of wild clematis but here's a little snap of some pretty Cornish wildflowers I took when walking along the river yesterday.
Alison xx