Thursday, March 22, 2007

Make-Do and Mend.

I've been on a rescue mission this week. I had this lovely old 'Comfy quilt' whose edges had worn a little thin, so I have added a vintage cotton paisley print as a wide binding to all of the edges. This should help it to last many more years now and it also oozes a little more charm.

I am always finding delightful old eiderdowns too that have seen better days. Often the corners wear through and they start to leak their feathers. This little Deco one had that problem. So I made it these fun corner patches from a similar 1930's eiderdown fabric.

Other make-do and mend ideas that feature in our home include the curtains in one of my daughter's bedrooms. They were made from two damaged lace tablecloths joined together and backed with a pale pink cotton sheet.

Thrifty, but I hope you think, attractive.

The curtains in the living room where also created from sheets. This time C19th French linen ones. The edges were worn, so I added scraps of vintage French fabrics in a patchwork effect to strengthen them, but it also adds a decorative touch - no one need know that they were holey sheets!
Finally, THANK YOU, for all of the comments that I received for the post below. I have never had that many before! I think perhaps we should all make similar comments to the editor of 'Country Living' magazine, as it seems we all share the same views.


  1. You sure did a wonderful job with the quilt and the eiderdowns.
    I love what you did with the curtains.

  2. Hi, Nicky i have just put the phone down from my sister, after discussing the works that need to be carried out on the new place in Suffolk, and i used the expression "cutting my cloth accordingly". So coffee in hand i thought i would look at the blogs i always start with you and you are also using good old fashioned terms, also well done on mending the quilt your machine stitching is lovely and neat...X

  3. Those wonderful layers of old fabrics make the best curtains and yours are too die for!

  4. You are so clever , everything looks beautiful. I just leave my old eiderdowns leaving trails of feathers, now I know what to do - not as handy with the needle though. thanks for some lovely photos as usual.
    Kim x

  5. I love what you've done with those eiderdowns, Niki! I especially love the deco one. And those curtains! I've posted before all the lace tablecloths I use as curtains in my home... you are a lady after my own heart!

  6. Anonymous3:27 pm

    Your make do and mends are simply lovely.

  7. Hi Niki,
    Love the way all your sewing turned out, good idea to save all those old things, much nicer then new.
    Got my little VIOLET BOWL in the mail today, so pretty. I took a picture of it in case you would like to see where it ended up. I just love Violets.

  8. I drool with inspiration each time you post a picture of one of your projects! You are SOO talented and clever! Could you write a book or get your own tv show? I would be a raving fan of any such endeavor.

    Thanks for all the pleasure you give so many of us!

  9. Hi Niki

    I love the sheet curtains - and the eiderdowns of course!! See you tomorrow.

  10. You are soo clever Niki. I love the way you save things by cleverly making-do and mending!

    I will be telling CL magazine exactly why I am cancelling my subscription. They really do need to know that that sort of laziness just isn't acceptable.

  11. Anonymous8:54 pm

    I love those gorgeous old eiderdowns...I think the work you did with them only gives them more character! Those lace curtains are absolutely beautiful and I love the edging on your loungeroom ones too! You always inspire me!

  12. Old quilts, coverlets and linens are always such treasures to find. They are worth preserving!

  13. Great idea to transform the sheets to curtains and extend the life of the quilt. Must try that with two vintage quilts that have worn edges.

  14. I love make and mend too and love the curtains you have created. I have some heavy linen sheets as curtains, they do the job as good as any expensive fabric.

    My Grandmother taught me an awful lot about survival and my mother's generation had a staple diet of 'make & mend' which rubbed off on me too. Saving for a rainy day was another saying - and that ment not only saving money but any scraps of fabric, furniture or cheap offers you came across - however there is only so much one can hold on to and I am fed up of saying ' I might need this someday'.

    Oh well Niki another great post that has got me thinking!

    best wishes Ginny

  15. I've had opportunity to write to the editors of such SEEMS they are very much into clicks and running with the big dogs...homeowners who have a lot money and will draw a reading audience...I submitted my fabulous front porch makeover to CH....sshhh....and they turned it down and said it did not quite fit the nature of their magazine...I have the best befores and afters one could imagine...I was greatly confused when I compared it to stories they were publishing that REALLY didn't seem to fit the nature of their magazine.
    Anyway thanks for your enlightenment...we all should speak up whenever the spirit moves.

  16. Hi Nik, the comfy quilt and eiderdowns look even lovelier for having your 'magic touch' applied to them! The curtains are lovely too - and that way they truly are a one-off vintage treasure!

  17. oh, you have made the most beautiful things with your "make do" ~ the curtains are simply to die for. And the eiderdowns, they look a treat.

    I got inspired by reading this today. It's always so wonderful to "help" old things live a new life, isn't it?


  18. Not so much 'make-do' as adding your signature to something lovely, and extending it's life in the process. Well done as usual Niki.

  19. Anonymous4:41 pm

    Love the curtains. Very beautiful. Commenting about your article below this one, on Country Living. I have found this to be true with Mary Englebreit's Home Companion also. Thanks for sharing all your treasures.


  20. I love your rescues. Very inventive and pretty.

  21. How clever you are with your needle, the vintage fabrics are so pretty. I still have a lot of exploring to do on your site and, happily, an hour or two to do it:)

  22. Anonymous2:12 pm

    Niki, you have done great fabric rescue job. I envy you being able to source French linen sheets - anyone know where to get them in the US? The light glowing through the lacy curtain is fabulous - same effect as the burnout velvet panels I recently hung in my bedroom (see my blog)but your's much more creative!

    Yes, we need to let Country Living UK know about our disappointment in the way the magazine's heading - we must all write/e-mail and ask for a return to more home decorating features!

    Have a wonderful English Spring Sunday - bet the primroses are blooming, if only I could be home in Devon exploring the lanes! Have to wait until October!

  23. OOPS! Don't know why my comment is showing up "anonymous" so just want you to know it's from me ACROSS THE POND.

  24. WHAT TALENT!!!
    I love the curtains!!!
    Amy (Mom to the Four Sisters)

  25. The artisty and vision you have to put together and reinvent these worn beauties is a real gift.

  26. What clever ideas you have! I think that the quilt was enhanced by the border, and the lace curtains are absolutely beautiful!

    I always enjoy visiting...


  27. Love the look of all your vintage materials. You know how to put beautiful material together and end up with something that looks old but new to you. How wonderful.

  28. Anonymous8:12 am

    Hi, have been having a peek at your blog for a while now so thought I should leave a comment.
    Those Eiderdowns are gorgeous and what a novel idea for the curtains. Love what you do and have to say.

  29. Anonymous11:53 am

    The lace curtains are wonderful.. excellent idea, as real lace curtains are so expensive. I just logged on to your blog after a charity shop binge.. and came across a similar china pot to your mustard and pepper pots! I hadn't seen your previous post so it was quite a coincidence! Mine is a lot bigger, however, and I bought it because I loved it at first sight, but I have no idea what it was used for. I will post it up on my site later, have a look if you get a minute and see if you have the answer!


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx