Ok, let me explain 'super ugly'...
Many years ago mum had curtains made from a swan print fabric for curtains in her house. Now I know it was a favour but some of the curtains had the print upside down and a few had the top brown lines on the bottom instead. In addition, it's a cotton fabric.... let me explain just how bloody hot mum's house gets and she hung these things on the 3 west-facing windows that cop the worst of the afternoon sun. Really quite futile.
One of the upside down ones
So I finally convinced her to replace the curtains and they were banished to the depths of the linen cupboard. Over the years as mum's dear old cat got more and more senile she took to sleeping in the aforementioned linen cupboard and unfortunately had a few 'accidents' that went unnoticed (I can hear the chorus of *ewwww* right now). Of course when mum gave me the washed but still slightly smelly fabric I couldn't in good conscience throw it out (I still ask myself 'why?').
Now along came my Christmas crafting ideas and I got to Nanna on my list. She is the worst person to buy for, never mind craft for. She has no hobbies, doesn't collect anything and hates knicknacks. She does however have a far-flung family (*ding*, idea!). I decided to make her a lap blanket that incorporates her family. This way she will be reminded of what she means to us and she can get a hug from her family (via her blanket) anytime she wants. I originally planned a simple 2 colour square block quilt since I have never done anything more complex, but I was inspired by the family tree quilts and although this is not exactly the same I incorporated the tree image since it centred on family.
I picked up a lovely heavy cotton weave from the op-shop for about $3.00 that I wanted for the backing and realised that mum's smelly old curtains matched perfectly. I washed and soaked and washed some more and cut the fabric into squares and rectangles before randomly resewing to create an abstract tree top (didn't really want swans swimming on a tree trunk). I used the top border print for the trunk and teamed it all with left over white and green cotton and a stained old tan sheet. It has no inner batting since the backing fabric is so heavy.
(L - R) Backing fabric, old sheet, white and green remnants
You can just see how the swan fabric was cut and quilted together to make an abstract treetop
Each photo is printed in black and white on green cotton and cut into a leaf shape. Early generations start at the bottom and work up to the youngest at the top, not all the family is there though.
near each new generation are freehand stitched words reminding Nan who she is to us: Granddaughter, Niece, Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Nanna, Great-grandmother, Friend. The wrens (Nan was a WREN in the war - Women's Royal English Navy) were embroidered on separate fabric and attached. My first freehand embroidery too, from a photo.
Backing was attached with right sides facing, turned right-side out and a border seam added.
Finished size: 87cm (34") x 127cm (50")Total cost: $3.00, all materials second-hand or remnants (and super-ugly )
All comments welcome