Monday, 5 October 2009

First steps in patchwork...

My 1st bit of pieced patchwork..I confess I have made patchwork bits and pieces before - the log cabin needle books for example, but I pretty much made it up as I went along. I've been wanting to do a course to learn how to do it properly for ages, so I was really pleased to find a Beginners Patchwork course at my local college. It started a couple of weeks back now and this is the beginning of my first block. The plan is that we are going to do 9 blocks in all - all of them taking us through the basics of different kids of patchwork. I am hoping that my finished article will look good enough for me to give to someone as a Christmas present. Or maybe I should make it the prize for my 100th post giveaway, which is coming along very soon...! I'm using mostly scraps and fabric from local charity shops, although I have bought a couple of new fat quarters and some background fabric from Abakahn.

I was quite stressed making this up this morning - I was a bit scared that I wouldn't be able to get the corners to match up and that it would all come out too small / too large / too cockeyed, but it worked pretty well (I really concentrated - I am not known for my accuracy!), and everything pretty much matched up, and it measures the right size. The fabric consists of an old pillowcase, a thrifted baby dress from Gap, a bit of vintage Laura Ashley, a thrifted shirt, and 2 bits of new FQs. Can you guess which is which?

The really disappointing thing is that it's possible that our last patchwork class will be tonight, because although there are 8 enthusiastic pupils, the College has a policy that self-funded classes need a class size of 12 to make them viable. We spent a lot of time last week trying to work out how we could keep the class going - so fingers crossed there will be better news tonight. Otherwise I will just try and keep teaching myself - I hope I can motivate myself as well as the class would have done!

Bird applique
I've been doing a lot of experimenting with applique lately. I want to make lots more wallets and needle books to sell, and I think a bit of applique will make a nice change from the ordinary. It's also a great way of jazzing up the plainer upcycled fabrics that I like to use. Here's a couple of examples of what I've been working on. The background fabric for both of them is from an old pair of Boden cords. The bird applique is made using a little bit of Kaffe Fassett fabric (Striped Vase in Lavender), and some yellow felt. The applique stitch is up and down buttonhole stitch, which I think looks good, a bit more showy than standard buttonhole stitch / blanket stitch, and so works better with this rather dramatic fabric. Owl applique for business card walletI'm using it for the front of a proper purse / wallet (with a zip and everything!) which will be in my Etsy shop very soon. I just need to take some good photos..

The owl decorates a business card / credit card wallet, which just needs a press stud to finish it off (I am so not a finisher...). I put it together pretty quickly last week - I like it but I'm not sure if the fuzzy fabric isn't a bit too fuzzy, and I'm worried that those bead eyes might make him look a bit too scary. He might well go in the shop at a 'prototype' price!

9 comments:

Suzanne Vaughan said...

Oh, I really hope that the course keeps going. I know how hard it is with all the politics at colleges :(

I would love to learn patchwork properly too.

Glamglass said...

Great work! That patchwork looks very neat!! I love the birds!!

Gail said...

The patchwork looks great, are you going to give us the answers on the fabrics, I was trying to work it out as I read your post. :)

gtlady said...

I love that applique bird - you are so neat, I can't applique for toffee!

Kerry said...

That patchwork is lovely, really nice colours and patterns together.

I think though that you have a lot to answer to for linking to that online fabric shop! HOW did I not know about it? More importantly, how will my credit card survive??

Craft Paladin (in training) said...

The owl is very very lovely

Priscila said...

oh my gosh love these!!! Its beautiful

Also if you would like please check out my current giveaway and if you would like follow my blog because we try to have a new giveaway every Monday ....see it here:
littlemissheirlooms.blogspot.com
xo
Priscila

Woollywotnots said...

patchwork is something i'd love to learn how to do. I'm hoping to book a course next year. Your work looks fantastic.

poor said...

patchwork looks very good...and you are doing an extremely good job at it.