Friday, 21 November 2014

"Easy" Patchwork

Here is another project I've done with my style of patchwork. You've seen several others, mostly in the form of tote bags. I wanted to call it 'crazy' patchwork, but that name is taken. It refers to a style of Victorian patchwork which was originally made with luxurious fabrics like velvet. I've tried it and I can't say I think it's very easy. 

My 'easy' patchwork also makes use of luxurious fabrics - and plain ones. I'm the woman at the craft and sewing groups that takes home the bits other people are about to put in the trash. That's what I made my pillows from: mostly samples from interior decorating books but also dressmaking fabric and the bits cut off blouses, trousers and skirts when being shortened. 

Front (never mind the patchwork throw - it's a store-bought knit, a gift from my Aunt Rita from years ago).

My system involves just cutting equal widths of fabric (a rotary cutter and mat help, but isn't mandatory), sewing those together to the required length and then sewing the strips together to the required width. The key is to piece together bits and turn things sideways so that it's not too uniform. The more 'rules' you break the fewer 'rules' you have to follow, is my thinking. If using heavy fabrics, I like to zig-zag the edges on each side of the seams. The stitching shows on the front of course, but if you're using all sorts of fabrics and the thread colour coordinates, it works out fine. 

I raided my pillow stash from the loft. I found three small-ish square pillows used some one's off-cuts from a quilt to wrap each twice. I made the patchwork an inch or so wider that my covered cushions and about two and a half times as long. I stitched the long sides together so that the cushion fit in like a letter into an envelope. The flap was folded down and secured with snaps (Brits call these 'press studs'). 


It takes a while to make patchwork anything, but I love handling all these fabrics and I just worked on it a little each day. When I get tired and start making lots of mistakes, that is when I knock off for the day.

I get great satisfaction from making 'something from nothing'. 

How about you? Do you find a use for things rather than throw them away?

1 comment:

D A Wolf said...

Oh, I love this pillow, Shelley! My mother sewed her clothes and some of mine when I was a child. I grew up touching bolts of cloth with her at the five and dime, and enjoying the remnants for projects of this and that.

I learned to quilt in college. A girlfriend taught me. Soooooo relaxing. Especially piecing by hand.