Monday, 23 January 2012

Made With Love for the Home - Patchwork

Patchwork always used to fill my mind with images of slightly ugly, old-fashioned colour-combinations stitched together in, well, a much too traditional style for me.  My aunt is a patchworker and produces some gorgeous work for her lovely old cottage home, but while I've always appreciated her skill and taste and the finished product, it still wasn't me.  And the final nail in the patchwork coffin for me: as a garment-stitcher, I find it plain frustrating to visit fabric and sewing shops and find that they're quilting-focused.  Annoying!

So I've always written patchwork and quilting off (sorry!) ... until now!

I've recently seen some gorgeous examples of quilting through various blogs - things that are brighter, more fun, more graphic and more 'me'.  And with the move, I'm going to try out some patchworking and quilting to help make our new house a home.  

This 'scrap vomit' (hahaha!) quilt-along was one of the first I spotted that I instantly loved:

Scrap Vomit, from Monkey Do.
And I love the applique on this quilt, which has a PDF tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew:

Butterfly Silhouette Quilt, from Sew, Mama, Sew.
It's really inspired me - I can picture a quite simple quilt with bird silhouettes flying across in a brighter, solid colour.  Yum!

And Monkey Do has come up trumps again with Hexy MF.  Just go and look at it - amazing.  Again, I think it's down to the simple design and when you put that against a grey background, it makes it fresh and new.  The quilting is rather beyond me (it's pretty amazing), but the patching I like the look of.

So, I recently got Patch! by Cath Kidston.  I'm not a Kidston fanatic, but I liked that it came with a kit to make a cushion cover, which is a good way of trying out a new craft.  It's also the closest I've found to the kind of book I'm looking for - modern, simple patchworking for beginners.  It's not perfect, but it's giving me a taster.  Has anyone got any recommendation for patchwork/quilting books that match that description??

I'm part-way through making the cover design and I'm quite enjoying having a hand-sewing project to do while watching films. The thing I'm not loving is the 'English patchworking' with paper - it's just quite annoying to tack through and handle, plus I'm not entirely convinced that it's necessary.  But what do I know?!

So that's what I'm working on at the moment.  Have you ever tried patchwork?  Any tips, techniques, tutorials you'd recommend?


  1. I was told to use newspaper....but I only use the paper option when doing shapes other than your basic square as I'm a little lazy. I design my own rather than follow something in a book (I have 3 books and haven't made anything from any of them). I find its quite easy to 'work out' what to do without one.
    The hexagonal (grannies garden) type is very fiddly but like to use lots of different colours to modernize it.
    Generally I just use the squares sewn together randomly an shabby chic kinda way. Recently discovered crazy patchwork quilts. Which is great way to use up the smallest scraps.
    If you want something modern looking this might appeal

    1. Wow, thanks, Lady D! Maybe my problem is that the paper I've been using is a bit thicker than newspaper. I'll have to try that out and maybe it'll change my opinion!

      And maybe I should just 'have a go' - I'm just a bit worried about all those complex shapes and seam intersections ... Maybe it's easier than it looks.

      Yeah, I am liking the random squares, I think that's my favourite look so far and you can make it look really different depending on the sort of colour scheme and pattern you went for.

      Thanks for the link, too! :)

    2. I've been thinking lately (after discovering the advantages of iron on interfacing) that instead of paper could cut out using template from interfacing...that way don't have to take out the paper later it can stay in and thus save me some time. Haven't tried it...yet, but hope to soon.


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