Hello! I’ve been getting back into a routine now that I have my internet back. Its not totally fixed – stage 2 is this week and my phone number will change, but then all should hopefully be sorted. But, as you might expect, my happy moment this week was getting my internet back…
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will have seen quite a few updates about the projects I have on the go. Making use of my friend’s internet and using my iphone’s limited 3G, I did put up a free tutorial for a covered stash box, which seems to have gone down almost as well as my retro granny stash bag…
I’ve been taking loads of photos and notes for new blog posts over the coming week but this first one, to celebrate Happy Friday with Planet Penny and the other bloggers, I’m blogging properly about my delicate vintage and girly patchwork, lace and burlap cushion. I finished it last week but haven’t had the chance to really show it properly.
Having returned to crochet a couple of years ago and having tried all sorts of crafts during that time, I decided at Christmas that it was time to do some knitting and polish up my very rusty sewing skills. I’mm still not sure about knitting but my first project in January was a 2.5 metre scarf, so probably not the best choice to work on my knitting mojo. Sewing is something I’ve done more of, having made some cross stitch tapestries in the past and done things like curtains and some limited dressmaking.
But what I’d really love to do is to make patchwork quilts in lovely vintage and floral fabrics and combine them with lace, crochet and all sorts of lovely frilly stuff. If I am ever going to do that I need to get going. Having looked around for courses and classes locally and drawing a bit of a blank, I decided to have a go anyway, look at some online tutorials and pick the brains of two lovely friends who have done quite a bit of quilting in the past.
I bought the fabrics in the photo at the start of this post from Ebay – a pack of remnant squares that cost about £8 for 25. Perfect as I didn’t want to spend loads of money getting large amounts of fabric and then just having to stash it away. These are just the pretty floral designs that I like – very Cath Kidston – and I think some of the offcuts actually are from her range.
To start with I had a quick lesson in rotary cutting and already ran into trouble because the ruler and cutting mat I had were in centimetres and a lot of quilting tutorials and patterns are in inches.
But I somehow managed to get some squares sewn together so that they met up quite well. These early ones were hand sewn – the process of putting together fabric shapes to form a patchwork fabric is, I found it, called piecing. This was a bit slow so I moved on from hand piecing to machine piecing pretty quickly.
The cushion I’d got to work on was an Ikea one that was pillow shaped rather than square, and I ended up fiddling about quite a lot to make a rectangle of patchwork that would fit the cushion as it became plumper in the days after I released it from its squished pack.
Eventually I got to this stage and my friend lent me some safety pins and gave me some fabric and batting (the thin layer of wadding that makes the final item look nicely padded).
I’m sure that I didn’t do any of the next stage correctly, so I’m going to gloss over that. While the cushion has been in progress we have found a local quilting class so I hope to get some proper instruction about how to do each stage properly. My quilting was a bit haphazard and I don’t yet have a special sewing machine walking foot to actually quilt the sandwich of patchwork, wadding and backing sheet so I just used my ordinary foot, marking diagonal lines across each small square using a Frixxon pen. This comes off completely when its touched with a warm iron (good idea to test it on a bit of scrap of the fabric you are using though, just in case of disaster and a bad reaction)… I added some lace and burlap and fabric decorations – partly because I liked that look and partly as they hid the worst of my joining mistakes 🙂
So here we are, my first ever patchwork cushion…
Why not pop over to Penny”s blog and see what other bloggers have been up to this week… I love reading about other happy moments and I’m sure you will too.