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Get Yer Hands Off Me Stash
Quilting and Patchwork
Member Name: assethound
Quilting and Patchwork
Date: 17/09/01, updated on 17/09/01 (801 review reads)
Advantages: Easy, Creative
Disadvantages: Fabric can be expensive, Need an area to work in
Some people walk into their local newsagents and look up at the top shelf whilst pretending to scratch their heads.
Some people leave the house before dawn, opening the fridge door furtively to retrieve their collections of wriggling bait.
Some people inject, some people people smoke.
I collect fabric.
Not from people's washing lines - I am not that bad. Not yet.
From my favourite web site - well one of them anyway.
From fabric shops in town, anywhere I can get that rush.
I feel it in between my fingers and stroke the surface.
At the moment it has to be cotton, but I may have to go on to silks and velvets - who knows where this craving could lead.
During the whole of 2001 I have been adding to my stash (a collection of fabric destined to sit in the back of a wardrobe) gradually, until suddenly it seems to have started breeding - that can be the only explanation surely.
All I have made so far this year is a gym bag.
And that was as a last minute panic, because I couldn't get the Barbie pink one from Clarks.
Patchwork is one of my great loves.
I love the sensuality of fabric. The colours, the feel of it.
Patchwork is an ideal hobby for those who long to be creative but don't think they can draw.
For the record I think everyone can draw - although some are going to be better than others. What a shame that creativity is leached away during our childhoods so we end up thinking that it is only other people who can do that sort of stuff. Nonsense. Draw for yourself and just take pleasure in the feel of the pencil as you make marks on the paper.
All you need is a needle, some thread, some fabric, a pair of very sharp scissors (and don't ever use them for paper! - paper blunts scissors for fabric after one cut) and some ideas.
You can get inspiration for patchwork f
One obvious place to start is by laying different pieces of fabric together and seeing if you like the way they look.
I would advise using a geometric design to start with - you will find starting with a simple pattern of squares the same size easiest while you learn how to sew them together in a way that suits you.
Americans stitch patchwork by hand differently from us (in the UK). In the UK you would tack a piece if fabric around a card template and then over sew different patches with the right sides together. The American way is to simply plave the fabric right sides together and stitch it.
Choose whichever method you like - or use mine - using a sewing machine.
I have made patchwork both by hand and by machine, and prefer using a machine.
Not being of the school that thinks that using a dishwasher is wrong because it makes people lazy, rather that dishwashers enable me to do more of the things I like and stop my feet itching every time I plunge my hands into a bowl of soapy water, I will use any and every device that makes my life easier.
Using a sewing machine to construct your patchwork means that you can go from an idea to cutting out your pieces and producing a finished item in a few hours.
It can be deeply satisfying to make something that no one else will have.
My gym bag was an instant hit, combining "barbie" pink fabrics from my stash with my daughters name embroidered in backstitch using pink wool on a felt background. I then stitched the felt to the outside of the bag and stitched the inside and the outside together (both made of strips of fabric sewn together). Because the bag is not a commercially produced one, it is easily recognisable to my daughter who is in reception at the moment, and easy for her to find in a crowded cloakroom.
A search on Google.com will lead you to many patchwork sites, and you can find a lot of books onl
ine and in highstreet stores, although online is probably your best bet.
I tend to use www.amazon.co.uk for books on patchwork, and have picked up some great books from Just Books, a highstreet discount bookseller.
You may find that artists with a decorative style such as Gustav Klimt will inspire you to produce quilt designs.
Here are a few of my favourite books on patchwork:
Kaleidescopes & Quilts - this book by Paula Nadelstern is one of the most beautiful I have seen. The quilt photographed for the front cover - Up Close And far Away - reminds me strongly of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt - one of my favourite paintings.
Patchwork Portfolio - this contains 162 designs by Jinny Beyer, a prominent American quilt designer, and gives the traditional block a twist by using paisley patterned fabrics, and concentrating on contrast and pattern.
Designing Tesselations - another great book by Jinny Beyer, this reveals the secrets of symmetry, and gives clear instructions and advice on how to create quilts by focusing on geometry and symmetry.
Repeat Patterns - this is a wonderful book by Peter Phillips and Gillian Bunce. This book reveals how many historical fabrics are constructed, using mathematical analysis.
Quilts - an beautiful and informative huge book by Dennis Duke and Deborah Harding. This books travels through the history of patchwork and is packed with incredible examples of quilts both "ancient" and modern.
All the above books were bought online from www.amazon.co.uk, except for Repeat Patterns, which was bought in Waterstones, and Quilts, which was bought from Just Books for practically nothing.
I also use a piece of software called Electric Quilt.
For those of us who like to design ourselves, this software is
great - you can make up your own design from scratch, by drawing blocks yourself, or by combining blocks from the block library. A block is a bit like a repeat in a patterned fabric - it is made up of a number of pieces of fabric, and can be repeated to make the whole quilt design.
One of the best features of Electric Quilt is that you can see what your design will look like before you make it, and there is a facility to scan in your own fabrics and use them in your designs.
When you have decided on your design, you can even print out templates to use for making you patchwork pieces, and calculate the amount of fabric you will need to make your quilt. For suppliers online see www.electricquilt.com.
I tend to make my own designs up, using art books and books on quilt design and repeat patterns to give me inspiration, as well as simply choosing fabrics that go well together and working from there.
I get a parcel of fabric sent to me every month from www.sunflowerfabrics.com as I am a member of the fabric Club. This is a great way to build up your stash and the fabrics are top quality cotton.
Go on then - get yer own stash.