Inspired by my recent trip to Danson House, to see the ‘Things we do in Bed’ exhibition, which author Tracy Chevalier put together, I thought that I would have a go at patchworking by hand, minus templates. TC showed some hand pieced samples that she had been working on whilst writing ‘The Last Runaway’ and she was happy for us to have a close up look at them. So here’s what I made, and what fun it turned out to be!
I love each process of patchworking;
First choosing the fabrics, I sit and make little pile of fabrics I think go together and move them around a bit and swap them over until I am happy.
Then I press the final selection of fabrics ready for slicing and cutting into shape with my indispensable rotary cutter and quilting rule
Then there’s the design bit – in this case I did it in my head and committed nothing to paper, that way it’s infinitely flexible!
So then I chop some strips and start to assemble them – it’s a pretty organic, make it up as you go along method – but I like that
Then there’s the actual stitching – I looked up various chapters about hand stitching, got a bit confused about some of the stuff they said about stopping and starting at specific points on the seams, put the books away and started.
I used single thread with a thinnish needle, pinning seams together then running stitch to join them and then carefully ironing them flat. I tend to iron on the back first to ensure that all the seam allowances really are flat and don’t twist and flip midway, then I press again on the front to get a really neat finish.
The panel grew surprisingly quickly and it was very satisfying stitching by hand – rather quieter than my ancient Singer, I could listen to Radio 4 without having it up full blast!
I may well put together a course for this technique as it’s so therapeutic, rewarding and speedy.
Drop me a line if you would be interested. . .
|Pinning and stitching – note multiple stitches on the needle,
this makes it a really quick method of patchworking
|The back of the panel showing stitches and pressed seams|
|Work in progress on the ironing board|