Monday, 12 March 2012

crazy paving patchwork

This style of patch work is different to that used in the cushion I previously bogged about. Rather than using square patchwork pieces, this time I have used various size and shape pieces. This technique is perfect for using up old scraps of material that you have lying around and turning them into something beautiful. First I cut a piece of wadding to the correct size, 52x52cm, this acts as the base which you then stitch the pieces onto. The first seam is created by lying one piece of material at the edge of the wadding facing upwards (see step 1), then lay a second piece of material facing downwards on top of the first so that they are now face to face and pin (step 2). Sew along the edge of the two pieces, directly onto the wadding using a straight stitch. When you open the top piece both will be facing upwards and attached to the wadding (step 3).  

Step 1: first piece of fabric....
Step 2: Pin second piece of fabric face down...
Step 3: sew along edge using straight stitch and open out...

Continue to lay pieces of fabric face down along each new raw edge and sewing in the same way until the whole piece of wadding is covered. The following Photo shows the seams where 5 pieces of fabric meet. You an see that unlike square patch work these pieces do not run parallel to one another so they meet in random places, this creates the crazy paving effect. This technique is Easier than square or hexagonal patchwork when working on a small scale as you don't have to be as precise in lining up the seams. This is a technique I got from Kirstie's Homemade Christmas and used it to make Christmas stockings, see the unseasonable christmas post for a link to the directions. However I found that when working on a larger sale with smaller pieces of fabric it was very difficult to get the pieces to cover the wadding without leaving unfinished seams... so very sneakily with one of the pieces I folded the edge under to make it look like a seam so no rough edges were showing, and relied upon the binding to sew the edge down... i wonder if you can see the slightly bulkier seam bottom left of the last photo where the res striped material meets the strawberry material! sneakily done! 

This photo shows the seams where 5 different patches meet. Unlike square patchwork you can see that these patches meet in random places and do not align.
Close up of freestyle quilting technique
When the wadding is completely covered you can use this to make your cushion, or If you wish you could add further detail and texture as I have by quilting the whole piece. There are many quilting techniques out there, most of which are much more complex and time consuming that this one... and often require very expensive machines if you want to do a whole quilt. I like the freedom that this method gives, and the crazy effect you get with the finished piece. Very simply attach the embroidery foot to your machine that allows you to sew freestyle, remembering to lower the teeth. Start anywhere you like on the piece and put your foot down, remembering to keep the piece of fabric moving at a steady pace in order to keep the stitches even. move the material front to back and side to side, allowing the stitch to loop back over itself to create this crazy loopy quilting. Continue until you have covered you whole piece. And TA DA, finished, your piece of patchwork quilt is now ready to make into a perfect 50x50 cm cushion cover!

This photo shows the finished piece, this will become the front of a cushion,  The lighting has made the quilting look a bit crazy but in real life you don't see the quilting until you are very close. You notice the patchwork first and the quilting is mainly to add texture. (can you spot the bulkier seam bottom left??) 

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