Sunday, 29 April 2012

Aimless Patchwork

I have always liked the look of crazy patchwork and after pinning various examples decided that crazy log cabin was what I'd really like to try. I've accumulated a lot of scraps from various projects over many years and today I started combining them. Ta da!
001
I know with freeform crochet this is called scumbling. So I'm thinking of these as scumbles. I imagine I'll sew them together into some sort of quilt top at some point but really this is just an excuse to do a bit of easy patchwork. And it really is very easy. There are lots of tutorials around (check my Patchwork Board on Pinterest for a few) but here's my approach. I'll use this as an example:
002
This is the centre of the middle bottom piece from the first photo.

  • Take a scrap of fabric and cut it to a square or pentagon - I wouldn't go any higher than 5 sides. Mine was roughly 2" across. Don't worry too much about measurements - just make sure all the sides are straightish lines.  So for me this is the bumblebee piece. 
  • Your next scrap needs to be long enough to cover any one side of the centre. For me this is the dark red ripple pattern piece. Sew along one side (you can hand sew but machine is much quicker). Press the seam with your fingers and lay the piece flat. Trim the left end of the new piece to be even with the next side of the centre, moving in an anti-clockwise direction around the centre. 
  • Your next scrap needs to be long enough to cover the end of the second piece and the next side of the centre. For me this is the beige with little trees and flowers on. Repeat previous step (i.e. sew, finger press and trim)
  • Your next scrap needs to be long enough to cover the end of the third piece and the next side of the centre. For me this is the red flower piece. 
  • Continue until you have just one more side of the centre to cover. At this point you'll need to trim the end of the last piece you added, the last side of the centre AND the right-hand end of the first piece you added to the centre into a straight line. This line does not have to be parallel to any other seam so don't worry about making it a square/pentagon if your scraps aren't the right size. The key thing is that this line is straight. 
  • Your next scrap needs to be long enough to cover the end of the last one you added, the last side of the centre and the right-hand end of the first added piece (this is the lilac polka dot for me). Sew and continue anti-clockwise.
  • Once it is big enough simply stop adding more pieces and trim the sides to your required size. If you have a lot of long, straight scraps you could even end up with an entire quilt top just from a single centre. I would love to see it if you do make one like that. 
There are a few other types of patchwork I'd like to try and I quite like not having any finished object in mind. Charities will always take quilts and blankets so if nothing else I can join them all together for one of those. And at the same time I'm expanding my knowledge of techniques. Rather satisfying. 

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