Sunday 19 October 2014

Patchiqué Blocks 46 and 113

Today marks the final blocks for the centre panel of my East-meets-West Patchique quilt.  First up is block 46, Chigai kaku (translated as ‘different angles’).  This is a fairly easy looking block and so it would have been had the diagram included the additional part-sewn seams that are required.
Block 46 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
One of the strengths of the Japanese Taupe Quilts book has been the diagrams.  The diagram for block 46 showed the two part seams at the centre.  However, there are also another two part-seams which were not shown.  I have circled them in red below. 
This is the first omission I have come across in this book which is remarkable when you consider the detail and diversity of the blocks.  What you can’t see so well from the book photo is that the two interlocking squares are different fabrics.  
Patchique Block 46 - Patchsmith Style 
I went for green interlocking squares and it worked out fine and will fit in nicely with my other blocks. 
Block 113 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
The applique block, Tessen (‘Chinese clematis’) required the background circle to be patched into place!   I wasn’t about to piece a circle so I created a 7½” circular cut out from the background square.  I then quick fused the clematis onto an 8” square and lay it behind the cut out so that the clematis is showing through.  
Patchique Block 113 - Patchsmith Style
It turned out very pretty and looks much nicer than the photo.  But be warned – if you copy this method you will need to use a lot of pins to make sure the circle doesn’t move as you stitch it in place.  In fact, if I were to make this block again I would fuse and stitch the clematis onto a 7½” circle of fabric and then fuse the circle to the background square – this would be so much easier. 
Just four corner blocks left to make!
So there you have it.  The main body of the quilt is complete.  Next fortnight will begin the corner border blocks with blocks 60 and 121.  In the meantime I shall be searching out a lovely border fabric – very much like the green in the diagram.

Sew until then .....................

Saturday 4 October 2014

Round and Round - Across the Pond

The Patchsmith's Autumn Rag Wreath
The trees around the small village where I live are turning the most incredible oranges, reds and yellows as the autumn season rolls in.  Such was my inspiration for this month’s Across the Pond sew-along theme - FABRIC WREATHS.  

I have often seen rag wreaths on Etsy and in craft shops but I have been loathe to pay the price when I was sure, with a little bit of help, I could make my own.  And I was right.  There are so many tutorials and variations on fabric wreaths that making one is simplicity itself.  All the tutorials have one thing in common - no sewing required!  

All you will need is a ring and scraps of fabric.  The ring can be made from styrofoam or wire (just look for florist rings in your nearest craft store) or, if you are feeling really crafty, you could make a ring out of an old wire coat-hanger (check The Rustic Pig for details).

Stuck for inspiration - do a Google search for 'Fabric Wreath' and you will see what I mean about variation! Here are a few examples to whet your appetite .....

Mamaslittlemonkey uses a sytrofoam ring, a pen and some fabric circles to create this sophisticated wreath:
Mamaslittlemonkey Fabric Wreath
Or perhaps like me, you prefer a rag wreath.  This one from Hiphome is so pretty and a great stash-buster:
Hiphome Rag Wreath
A ribbon wreath looks so pretty and quick to do when made using a styrofoam ring and pins over at Family Crafts:
The age guidance for this DIY project is 6 years - so it is a great project for
new fabric wreath makers
Or how about this ribbon wreath from the Gilbertson Family, which uses the rag tying technique and a wire ring:
Gilbertson Ribbon Rag Wreath
I love the Styrofoam and pin ribbon ring - it looks so easy to do but, as I have always wanted a rag wreath, that was my choice for this month.  I did have a little practice by making a rag garland for a wooden sign I created.  
For my wreath I used a 10” wire frame and a flannel print I had in my stash, along with a touch of yellow, orange and red cotton scraps.  
Autumn Flannel
The flannel print worked well as the pattern is on both sides of the fabric, unlike quilters' cotton.  Linen would also work well but as it is over $25 a yard here in England, it is just way too expensive.
I cut the strips 1" wide by 5" long for the wreath whereas, for the garland I used 1" x 4" strips.  The garland looks a lot neater so I am assuming the longer your strips the tattier the look.  I didn't knot my strips - I just tied them once and they stay perfectly in place.  

The effect is stunning and my autumnal wreath sits on my mantel, along with the fabric pumpkins from last year .... remember those? 
Fabric Jack-O-Lantern and Pumpkins
I can't believe how easy it was to make and a Christmas one, with red and white fabric is next.

Fancy joining in this month and having a go?  If you do then please post to the Across the Pond Flickr group so Susie, Amy and I can swoon at your wonderful creations.

Until next time ...................