Do you know the feeling? You found all your patchwork material, spread it over half the living room and cut piece after piece for a specific project.
Then the minute you sigh and begin to re-fold everything to put it away you think of other patterns. Leave the mess, take up pencil and paper – in my case a standard checkered pad – and begin to draw. Come up with brilliant ideas. Or remember old and equally brilliant ideas not yet put into colours and cloth.
Lean back with sketches on the pad, smile to yourself and fetch the thick paper used for clich´s and begin to cut those. And then finally go on to cut the material for those patterns.
That’s what I did this past week. Well, not all of it, some of it. And now that I finally put all the material away to stop myself getting further ideas I have not only the 468 pieces for my Mum’s bedspread but also 2X5 for two canters, 15 pieces for one experimental pattern, 11 pieces for another experiment and finally 177 pieces for a square pattern. Because I stopped myself before I began to cut a hexagon cliche’e which would have meant countless other pieces.
Oh and did I mention I always hand-sew? Seems I have my work cut out for me very literally.
Cake, dinner, midnight.
Calculation, dedication, mass production
Chaos, disaster, moping
What have I been doing?! Well you might just ask. The answer is that Saturday my Mum came to visit to see the progress on her bedspread (see last post) and decide what should go on it now. We talked back and forth for a bit, thought a lot and finally decided to reduce the number of denim pieces and add a simple patchwork design of only squares.
A lot of them as it turned out. 468 to be precise.
We sighed a bit, then she began to cut out the squares, I began to edge them, and my daughter collected them in bundles of 10 to ease counting. All was well, we took a break for coffee / tea and cakes, another break later on to finish cooking a pot roast already simmering.
Time wore on but around 11 PM we “just” needed 80-odd squares and went on cutting to get it over with.
Minutes later disaster struck. My trusty old sewing machine decided to play up, eat material and make snares of the thread. 44 squares are un-edged, and all of them still need sewing together.
I really need the one CDM I didn’t have: Cadbury’s dairy milk.
Remember The Animals? If not, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgTSfJEf_jM
My Mum never learned how to make her own patterns, Taht never stopped her sewing and repairing scores of garments including worn blue jeans. Her sewing machine is sturdy and was only sold because she missed being able to make buttonholes easily.
She’s now 91 and recently moved to a smaller flat than before. This move prompted a clean-up, and because I bought her old sewing machine and make things out of cast-away scraps including patchwork, I also took home a bagful of jeans letftovers.
So when she talked of getting a bed spread for the guest bed I stopped her saying I’d make her one. And here’s the beginngs of it:
12 patches sewn together, 12 more cut and ready to be added. Depending on accumulated weight the restwill be either only regular calico patchwork or more Jeans pieces + calico. And I’ll be dot-quilting these pieces with some of all the buttons she gave me over the years.
So did anyone guess what animal I am? Yup, that’s right. The hoarding squirrel.
This post is a first for me: A second post in a row on the same piece of craft.
It’s the embroidered shop again. And I post about it this week as well in order to boast of my progress. Because even if it is by nature slow going, something did happen over tha past seven days:
It’s just as sideways as last week. But just click back and forth between last week and this to admire the difference! Most of the door, a good deal of the second window. I really am quite pleased with myself.
The finished picture is going to a friend, and I’m going to see her in two weeks’ time. I can’t get it done before I see her, because one colour ran out too soon. Most of it can be done though. Since it just lay around idle for a long time, I’ll be happy to hand it over.
And then go on with the patchwork project of 480 individual pieces I started on …
Sigh. I seem to dress the family’s duvets in worn-out covers of late with the result that my younger daughter (oddly enough always her) comes to me for another after few nights. Because it rips open.
Two were turned into shirts. Two others were turned into PJ’s. This one is different though:
Not so much because it’s older than the others. But because there’s time embedded in it. The blotchy pattern is an experiment I made with thinned-out textile paint dripped and splashed onto fabric. The faint and wavering purple line to the left is embroidered. I spent time making that duvet cover.
I spent even more time including some very good time under it. I made it when I moved away from home to a so-called kollegium, a Danish near-equivalent of a dorm except it’s not necessarily on a campus, there’s no room mate system and you don’t have to move home for long vacations.
It was there I met my boyfriend / later husband, there I made friends for life ( I hope!) There I battled memory, learning skills, rotten economy, got myself terribly drunk after exams and generally enjoyed life to the most. It was on my bed with this cover friends would sit and share my G&T’s to talk through nights of plans and harebrained schemes. And it’s all associated closely to this cover. We had shared laundry room with washers and a dryer, no place to air-dry anything, and so it would at regular intervals leave its duvet stuffing, go in the washer followed by the dryer to get stuffed again with the duvet. And a dryer does add to the wear of clothes, including bedclothes.
Which means the rip is no surprise. The rest is more or less as worn as where the rip appeared. The sensible thing to do would be to just throw it into one of those Red Cross containers.
Feelings aren’t sensible. There must be some way to use this. I can’t let it go. Not yet.
This has taken me forever to finish. It’s spent a lot of time lying idle, but even in efficient time I spent hours on it. Because everything is hand-sewn.
It’s also a bit of math. Within the same size square i patched 1X1, 2X2, 3X3, 4X4 and finally 5X5. That’s a LOT of patches; the corners alone consist of 100 tiny patches in all.
Taht said I really like the effect. It could be expanded to xXx given sufficient patience, nerdery and of course material. The one thing to calculate is the fact that it grows fast.
Just one more would necessitate larger squares – the smallest patches are just 1X1 cm; really small – plus two more squares on each side. The number of patches more or less expplodes when going up just a single size.
I could still imagine this pattern turned into a bed spread. It would be time to learn to patch on machine, I think.
When I was in high school or rather the near-enough Danish equivalent we read the lyrics of “sheepskin blues” in English class. The reason was to teach us the connotations of the term “getting one’s sheep skin”.
Because we instead buy and therefore keep a hat, Danish graduaters don’t get those skins. So I bought my own many years ago when visiting my brother while he did a stint as a doctor in Sisimiut, Greenland. On a recent trip into town with my 15-year old I revealed the fact that I still have that skin to her. And could she have it? Please Mummy?
Here’s the one reason I hesitated:
It was under all of this. Which needed sorting. And now I consider using that image as the background on my PC as a reminder to myself on the virtue of keeping my trap shut …