Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tatting, foolish error with Square Patchwork

1" square patchwork and a foolish trimming error.

Over the last few months I put together a piece of patchwork comprising of random 1" solid colour squares (also known as Postage Stamp Patchwork).   The squares covered with fabric, then placed in a bag and sewn together in the order that they were drawn.  No cheating.  Think scrabble letters, bingo, or tombola.   Its the only way to be truly random.   See video clip:

This is an excellent way to use your precious small remnants of fabric to create a useful article.  The benefit is there is no size restriction.  Just keep going until required.   The image on the right shows partial progress with some tackings still in place.  Most the squares are glazed cotton chintz, but some are craft cotton solid colours too.   Adds to the texture and interest.

For the border I kept to the same random bag method, this time using a solid black, cream and white.  No cheating.  Its best to use matching thread to join squares together.  Generally the rule is to use a black thread to sew a black square to a white/cream square.  The smaller the stitch the neater your work.   I then added a black strip of fabric for a border and mitred the corners.

Not happy with this result decided to add a further layer to the border.  From my collection of lace and trimmings I found a long length that pleased me and machine sewed it to the border.   I felt that the contrast of strong colour would be softened by the gentle delicate trimming.

The reverse of the cushion I chose trimmings whose length matched the width of the cushion, and machine sewed them vertically across the fabric.  Another twist was the use of some peach coloured corset binding which I added to lift the black and white/cream   A black zipper was concealed by the last length of trimming used on the front of the cushion.  

Next day showed the cushion to my Mother who loves to scrutinise every stitch.

She picked it up, looked closely and was clearly horrified.  Surely the cushion is not that awful to look at.    "What have you done,  Jackie, just look at this hand made tatting you have casually used as a border, and  not only that you machined it to the fabric.  It takes  about one hour to create one inch".   I think it escaped me as unlike other tatting pieces I have, this has not been made from traditional tatting cotton, its more of a fleecy cotton.

Will I ever be forgiven.

It could be argued what is the point of it being "lost" away from view.  It has been given a new lease of life.  It will share our evenings on a leather chair with vanilla scented candles, listen to the TV and conversations.   No regrets.

I have been collecting textiles, trimmings and anything haberdashery for over 30 years and this piece escaped my  "My Best Bits Box".  Goodness knows where it came from, must have picked it up in a car boot sale somewhere.  It is quite flawed, definitely very old, and parts of it need repair.

Having tried Tatting and lasted about two hours, it is a slow and exacting process.  I have so much respect for the creator.   Creator thank you.

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