I had my first patchwork class yesterday. I really enjoyed it. The class is split into two groups, I am part of the "starter" group and there is a more advanced part. It was lovely seeing all the fabulous things the more advanced class had made over the Christmas break. The teacher is Margaret Torrance and she seems a very calm and methodical teacher and I don't think we will be sitting and twiddling our thumbs waiting for her to get back to us very often.
Over the whole course we will be making a Sampler Quilt, which will start with a hexagons block. To get us used to "English Patchwork" we started the process of making a small pin cushion from hexagon blocks, in two fabrics.
This is the only type of patchwork I have ever been taught. In the one term of needlework at school that I was forced to take, we cut out squares of paper and squares of fabric and pieced a little pillowcase. I didn't enjoy it very much as a child, but as a grown up I have learnt to appreciate the process as much as the final product.
The paper template we used was 1/4" smaller than the fabric that was cut. The fabric was pinned to the paper and then folded over the flat edges and sewn into place, using white thread. The shapes were then joined by placing right sides together and using tiny over stitches. The layout I settled on was this one.
The two large pieces were then placed right sides together and sewn together in the same way as the small pieces, leaving two edges open for stuffing. I then pressed the the pincushion before removing the stitches holding the paper in place and the paper pieces. The pincushion was then turned inside out, so the right side was facing and the corners pushed out to give sharp edges. I then stuffed the shape and using ladder stitch sewed up the remaining open sides.
All in all, I am pretty pleased with my pincushion, however Margaret said you shouldn't be able to see the over stitching holding the pieces together.
You can just about see mine. I don't know what I did wrong but hopefully she can tell me when I go for my next class.
After the class finished I chose my fabric for the sampler quilt. It is currently drying after being washed so I'll show it to you some other time.
Despite being drawn to the machine piecing I have read about as it is quick I think I will grow to enjoy hand piecing. I am able to do it while laying on the sofa watching TV in much the same way I can knit when I don't feel up to sitting upright. I am afraid this may well become another crafting addiction. Ah well there are worse things to be hooked on!