Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Stained Glass Patchwork Template

My patchwork class may have finished for the Summer, but I am still slowly working on finishing all the blocks I have started. This weekend I made the most the nice weather and sat in the garden while I finished stitching on my bias binding, for my stained glass patchwork block.

I have really enjoyed working on this block. I love stained glass windows, so copying the principles in fabric really appealed to me. When we were first given this block to do, I had just watched a program on the BBC called MasterCrafts. This episode was all about three novices being given 6 weeks tuition on making stained glass, so this program really inspired me.

The design I came up with, for my block, was inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who is a bit of a design hero of mine. I love his beautiful clear organic lines and use of nature for inspiration. One of his most famous motifs is the rose, which is often only very reminiscent of an actual flower. Inspired by his rose, I made my own and this is the design I came up with.

Once I had my template design I worked out the colours I wanted to use, from my fabrics. I coloured in the template to show the fabric placement I wanted. As you can see, the colours are a bit garish, but you get the idea.

By the way, if you want to download this free stained glass patchwork template I made, you can get the template here. The template was sized to fit my 12" finished block. It does not have all the lines I used for the bias binding, but it does give you a template for the design. Feel free to use it as you wish, though I would be grateful if you could acknowledge the source of the design in any blog posts.  In addition you can find a group on Flickr where you can share photos of the product of your work, here.

You may also be interested to know, I used Inkscape, a piece of open source design software, to create this template. If you want to try your hand at design, I recommend this free software, as it does all the things I need for creating patterns. There is even a free clip art library available on the site.

Once I had cut out my fabric, based on the template and tacked it down onto the backing fabric, I used pre-made bias binding, to fix it all together. I tried to make my own binding but it all went horribly wrong. I don't think I should have started my experimentations into bias binding with the 1/4"size as it is just too fiddly. I will give it another try after doing some larger sizes first. Mind you, I've got lots of the pre-made stuff to use up before that becomes necessary.

So here is my completed Charles Rennie Mackintosh inspired rose stained glass patchwork, in all its finished glory. I'm pretty pleased with it - what do you think?

Stained Glass Applique

How convenient was it, that my fabrics matched the design I wanted to do so well? Maybe it was the tiny little roses on the green fabric that inspired my subconscious! There are an awful lot of flowers in my quilt fabrics.


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