Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sew far, sew good...

A couple of months ago I spent a Sunday morning at my favourite loppemarked in Charlottenlund station. I picked up some fabulous bargains: toys are always good value when they're cared for and still in good working condition and likewise one can save a lot on children's clothes. However, on this particular Sunday there was a lady selling leftover quilting fabric...

Didn't patchwork quilting itself begin as a way to use up leftover scraps of fabric? Wouldn't it therefore be the ultimate act of thrift to make a quilt from the leftover scraps of a quilter? I couldn't resist! Having been on the lookout for inspiration for a blanket for my daughter for some time, this seemed like an ideal project.
I chose some colourful fabric rolls with red-ish and blue-ish tones and paid pennies for them. I added a couple of other cream and brown fabric strips with owl motifs that I had been saving and then stockpiled them and waited for some freetime when I could set to.... With Danish language classes taking up two of my evenings every week and the course homework taking up two more, that freetime to indulge in patchwork creativity was strangely elusive.
But this week was half term (or efterårsferie) and so my precious evenings were free again. I found a very simple beginners' quilt pattern and, armed with my rotary cutter, I embarked upon the first and reportedly most difficult part of quilting - the cutting. I had been warned about the importance of cutting the fabric pieces the exact size and also the trickiness of using the rotary cutter and getting it right.
I'm not one for gadgets and I soon decided that I could just as easily use an iron to press the fabric and then cut straight lines with my fabric scissors. This seemed to work perfectly well and after a couple of hours I had a neat stack of patchwork pieces ready to be sewn together.
Deciding how to place the patchwork rectangles together was more of a challenge than I had anticipated. Should they be symmetric? Should they look random? How do I 'make' them look random?! I played around with a couple of arrangements and settled for a mixture of order and chaos - brown tones on one side and blues on the other with reds, pinks and cream in between.

As the holiday draws to a close, it is still a work in progress. I have sewn together the horizontal strips and it is incredibly satisfying to see the whole emerging from the individual pieces. I'm pleased with the way the fabrics sit together and, so far, the sizing is going to plan.
If I can find a few more free evenings before Christmas then the quilt might make it amongst my daughter's presents under the tree! Before then, though, I will have to decide what fabric to use for the backing: cotton or a soft snuggly fleece?

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