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Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:41 pm
by Claripup
Hi all,

Someone mentioned (I think i the "things to do with odd socks" thread) about making a patchwork blanket out of odd socks... which appealed to me. I've always wanted to learn patchwork but never have... and upon googling I find it appears very complicated and I need special material, thread & a sewing machine!!?? Oh and apparently to learn another language as I only understood a fraction of the words used :?

Surely it's not that hard? Can someone give me a crash course or link me somewhere... And do I really have to use a sewing machine?

Clari - Patchwork confused

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:34 pm
by snapdragon
cut lots of squares (or hexagons or your shape of choice) out of stiff paper all same size
cut fabric pieces 1 cm larger all round than the paper
turn 1cm fabric over the edge of the paper right side out and tack all round
oversew the sides of one 'square' to another, lining the corners up carefully
keep going till done

simples :?

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:10 am
by sortanormalish
Any sewing machine can be used, even the five prong ones on the end of your arms. :wink: I prefer to use my machine. You don't need special cloth, but you do need cloth of the same type. Cottons with cottons, nylon/polyester with nylon/polyester, wool with wool. Some people don't adhere to that rule but their quilts don't last as well. I suugest a simple square patch work for your first quilt. Just make all your squares the same size and start sewing them together. Do some strips, then sew the strips together. Or try doing some patterns like a nine patch.

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:01 am
by Merry
The first time I did hand-piecing I didn`t even use paper shapes. I drew round a square on the back of cut out patches and made sure that I sewed along the lines with a sort of running stitch with occasional backstitches. It worked fine.
I never use a sewing machine because I like to sew in the garden.
I haven`t finished me bed quilt yet but I`ve made some lovely sets of cushions. They make brill gifts.

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:54 am
by Susie
Hello, I love patchwork but I always do it on my machine (because I have absolutely no patience) - I don't see any reason why you couldn't do it by hand, though. I'd start with a cushion cover rather than a quilt for a king size bed though and see how you like it. If I were you I'd start with woven cotton fabrics first. I've never heard of patchwork with odd socks, that sounds great!

I've got a book with a picture of a patchwork skirt made of old shirts (collars and cuffs and everything), I think it looks really cool - there's a photo on my blog, here, scroll down to the 4th photo (sorry not to repost the photo, I've deleted it from my camera and I'd have to go and find the book again.) I think that's the kind of thing that would actually look better handsewn than machine sewn (although I'm going to be doing mine on the machine, lack of patience problem again!). :wink:

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:26 am
by Claripup
Wow - you all make it sound to easy!! Why the paper/card shapes tho (or am I just being dim)?

And I do like that skirt - I have a similar picture that I always wanted to reproduce but that was made of bigger bits (like whole sleeves) of shirts :-)

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:39 pm
by Merry
The paper templates ensure that all the patches are identical so they tesselate perfectly.
If they don`t fit together well they don`t lie flat in the finished work.
It`s not difficult or complicated really - once you make a start - women used to do their piecing sitting on their covered wagons on the way out west. Or so I`m told. Couldn`t be sitting about doing nothing could they? Perish the thought. :iconbiggrin:

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:48 pm
by sortanormalish
It is important to have the same size pieces, but you also need to practice also having a standard seam width. A plain path work quilt is great for that because in more intricate patterns an eighth of an inch can cause problems.

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:37 pm
by Pennylane
If you cannot be bothered to cut out lots of squares I used a telephone note block..cheating but worked for me for quickness..and they are all the same size.. I always loose those square notes and keep notes on bigger bits of paper so I was recycling in a way..
never thought of using socks...we only have black ones in our house as we never find a pair...but at least they sort of look the same :oops:

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:01 pm
by Daveswife
Unfortunately you can't make a patchwork out of old socks, or any knitted stuff for that matter, because once you cut it the knitting comes unstitched, whether it is hand-knit or machine-knit.

But you can certainly use any other non-stretchy fabric for patchwork.

If you haven't done any before the easiest way to start is with strips and make a cushion cover for your first project. Cut out strips of a consistent width, doesn't matter how long they are because you will sew them together but they must all be the same width. Then sew the strips together. Best to use similar weight fabrics if you can.

When you fancy progressing to cut out shapes patchwork the important thing is to be very very accurate in your cutting-out of the templates. Use any old card, birthday cards, cereal packets and so on but if you cut the templates slightly differently then they won't fit together.

When you have a stack of bits of cut out card, cut out your fabric so that it is about a quarter of an inch bigger all round than the template and then tack the fabric onto the card, turning in the quarter of an inch hem all round. THEN when you've covered a stack of templates you can carefully hand-sew them together, doing so from the wrong side so the stitches don't show. Hey presto, an heirloom.

Back to odd socks. Store onions in them. Or be bold and wear odd socks.

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:28 pm
by snapdragon
If you really want to make a patchwork blanky out of socks,
possibly easier to make a double thick one

Cut the feet off at the ankle (the socks!!!)
Turn leg part inside out and very firmly stitch across the cut end so it's shut
Turn right side out
Make many
stitch like-widths together into a strip '? defined length'
stitch a different like-widths together into a strip '? defined length'
and then stitch strips together :wink:

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:59 pm
by Merry
That sounds good! :icon_smile:
And, as the knitted fabic is so flexible, accuracy wouldn`t be such a major priority would it?

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:52 am
by Daveswife
Another idea if you want a warm bed cover is to use an old blanket as a lining. One that is past its best but clean, one that is too small for the bed as a tucked-in blanket - maybe blag one from a neighbour . Cut it down to size and make a cover for it like an envelope. Put the blanket inside, sew down the flap, and then either machine or hand-sew about 3 or 4 inches in from the edge to hold it in place.

For the cover you could use some curtains from a charity shop.

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:08 pm
by Merry
I remember my M-in-L making 'quilts' out of cut up old coats in old curtain covers.

Re: Hand Sewing Patchwork

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:09 pm
by MuddyWitch
All my patchwork is hand-sewn as I find it relaxing. It's also a great way to use up junk mail; as the templates!

My hubby's definition of patchwork? Taking a perfectly good piece of fabric, cutting it into little bits, then sewing them all back together!

True, but look at the results!

I find hexagons are better for begginers, but if squares or triangles are your thing just go for it! I do agree that you should start by making something relitively small, like a cusion cover or tea cosy, as a full sized quilt could take you ages & you may get discouraged.

An other option with the odd socks would be to just turn the foot bit into the leg, sew the bottom & open top up and avoid any cut edge at all. Patchworking stretchy stuff is hard, though, and all your sock 'legs' might not be exactly the same size.

Try your local charity shop for old shirts, poly/cotton is a great first fabric to hand sew & you'll get alot of fabric in a shirt.