Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Talking patchwork

Close up of Ruth Ellacott's big square patchwork hanging in the shop
I've never tried patchwork but I'm fascinated by it.  How do people get it so neat and even? This large unlined square mat is backed by a sheet and would, I think, make a brilliant play mat for a baby. Because Ruth Ellacott is an artist she lays out the colours and patterns just so. She also makes the rag rugs I sell in the shop and she does beautiful botanical paintings.

I saw a dress made from pieces of knitted sweaters patchworked together. It looked lovely and warm. Upcycling at its best. What Americans call a jumper (pinafore) made of jumpers.

I'd also like a tea cosy made of Victorian style crazy patchwork. A bit of velvet, a bit of embroidery and nice fabrics all randomly stitched together in un-neat patchwork and then padded and lined. I'd be more capable of that 'crazy' kind of patchwork. It reminds me of the free knitting and crochet I do where the piece grows patchwork style when you knit into the sides or base of your piece in different colours and stitches. Lovely stuff.

Pam Dew does fabric patchwork. Last year she made a wonderful Amish pattern patchwork quilt single bed size for a customer. Can you remember the picture of it? Traditionally women would have used every scrap of saved fabric from worn out clothes to use again in quilts for the family. Now when patchwork has become more of an art form than a necessity women will buy the fabric they need. But I prefer the idea that every piece has a story.  A bit of baby's first dress here and her Dad's worn out shirt there. A lovely thing to look at to bring back memories as we get older.


molebags said...

Love the colours in that patchwork! I like making quilts from old clothes, the fabrics have a beautiful comforting softness to them- nice to snuggle up with in front of the fire or tv. Carol x

jenny said...

Yes, it's satisfying to cut round rips or worn out places in old clothes and use the rest of the fabric to make something else with.
I know somebody who unravels the wool from old jumpers and re-knits with it but I wouldn't go that far...!