Tuesday, 3 July 2012

'Let's get Acquainted' Blog Hop...

Plum and June

Hi and welcome to you if you have landed at my blog via the ‘Let’s get Aquainted” Blog Hop. Please feel free to have a look around my blog and leave a message as it is nice to know who has been here!


I have thought a lot about what to share with you once my turn came around on the blog hop. I like it when I can see other peoples' projects so I thought that I would share a game that you can 'play' with your patchwork class or group of friends.
Playing the Game... Scrappy Postage Stamp Cushion Cover
A few weeks ago at my patchwork class we played a game! I wondered whether you would like to know how to play it too? This isn’t a full blown tutorial but it does give instructions on how to make a cushion like this.


At class, we were told to choose 15 different fabric scraps and cut out of each of the fabrics into 4 x 1 1/2” squares. This makes a total of 60 squares.
I really didn’t think that I had enough different scraps but it is amazing what you do have in your scrap box. It was very easy to pull together 15 scraps with enough fabric for the 4 squares.
The fabrics are then divided into two, you keep 2 squares of each fabric (this gives you 30 squares) and put aside the other two squares of each fabric.
At our class we were each given a paper bag. Into our individual bags we put our own 30 squares and put the remaining 2 of each fabric (30 in total) into a basket.
The basket was passed round and we were able to pick out 10 squares of our choice (but not our own fabrics). We continued to pick out squares until they were all taken. 
This process ensures that half of all the squares were not of our own fabric.
All our picked out squares were added to our paper bag. We gave our squares in the paper bag a good shake and turned them over so that they were well mixed up. 
Then we picked out one square at a time and put them in rows of 10 . We were NOT allowed to put any back into the bag unless it identical  to the previous one. The first few out of the bag did look awful together but we were told to keep going. As you can see from the photos the group of fabrics kept changing as we kept adding. It is handy to use a piece of wadding on which to place the squares as this helps them stay in position. As an added precaution I also took a photo of them laid out.


The squares were then pieced together by chain sewing each COLUMN ROW together.
Do NOT cut the chains. Once at the bottom of the row, cut the threads and then chain piece the next column onto to the previous column. The photo below gives you an idea of how this is done.
Now that you have all the columns joined, it is time to sew across the rows. It is far easier to do if you press all the seams one way in the first row and then for the next row, press the seams the opposite way. This ensures that the seams nestle nicely together when you piece the rows together. I secure each join with a pin and then sew right over the pins. I rarely break a needle and it does help stop the fabric from shifting. Again, don't cut the chains as they help align the squares together.

Once done, you have a very pretty piece of patchwork. I then decided to make a cushion cover so I chose a colour that was contained in some of the squares and cut 1 1/4” strips to go all the way round the patchwork. I used lilac which is way out of my comfort zone. I then added 2 1/2” borders in green and layered it up with some calico and wadding.

I then quilted every other row and around both sides of the lilac strip.
To make the back with a zipper closure,  I followed this tutorial by my lovely friend Judith. Again, I used odd fat quarters that toned but didn’t necessarily match.
To finish the cushion I  bound it with 2 1/2” binding, just as if you were making a quilt. I normally sew the binding onto the front of the quilt/cushion and then hand sew it down on the front.

And volia, you have a scrappy postage stamp cushion! 







The secret of this cushion is that it contains two thirds of fabrics that aren’t yours and perhaps you don’t like however it also contains roughly a third of your own fabric choices. The lesson to take away, is that although you may not like a piece of fabric, when it is mixed with ones that you do like, it does blend in. I tried to take this further by deliberately choosing a colour to frame the patchwork that I wouldn't normally pick.
I really enjoyed doing this exercise and learnt a lot about colour and tone. I now also have a cushion that reminds me of my patchwork buddies. 
I hope that you might be tempted to play ‘the game’ and please remember to hop over to visit Jennifer at the Knotted Thread  as we are sharing the blog hop today.


I would also like to let you know that the blog hop continues on Thursday with 

    Sarah from Sarah Lou
    Catherine from Knotted Cotton
Di xo

55 comments:

  1. Whata great Idea Di - I shall try this out with the guild!! It turned into a fab pillow :)

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  2. This is very pretty Di! And a lesson that I should learn because I am often too scared to mix fabrics together, but then when I see something that someone else has made from more than 1 line I can see it works very well. As my scrap mountain grows it is good to have a project like this to use them all up!

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  3. Gorgeous cushion and fab idea! I can see Amy ^ making us cut thousands of little squares now for the guild ;-)

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  4. What a gorgeous cushion and a great way to add different fabrics to your stash!

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  5. Great tutorial Di! Love the technique of not cutting the squares apart so they don't lose their order.

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  6. Great idea for the cushion. Lovely to see you featured Di.

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  7. Love this scrappy pillow! The lilac and green borders just make all the colors pop - great choices!

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  8. What a fun idea! All of the squares look great together and the borders you chose make everything pop!

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  9. Great idea and I love the end result! And I like your chain piecing method.

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  10. Love this! I think I may have our quilt guild do this! Thanks and lovely blog!

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  11. Very cute cushion and how clever to swap the scraps!

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  12. Clever idea and forces you outside of your own comfort zones and fabric choices which sometimes I think we all need a little.

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  13. I LOVE this idea! What a great way to learn about color and fabric choices. Thank you so much for sharing your darling pillow!

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  14. What a fun game! I can see my ladies in class enjoying this!

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  15. This looks like a good idea to use to make a dent in the scrap pile.

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  16. I love it! Thanks for sharing. I want one for my couch! :)

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  17. what a great idea! And I love how yours has turned out

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  18. What a cute pillow! I love scrappiness and patchwork so this is just fabulous. :)

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  19. Brilliant Di - I might use that "game" in my classes sometime if that's ok.

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  20. Nice idea. It's amazing what you can learn about color with a hands on project like this.

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  21. Such a great little pillow! I'll definitely have to keep this project in mind!!

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  22. Love it and such a good way to expand your fabric variety! Also a great way to have a keepsake of your friends with their fabric in your pillow.

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  23. Oh how fun! That's such a great idea! I'm stopping by from the blog hop, it was nice to meet you!

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  24. Hi Di, nice to meet you. This a great tutorial and I think I want to use it even if not exchanging fabrics with a group. As and excersice to "loose the fear" of mixing patterns or making a mistake. Sometimes I spend too much time planning. Thank you for sharing.

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  25. That's such a fun idea - a great way to get over fabric prejudice:-)

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  26. Great idea, think I may use it next time I get my quilting friends together :)

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  27. What a lovely idea - I wish I knew enough people who sew to give it a try!

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  28. Darling pillow! What a good way to get rid of scraps!

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  29. This is a great idea and a lovely reminder of all your quilting friends. :-)

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  30. What a very clever way of putting a game to fabric and piecing.

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  31. Hi Di, nice to meet you and visit your blog :) Love your scrap idea! We've just started a local stitch group so this would be great fun!

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  32. Wow Di, it looks awesome! I love the scrappy look!

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  33. Hey Di, That is one scrapalicous pillow, so nice to meet you!

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  34. Hi Di! Lovely cushion - thanks for your post!

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  35. I'm a little late on my blog hopping this week, but I love your game idea! And you're totally right about being ok with adding in a few bits of fabric you may not love-- my mom always maintains that every quilt needs "an ugly" or two, just to keep it honest! :)

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  36. Hi Di, lovely to meet you too. It was such a brilliant day. I'm still in love with my pinny.
    Love your patchwork cushion and it's story.
    Carol xx

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  37. What a fun game! I'd love to do this with scraps of all the quilts I made in a year. It would be a fun way to remember them and keep a tiny piece of fabric from each for me.

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  38. So cute! I love this scrappy pillow :-) Patchwork is the best!

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  39. I really like the idea of making a 'game' out of which scraps you get - almost like "Scrabble"! This would be nice for sewing with friends or for a class at the local quilt shop. Thank you! Mary Ann @ www.rocknquilts.blogspot.com

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  40. Hi Di. I love this idea. It is so true that some fabrics may be less than pretty, but when you look at the finished piece, those are the ones that can add the most interest. Thanks for sharing this!!

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  41. What a fun idea to make a happy scrappy cushion! You're right, individually, you might not pick those fabrics, but together, they look great!

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  42. a late visit ... That's a nice idea - my only problem would be to find other quilters that actually life close enough to exchange scraps with. But I really like the idea that you have to mix your fabrics with fabrics from others and see how it all fits together even though they are all different (fabric and people).

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  43. Loving your cushion.

    What a great game too. One that I would love to play.
    xxxx

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  44. Love your cushion and it would be fun to play the game!!!! Thanks

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  45. Love it! I think this would be great to do for the guild I'm in. We would have to see the strips together while each other is around. I know a few of us would try and cheat! Thanks for the tutorial and I have it bookmarked :)

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  46. What a wonderful idea!!! I wonder if I can do with with my fabric in the scrap bin. Just reach in and pull out scraps, cut and sew. hmmm...
    Thank you! And nods to ChrissieD for posting your blog, or else I wouldn't have discovered you!
    Ann

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  47. Just a quick hello, I've come to your blog via the blog hop. Your patchwork cushion is cute :)

    http://www.flickr.com/people/liverpool_feminist/

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  48. Stopping by on the blog hop, nice to meet you! What a cute and comfortable-looking pillow!

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  49. Your cushion looks great! What a fab idea/game :)

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  50. This is a great idea. I tend to be pretty controlling about my fabric choices so this would definitely shake things up. Nice to meet you by the way.

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  51. That is such a fun idea - your pillow turned out great!

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