Saturday, 26 February 2011

Chapter 7 - Traditional 'Piecing' Methods

First Stage 

I made a few log cabin designs using strips of patterned paper.
 At first, I thought I was wasting my time doing samples in paper first. I wanted to jump straight in with my fabric samples, but, on reflection, I'm glad I put so much effort into this exercise. For illustration purposes, I think it is probably quite important to use different patterned papers for each strip of patchwork so that it is obvious how the pattern is formed, but I can see that there is no 'flow' of design, or pattern being created by the patchwork itself. In the fabric samples, I will use different patterned fabrics and tonal values to created patterns within the patchwork design. I experimented with this concept with the 'wonky patchwork' paper sample. I think it looks much more pleasing.

Photocopying some of my patterned and printed fabrics prooved to be useful in providing a better range of tonal values for my paper samples. When designing patchwork, I guess it would therefore be a good idea to photocopy fabric and piece it together in paper to check the design before cutting and sewing the fabric.

Second Stage

Log Cabin fabric samples

Spiral Method

Opposite Pairs (or Courthouse Steps) using thick and thin strips

Spiral method using thick strips on two sides and thin strips on the other two sides.

Looking back at previous chapters, I realised that I probably ought to experiment with tonal graduation, so I attempted this with the 'thick and thin spiral' method above, and the 'v' formation block (2051). Guaging tonal values of some patterns and prints was much more difficult than I anticipated, even with 'squinty eyes'!!!

Opposite Pairs (Courthouse Steps)

I bleached, printed and stitched some of my purchased fabrics to disguise the obvious prints.

I don't think I'll make a quilter! Some of the blocks were quite laborious and boring! Life became much more interesting though, when I started to use some of my own printed and dyed fabrics. The blocks seemed to come alive, particularly with the slight 'black & white' colour variations (ie., blue & brown!)

Triangle Log Cabin

Hexagonal Log Cabin

'V' Shaped pattern

The octagonal (pineapple) log cabin was a little more challenging. I used the 'foundation' method, in order to make sure all pieces were at 45 degrees to eachother, I drew lines on the base fabric with my quilters set square so that I could piece all the fabric in the correct position. This helped me keep the angles quite accurate, but the resulting block was bulky as I was unable to trim excess fabric from the seams and joins.
A 'quilty' friend suggested using 'Stitch & Tear'. This could have been used as a foundation fabric, drawing lines on it to position the fabric pieces accurately, but then it could be torn away, removing the foundation when the block was complete, enabling the excess bulk to be cut from the seams. (Thank you Jenny!)

Triangular corner pieces need to be added to the octagonal patchwork if the block is going to be pieced together in a flat quilt.

Crazy / Wonky Log Cabin