Friday, 16 November 2012

Crazy Patchwork Instructions

If, you missed both of our Crazy Patchwork workshops this year don't worry as we have some of the instructions used at the workshops right here for you!
First here is some history!
Crazy Patchwork is composed of a random arrangement of fabric pieces sewn to a base; the edges of the patches are covered with embroidery. Crazy patchwork is not usually quilted because of the difficulty of sewing through many layers of fabric. Projects are often simply tied and lined.
The original crazy quilts were completely utilitarian. Worn blankets were replaced with pieces of discarded clothing, usually woollen, so as not to waste even the smallest fragment of material.
Crazy Patchwork changed dramatically in the 1880s when is became very popular in Britain and America. Women turned the crazy quilt into a medium for displaying their needlework skills as well as their collections of rich fabrics, beads, ribbons, lace and memorabilia; anything that could be sewn to a surface was used. Political and sentimental messages shared space with prize ribbons, ties, scarves, hat bands and fabrics from cherished old clothes. The embroidery was the crowning glory of each quilt. In addition to the intricate stitches that covered the edges of the patches, motifs of every imaginable shape were lovingly stitched - from gossamer spiders' webs to flowers, birds, animals and people. Embroidered signatures and dates turned most crazy quilts into treasured family heirlooms. Although quilts predominated, crazy patchwork was also found on sofa and piano covers, cushions and other household furnishings.

Now for the method!
There are two hand methods of applying crazy patches to a base. For all methods start by placing the first patch, right side up, on one corner of the base fabric; pin and baste in place. Base can be any fabric compatible in weight and fibre content with the patches.
To construct crazy patchwork by the traditional hand method, place the second patch on the base so that it overlaps the first patch by about 1/2 an inch; pin and baste. For a neater hand finish, press raw edge of second patch 1/4 of an inch ti wrong side, then placce over first patch, overlapping edges by 1/4 of an inch. Slipstitch pressed edge in place.

Continue with chosen method until entire foundation is covered. During construction, be careful not to stretch patches or foundation, so as to keep the work flat. Trim any uneven side edges to match base, then stitch close to edge all around.

Check work carefully upon completion to make sure none of the foundation is visible. If any gaps occur, stitch a new piece over the area to cover. Press all raw edges of new piece to wrong side and slipstitch in place.

Using silk, cotton or novelty embroidery threads, or crewel wool if working with heavy fabrics, embroider stitches over every seam.

Here are some stitches you might like!