Friday, 29 June 2012

Chapter 7 : Traditional Piecing Methods

 I've thoroughly enjoyed making both these paper and fabric Seminole samples, so different from the Log Cabin experience.  I felt better able to choose and compose both papers and fabrics, to see the sort of balance I wanted to achieve, adjust choices between the paper sample and the fabric one, even to predict the rotational effect of my embroidered strips.  Initially I was rather grudging about using these strips, I seemed to take so long to make them, but their use in the Seminole work is really effective and I'm unexpectedly thrilled with the results.  You may ask why I didn't use them and my profusion of dyed samples when it appears from the blog that I made the Log Cabins last; in fact I don't seem to work like that, my approach is more scatter gun ricocheting between ideas, materials and skills, eventually moving towards order.  This is where the blog, and later on the workbook I keep (yes, as well as my diary!), is so useful.  It enables me to stand back and see some of the things I've missed.  So below really is the conversation my paper samples had with the fabric ones.

Paper Samples 1 and 2, very simple ideas -- cutting at an angle, cutting straight.  I found I did quite a lot of playing with angles to get the right effect.  With the fabric samples I was always wishing I had a longer run of strips.  The moral of this is, and I say it particularly about the embroidered ones, always make more than you think you need.  But then you can't easily tell what and how much you'll need.
The second paper sample again makes use of bleached black tissue and printed cartridge paper., creating that Japanese feel.

Fabric sample 1 adjusted the first paper sample by making the two diamonds of the same fabric.  It remains an uncut border.

Fabric Sample 2 -- the choice of fabrics here produces an interesting effect.  The dyed mottled fabric makes explosive windows in the spotted fabric.  Such a pity that the images don't show the subtle blue-grey of the dyed fabric.

Paper Sample 3 -- bleached tissue and black created an Art Deco feel.

Fabric Sample 3 -- reversing alternate chevrons (though sadly not enough strips) and using dyed fabric and scribbly embroidered strip. (Please ignore the numbers on the samples.)

 Fabric Sample 4 -- dyed and embroidered strips together with a bought fabric.  I found an old book on my shelf "The Seminole Patchwork Book" by Cheryl Greider Bradkin which has a good sixty patterns,  This is my interpretation of one of them.  I like the impression of waves, again the interplay of the two spotted fabrics, enhanced by the random quality of the embroidered one.

Fabric Sample 5 -- again a working of arrows.  I'm less pleased with the fabric choices, an attempt to use paler tones, but it simply seems insipid.

Paper Sample 4 -- below a simple zig zag, above three strips making a zig zag.  I prefer the more complex sample which has an open book-like quality to it, complete with spines, and is interpreted in Fabric Sample 6 below.

Paper Sample 5 -- a multi zig zag design using different width of strips.


  1. What lovely samples! You have found so many interesting effects that it makes me want to go back and do that chapter all over again! Your stitched fabrics work particularly well.

  2. Hi, Just found your blog through the network! I am just behind you but really enjoy making contact with other students and hearing their comments. I can see you have had fun with this chapter and I love your samples, particularly fabric sample 4 - something for me to look forward to! I was interested to read that you have been finding ideas in an old patchwork book - I too have lots of books and it is only now that they are coming into their own! Happy stitching. Ros