And the fruit of the Spirit is….

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control!!!

All great character traits to have/aim for! I thank God that He is in the process of growing all of these great qualities in us. Can you imagine how life would be if we were loving, kind and having self control, etc, etc, all the time? But to be honest we have some that we are great at and some that we find hard….like patience for example. One of my BIG failings or the lack of it anyway! And here I am doing patchwork! Of all the hobbies/crafts why did I have to pick patchworking? The process is long, laborious and very repetitive. Just picking the right fabric and colours are challenging enough. There is an awful lot of work to do before you can see that the colours and patterns are great together, and one wrong decision can create a quilt that you are forever unhappy with. There is NO way you would unpick a whole quilt…well I certainly wouldn’t!

But I am having fun! I started with making some pillows about two and a half years ago (check out my blog post from May the 13th, 2011) and from there the addiction has grown. I love it! It is so satisfying to see the finished project.

When I first get the materials together I spend ages looking at the beautiful pieces of fabric. They are always fabulous (I choose ones that I love). They are almost too pretty to cut up! But to convert the little pieces of fabric into a larger masterpiece, they have to be cut up and then pieced together again. And, there are many many different ways to put the fabrics together. I find ‘You Tube’ amazing, especially ‘The Missouri Quilt Company’. Just do a search on ‘You Tube’ for them and you will get heaps of ideas. They also show you little tricks of how to put the pieces together easily and yet create very tricky looking patterns.

Now when I start, I wash my materials, dry and then iron them. Next step is to pick a ‘thing’ you want to create. Maybe it’s a quilt (large or small), or it could be a baby blanket, pillow cover, table centrepiece…or anything really! But before you cut you need to know what design you are going to make…then cut the pieces in a way to create the pattern when all sewn together.

I am lucky, I have two big tables that I have put together in my craft room. I can spread out my material pieces over the tables in the places where I want them to be, once they are stitched together. This way I can get a glimpse of what the final design will roughly look like. I can see the colour mixes and work out what looks best together. It still isn’t exactly what the finished design will be but it does give you an idea. Naturally it is larger than what it will end up like though, as all the stitching seam widths have to be taken off the size. But this stage is fun and gives me the added push to get sewing.

The patchwork quilt is made up of a lot of smaller patch designs sewn together and then the larger sewn pieces put together. Understand? A bit hard to describe, but hopefully some photos will help.

The beautiful fabrics I started with 🙂
Laying out the pieces in groups of nine which will be sewn together. I put the plainest piece in the middle.
Each group of nine squares was then cut across the middle vertically and horizontally. This left the middle square cut into quarters.
The cut up pieces were then placed together in a random pattern where no seem joins matched and then sewn together.
Now the backing material and the wadding is pinned to the front piece ready to top stitch.
The last thing to do before putting the edging on is to top stitch the front either by neat stitching lines, stitching in the ditch or as I have done on this patchwork blanket, a process called stippling, where you stitch patterns all over making sure you don’t cross over the stitch lines 🙂

Now, can you see how those little fabric pieces in the top photo can create a beautiful blanket when stitched together like in the bottom photo. The process may be slow and test my patience, but it really is worth it 🙂

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