Or: Some mistakes are just too daft to be photographed.
I recently finished a bed spread for my Mum. The one I wrote about before, yes. The pattern part should cover the top of the bed, and a border along one side and one end should make a nice finish.
The pattern part turned out just as I wanted it. There’s a centre part with so-called fat quarters measuring 20 x 20 cm. which are old denims. Around those are squares of 5 x 5 cm. pieces of calico in blues, and they are arranged in diagonal lines.
The quilting is done with buttons in random pattern on the denim part and in few, diagonal lines on the ends of the small squares part.
The bedspread is for my Mum’s guest bed in her sewing room. Being an old seamstress, she of course has a sewing room. She had one in her old flat, and she has one in her new, smaller flat.
In the old flat – my childhood home – the guest bed was in the far right corner looking in from the door. In the new flat it’s at the far left corner looking in from the door.
And now I don’t know wether I thought of the old flat or just didn’t really think at all. Fact of the matter is that I sewed on the edges to fit the bed as it was in the old flat. Not in the new one.
Mum was kind to me, praised it in high tones and left it with the top border folded in.
Yes, you’re right: I love my Mum to bits.
I write. Not just this blog (and another one in Danish) but also fiction. Sometimes I write non-fiction too when I describe some of the patterns et c. I make for various craft projects.
And when you write you get – at least some people get – the notion that someone might want to publish your writing. So you send off a manuscript to veraous publishers, big and small.
And then you wait. Watch your mail box for at least an auto-reply that tells you that your heart and soul reached their destination. And you wait some more.
From time to time you loose patience, often as not only to wish you didn’t because the long-awaited answer is a refusal.
And then just once in a while you get a chance. This just happened to me even if it was in disguise: I wrote up descriptions with lots of snaps of a select number of patchwork patterns and looked for publishers specialising in the field. Then I wrote to those publishers. Finally I posted in a patchwork group on Facebook if others had good suggestion of “never fail always good books” from a specific publisher.
That was when chance entered the equation. A group member with a shop wrote to me because she could well want to sell my patterns in her shop.
The lesson I learned from this? Just the usual: Timing is what makes chances occur.
Do you know the feeling? You found all your patchwork material, spread it over half the living room and cut piece after piece for a specific project.
Then the minute you sigh and begin to re-fold everything to put it away you think of other patterns. Leave the mess, take up pencil and paper – in my case a standard checkered pad – and begin to draw. Come up with brilliant ideas. Or remember old and equally brilliant ideas not yet put into colours and cloth.
Lean back with sketches on the pad, smile to yourself and fetch the thick paper used for clich´s and begin to cut those. And then finally go on to cut the material for those patterns.
That’s what I did this past week. Well, not all of it, some of it. And now that I finally put all the material away to stop myself getting further ideas I have not only the 468 pieces for my Mum’s bedspread but also 2X5 for two canters, 15 pieces for one experimental pattern, 11 pieces for another experiment and finally 177 pieces for a square pattern. Because I stopped myself before I began to cut a hexagon cliche’e which would have meant countless other pieces.
Oh and did I mention I always hand-sew? Seems I have my work cut out for me very literally.
This post will have you seeing stars. Really.
I was seeing stars when I got the material for the shorts I practically finished. It was in a shop in Amsterdam, our summer hols destination, and it was just packed with fabrics I wanted. And I had to limit myself and therefore pinched close my eyes so hard it made stars shimmer inside the lids.
My daughter saw stars too, but only these.
Then I was seeing stars again when I laid out the pattern. This time they were stars of rage. What was she thinking in that shop?! I specifically asked for enough for a pair of semi-long shorts. And this is how they had to look in the end:
All I could get were the leg parts. Not the waist band, not the pockets, not the belt straps. And I really was very careful, trying several times over to somehow fit more pieces onto the star fabric.
So I was reminded again to be careful about trusting shop clerks. At least my daughter thinks her new shorts are cool.
Now before any possible reader’s hackles are raised, this is neither naming, blaming or shaming. Instead I’m straightly, strictly literal:
The dear girl studies geology and saw on one field trip a fellow student wearing a sweater that inspired her. Could I knit a pattern with stripes that are interrupted in a slanted line?
My answer yes prompted a sketch that’s turning into the above: A clourful rendition of a fault line. The blue, yellow and red layers of sediment, as it were, on the black background cut up and unjoined with the forces of the earth’s tectonic plates.
Or in this case, the force of my knitting needles. Don’t you just love a nerd like that?! I do.
Or: N squared.
Wait – does that mean more math?!
The answer is yes:
Within the same size square I sew patches together as either 1 patch each side, two each side, three, four and five. Eventually five anyway. To enhance the pattern I change between blues and reds and use the same two colours or sets of colours for each number: 1 X 1 are two blues, 2 X 2 are two sets of pinkish reds et c.
Why I stop at five? Because it gets me down to individual pathes that are 1 X 1 cm. I flat out refuse to go below that size (unless of course I come up with some “brilliant” idea that demands it … ), and because of how the pattern works I end up with a nice size when I stop at five.
That’s the main snag about these mathematical patterns: The size of the finished example grows in jumps. If I include 6 X 6 patch-squares I would end up with an example measuring 66 X 66 cm. whereas this on will end up as 45 X 45 cm.
One folding cup, one mug bought for the cat motif, one cookie cutter, three bars of soap, fire bags of tea and a single blouse.
That’s hardly very material now is it? Soap and tea will gradually be used up and could very well be considered absolute necessities. Especially the soap.
Well I have to confess the real treasure is here:
Two books full of drawings just begging to be turned into embroidery. Calico for a shirt, calico with an almost art déco-ish pattern and red linen for a shirt. Oh yes and multiple-model patterns for medieval women’s dresses. None of the really necessary. But soooo irresistible …. The red linen shirt will most likely appear on occasion once work on it starts. Stay tuned.