To achieve this patchwork effect, squares and rectangles of fabrics are joined with strips to create framed blocks.
You will need
• vintage napkin with scalloped edges
• selection of cotton prints in a design and colour to contrast with the napkin
• cream fabric for backing the napkin
• dressmaker’s soluble pen
• Steam-A-Seam bonding agent
• Teflon-coated sheets
• matching coloured sewing thread
• rotary cutter
• small pair of sharp scissors
NOTE The Steam-A-Seam bonding agent and Teflon-coated sheets are available at good fabric stores; they are products specially designed for quilters.Diagram
Before you begin
Prewash all cotton print fabrics separately to remove any starch and also to ensure they are completely colourfast.
NOTE A 5mm seam allowance has been included in all measurements. Remove all the selvages from the cotton prints and use a ruler and a dressmaker’s soluble pen to mark the fabric accurately before you cut. Choose one cotton print fabric for the joining strips. Use a rotary cutter to cut the pieces of fabric. From the cotton prints cut out 15cm strips in a selection of colours. Now cut these into lengths of 16,5cm and 9cm. From the cotton print fabrics cut out 10cm strips, and cut these into 21,5 and 14cm lengths. From the napkin cut out a block 15 x 16,5cm. From the printed fabric selected for the joining strips, cut out strips 4cm wide in the following lengths: 37cm, 32cm, 15cm and 10cm. Refer to the diagram for the correct cutting and placement.
1 With the right side of the fabrics uppermost, place the napkin and all the corresponding strips and rectangles in the correct order on a flat surface, until one framed block has been completed and you are happy with the order of the fabrics. Refer to the photograph.
2 Place a Teflon-coated sheet on top of your ironing board and place the Steam-A-Seam paper right side down. Now place the napkin with the wrong side facing the paper, making sure that there is sufficient paper around the napkin so that the edges will adhere securely.
3 Now place another sheet of Teflon on top of the napkin. Press gently with a hot iron, ensuring the bonding agent is applied to all parts of the napkin. Remove the Teflon-coated sheets. NOTE Some of the bonding agent will be stuck to the sheet, but this can be easily removed once cool.
4 Use scissors to trim the glue paper away from the scalloped edges of the napkin. Reinforce the napkin patch by placing the napkin and the piece of cream fabric together, wrong sides facing, with a 15mm allowance for cutting afterwards. Press between the Teflon sheets. Trim to the original size, excluding the scalloped edge.
5 Now sew the strips and rectangles together in the correct order, starting from the napkin and working outwards. Refer to the diagram. Press the seams gently to one side as you work. If necessary, trim the strips to fit as you work.
6 Continue in this way until all the pieces are joined together. This completes one patchwork block. Repeat in exactly the same way until you have made sufficient blocks to sew together to make the fabric for your handbag.