Pondering Patchwork

I have got my hands on a load of thick wool jackets which were destined for landfill as they have the odd little hole in them and cannot be resold in the second hand shops. They are made from the most wonderful thick wool, but are too thick for making into my sweatercoats and jumpers. They are however, absolutely fantastic when cut into squares or rectangles and used in a patchwork fashion to make blankets and bedspreads.

IMG_4265To make my bedspreads, a cardboard template is used with a sharp pair of scissors, shapes are cut from the jackets before being laid out on the floor, and then sewn together with the trusty overlocker.







The one on this photo is loosely based on the log cabin patchwork design, though is my own interpretation of it, as the overlocker does not allow a true log cabin to be sewn.





I often use this design which I made up for ease of sewing. I cut rectangles, and then sew them into squares using three. I then sew strips of squares and then finally sew all the strip together to form the bedspread. This week I was pondering whether this patchwork form had a name. I asked the question on the Make Do and Mend-able Facebook group page, and found that is was not a Woolly Pedlar invention, but is known as the Rail Fence design. Well, you learn something every day!


IMG_0692I certainly had my work cut out with this bedspread. I was given a load of vintage cashmere jumpers by a lady, who recently lost her mum, had requested a memory blanket from them. They were jumpers that went back decades, and held a lot of memories for the lady of her mum. It was a pleasure to make, and the quality of the cashmere, even though the moths has got in and wreaked havoc, was sublime. I managed to cut around the holes and salvage enough cashmere to make this huge bedspread for her. I have a page on my website that explains more about the service I offer with memory blankets.

IMG_1975There is a discussion going on today on my Facebook page, about which finish folk like the best on my bedspreads and blankets. Perhaps you could help by leaving a comment below, or joining in the discussion over on Facebook? The question is, do you prefer the stitching showing, as in this photo of the blue bedspread. By having the stitiching showing, you get a more textured crinkly finish, with the stitching becoming a feature, and offering the possibility of using a contrasting thread for added interest.


IMG_4278 Or, do you prefer the most traditional finish with the stitching hidden, giving a smoother finish?

If you are visiting our lovely market town of Hexham in Northumberland, then you can see some of my recent bespreads on display and available to purchase at the wonderful, eclectic Robinson-Gay Gallery on Market Street.




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I’ll love and leave you now, with a photo of the patchwork quilt my Great Aunt Vera made for my husband and I for our wedding, thirty years ago. It is a wonderful piece of work, with every tiny stitch handsewn, and made to the highest standard. It is a most treasured possession.



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