Monday, 9 April 2018

Quilt Quotient

Two more of my craft books from the library
Necktie Quilts Re-invented by Christine Copenhaver was quite a revelation. This slim paperback has 16 traditional quilting designs, recreated using silk neckties.
Using a rotary cutter, and machine-piecing techniques, the author shows how you can make stunning quilts and table runners from discarded neckwear.
Each pattern lists how many ties you need for each project. Some need more than 50 - others just a dozen...but these are often supplemented with complementary border fabrics [including a nifty one using the front of buttoned dress shirts]
Best things I learned from this one...

  1. How to deconstruct a tie and prepare it for quilting
  2. How to use fusible interfacing to make tie projects easier
  3. The meaning of different colours in a business tie.
Finally, I discovered there is a difference between British and American striped ties. Our stripes go from left shoulder, across the heart to the right hip** - but across the pond the stripes go the other way.
This is indeed the case. However, the origin of the directional difference has different theories - the most popular theory is that for years, the stripes on our ties designated regiments or gentlemen's' clubs - and always top left to bottom right. When Brooks Bros in the USA began making striped ties, they made theirs run the other way so as to avoid inadvertently causing offence.
Another idea is that US troops carry their rifle over the right shoulder, Brits over the left, so this was to protect the toe from ejected shell casings [what??]
The silliest idea is that the Englishman's stripe points to his head, whilst the Yank's stripe points to his crotch. I give this one no credence whatsoever!
I am going to check out Bob's tie collection. 
Scandinavian Quilt Style by Trine Bakke. What can I say? This was the one I had highest hopes for. Well, all I can say is, that I found it really funny.
I don't think I shall copy any of her quilts- many of the photographs are so dark, you cannot make out what you are looking at, and some of the instructions just do not make sense. Oh but it is such an amusing read!
It feels as if it has been produced in Norwegian, and then published via Google Translate. Trinne [Aunt Titti to her family] has a very...casual...approach to instructions.  
"Cut two pieces each 5cm bigger than what it is supposed to be later" 
"Cut 69 blocks in different fabrics - I didn't have 69 so I cut some fabrics twice" 
"If you sew on buttons, you can make this a Christmas calendar with little presents hanging on. But I usually put the presents in a basket...and arrange the quilt randomly next to it"
"Turn the bag inside out so it looks like a bag, with the exception of the bottom which is still open"
 "This quilt was sewn for a friend when she finally understood the rules of my home-made card game" [which are possibly even harder to comprehend than Titti's instructions!]
My final book was 101 Things To Do With An Envelope.  Except that 75% of the projects could have been done with just an ordinary piece of paper - but the remainder made clever use of the transparent address windows in business envelopes, the blue/white 'security patterns' on the inside of bank envelopes, and striped airmail stationery. A number of the projects required that you ripped up your envelopes to make papier maché
The best thing - the book came fixed to an intriguing card cover with a Velcro tab, just like an envelope. You can probably find out all you need to know in less than half a minute!
** Ms Copenhaver says "across the heart to the sword handle on the right hip" - but most right-handed Englishmen would have their scabbard on their left hip!
Thank you, once again, to Dereham Library, for supplying me with great reading material for my holiday!

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