Saturday, 5 December 2015

Cut and Stretch - a design exercise

Our local CQ group, Weedon Bec Creative Textiles, ran a design exercise on an occasion when I couldn't make it, but I had the very minimal written instructions. So, going it alone, not looking at the instructions in advance and without looking at other members' finished pieces I decided to try the challenge.
The initial instruction is to bring 4 pieces of fabric, 3 toning and a contrast and threads in the same colour ways.

Instruction 1
Decide whether to work landscape or portrait. I decided portrait.
Label the toning fabrics a,b and c and the contrast d.
Cut a to A4 size.
Cut a 5" strip from (b) place it over (a) and stitch 5 straitish lines.
Cut the excess fabric away between the lines and retain.

Instruction 2
Sew three of the strips cut away in (1) onto the background . 2 at the top and one towards the bottom.

Instruction 3
Take fabric (c) and place it over the background fabric in the gap towards the top. Sew 5 diamonds through all the layers. Cut round each diamond and cut out the centres. ( in future, consider other shapes instead)

Now I knew that my choice of (c) was too close to (a)!

Instruction 4
Cut across fabric (a) following the diamonds.

Instruction 5
Sew one half of of the split panel on top of a panel of fabric (d)
Sew the other half of the split panel over (d) considering the width of the gap, whether to offset or flip the fabric over.

Instruction 6
Apply a strip of fabric (b) over this new gap and stitch a zigzag or triangles. Cut round the shapes and remove excess fabric.

Instruction 7
Cut across the background fabric (a) elsewhere using a zigzag shape and inset a panel of fabric (c)

Instruction 8
Using fabric d, sew three large diamonds across the gap using double lines of stitching , cut out as in (3) above and retain the centres for possible addition later.

Instruction 9
Repeat any of the above again as you see fit.

Instruction 10
Quilt and embellish.

Hand stitch and using some pre set stitch patterns.

Machine quoting over remaining areas.

Trimmed and squared, it's just the right size for. Book cover!

It's amazing how hard it is to make good design choices when you don't know how the next stages will pan out!
Now I'm going to start again and with what I now know will try to make some better choices and treat my edges with more respect! I have actually enjoyed the exercise so thanks to Yvonne for organising it for us!


  1. It's amazing what a fantastic result you created from those simple steps. I love these type of activities for taking you out of your comfort zone.

  2. Oh I love this! Can I pinch it for a future TVCT idea?
    Sandy in Bracknell