If you do follow my instagram, you will know I talked about a "big" plan. It is something I have been wanting to do for the longest time but lacked the courage to do so due to commitment and family.
And now, I have decided to give it a go. All because of this magazine I picked up last week from Kinokuniya. It's the best book ever!
How amazing this book is, you just have to see it yourself. It's just like an encyclopedia. A handsewing patchwork encyclopedia. No sewing machine! Yipee!
I don't hate sewing machine. In fact, I love my new one loads! But, living in a small house means there's no room for my machine. It actually shares the study table with my kids. Now it seems permanently there so my kids do their homework at the dining table. Yes, I do feel guilty very much.
So with this book, I'm inspired to keep my machine (taking out only necessarily) and resume handsewing! I think I have talked about my first love for handsewing patchwork. That's how I picked up sewing years ago. But because of the need to rush and save time, I bought a really basic sewing machine and neglected handsewing.
Ok let's get back to this book....
The book teaches step by step how to handsew patchwork. Not English paper piecing kind of handsewing but Japanese way (that's how I called it). In Japanese kind of handsewing, there's no need to square up or trim the block. There's no need for rotary cutter. All you need is scissors, pins, thread, needle, paper and pencil. When you stitch, all the points will patch up beautifully. But of course, with this, you need a little more patience, time and effort.
There are 210 patchwork designs in the book! Every page is a beautiful read! I enjoyed every single page so much I had to read it over and over again. If you wish to buy this book, I have only found it here. If you have a Kinokuniya near you, you may find this great book there definitely!
Oh, have I say about my plan after typing so long...? Yes, it's a #handsewpatchwork sew-a-long! I hope you will join me in this to sew-a-long. Every week we will do one patchwork all handsewn. I'll post the block on my blog here with step by step tutorials cross reference with the book. I'll post the block template too. You don't have to buy the book actually because I'll be writing out the steps in my posts. But if you wish to buy it, it's good to have one definitely! So perhaps, I'll say we will do 18 blocks (means it takes 18 weeks). At the end of the sew-a-long, we will choose any 16 blocks and join up them up (using handsewing of course) to make a small wall hanging quilt or a tote bag or anything you like. As for the other two blocks, I'll write a post about how to handsew a zipper pouch.
Sounds exciting? I think many of you may feel overwhelmed or afraid to try handsewing patchwork. But I promise handsewing is fun and calming. You will love it and be addicted! I wish to get more of you out there to enjoy handsewing. That's reason number one to start this sew-a-long. Another reason is that till now, I can't seem to find online anything with handsewing patchwork in English. Perhaps in Japanese but many of us can't read.
Now the important thing is to prep yourself for this sew-a-long. I have taken a photo on what I use for all my patchwork handsewing.
1. Mechanical pencil (or normal sharp pointed pencil)/ water soluble fabric marker
2. fabric glue (washable) (optional)
3. thread (I use quilting thread but it's ok to use any thread you have)
4. seam ripper
5. scissors (one for fabric and the other for thread)
6. patchwork needles (you can use any needle you have. I prefer using these Clover ones in number 9 because they are fine and sharp)
7. patchwork pins (you can use any pins you have)
8. leather thimble (optional. I never quite use them actually)
9. paper or cardboard (I use alot of waste paper and cereal boxes)
Here's a closeup picture of the needles and pins I use. Big fan of Clover Japan! I'll be offering 2 sets on my IG later.
See there's actually nothing much at all to prepare yourself for handsewing. It's just so easy and relaxing. I'll be up next week with a new post on our first block! xxx