Don't let the World Cup interfere with your quilting.
Projects to occupy match time
- Various scraps and plain Fat Quarters!
Made to measure
can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project
Kick Off . The project themes are based on the England fixtures from the 2006 World Cup group matches, so they don't quite match this year's fixtures!
Each match day has two alternatives:
if you’re a fan, there is a project to sit
and sew while watching the match;
if you need something to do whilst
the rest of the household watches the match
then there is a project/activity to occupy
your time while avoiding the match. The
choice is yours. (If this is the first you’ve
heard of the World Cup, congratulations,
feel free to skip to the next project!)
Figure 1: Spider Web block
For Paraguay we
have chosen a spider web theme. One of
the handicrafts unique to Paraguay is a kind
of lace called Nanduti. The making of the lace
is a tradition begun by Paraguay’s Guarani
Indians. The patterns spiral outwards from
the centre rather like a spider’s web.
The spiders web block shown could be
pieced by sewing the strips together on the
machine and then cutting up and piecing
into the block. To draft the block draw a
square the finished size. It makes the
measuring easier if is divisible by three.
Divide the sides into three and then join
the lines to make the basic shapes. Decide
the width of your strips and measure this
from the centre on all the lines and then
join together. When piecing the strips, you
will need to have three strips the same width
and the final strip wider. Trace one triangle
from the pattern to use as a cutting template.
Mark the seam lines on the pattern and
ensure these match the lines on your sewing
before you cut otherwise the patterns won’t
Cut and sew together: first the strips,
then cut into triangles, then sew the triangles
together. The four triangles on the corners
can be added at the end. Accuracy is
important to ensure all the points meet
correctly. If you get in a mess in the middle,
then add a button or appliqué something
to cover up the centre! For a quick version,
use striped fabric. You could make the
block to the size of a cushion pad you have
spare, then use as a cushion cover. You will
then have something to hide behind during
penalty shoot outs or whatever they’re
called or donate the block to Project Linus.
This should have taken you 90mins or
less. With any spare time, go through your
scrap fabrics and cut odd shaped pieces
into squares and strips so they are ready
for quick scrap quilts another day.
Hand sewing: Somerset folded patchwork
Somerset folded is one technique that you
really cannot do by machine, it is almost
more ironing and pressing than sewing.
Before the match
For a small drinks mat, cut strips 2in wide,
in two or more colours. Fold down 1⁄4in
along the long edge, WS together and
press well. Cut into 31⁄2in sections. You
need four sections in one colour for the
centre, then eight sections for the next
three rounds. We have used different
fabrics in some rounds to add interest.
Working with the folded edge on the
top and WS up, take the two top corners
and fold so they meet in the centre,
creating a point in the middle. Press well.
Take a square of background fabric 8in
Fold in half and press and fold in half
on the other direction and press, repeat to
make folds on the diagonals too. If you are
a quick worker then cut a bias strip 25in long
for the binding before the match begins too.
- Sit comfortably with a tray or padded
cutting board on your lap. Take the first
four triangles and place in the centre. Use
the pressed lines to check the triangles are
lined up correctly, the folded lines on
the triangles should match the diagonal
pressed lines on your background.
- Pin in place and then sew onto the
backing fabric with small stitches along
the raw edge and catching the points
down in the middle too.
- Repeat for the next rounds alternating
the colours, measuring to ensure the
points are equidistant from the centre each
time and so that the stitching of the previous
round is covered. Pin each triangle as you go
so that if you jump up when England score
you don’t have to start all over again.
- When you have all four rounds in place,
the match may be over but you still
need to bind the edge. This is easiest with
bias binding to go round the curves. You
will need a piece about 25in long. Cut a
backing fabric and wadding and layer with
the top, using a saucer or bowl from the
kitchen draw a circle and cut out. Sew the
binding to the front edge and roll to the
back and hand stitch in place.
The many folded layers mean that your
table will be insulated, however hot the
pot, but you may like to use insulated
wadding for extra security.
Trinidad and Tobago
What is the first thing you think of when
you think of Trinidad and Tobago? I hope
it is Carnivals as that is our theme for this
match. For your match dodging project,
get out some of those fancy yarns that are
so trendy at the moment and try stitching
them down in loops and swirls, experiment
with different length and width stitches to
see which captures them best without
loosing the texture too much. If you like
the sample you have made, then turn it
into a needle case or coffee cup holder
following the instructions below.
Where to buy
A variety pack of yarns is available from
many places, this one came from Bags of
Handles. Different colourways are available.
For your hand sewing project, make a
small needle case or coffee cup cover
If you frequent those trendy coffee shops
then take the corrugated card outer from
a recent visit and draw round to use as a
template. Allow 1⁄2in extra all round and cut
two from wadding and four from plain fabric.
Following the ideas here, draw lines onto two
of your plain pieces to use as foundation lines.
Layer the plain fabric with the wadding in the
middle. Use the sew and flip method to add
the fabric strips. As you are sewing through
many layers you may find it quite tricky.
With RS together, sew the two outer
pieces only along the outer lines. Trim
away excess wadding and fold over the
lining fabric neatly and slipstitch in place.
For fun, you could add a ‘handle’ for your
cup (but don’t use to pick up the coffee).
Sew along the opposite edge as you did
the first so you have a shaped tube. You
may like to pin first to check the cup fits
before you finally stitch the seam.
If it is a needle case, then sew a few pieces
of felt into the centre along the seamline
and bind all round the outer edges.
If you have lads in the house, you can
make them the envy of their friends with
a personalised beer bottle holder. Follow
the instructions above, but measure the
diameter of their favourite brand of beer
bottle and make large enough so it is a
snug fit, no more cold fingers!
Earlier this year, I was asked by Project Linus
if I had any ideas of a block they could use at
the Festival of Quilts to encourage quilters
to make blocks or quilts for teenage boys.
We all tend to donate quilts that are suitable
for toddlers and girls and the boys are left
out. So here is a simple block with folded
triangles that turns almost into a football
shape when the folds are turned back. We
have taken Swedish national colours here,
but, of course you could use other fabrics
instead for your local team. This project
could be done by hand or machine. You
should have time in the 90 minutes to
make more than one if you wanted.
Before the match
Cut out the following pieces for each block:
- 6 1⁄2in centre in white or cream
- Four 2in squares for folded corners
- Four 6 1⁄2 x 2in strips for sashing
- Four 2in squares for corners
If you have time, sew two 2in
squares to the ends of two of the
Figure 2: England colours tablemat layout
- Sit down with the pieces laid
out in front of you. Take four
2in squares and fold on the
diagonal and finger press.
- Pin these triangles in the four
corners of the centre square
with the raw edges matching the
corners. Take the sashing strips
with no corner stones and sew in
position on two opposite edges of the
centre block. As shown in Figure 2. Finger
press the seams open.
- Sew the two sashing strips with corner
stones onto the other two sides and
finger press as before.
- With a matching thread sew the folded
edges of the triangles in place by
carefully rolling them back to form a slight
curve and stitch down with a running stitch
or small hemming stitch, whichever you
prefer. The stitches don’t need to go right
through to the back of the work.
Figure 3: Sewing the back with England colours
For those who are avoiding the match
you can, with a bit of extra effort, turn
the design into a tablemat to please
any football fan.
Make the block as above and cut two
extra strips 2 x 9 1⁄2in. Sew to two sides
of the block to create a rectangular mat.
For the backing we have a flag. Cut two
11 x 4in wide strips of blue and one
11 x 2 1⁄2in strip of yellow. Sew together
with the wide strips to the outside. Cut
into two pieces 4in and 7in long. Sew a
yellow 2 1⁄2in strip in between to create
the flag. For an England version the strips
should be white and red and you will need
to cut the strips into 5 1⁄2in lengths before
adding the final red strip. See Figure 3.
Layer with the top and some wadding
and bind. You will need to make sure you
sew the binding with neat stitches on the
back if you want the mats to be reversible.
Phew that’s it – no more football – well
until the season starts anyway.
First published in Popular Patchwork July 2006