With full awareness that neither of my previous works-in-progress have really progressed (I’ll be making those granny squares until the end of yarn and time, and amigurumi isn’t for me) I decided to start another project anyway: English paper piecework.
This is the big one – or rather, the first timid step in the general direction of a big ambition: learning how to sew. Working in a place that makes and sells these wonderful fabrics, I wanted to start learning how to use them.
So I bought some books and some basic supplies, decided that patchwork appealed more than dressmaking, and yesterday – after months of not knowing where to start – I found an excellent online tutorial with printable templates, and took the plunge.
tacking the fabric around the paper piece to form a neat hexagon
The tiny dog was unimpressed by my concentration on something other than him…
the project takes shape…
I got the feeling this is something I will really love – especially after seeing Flossie Teacakes’ kaleidoscopic paper piecing patterns – so last night I started a diary as well, to keep track of patchwork projects. Four hexagons cut and tacked so far, eight to go before I can start sewing them together to make my first project: a patchwork pincushion.
the end result? (pattern from Patch! by Cath Kidston)
End note: the hardest thing about sewing, for me, is negotiating the happy-little-homemaker stereotype. I struggled enough with my inner Angela Carter when I started baking bread. Buying my bread, my throws and my placemats instead of attempting (clumsily) to make them certainly frees up more time to devote to philosophy and politics and cultural pursuits – but I’ve had a good decade of staying out late in smoky bars discussing big ideas, and I feel ready to add something a bit more tactile and creative to my repertoire now.