I’m getting reasonably good at patchwork, I’ll have you know. So good, in fact, that when I found a bundle of batik style fat quarters I’d bought on whim a few years ago, I decided to revisit the “Icicle Scarf” from “Stripped Down Patchwork” by Erin Gilday. I’ve made this three times before, the first time was a bit of a disaster because I did the maths wrong, and other two times went perfectly. The only problem with the last one I made for myself was the pressing cloth moved, and some of the fabric melted. You know, tiny things.
Because I was using Fat Quarters, the first step was to cut the fabric into short strips. These would then be sewn into long strips, before being sewn together and cut into short strips again.
Because I wasn’t using a limitless supply of fabric, I had to do some maths on this and I don’t like doing maths on things. It makes me frowny and a bit cross. I did a whole page of maths before I realised I was basing the entire thing on the wrong measurement and I had to start over. I know, you feel for me right now. Thanks. Turns out I got the second lot of maths wrong too, but this was actually a good thing. I’ll explain later. The end result was the strips were 5cm wide which meant precision cutting. Can you imagine me being precise? I can’t, and I was there.
Let’s all be thankful I was once a Brownie because yes of course I slashed myself with the rotary cutter again. Quite deep this time, hence the emergency bandage made of off cuts. Again, I wasn’t even cutting fabric at this point so I have no idea what I was doing to get cut, but there you have it. Precision.
Once all the little short strips are turned into long strips, it’s a matter of sewing them all into one super long bit of fabric. Up until this point, everything was lovely, apart from all the bleeding. This is when the maths went skew-wiff though. Basically, what you do with your long strip is cut into triangles. I already knew the measurements in the book wouldn’t work because the strips were a different width. So I mathed, and it ended badly. Instead of half squares, I had half diamonds. I’d cut four before I realised why this wouldn’t work. You still get a bit of the effect, but the edges are zig zagged and also the stripes don’t continue through the whole thing. Back to the math board! That lasted a while, as I did counting on my fingers, but in the end i just got a big bit of cardboard and plonked the corner down on the top edge of the fabric, then drew a line where the bottom edge was and there you go, easy. Worked!
See? Half squares. I’m amazing, go me! Okay so they’re a little bit off kilter but shit happens. Those are all sewn together in squares, which are then sewn together in a strip. Here’s why it’s good I messed up my maths earlier – I had a lot more strip length than I needed, letting me cut the proper number of proper triangles even though I’d cut stupid ones previously. I thought I wasn’t going to make it actually, but then I realised I’d cut more triangles than I really needed because counting to eight is difficult.
I didn’t end up using all the squares anyway, because my backing fabric was a tight fit. You can see in the above photo I had to hack a bit off and stick it to the end, I’d also had to turn some of the bits and jigsaw it a bit. I did order some orange polar fleece (which the original pattern calls for), but the colour was a bit wrong and I liked this rusty orange against the purple better. Backing mostly was alright, things shifted a bit in the pinning. This was probably partly me not pinning it enough, and partly the small dog that kept walking around on it while I was pinning. I’ll blame the dog, she can’t read this anyway.
Once the backing is on, and I have done a lot of swearing because it moved around a lot and pfft to that, and the edges of the strips topstitched (more swearing as I had to unpick some – but I do love sewing, I do I do. I just like swearing as much), it was all done. I’d like to make sure you appreciate the Industrial Grunge Chic Aesthetic I went with for that photo because I’m a blogger, dammit. I’m all about random words shoved in front of the word “aesthetic”. Probably get a sponsorship deal out of this one.
For those who prefer an Outdoor Rural Rustic Aesthetic, here’s the scarf on a fence. Actually this is to show off the colours properly, aren’t they pleasing? I’m so pleased. You can also see where the backing got all scrumbled, but eh. I respond to the scrumbling with a big fat EH and you can quote me on that.