I spent 2 days with some great patchwork friends last week, I no longer live near them so I can't get to our weekly group but when we do get together we slot back into our old friendships and laugh together and share the joys and worries of our respective families. I love friendships like that, where you can just pick up where you left off, however long ago that was!
Well on day 1 we had lunch and catch up and then a visit to a patchwork shop!! I wasn't going to buy anything but I found a pack of charm squares called Happy Campers and just couldn't resist. Last weekend in the camper van had made me realise that it is a bit beige and bland and needs Janeyfying!! So on Day 2 I made a table cover, using a technique called disappearing nine patch. Its very simple and really good to use for charm squares as there are enough to do 4 roughly 12" blocks with a few squares over so you can swap them in if you need to for colour or pattern balance.
A charm pack is 4 1/2" squares, 1 of each fabric in the range, in each colourway. I started by laying out all my squares and discarding the ones I didn't really like. Then I arranged the rest of the squares into 9 square block, ie 3 square by 3 squares. This is easier said than done because you need a balance of colour and pattern, also at this point you need to remember that is only the four corners that will not get cut so they need to be the fabrics you really like and in my range I had some picture fabrics so I wanted to keep them whole. When you have stitched your 9 patches, you then take your rotary cutter and cut them in half vertically and horizontally, you are left with 4 blocks / 9-patch which have a large 4" square, a strip on 2 sides and a small 2" square in the opposite corner. This would have been so much easier to explain if I had taken pics on the way!! But we have discussed my brain disconnection problem before!!
Anyway rearrange the squares and rejoin them. The trick with doing this is being able to look forward to next step whenever you arrange the squares, the first time I did it I have very pleasing 9-patch but when cut up it was more difficult to arrange and get a good balance. Anyway this time, I had a bit of forethought in my head and also my wonderful friend Joan, who has a great colour sense and makes very gentle suggestions, so you think you have done it yourself but actually she has carefully guided you through the whole process!!
Can you see that wonderful camping scene straight from "Five go Camping"? All the fabics were so wonderfully retro, here are some more close ups
These are at the last re-arranging stage.
I have now stitched them together and I need to check the stash and put together a backing and and some wadding and I'm planning to hand quilt this as it is quite a small project, more pics of that when we are to that stage!! This is the final arrangement.