Friday, 5 August 2011

Diamond

What feels like many moons ago, in fact it was April, we were heading off for our holiday in Jamaica and I knew that I would have to have a crafty project to accompany me for the two weeks I'd be away from the Den. Oh decisions, decisions. It had to be hand sewing of course, so I turned to my first love, patchwork.






This project centred on just one patchwork shape: the diamond.






Simply spend far too much time deciding which fabric to use for the six centre diamonds and another for the six outer diamonds, making one large hexagon.






I've tended to use vintage fabric for the inner diamonds which are sewn together as a 6-pointed star and modern fabric for the outer diamonds. The fabric is cut roughly into a diamond shape, allowing about a 1/4" seam allowance. The fabric is first tacked onto paper (I use something like Conqueror which is a bit thicker than regular copy paper but I don't like to use anything as stiff as card). The diamonds are then whip stitched right sides together with tiny stitches.






The best thing about this project is that if you wanted to start it right now, you easily could. There are no fancy rulers required. I picked up this little old 1970's book in a charity shop in Frome some time ago.





The pictures and fabrics used in the projects are fairly hideous but the information is basic and sound. The most useful section is at the back and helps you draft your own templates such as hexagons and of course, diamonds, in whatever size you desire.






So, get yourself a piece of card, back of a cereal packet would do, and draw yourself a diamond. Use that template to trace onto the fabric and make oodles of paper templates to which to tack your fabric. Assemble your fabric, needle and thread and away you go!






My diamonds are quite large and it is a very time consuming project. From my horizontal position on my sun lounger, I just about managed to make one of these a day (but of course, I had to have rest days in between!) I haven't really done much on this project since I've been home but it is handy to pick up now and then as it's so portable, great for rail and Tube journeys.





This quilt could be a while in the making. But who's in a hurry?






Happy weekending, may the sun shine...

27 comments:

  1. Great patchworking tips Hen, thank you! Like the new header thingy too. That rabbit is so cute.
    Ellie
    x

    ReplyDelete
  2. How lovely. I really like how you've fussy cut the diamonds; the deeper green and pink one looks like a kaleidoscope!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ah-ha I knew it would get you!!!

    Have a fun weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Taking time over some projects is part of the pleasure - and it allows you to spot more fabric, sigh, say 'Ah, that's JUST what I need for the diamond quilt!' and buy without guilt!
    x

    ReplyDelete
  5. these are all lovely Hen !

    I follow and lurk (a LOT) at your blog but thought I'd pop in and say hello for a change! I'm a 40s girl at heart, soooo born in the wrong decade! so I love your blog for many reasons.

    You should check out Lynne's Summer Hexalong .. these beauties would be perfect ...

    http://lilysquilts.blogspot.com/2011/07/hexalong-starts-here.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. The diamond shape works so well doesn't it? Have a lovely weekend! x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ha Ha I have that book - bought in the 70's I hastened to add, think I was sixteen/seventen at the time travelling to and from London on the train to my very first job, made loads of those diamonds and even joined some of them together. Don't know what happened to them though......! Whatever it was it became a UFO!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is very lovely! I am just learning to sew, my MIL gave me the instructions to make a simple quilt called "around the world" to get me started. I love seeing all of the beautiful quilts you make!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my...always so inspiring. I have a diamond template, but I surely don't need another project!

    As for your wish that the sun shine...here in Texas we would like some clouds and rain, lots of rain, please!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great new header! The hexagons look lovely. The fabrics that you have used remind me so much of my old collection of cottons. I wonder, if I got it out, would I start making something? At least this post has made me think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. They look great I like your colour combinations - dont know if you have looked at my blog recently but I have just started a diamond quilt too. I have a few old patchwork books too - I have just been sneaky and got OH to cut me some diamonds on the lazer cutter he has at work. Saves a little time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. These are lovely. I've been working on and off on some paper pieced hexagons - its takes forever but I do love the result. Plus the portability of them is brilliant - an excellent thing to take on holiday.
    I'm looking forward to seeing the finished article....however long it takes!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You are so talented! Popped on to let you know that Cath Kidston opened yesterday in Cardiff (finally) and there is a chair and curtains which made me think of you, if you go to the facebook page of st davids/dewi sant and click on the photos for the cath kidston openingm you will see them!!
    lots of love xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's lovely, a handmade quilt is yet another thing on my to do list!!

    S x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for the books , I have been looking for books which are pre rotary cutter days and are very hard to find where I am ..Unless it is a vintage book which one buys online..

    ReplyDelete
  16. The diamond star mat you took a photo of at Sandown on my stand was done by machine...try it without paper templates, it's a lot quicker and easier!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I MUST dig out my patchwork I started about 16 years ago! x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love the pretty roses fussy cut in the diamonds. Gorgeous! XXX

    ReplyDelete
  19. I bought the book new in the 70's, used it quite a bit but then it languished on the shelf until quite recently when I decided I 'need' to do some patchwork.
    Lovely diamonds.
    Carol xx

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are an inspiration Hen, that diamond patchwork is going to be sensational, and I agree, it will take as long as it takes.....

    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fab Hen! Good old Frome and its charity shops...you cant go wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love your fussy cut diamonds. Also love the way you change your header every so often. Great blog, I've been following for quite a while.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Slow but sure and very rewarding, also a nice change from machine quilting. As you say the joy of this craft is its portable and you only need to carry a few pieces with you. A few years ago a nice old lady gave me a carrier bag with a half finished hexagonal quilt, sadly she could no longer quilt. I did not have the patience to finish such a large project, so I gave it to my mother in law, she is still sewing it, in between her knitting.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ooo, love them! I enjoy doing this sort of thing as well, but I buy my papers at paperpieces.com :)

    ReplyDelete

You are warmly encouraged to leave a comment here. Your comments are emailed directly to me so rest assured I read and treasure every one. Thank you for supporting my blog with your comment. X