I was telling you recently that I’ve taken up sewing. Yep. Really. I’ve never sewn a thing in my life. I’ve tried to avoid it actually because, when I was growing up, the whole arts and craft, homemade thing just wasn’t cool. But I’m just so sick of crappy Made in China clothes that I’ve vowed to master the secret art of sewing. And I’m starting with quilting and patchwork because someone I know (and she’s a superb quilter) told me that quilting and patchwork will teach me most of what I need to know.

My first attempt was reasonably laughable but my second attempt is downright hilarious. My friend gave me a pattern and showed me the basics for the square that is on the far left, third row from the top in the photo below. It’s the square with the four red hearts.

Because I was in South Africa for three weeks, I didn’t get around to buying some decent-looking fat quarters (which I now know is a mysterious term for a piece of fabric measuring 18″ x 21″ or 46 x 54 cms). All I had to hand was some dodgy-looking Halloween-themed material. So the square I produced is not very elegant looking I’m afraid.

The really hilarious part is that I had to dabble with appliqué. The good news is that you simply iron on the appliqué in whatever shape you’ve traced out. Bonus: easy. The bad news is that I then had to figure out how to do button-hole stitching on a rounded shape.

This meant working out how to programme the sewing machine and turning the fabric so the needle would follow the line of the heart shape. Yeah right. Well, the programming worked; the turning of the fabric didn’t quite work as you can see from the photo below.

I know the whole square looks bizarre but that’s the only material I had and it’s just practice. But sheesh: gotta get my head around how to sew around shapes and line up seams better.

The finished square. Well, I still have to stitch around three hearts and unpick the mess I made with the first heart.

Right side of the heart is not so bad but the left side, yes well.

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