Crafting Holiday 2013 – Day 2 – Patching Candles!

Day 2 of my lovely holiday at the Manor House Hotel for 12 blissful days of crafting! Plenty of time for playing with Yaris, as well as lovely food! Today, however, I also did 2 workshops – patchwork this morning, and candle making this afternoon.
I’ve always wanted to have a go at patchwork, and it’s a craft that’s been high on my list of those I wanted to try as part of this project, but because of my brain injury I find it difficult learning completely new things from books etc when I have no grounding skills in them (like in this case!), and I haven’t been able to find anyone local to me who would teach me. So when I saw this workshop, despite it being an all morning one (0930-1230), I decided I HAD to give it a go! And I’m glad I did, as I LOVED it!!! The time flew by as we worked, learning each step as we went, and soon I had a finished rosette. We hand-sewed our items (it’s easier with the hexagons apparently, and also a lovely way of doing it), but for many shapes it’s just as easy to sew by machine. The steps were as follows:

1) Work out the correct orientation for material using bias etc
2) Cut out 7 paper hexagons
3) Cut out 7 material hexagons using the plastic template (which has seam allowance)
4) Mark one direction on hexagon with 2-headed arrow – this will show the direction of material
in your hexagons that is NOT bias. Check which this is (pull on facing corners slightly – if
makes ditches, this is a bias. You should get this effect on 2 out of 3 pairs. The third is the
direction you want the arrows facing.) and pin paper centrally onto hexagons.
5) Using long tacking stitches, turn in the sides as follows:
– thread your needle and tie a knot in the other end of the thread.
– fold down one side of the material hexagon over the paper counterpart (seam allowance
only) to form a neat side, then pass the needle from back to front and to back again along
the centre of the side.
– fold next side of hexagon down, neatly mitring corner as fold, then pass the needle down
through corner and back up through centre of that side to secure. Repeat this process all
the way round the hexagon to secure all sides.
– to complete tacking, go down through final corner, up through next middle, and then just
make small stitch to catch the end in the back of the material only, at the bottom of the
seam allowance. Then cut off excess thread (no need for knots, anchoring stitches etc),
and repeat process for the rest of the hexagons.
6) When all sides are tacked, lay hexagons out on workbench and decide on your layout for
finished piece, making sure you’re happy with colour placement etc (I did alternate red-with-
white and white-with-red polka dot fabrics round the outside, with a plain red one in the
middle – can you guess my favourite colour?!
7) Take the centre hexagon and one outer hexagon, and place together with right-sides (fronts)
facing. Using small stitches, oversew along the seam where the two will join, with 2 extra
stitches in place each end to secure well.
8) Pick up the next hexagon in your pattern, which will need to join to your previous outside one
first, in the same way you just joined your others. Then return to the centre by making a
couple of tacking-style stitches through the back (seam allowance) of this second hexagon,
before attaching it to the centre one too.
9) Continue the pattern, adding a new hexagon each time, until you reach the end and all seams
are secure.
10) Iron your work (you may like to cover it with a CLEAN tea towel or pillowcase etc)
when doing this, to protect your work, and your iron!), then carefully undo all the original
tacking stitches and remove the paper templates. Nb if you’re not using your work for
attaching to its final background until a later time, skip this stage until then, as the paper
helps your work maintain its shape until then. Just pop it in a food bag or something similar
to keep clean, label, and store safely.
11) Decorate to your heart’s content – this could mean leaving as it is, adding a little embroidery,
or even some beadwork. Whatever you want! Just bear in mind what you’re putting it on –
you don’t want lumpy beads on a cushion for instance!
12) Attach your completed piece to your final background. This could be a bag, cushion, a
square for making up into something bigger, and so on – there’s almost no limits!
And that’s how it’s made!!

And this afternoon we were making wax candles. I won’t go into detail about what we were all doing – we were using wax baths on the tables, which most people don’t have at home! I decided this time I would make 2 glass jar candles, one plain red one that is a small plain votive, and a larger round votive that is green with 2 yellow stars (though somehow mine dont look very star-like, even though I used a cookie cutter to make them!!). We were shown how to make colour-banded candles too, but the class was quite full today, so didn’t have the room to move around I would need to get to the different colour baths and make those. I may try and have another go before the end of my holiday though,depending how I’m doing for time.

Anyway, better go and get some sleep – very busy day tomorrow!

Below are the images of the items I made, from start to finish. Apologies that they’re not the greatest quality, or in my usual slideshow format, I don’t have my usual editing software.
Talk tomorrow!

P.s. I’ve also attached a lovely pic of Yaris that one of the ladies in my patchwork group took. Doesn’t he look handsome!







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