An interesting video recently came across my Facebook feed.
You can read Hattifant’s blog post here, at Hattifant.com/category/blog. I was hooked. I ponied up the $5 for her patterns, and they are awesome and every bit as easy to assemble as her video demonstrates. What immediately struck me was that I thought I could make these with paper piecing and fabric.
And so it begins. Dinner and housekeeping are postponed until further notice.
Print the pattern onto card stock. You could be smart and print a patterned one, so you can see exactly where to cut. Or, you could be a dope like me and print a blank one, realize your mistake, and rather than toss the card stock, tape it to the sliding glass door over a printed one, and trace the lines. I only have 389 pieces of card stock left, and I have no idea what they were originally purchased for.
Cut pieces carefully along the cutting and folding lines. Also cut the curved pieces where the folds will meet up. My pieces are not terribly precise, and that is a shame. I need to do a better job on the next one, because those little imprecise bits all added up to make my ball a little wonky.
Choose your fabric. A sane person would just use one or two. I decided to go scrappy, with a different fabric for each piece, with a rainbow effect. Of course.
I used a Sewline gluestick to attach the paper to the fabric. Be generous – you want it adhered permanently. I gave it a little press to help it along. Clip your curves, and glue the edges down to the back of the paper. I tucked my tails in and glued them down. This isn’t exactly like making a quilt – bulk isn’t an issue in the finished product, and flappy bits of fabric are annoying.
Line up all of your pieces and make sure your color schematic is correct.
Line up an apple core piece with an arc, and stitch them together from the back. These stitches won’t show on the finished piece. I used a light grey thread to join everything. I will do a better job matching thread colors with future attempts. The end result of this step is six little bits that look like the tool the shoe salesman used to measure my feet with when I was a child.
Now comes the magic. It is a little fiddly – I think swearing is okay, and sometimes quite helpful. Each indent of an apple core is going to be stitched to the standing up bit of another apple core. These stitches will show on your finished product. I wasn’t feeling like digging out six different spools of thread to match up last night, so I stuck with grey. I kept my stitches relatively even and small. The lighting kind of sucks for photos, but I live in New Jersey now, where the sun goes down at 5 PM.
Luckily, the day before the storm of the season is bright and sunny, and temps in the 30’s feel balmy – perfect for photography.
Now I have a gorgeous rainbow fabric ball. I am haunted by my Mom’s question “what is it for?” Hmmm. I haven’t decided on a function yet, but it did use up a few scraps.