As you may have already understood those who read our first lesson, we can proceed to patchwork just with a pair of scissors and a needle. This is how our ancestors made patchwork and this is what do th ones that want to do it traditionally. However, progress and technology provided us with some notions that help us make things easier.
Before proceeding to those notions, I would like to talk a little bit about the metric system you are going to use during those lessons. Up to now, all lessons given in Greece have been based on English system, which means inches. This is the way I learned patchwork too. However, I think that this might be a reason for keeping people from patchwork, because not everyone can adapt to a new system. In France, Germany and Spain, where patchwork is worked with centimeters, ther is a quite large patchwork community.
Therefore, all our lessons will be on centimeters, so that everyone in Greece can follow easily. Whenever possible, there will be inches as well for those who already have the relative notions and wish to follow.
I wrote the above because metric system is absolutely related to notions. However, what is described below, it is obvious that it applies to both systems
Τρία είναι τα βασικά μας εργαλεία, από τα οποία ξεκινάμε:
The rotary cutter: Several models and several sizes. On rotary cutter of middle size (45 mm-those come always in inches- funny!) is what you need in order to begin. The smaller the diameter of the cutter, the easier to cut curves. However I recommend the one mentioned above, because majority of cuts in patchwork are straight.
There are also other cutters with ergonimically designed handle, but this is up to you if this is important parameter in order to choose.
The rotary “runs” on the cutting mat on the edge of the ruler and cuts the fabric with great precision. Attention! we always cut from us toward ……………….. so that there will be no accident. And always keep away from children!
The cutting mat is the surface we use to cut our fabric. If it is possible, from financial point of view, it is more convenient to have the biggest one. The mat is made from a material thaat helps it to autoheal all scratches caused by cutting and stays new for a long time.
Rulers: The rulers used for patchwork are thicker than the usual rulers, so that they are more steady, when are pressed by the cutter. One ruler of 10 or 15 X 35 or 40 cm / 4X14 ” is a good choice. Convenient for big and small pieces. If you go along with patchwork, you may buy other sizes and shapes, according to your needs.
Furthermore, you are going to need the following, that it is sure that you already have at home:
One or more pairs pf scissors: Why more? Because you need one for paper and one for fabric. Should you use your fabric scissor to cut paper, then, you will need a new one for fabric, because it will not any more work properly.
Needles: If you decide on making quilting by hand, traditionally, then you might use the smaller special for quilting needles. In any case you may use your usual needles.
Thimble, should you make quilting by hand.
Ripper, because you are going to have to rip. You cannot avoid it. Why not do it easier with the right tool? It always comes with your sewing machine.
Safety pins, normal or the special ones, with a small curve. Those are needed for the quilting.
Marking pencils when we want to mark something on the fabric. There are permanent or washout. The latter is what we mainly use for patchwork.
Iron and iron mat: EWe all have at home.
There are other notions for special use. We are going to talk about them while use them in the future.
This is crucial for me, but maybe not for you. I will repeat it that you may proceed by hand, which is even stressrelief. But if you are like me, oriented to the result, then you may choose to work with the sewing machine. In order to start, the old Singer of your mother or your granny is very suitable. A Singer of the 50s was my first machine. I even quilted with this machine.
Let’ take a look at the cost as well, should you decide on buying the first notions, because this is difficult for all of us nowdays. So you should have in mind that you can find in the Greek market one medium size ruler (eg 10 X 45 cm) around 18 Euros. Cutting mats start from 15 Euros and cutters from 12 Euros. There is also available in the market a starter set, including beyond the three above mentioned notions, pins needle, marking pens and cost about 45 Euros.
From the description of each notion you may understand that you may proceed without them, using just a pair of scissors and a tape. I am keeping saying this, because, I do not want you to stay away from patchwork because of the initial cost, if you are attracted by this technique..
We now know what we need in terms of tools in order to start patchwork. What about talking a little bit about fabric, batting etc next week?