Cloth as Friend
Before the real going and making begins, I just want to review a bit about cloth and how to get to know it. I began this "considering patchwork" on the blog way back and I am collecting the information from the few posts made , putting it here so it is all in one place.
Don't be afraid to mix many kinds of cloth. A lot of the "rules" about patchwork were a result of machine sewing, which is different. There is a different and more gentle relationship between you and cloth during hand stitch.
You will learn a lot about cloth by just trying. Cloth is like clay. It is ready for your touch.
Cloth and Cloth
This is an exercise I go through now and then. The washing of a random mix of small cloth. Let me talk.
If you use a dryer, add a terrycloth towel to the mix, it roughs up the edges more. On loose patches that you would like to use with a natural edge, it is sometimes nice to encourage the fray. Expose the nature of the edge.
Also, If you come across a fabric that is too floppy or slippery, hard to handle... you might invisibly baste it to another more stable cloth and then treat them as one. Consider thickness when choosing the cloth.
I have put a little video here (above) , about fabric grain, an excerpt from a blog post here. I am still focused on squares here, for now, but this discussion would apply to any puzzle pieces created from off grain cutting. In order not to waste cloth, cutting any which way might be necessary. It's simple really, I am not under stress about cloth. I normally do not do things over or rip stuff out. I like to keep the evidence of how it goes. It is often more beautiful that what is expected. It is like cloth talking, sharing its story. And that is part of mine.
All these little patches/ puzzle pieces... I almost need them to speak. They have become a bridge between cloth and me. Part of a language system, to get my thoughts out. I use them to create story blocks. Right now I am creating more. Even while on the road looking for a new home. Seems I've used a lot of them this past year, I must have a lot to say. I'll talk about how that language/story system works for me next.