Monday, 25 November 2013

How to: Coffee Cup Patchwork

Coffee cup patchwork

This is the finished coffee cup patchwork.  I was trying it out as a potential workshop idea, but I’m not sure I will develop it as such, much as I enjoyed making it.  Although the idea is simple, it is rather complicated and time consuming, which doesn’t lend itself to a one-day class, especially as there is lots of hand stitching.  Despite that, I’m really pleased with the results.  So I thought I’d share the process with you.
Initial drawing made on phone whilst the kids had a swimming lesson

I took a disposable paper coffee cup and ran string in a spiral down it and marked the line. 
Cutting along the line gives you a long strip, which I then marked out into triangles.  Each triangle was then numbered and I reconstructed the cup to see mark where they touched each other.


The triangles were cut out and I felt-tipped the edges black so they would be easier to see when I copied them.  I stuck them onto sheets of paper using little blobs of masking tape on the back.

I enlarged them on my photocopier to 400% and then used these pieces as templates.  I cut matching pieces in thick paper and medium weight sew-in Vilene.  I made sure I numbered all of these!  Then one at a time, I cut fabric about 1/4in bigger all around for the seam allowance.  I decided not to worry about being too precise in this.
Joining the first two pieces.  I actually started with numbers 9 & 10, because they were less fiddly than 1 & 2

Each fabric piece was then tacked onto the thick paper, with the nice side showing and the Vilene sandwiched out of sight in-between.  I then overstitched it to its neighbour, creating a long snake of patchwork – there were 38 pieces in all. 
In progress
Stitching together
Once the snake was complete, I made the bottom piece the same way and started over-stitching the snake to the bottom, keeping an eye that my numbering was still in order. 
Stitching the snake to the base

The finished ‘cup’ is surprisingly sturdy and I like the homey look of seeing all the stitching, including the tacking.  Do you like seeing the stitching or would you prefer it to be hidden?


Margaret said...

A new twist on English paper piecing -- but you're right...definitely fiddly. And will it fit 'round a cup for decoration...or be its own vessel?

Gillian Cooper said...

Thanks for dropping by, Margaret!
It isn't actually too fiddly as the finished 'vessel' is about 10inches high as I upped the size so much on the photocopier. It stands really well on its own, so could be it's own vessel. I have another one though that fits around a glass vase I have really nicely and so you can create the illusion that it is filled with water and flowers!

magsramsay said...

What an interesting idea. Personally I like seeing the stitching as it gives an insight into its construction. Wonder about trying it with colourcatchers....

Gillian Cooper said...

Colourcatchers are an interesting idea. You would have to make sure the pieces were small enough to fit on a colourcatcher. Also when I've worked with them before, they were rather unforgiving, unlike fabric, so you would have to be loads more accurate than I am!

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