Tuesday, February 25, 2014

quarter inch mark studio: patchwork books!

The night is getting dark and late here. S is next door and sound in sleep. Late night always works better for me when I had two plus cups of coffee during the day. It helps me to think clear and read to myself as I tape.

Oh dear, we have been working hard together for last few weeks and thanks to S who contributed her time and efforts to be the special model of mine. Her smile always makes me sing whenever I flipped through our photos and she is a great fellow to work with. Indeed, sometimes she is too funny to be around with as she considers herself is the studio assistant.

I have been taking time to made these {patchwork needle-books}. I absolutely love making them and loving the idea of tiny patchwork style. Would you like to hear the process of these books? shall I?

So, I cut 40 different prints into 1.5" wide strips then cut them into 1.5"x1.5" squares. They were collected in a nice basket as they were being cut. After cutting , I slowly pick out the first two pieces then two more pieces. After two sets of two-pieces, I joined them into one row then repeated 5 times. After that I joined all 6 rows of the pieced fabric then make one small patchwork. The process repeat, repeat, and repeat until the basket was empty.  Then slowly I walked down to the basement, where the ironing board locates then heat up the iron { Brr.. it was only 40 degrees in the basement, so I wore my winter jacket and a nice warm scarf for the time being}.  I preferred open seam allowance when work on small patchworks. It helps decrease the bulkiness for hand-quilting! After spent some time in the basement then I returned to the warm and cozy mini studio { Between the time, I went pick up S from school and she was working on her assignment as I continued working on the books}.

The cotton batting pieces were cut and ready for each patchwork. I lay each patchwork on top of the batting piece then used the basting needle for hand-basting. Following the hand-quilting started as S made comments on the books; S: I really like this blue book, do you think I can have one? me: Sure, but how about let's focus on finishing tasks of the day then we can make one later.  The hand-quilting process taken most of the weekday afternoons to completed and S made very similar comments each day; the last day, she asked for a green book!

As the hand-quilting came to the end, I was still debating on the book closure design. There were 3 ideas, the first one was using elastic loop, the second one was using the hand-sewing snaps, the third one was using professional fasten snaps. It took some days for the mind to set, so the professional hardware won! Then I made all the fasten belt in linen and attached to each patchwork piece, BUT I wasn't happy with the size and the shape. I ripped them out then remake them. Indeed, I am so pleased with the changes. It made each book so much nice and clean.  After reattached the fasten belt to the patchworks ; off I went to the basement with my winter coat and warm scarf for the second trip { this is the moment that I wish summer is here}.

For the book lining; I look into fabric stash and pick out the fabric print that collaborates well with the exterior of the book and look into the wool felt collection to find the coordinate colors. This is one of the process that I truly enjoy and it is exciting to see the work come together. After the selection and cutting, time for the hardware installation! I ran down to the basement again, a really quick trip to bring the hammer up; no coat, no scarf.

The wool felt was attached with the small snap hardware and it gives a nice, clean and stable outcome! The new design for the interior of the wool felt is leave it blank without any embellishment, since I found more space for the needles is needed.  There are so many needle sizes that quilters, sewers, crafters need and the needles need a cozy home when they travel around the sewing tables, cars, and places to places.

These {patchwork needle-books} have come together nicely and indeed, it has taken a few hours a day and few days a week to make simple progress! Between the challenging and unsettle moments of our life. I still wish to keep creating and able to support our little family when I can.  I hope you love these {patchwork needle-books} as I made them! Yes, I have been busy from time to time and made  these tiny books. It has been aThey are not listed { here} and enjoy~



  1. Delightful post and beautiful needle-books!! What fun to have such a cutie as a studio assistant!

  2. Lovely needle books- Love the colours and the unique attaching of the wool by studs


  3. I love your tiny perfectly made ​​wonders <3

  4. these are so lovely Chase. I love the addition of hardware, just perfect.


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