Tuesday 29 August 2017

Adventures in Patchwork - Rainbow Bargello!

Hey everyone! 

We are having such a confused winter here - one day it's gloriously sunny, 25 degrees and shorts weather, the next it is literally raining ice and so cold I feel I will never be warm again :/ 

Fortunately I've had lots of inside projects to work on! I finished my second pair of socks (which deserve a post all of their own), wrote up two new designs, helped organise a fundraising High Tea for Days for Girls, and all the administration for our next batch of inbound and outbound exchange students. Phew! I also wanted to spend some time with my mum so we decided to make a king size rainbow bargello wave patchwork quilt for my new king size bed. 

Aren't these colours just glorious?! Most of them are the same print, a (now discontinued) fabric called Flutter, plus a few ring-ins to smooth out the rainbow gradient.

I think the thing I love most about making bargello patchwork is that it is as much about organisation as it is sewing. Sewing is not my greatest skill; I can do it, but not nearly as accurately or well as my mother can. But I can contribute to a bargello by doing the maths, organising the pieces, keeping track of where we're up to, and enabling mum to just concentrate on sewing! 

The first step in a bargello is making the strip sets. This involved cutting strips of each colour, then sewing them together in the right order to make panels of striped fabric. Then, we cut the strip sets into strips the other way, at different widths. 

The easiest way to keep track of each size (as they are only 1/4" different!) is to have a ziploc bag for each size! Then I can take out what I need for the next thing without having to keep track in my head of what's going on.

Once the strips are all cut and the ends sewn together to make a loop, the bargello fun begins! Each strip gets unpicked at the right spot, its row number pinned on, the correct edge pinned together, and then back to the sewing machine!

I made two mistakes with this quilt, fortunately both fixable but still irritating. 

My first error was, I very carefully calculated the width of the quilt and worked out how many strips of each size we would need; except, I forgot to account for seam allowances. So it was too narrow by 1/2" per column. SIGH. We ended up adding rows -3, -2, -1, 64, 65, 66 and 67 to make up the extra width.

My second error was caused by getting too excited about being finished, and I unpicked a few strips in the wrong place. This caused metres of unpicking but it was all worked out! Unpicking in sewing is even sadder than frogging crochet :'( 

The quilt grew bit by bit, wave by wave...

... until it was finished!! 

Now it's off to Goulburn to visit Yvonne and get quilted, with that glorious teal fabric on the back, and I cannot wait to get it onto my bed!! 

Tuesday 1 August 2017

FREE PATTERN: Modern Heirloom Blanket by Tracey Cooper

Hi everyone!

We have a very special treat for you today - a guest post and free pattern by designer Tracey Cooper! You can find Tracey at Cooper's Craft Corner on Facebook and Instagram. We have watched this blanket grow over the last few months and it is just gorgeous - enjoy :)


Thank you so much Michelle and Anne the help and support you have extended to a new designer. 

I have been a crochet addict for as long as I can remember. While I have over 20 years experience in designing my own patterns this is the first one I have shared. 

This pattern was designed for a client who wanted a timeless yet modern blanket. Versatile enough to be used as a throw or bed spread, modern enough to be seen by visitors.

The natural fibers chosen by the client give this blanket a soft and silky feel while providing the warmth and cosy feeling of wool. I love the way natural fibers breathe, they keep the warm in while letting the sticky feeling out. 

This pattern is super easy and a great piece to work on while 'netflix and chilling' on these cool winter evenings.



View or Download PDF here: Modern Heirloom Blanket 

Difficulty: Easy / Beginner


7 x 200g balls Bendigo Woollen Mills Stellar 8ply in 154 Malachite

4mm/G crochet hook

Tapestry needle


This pattern uses US terminology.

dc = double crochet

ch = chain

fdc = chainless foundation double crochet. There is a fantastic tutorial for foundation half double crochet here. The foundation double crochet is done exactly the same way except you dc instead of hdc.

In this pattern I have used the chainless turn. When starting a new row, pull your loop up to the height of a DC stitch, then dc in the first stitch. Alternatively you can turn and chain 2 as the first dc in each row, skipping the first stitch.  

Gauge doesn't really matter for this pattern. My gauge was 25 stitches per 20cm of fdc unblocked, which gave a finished and blocked size of 162cm x 172cm. 

Thie pattern can be sized up or down by starting with a multiple of 3 + 2 fdc starting stitches.


Row 1: 299 fdc. This will give you a first row of 299 dc (299)

From now on you will work all your stitches through the front loop only of the below stitch. 

Row 2: Turn. dc in the next 2 stitches going through the front loop of the stitch only, *ch1, skip 1 stitch. dc in the next 2 stitches* repeat to end of row. You will end up with 100 groups of 2dc and 99 ch1 spaces (200dc + 99ch).

Row 3: Turn. dc in the front loop of each stitch (299)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until you have 115 rows, ending on a Row 3.

Weave in all your ends and block for best results.


Thank you so much Tracey for sharing your gorgeous pattern with us <3