Whilst I really enjoy my work, it’s always lovely to finish a batch of orders, and sit down and make something for fun. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the last lot of cuties that I completed this week.
I decided I’d like to try and participate in the Quilt Petite sew-along, which is running at the moment. I’ve already made one project from my friend Sedef’s lovely book, and it’s just too nice to leave it there, as the book is just full of gorgeous little makes.
I’ve had this beautiful piece of cow’s leather for a really long time, probably over 10 years, and one of the ideas I’ve had brewing, was to try and incorporate it into a patchwork project. It seems like such a grown-up thing to add to sewing, and I love the mix of modern patterns and romantic florals that the fabric brings to the mix.
The texture is just AH-DOR-ABLE!
I’ve had a little bit of experience using leather in the past, and have made a few Bible covers. Turns out I remembered a little bit of what you should know, and forgot the rest…ha ha.
Leather needs a bit of special treatment, as you can’t press it directly. I used a pressing cloth and made sure I didn’t hold the heat on it for very long. You are also meant to use a leather needle, but I was out of those, and discovered that a size 90 worked fine. The other problem is that the stitching line will punch permanent holes in the leather, so you need to get the seam right the first time, as any corrections will show, and any extra holes will also weaken the leather.
This little square turned out beautifully, so I forged forward…
Well it was an exercise in patience, as the thing was just not going to turn out square, and not all the points were going to match perfectly. The thickness of the leather was just something that changed the way everything behaved. I know that thinner leather would have been different, but I really wanted to make this work! So I decided to accept the wonkiness…adding the handmade tag seemed like I was just stating the bleeding obvious!
Then I decided I was going to machine quilt it. Those seam intersections made a huge bulk with that thick leather. I even tried pounding them with a hammer, which did help flatten a bit, but not enough. My machine just couldn’t cut it :(.
So hand quilting it was!
My idea of a nice relaxing project was quickly being rethought, because you don’t just hand quilt leather!
You need special strength to push that needle through, so I was there ‘relaxing’, with my metal thimble pushing, my needle straining, and my hubby’s rusty pliers pulling it out the other side! Ouchies…that leather was whooping my butt! By the time I finished I’d definitely had a workout!
The irony continued with my photo shoot…my 13 year old son baked these cookies. He does a better job than me now…and I can’t even eat them because I’m gluten free…but don’t they look delicious!!
Fabrics used are, Playground, Modern Backgrounds, Yuwa, Fleurs, Tilda Bumblebee, Lecien Old New 30s, and a Japanese lawn from Spotlight.
And happily, I now have my name on a button! This beautiful work is by Yuki of GirlsFever, recommended by Sedef herself, and I’m so happy with them! I can’t wait to sew them on everything.