Hello, Harris Tweed lovers! We have the honour to have the talented Keren Baker on our blog today sharing useful tips to do patchwork with Harris Tweed.
How cool is that?
Keren is a professional British crafter who does design work for several crafty companies and magazines and enjoys sewing. Her style invites everyone from beginners to experienced crafters to try different innovating things.
So she used the cloth included in the Rainbow Harris Tweed Bundle to make three different projects
Tips To Do Patchwork Using Harris Tweed
By Keren Baker
Harris Tweed? It’s a luxurious woven wool fabric- but forget the idea it’s scratchy-it’s actually pretty soft. It does need a little thought and a little care, and I’ve got some tips for creating with it.
Harris Tweed is not the sort of fabric people automatically think of when considering patchworking but it is beautifully tactile, hardwearing and totally unique!
I started off with a bag…
- I cut squares of cotton, same-sized squares of Harris Tweed, sewed 1/4″ either side of the diagonal centre line (as you would to create Harris Tweed- Half Square Triangles)
- Then, I cut down the centre line and I got half cotton and half Harris Tweed squares.
The secret is to keep them well pinned (I used clips) and when pressing, use plenty of water (either from the iron or a water spray) and press well.
You’ll find that the seams will want to go their own way.
So I used a Tailor’s Clapper which if you clap it (or press hard) onto the seams straight after pressing, it traps the steam and helps give really crisp seams.
With traditional patchwork, you would press the seams towards the darker fabric and not press them open.
So depending on how many seams are meeting, you may choose (like I did) to press open at some points and even towards the lighter fabric- because Harris Tweed will tell you which way it wants to be pressed!!
Granted, I’m attempting something a little harder, but I wanted to see just how far I could push the fabric.
- Because of the pressing restrictions, you’ll find that it’s not always going to look as precise- but I offset that with the quilting.
- As I love a bit of upcycling, I added in some old jean fabric and the denim just works so well with Harris Tweed.
- I used some of the offcuts to create the handles to show you that any little piece of Harris Tweed can be used.
- For stability, I did add denim to the reverse of the handles but you could easily add some interfacing to give more structure to the handles.
Harris Tweed doesn’t fray like you might imagine it would
If you’re going to do circles with raw edges (like in the above project which I didn’t love how I’d finished it- so will do it again), it’s definitely a good idea to use Vlieseline Bondaweb .
You could also possibly over sew/ zigzag the edges. Isn’t that texture gorgeous?
Now, if you have lots of points meeting like in this pretty pincushion, you’ll see why that my tip no.3- to add in a lighter weight fabric makes sense.
Not only does it give design contrast but it helps reduce bulk at the bulky seams.
I love this smart pincushion and need to keep collecting those fabulous Cohana Glass Head pins as it’s looking a little sparse!!
We all love a nice coaster- and this is possibly too nice for my cup of tea (because I’m likely to spill it over the coaster)!
I did use some leftover binding that I’d made- but it really wasn’t wide enough.
As the Harris Tweed has more bulk than your average piece of cotton, definitely a 2 -1/4″ – 2- 1/2″ binding would have been better!
I hope you enjoyed my look at this fabulous fabric from We Love Harris Tweed.
My next project will be a Fell and Dale flat cap from Waves & Wild- all in different coloured sections of Harris Tweed.
See you soon,