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Pillow Check Patchwork

 The end of march is breathing down my neck, Clay Fest is approaching and I am busy with its organization. However, I cannot deny myself the pleasure to present you the march patchwork project. It has already been prepared in my camera, so I have put it out today, added a text and here is the new inspiration for you.

The advantage of this project is that you use up all clay from the cut sheets. And after putting the pattern together you will not have to trim the edges.

I drew inspiration in one of VierMa´s newsletter notifying about new striped fabric in stock (and I always find it difficult to resist and not to buy any). Have a guess who designed it! Yes, Kaffe Fassett! On top of that there were finished pillows made by Katka Novakova.

Moreover, I have to alert you to the pillows of Katka – opening her websites is dangerous because the pillows are simply gorgeous. You can see them in the picture above. So, I decided to try to apply one of the designs to polymer clay. Inspiration of these pillows is inexhaustible (as well as patchwork designs in general) and stripes can be used in many ways. I greatly recommend you to use more colours than I am using in this project.


For this check patchwork you need the following:

Conditioned polymer clay sheets (I am using Premo clay) of at least two colours in several shades.

Craft mat witha measuring grid.

Solid and sharp blade.

And a bit of precision.


1. First of all, condition the sheet at the medium setting of the pasta machine (# 4 with my Imperia). The width of the sheet is     ca 10 cm.

2. Take the clays of one colour and make a striped sheet. Trim the edges. Cut off 2 – 5 mm wide stripes and lay them one next to another. The picture below shows that for transferring the stripe I stick it to the blade and place it at the end of the     striped sheet.


3. Take notice of the way I attach the stripes to the striped sheet. First, I press the stripe against the striped sheet by means of the blade and then I tilt the blade towards myself, so the stripe does not move and remains stuck to the sheet.


4. Or, you can bend the blade slightly and press the stripe against the striped sheet step by step by means of this bent blade.        The degree of bending makes the clay stretch or shrink. This method is particularly useful when creating the check pattern      – connection of the squares is under you control. Moreover, this method helps you make one of the edges even – the one you start with (it is the left edge in my project).


5. Take deli paper and smooth out the joints of the stripes over it. Use a roller, a pebble, a spoon or another „smoothing“ tool.



6. You get a sheet of ca 10 x 10 cm. Trim the edges.



7. Repeat the process with the second colour of the clay and its shades. Creativity has no boundaries, so feel free to experiment with the colours.


8. Place the sheet on the mat with a printed grid: the stripes of one sheet are in a horizontal position, the stripes of the second sheet are laid vertically.
Simply, the stripes of one sheet are perpendicular to the stripes of the second one. After the process of trial and error with the mentioned sheet I found out that I shouldn´t have cut the stripes diagonally but I should have followed the lines of the grid. Unfortunately, I realized the fault when the striped sheet was almost running out. Well, do not repeat my mistake and place the sheets on the mat in the following way: the angle of the corners of the sheets and the lines of the grid is 45°. It is simple: when cutting the stripes follow the lines of the grid, do not cut the stripes diagonally.
Create new sheets from the stripes – I am regularly alternating pink and turquiose stripes. You can put together two triangles and leave the remaining striped sheets for a new project (maybe with a new colour combination), or cut up the former sheets entirely and create two new sheets.
9. If you decide to have two triangles, the colour of the longest sides of the triangles must differ. Otherwise, you cannot put the triangles together.
10. Smooth out the joints of the stripes over deli paper. Unstick one triangle from the mat and attach it to the other one – the stripes of the triangles follow the same diagonal direction. You get a striped square.
The stripes of the second pattern are 0.5 mm wide.
11. Repeat the cutting process with the new striped sheet: the cuts are perpendicular to the stripes. Start at the opposite      corners of the square and alternate them. The size of cut-off points must be identical as well as the cut-off stripes. Put     together new triangles by laying stripes cut off from one end next to the stripes cut off from the other end of the sheet.
Variation of a triangle made of smaller squares/stripes.
12. Repeat the cutting procedure and make two new triangles. If the joints of the squares do not match, use the technique     described in the point 4, i.e. you can stretch or shrink the stripes (extend or reduce the square) by bending the blade.

13. Smooth out the triangles over deli paper, unstick one of them from the mat and attach it to the other one to get a new square. Smooth the central joint and think about the use of the sheet.


The sheet made of the smaller squares. The final sheet is a rectangle.
I created several hollow beads from the sheet (see the attached picture). I am going to create hollow beads from each pattern and to string them to make a necklace. Moreover, I am going to use each pattern for making channel bracelets for a keepsake (and naturally, for wearing it ). 
Several tips to finish:
When cutting off the points of the sheet, bear in mind that the triangles cut off from both ends must be identical.
It is easier to work with a square but a rectangle is not difficult to process.
When cutting small squares, the stripes should be tinier than mine. The pattern made of the colour stripes is more visible then.
Feel free to use more colours.
Diversity of colours can be reached by using pastel and deep colour shades in one sheet.  
Enjoy creating the second patchwork design and do not forget to send us the pictures of your projects. The pictures and your contacts will be attached to the article and you stand a chance of winning polymer clay staff at the end of the year when we draw lots.
Enjoy the spring days and I´ll get to patchwork projects in April again!
Petra Nemravka



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