Planning Pandemic Pattern 3

Some of the pieces in the bag of beautiful fine leather offcuts I blogged about a few weeks ago are used here in Pandemic Pattern 2:

Pandemic Pattern 2, free machine quilting in progress. Donation for the 2021 annual SAQA Auction

This 12″ x 12″ work is way ahead of schedule for SAQA’s annual September auction, as I normally make my donor piece in late January or February. However, I also often use these small format pieces as samples, and this one is really a sample for the next Pandemic Pattern piece, which is already on my mind as I finish the applique work featuring gold on black.

What I learned from the Pandemic Pattern 2 piece is:-

  • that machine basting the small circles of leather to the fabric was all very well in a small work, but physically out of the question for the large piece I have in mind.
  • I sewed stemmed french knots into the holes that the machine basting made. I’d like the next covid molecules to have fewer spikes, and was thinking about how to achieve this using my basting method. Leather can be tough to sew through.

This morning I took a break from the black/gold to do a few test samples for Pandemic Pattern 3 I have in mind.

A set of stitches, including stemmed fly and some other long straight stitches with two short ones crossing close to the free ends.

In the first pic, there’s some hi-vis citrusy knitting yarn, acrylic, about 8 ply. I don’t know if it will be useful in the work I have in mind, but I auditioned it, anyway, in single, 2- and 4-strand thicknesses, with some french knots w/wo stems – underwhelmed with the fuzzy effect. It would be better couched. More importantly in this pic is my first pass at using hi-vis polyester thread. (upholsterer’s thread weight and very strong) I learned a while back that it is rather springy, so it’s really difficult to use in some stitches. Here, however, I liked the effect of very open or shallow, long stemmed fly stitch, enough to persevere with exploration of it –

Some wide long-stemmed fly stitches, plus simple long stitches with short stitches crossing at one end.

Next I did the long+2 tiny cross stitches in two weights of flourescent orange thread. Pinning the leather and stitching around with long straight stitches (up from beneath through the fabric, down from the top through the fine leather was no trouble with a sharp needle) That was followed by another round of small stitches crossing the free ends – the easy solution I’d been looking for, and I now have the heart to tackle the large work on my mind. I like the effects of both threads.

I just can’t get this fabric to photograph showing its flourescence, but it is much brighter than the kind of mint green it looks.

Trying out these various possibilities only took about an hour of my time, but helped me make some decisions. I’m a real fan of sample making.


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