a no-seams, no-piecing, no-measuring, low-OC method of doing crazy patchwork
This is a favorite method of mine for putting together quick fabric patchwork pieces that I then use to cover my handbound books with.
It’s “low brow” because the fabric scraps are laid down with raw edges: I don’t turn the edges of the pieces over, or stitch one piece to the next with a neat ¼-inch seam. I don’t measure or use templates to cut the pieces out…I don’t even use fabric* as the foundation!
It is a great method to use if you plan to mount the patchwork to something hard and stable afterwards, as a purely decorative skin. Use the resulting fabric to cover a box, or medium density fibreboard (MDF) craft shapes…to cover book boards, or glue onto greeting cards. I’ve made postcards and artist’s trading cards (ATCs) with it, stitching or gluing the fabric to heavy paper.
This would not be a good method to use on a serious quilt, or any other free-moving sewing project. The patchwork won’t take washing, and probably wouldn’t hold together if the pieces were constantly moving and flexing. Certainly not suitable for upholstery, bags or anything that gets wear-and-tear…even if you backed it with fabric later, and quilted it all over for strength, the raw edges could slowly work themselves into rough, frilly edges.
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Use a smooth, flat, firm surface for ironing. Tape a big piece of baking parchment to the surface (don't iron an good furniture!), lay your interfacing + scraps arrangement on the parchment.
Cover with another sheet of baking parchment. Set the iron to cotton or linen, and iron your patchwork.
Move slowly, and press down firmly to force the fabric and the interfacing to touch each other. Don't ignore the edges.
Stay away from the tape that is holding the parchment to the table!
Put the patchwork into your sewing machine, load some brightly colored thread into it, and pick wide, DECORATIVE stitch patterns to stitch the raw ends of the pieces down. Try to stitch down the middle of two pieces, so you get both pieces with one pass.
Just zoom along the lines, making quarter-turns as needed, or cutting the threads and starting somewhere else.
Change thread color and stitch pattern as often as you like. It's not called "Crazy Patchwork" for nuthin'!