Patchwork was created as a way to make use of scraps of fabric by frugal people who couldn’t afford to waste anything. Though it’s an age-old technique, there’s no rule that it has to look that way. This patchwork tablecloth, a for-sale prop at Rogue’s Gallery in Portland, Maine, is made from stitched-together heavyweight vintage linen grain sacks. It’s totally do-able, and a great example of how “moderne” patchwork can look, simply by choosing the right colors or pattern.
You can “play” with any pieces of fabric you have on hand to see where it might lead you. Or source specific kinds of fabric at flea markets and fabric stores. Vintage grain sacks and other fabrics can be readily found on Ebay. (searching “grainsacks” (one word) will yield additional listings). Check out this Ebay dealer with an extensive line of vintage fabrics.
There’s a lot of basic patchwork info online….Here’s another good patchwork how-to.
2 replies on “copy this: “moderne” patchwork tablecloth”
Your post on patchwork sent me back to my childhood and to my favorite shirt in the sixth or seventh grade – a patchwork shirt made from various madras plaids that I wore until it literally could be worn no more. That shirt took various forms (long sleeved, then short-sleeved, etc.), as I attempted to keep it “alive” as long as possible.
That memory reminded me of a great children’s book called “Joseph Had a Little Overcoat” by Caldecott winner Simms Taback. The story is based on a Jewish folk song and is basically a celebration of reusing and recycling. In this case, an overcoat goes through many permutations until it ends up as a mere cloth-covered button.
It is a lovely story and beautifully illustrated. My son appreciated it as much as I did and I think you should check it out. Joseph is a master of improvisational thinking!
Thanks Pamela for the wonderful comment. I’d love to have a time machine to see the permutations of your patchwork shirt as your found ways to keep it going, responding to whatever state it was in.
I’ve checked out “Joseph Had a LIttle Overcoat” and will post it. Everyone should have it on their list of great (and illuminating) children’s books.