If, like me, you love fabric and ever find yourself in Paris, then paying a visit to Montmartre is a must. Marché Saint-Pierre at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur is a 5-storey building stuffed full of cottons, voile, chiffon, plaid, wool, paisley, florals… literally every type of fabric you could ever dream of. The queues tend to be quite lengthy (particularly at a weekend) but the material is reasonably priced and very much accessible to all. In fact, the entire Barbès Rochechouart arrondissement of Paris is pretty much made up of material, craft and sewing shops. If I didn’t have a weight limit on my suitcase (or an au-pair salary) then I could easily buy out at least one of these places.
Anyway, I was feeling a little down the other day and so decided to embark upon a new sewing project to keep myself busy. I bought a copy of Sewing World magazine (April 2012) and the plan now is to make the patchwork picnic blanket inside. Having never done patchwork before (but very much wanting to learn) I picked this particular pattern because it looks easy to follow and is only made up of simple rectangle shapes.
I first picked out the summery colours I wanted to use (pinks, greens and oranges) and then took the train to Montmartre to buy my quarters of material. I got 3 different coloured checks, a floral print and a graphic print all in harmonising shades from one of the remnant shops, as well as a pair of material scissors and some cotton. I then spent an entire afternoon cutting up the fabric into 168 of the same size rectangles – something you definitely can’t do with tired eyes! Cutting straight lines for 3 hours is dizzying.
I was originally going to sew the pieces together by hand so as to pass some time, but after looking at the number of them, I think this may be a bit too optimistic. The sewing machine definitely looks a lot more appealing! I have some free time in the house this weekend so I’ll probably begin the task then – but I still can’t wait until I’m back home and can finish it on my own darling machine!