How to Sew a Lavender Keepsake
Make a sophisticated lavender-filled version of the classic patchwork ball to lightly scent your wardrobe or drawers. These pretty bedroom adornments are quick and easy to sew and make the ideal homemade gift.
From How to Quilt by Rachel Clare Reynolds, published by GMC (£7.99)
- A variety of six cotton fabrics » of the same weight, in 5in (13cm) squares
- A handful of stuffing »
- 4in (10cm) satin ribbon »
- Matching thread »
- Dried lavender flowers »
- Template »
To avoid two of the same pieces being side by side, use at least six different fabrics. Many shops will sell as little as 4in (10cm), or you can use scraps from favourite old clothes or covers.
1. Follow the instructions for English paper piecing to make 12 pentagon patches using the template provided. Arrange these as two ‘flowers’, rearranging your different fabrics until you are happy. Try to avoid having the same patterns or colours next to each other.
2. Using whip stitch and referring back to the English paper piecing instructions, sew your first ‘flower’ into a bowl shape. The pentagons will naturally pull the sides of the bowl upwards. The inside of the bowl is the right side of the fabric.
3. If you want your ball to have a loop to hang it up with, add this while you are constructing the second bowl. Take a length of ribbon about 4in (10cm) long and fold it in half. Sandwich it between two pentagons just before you sew them, with the ends of the ribbon poking through the top edge. Sew through the ribbon as you sew the two pentagons together.
These keepsakes also make great Christmas tree decorations if constructed in festive fabrics. Cinnamon bark could be used instead of lavender for a delicious scent.
4. Sew the bowls together. Each will have a zig-zagged ‘top’ to slot together – points going into hollows. Keeping one of the points lined up with one of the hollows, slide the bowls slightly so that the straight edges come together and can be pinned and whip stitched. Once the first edge is sewn, continue joining the two bowls together, matching the corners up as you go. Leave the last two sides open.
5. Cut and remove the tacking stitches and remove all the papers. Turn the ball the right way out. Do this by putting your fingers through the hole and pulling the inside slowly up through the hole. Be careful not to strain the stitching.
6. Fill your ball by feeding a small amount of stuffing into the ball at a time so that it pads out evenly. Make a hollow in the middle of the stuffing and pour in a couple of spoonfuls or sprigs of dried lavender and then add more stuffing.
7. To sew up the opening, first pin the two open sides and use whip stitch to secure them together. You may find you need to poke in a little more stuffing just before you close the hole completely.