Patchwork Using Harris Tweed

May 6, 2021 at 6:29 pm 2 comments

Hello lovely blog friends! Something a little bit different for today- it’s all about Harris Tweed! For some of you, you might be really familiar with it- but might be thinking, Grandad style flat caps, posh blokes in suits or old ladies in tweed style kilts. Well, think again!!

I was kindly sent some Harris Tweed (which has an awesome history and even is protected by an Act of Parliament!) by a store called We Love Harris Tweed and they have the most fabulous colours, and sell multi packs plus single colours. They’ll even have scrap bags from time to time which is where the patchwork will be a real bonus. My favourite pack is this rainbow one

So- what do you do with Harris Tweed? It’s a luxury woven wool fabric- but forget the idea it’s scratchy-it’s actually pretty soft. It does need a little thought and a little care, and I’ve got some tips for creating with it.

It’s not the sort of fabric people automatically think of when considering patchworking but it is beautifully tactile, hard wearing and totally unique! I started off with a I cut squares of cotton, same sized squares of Harris Tweed, sewed 1/4″ either side of the diagonal centre line (as you would to create HSTs- Half Square Triangles), then cut down the centre line and you have half cotton and half Harris Tweed squares. The secret is keep them well pinned (I used clips) and when pressing, use plenty of water (either from the iron or a water spray) and press well.

I used a Tailor’s Clapper which if you clap it (or press hard) onto the seams straight after pressing, it traps the steam and helps give really crisp seams.

You’ll find that the seams will want to go their own way. With traditional patchwork you would press the seams towards to the darker fabric and not press them open, but depending on how many seams are meeting, you may choose (like I did) to press open at some points and even towards the lighter fabric- because Harris Tweed will tell you which way it wants to be pressed!! Granted, I’m attempting something a little harder, but I wanted to see just how far I could push the fabric.

Because of the pressing restrictions, you’ll find that it’s not always going to look as precise- but I offset that with the quilting. I love a bit of upcycling so added in some old jean fabric and the denim just works so well with Harris Tweed.

I used some of the offcuts to create the handles. I did add denim to the reverse of the handles so it was more stable, but you could easily add some interfacing to give more structure to the handles. With every purchase of Harris Tweed from We Love Harris Tweed you’ll see in the item which elements you’ll get- they provide you with official Harris Tweed logo labels that you can sew into your items which guarantee that it’s genuine Harris Tweed. I added some to the reverse of a little zipper pouch I made.

Harris Tweed doesn’t fray like you might imagine it would, but if you’re going to do circles with raw edges (like in the above project which I didn’t love how I’d finished it- so will do it again), it’s definitely a good idea to use Vlieseline Bondaweb and possibly over sew / zigzag the edges. Isn’t that texture gorgeous?

I had some of the Half Square Triangles left over- so thought I’d make use of them with two more projects.

When you have lots of points meeting like in this pretty pincushion, you’ll see why that my tip no.3- to add in a lighter weight fabric makes sense. Not only does it give design contrast but it helps reduce bulk at the bulky seams. I love this smart pincushion and need to keep collecting those fabulous Cohana Glass Head pins as it’s looking a little sparse!!

We all love a nice coaster- and this is possibly too nice for my cup of tea (because I’m likely to spill it over the coaster)! I did use some leftover binding that I’d made- but it really wasn’t wide enough. As the Harris Tweed has more bulk than your average piece of cotton, definitely a 2 1/4″ – 2 1/2″ binding would have been better! You can see the famous Harris Tweed orb logo there on the tag!

I hope you enjoyed my look at this fabulous fabric from We Love Harris Tweed– they have a new website and are a small family run business, so it’s my pleasure to give them a shout out too!

My next project will be a Fell and Dale flat cap from Waves & Wild- all in different coloured sections of Harris Tweed.

See you soon,

Keren x

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ruth  |  May 11, 2021 at 8:59 am

    I WANT THIS TWEED! Honestly this is amazing. As if you hadn’t inspired me enough with the whole scrap quilting and upcycling, you now go and add in this amazing tweed. I have got to get me some of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2. kerenbaker  |  May 11, 2021 at 9:42 am

      It’s really awesome !! I’m glad you like it x



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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
I'm a wife, Mum to 6, crafter, Christian and fortunate to be doing a job that I love!

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