2019/11/21: Three Kings

Thursday 21 November 2019
Tutor Gail Lawther
Duration 10am - 4pm

During this workshop you’ll be creating your own atmospheric Christmas scene – choose either Kings or Bethlehem to stitch on the day, and you can take the other design away with you to do at home. The designs are created in stained glass patchwork; it’s an ideal introduction to the technique even if you’ve never tried it before, as during the day we’ll cover everything you need to know. I’ve created the scenes in traditional Christmas greens/reds/royal blues and gold, but as you can see from the alternative colour-schemes they also look fabulous in other colour-ways too – in fact they’ll work in just about any colour-scheme you fancy. Just substitute your own fabric choices for the ones I’ve specified, and choose a colour of bias binding that contrasts with the fabric patches.

The fabrics I’ve marked with a star need to be cut to these measurements – if you do these before the day of the workshop it means you’ll be ready to get straight on with the creative bit! The other measurements are just minimum requirements; don’t bother to cut them down to the exact size if they’re a bit bigger.

As well as the things below, you’ll need your usual sewing kit of small and large scissors (if you have a pair of special applique scissors, bring them along), pins, needles etc. This is a machine-sewing class; if your machine has an open-toed or clear applique foot, you’ll find that useful; otherwise, just bring your ordinary zigzag foot. If you’re confident with a twin needle (or would like to learn how to use one), it works well on this design; you’ll need a 4mm twin needle, and an extra spool of the thread that matches your bias binding. If you’re not sure where to get hold of a twin needle, I’ll have some with me at the workshop; they cost £3 each.

This design is suitable for stitchers of all levels, including beginners; of course – as with all projects – if you’re a more experienced stitcher you’ll have more of the lines of bias binding in place by the end of the day. They are both quite large designs, so it’s unlikely that you’ll get your project finished during the workshop, but of course I’ll ensure that by the end of the workshop we’ve covered all the relevant techniques you need for finishing off your design, If you’re new to the technique and wondering which design is simpler, you’ll find that the Bethlehem scene is quicker to put together than the Kings – but you can also simplify each design by leaving out some of the extra detail lines. 

Along with this list you’ll also get an A4 line-drawing of each design. If you’d like to save time on the day of the workshop, you can use the relevant drawing to help you choose the fabrics you’d like to use before the day itself. Once you’ve chosen the fabric for a particular part of the design, cut a little snippet of that fabric and stick it onto that section of the drawing. 


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KINGS
Three wise men make their stately way to Bethlehem

Finished size: 25in (64cm) square

You will need:

  • white or cream foundation fabric, 25in (64cm) square; all of this will be covered, so don’t choose anything fancy, but do pick a pale fabric (sheeting, calico etc) so that you can trace through it
  • night sky fabric, at least 22in (56cm) square (note that a fat quarter probably won’t be large enough for this piece)
  • fabrics for the kings (the patches I’ve specified in this list include all the extra details on the cuffs, head-dresses and robes):
    cape fabrics, four different 18 x 7in (45 x 18cm) pieces (you may need larger patches if the fabric designs are strongly directional)
    under-robe fabrics, six different 16 x 8in (40 x 20cm) pieces
    hair/beards, three different 4in (10cm) squares
    faces/hands, three different 4in (10cm) squares
    head-dresses, six 4in (10cm) squares (or just three if you want to keep the head-dresses simpler)
    gifts, three different 5in (13cm) squares
  • print or plain fabric for the borders, four 20 x 2½in (51 x 6.5cm) strips; if the fabric is strongly directional, check that the direction of the print goes the right way on each border. (Note that a fat quarter may not be quite large enough to give you these pieces.)
  • contrasting print or plain fabric for the corner stars, four 6in (15cm) squares
  • contrasting plain (or plain-ish) fabric for the backing and binding, 27in (70cm) square
  • flat wadding, 27in (c70cm) square
  • 12yd/11.5m fusible bias binding in black, or any colour that contrasts well with your fabric patches
  • sewing threads to match your bias binding and your backing/binding fabric
  • (also, if you like, you can use cheap bobbin-fill thread for zigzagging the patches in place initially)
  • three small round beads or buttons for the kings’ eyes, or embroider these by hand or machine
  • soft pencil (eg 2B), ruler
  • optional: other hand or machine quilting threads, beads/buttons/jewels for decoration

Keeping things simple:
If you want to simplify this design, you can omit the extra lines of decoration on the kings’ robes, sleeves and head-dresses, and/or the diagonal corner lines; if you do this, you will need less bias binding.

BETHLEHEM
The classic lines of traditional middle-eastern buildings have a timeless appeal 

Finished size: 25in (64cm) square

You will need:

  • white or cream foundation fabric, 25in (64cm) square; all of this will be covered, so don’t choose anything fancy, but do pick a pale fabric (sheeting, calico etc) so that you can trace through it
  • night sky fabric, 20 x 12in (52 x 30cm)
  • star fabric, 7 x 5in (18 x 13cm) 
  • assortment of 20-25 fabrics for the buildings and domes. As a guideline, the patches for the largest couple of buildings need to be 13 x 8in (34 x 20cm); the largest dome is 9 x 4in (23 x 10cm). A mixture of print and marbled fabrics works well; choose a variety of tones – some light, some medium, some darker.  
  • print or plain fabric for the borders, four 20 x 2½in (51 x 6.5cm) strips; if the fabric is strongly directional, check that the direction of the print goes the right way on each border. (Note that a fat quarter may not be quite large enough to give you these pieces.)
  • contrasting print or plain fabric for the corner stars, four 6in (15cm) squares
  • contrasting plain (or plain-ish) fabric for the backing and binding, 27in (70cm) square
  • flat wadding, 27in (c70cm) square
  • 10½yd/10m fusible bias binding in black, or any colour that contrasts well with your fabric patches
  • sewing threads to match your bias binding and your backing/binding fabric
  • (also, if you like, you can use cheap bobbin-fill thread for zigzagging the patches in place initially)
  • soft pencil (eg 2B), ruler
  • optional: other hand or machine quilting threads, or beads/buttons/jewels for decoration

Keeping things simple:
If you want to simplify this design slightly, you can omit some of the extra lines on the buildings, the windows, and/or the diagonal corner lines; if you do this, you will need less bias binding.

For most classes and workshops, you will need to bring your own supplies and equipment; a list of specific requirements can be see above. When materials are included or supplied by the tutor, this will be stated in the class description.

All workshops and classes must be paid for in full. We are sorry, but sometimes we have to cancel a class due to circumstances beyond our control. If this arises we aim to give you 10 days' notice and a full refund. If you need to cancel your class booking, we require a minimum of 10 days' notice in order for you to receive a refund (less £3 administration charge). No refund can be given if less than 10 days' notice is given.