Fireworks

A little while ago there was a picture of some gorgeous fabric on the Fat Quarterly blog: Katharine’s Wheel by Nel Whatmore. The fabric came with a Designer Challenge to make blocks inspired by circles, swirls and fireworks. Before I could engage my brain I had left a comment to enter the draw. Can you imagine my excitement when I was picked?

Five fat quarters arrived and the fabric was even more beautiful in real life than it had been on the pics; the colours were incredibly rich and zingy. I had had a few ideas buzzing around my head while I was waiting for my parcel but the minute I saw the fabric I ditched them all. No way was I going to cut these beauties into small strips and circles.

I quickly googled Catharine Wheel Fireworks as I have to admit that I know nothing about fireworks, never having bought any myself. Swiss national day (1st August) is celebrated during the school holidays and we were always away. The pictures were lovely and I soon drew some blocks with lines coming from a circle in the centre. I wasn’t quite convinced and started drawing curves. Bingo!

After a few variations and some serious trial sewing I found a curve I liked and started cutting up my lovely fabric. I think the big pieces really showcase the bold flowery prints and rich colours.

I made cardboard templates of my two sections and cut out four of each. Then I sewed together one section a to one section b making quarters, two quarters into halves and then the halves together making sure all the points meet in the centre. After I finished the first block where I used the five different designs I decided that the stripy one was stopping the block’s flow and made another one.

I then wondered what to do with the two blocks I had made and on a whim decided to make a bag. A few weeks ago I bought three different green Konas from Florence‘s pop-up shop on Etsy. Sadly I didn’t make a note of the different names but one of them was a perfect match with Katharine’s Wheel.

There’s a stripy pocket for a mobile phone or key and some fabulously stripy handles.

I also cut off one of the selvages and sewed it onto the lining to remind me of the challenge.

I’m really happy with this bright, swirly explosion of colour and hope that I’ve fulfilled the brief of the challenge.


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