What can you do
with old rosettes?
great to win them – after all that's what we're doing agility for – but they do rather
accumulate after a year or two. Lots of us have dusty black bags full in our lofts which we
can't bear to part with. Here's a crafty way of using and displaying past
successes. Helen Walland won a 2nd prize with her rosette patchwork at Ashover
Agricultural show a couple of weeks ago! It has generated such a lot of comment that she
thought it might make an interesting article for agilitynet. She's already started sending out
instructions to people which might be useful to a wider audience.
It's actually much easier than it looks. There is not
much skill needed to make one of these although the effect is quite stunning. They can be made
with only hand sewing or even by gluing them together. This is a traditional patchwork design
called Somerset Star in the UK and Folded Star in the USA. It's made by using small pieces of
fabric folded to make triangles, which are then sewn to a background fabric to make patterns of
stars or crosses. Fine fabrics that crease easily are best for this technique.
Any one can find the instructions on the internet but
here's one I made earlier!
What you need:-
- Lots of rosettes preferably in a variety of
colours. Who wants those old red ones anyway?
- A piece of backing fabric 12 inches square. This
could be a piece of old tea towel or shirting even. Or you could just glue them onto
cardboard. Quilting shops sell fabric glue which is just like Pritt stick.
- Needle and threads, preferably that match your
- A ruler and pencil
- An iron
make the star you need:-
- 4 pieces x 3 inches long of one colour
- 8 pieces x 3 inches long of one colour. You
will need two sets of these.
- 16 pieces x 3 inches long of one colour. You
will need four sets of these.
Accurate measuring is the key to making a really good job
|!. First sort your rosettes. I find
that UKA ones are a good quality for this but they don't have the colour range you get at
say BAA shows. Kennel club show rosettes have a greater variety of widths of ribbons
which make some of them difficult to use. Do take into account the colours you use. I
think these are more effective with high contrast colours. I lay my ribbons out and move
them around until I have a colour range that I like.
The width ribbon I use for these is 1½ inch. Ribbon
is still made in Imperial widths.
|2. Take your backing fabric and cut it
exactly to a 12 inches square. Now get a ruler and rule a line from corner to corner both
ways. Where they cross is the centre of your star. Fold the square in half, mark the
middle of the sides, then rule a line across the square through the middle again until
you have eight lines.
This will be enough, but for accuracy I ruled more
lines, using a protractor to get them right.
|3. Now you have your backing ready you
must prepare your ribbons. Using no steam press the ribbons carefully. Experiment with
some spare stuff to find the right temperature. Fold one end across to meet the other
side, then fold the other end. They should look like triangles with an open centre line.
Be careful of your fingers doing this! Your ribbon
should look like the illustration now.
|4. Place the triangular pieces on the
centre of the backing points towards the middle, open side up, line the open centre line
up with the vertical and horizontal lines and pin. Choose the thread nearest in colour to
your ribbon and sew one or two stitches through the points to anchor them down.
These stitches are the only ones that show so take
care over them.
|5. Next stitch round the outer edge of
the triangles. Don't turn the raw edge in or neaten it in any way. This will be covered
by the next layer.
|6. Now take a set of eight
triangular ribbons and place them on top of the first set, with the point of the triangle
towards the middle and the centre line along the diagonals. You need to make sure that
the distance from the centre is the same for each piece. I used a piece of cardboard cut
¾inches wide to lay on the work.
Stitch down the points as you did before, then tack
7. Take your second set of 8 triangles and arrange
them. this time with the points ½ inches away from the points of the first set. Again
make a simple measure out of card to keep this accurate. Stitch the points down and then
tack the edges in the same way.
|8. Now use your first set of 16. Lay
down eight so the points are ½ inches away from the previous set and pin them. Now take
the other eight and place them between the others so the points lay at the top of the
'star points.' Pin them and then stitch as above.
|9. Place the next set of 16 in the
same way but all points will be ½ inches from the set before, pin and stitch. Place the
next two rounds in the same way.
the star is complete you have to decide how you are going to finish it off. This depends on
your skills. At the simplest level, you could just stick the whole thing onto card and cut the
edges carefully with a craft knife/ Stanley knife. Eventually the edges will fray if it is
handled a lot. You could bind it with bias binding and take out the last set of tacking.
I used printed ribbons to make a frame for mine, taking
advantage of the fact that ribbon edges won't fray and then I backed it with some appropriate
You could use these as table centres or cushion covers or hang them on the wall. I haven't
tested how well these might wash. I don't recollect having rosette colours run in the horrible
weather we sometimes experience at shows. However, these ribbons are likely to lose quality if
they get wet.
If I wasn't so busy I'd make a You-tube film of how to make it! In the meantime,
I'm thinking of doing some Log Cabin blocks with ribbons, too.
Helen Walland has been around Agility long enough to collect a lot of rosettes for
this project. Since she retired from teaching, she has extended her hobbies to include
contemporary quilting. She is currently taking her City & Guilds Level 3 in Patchwork and
Quilting where she came across this design.
three dogs who enjoy agility, Rally, Trick training and sitting on sewing.
First published 5