Stitch-a-hedron! the latest book by Cathy Perlmutter, is just plain fun. Or maybe that should be fun with planes, as in flat surfaces. All the projects in the book are based on polyhedrons, three-dimensional shapes made from flat surfaces. Combine six squares and eight hexagons, for example, and you’ve got a ball, like the matzah and starred-fabric ball in the photo above. Pentagrams and triangles will get you a bowl. Other combinations of shapes will get you soccer balls, gift boxes, fun-shaped zippered pouches, and inspiration for all kinds of variations.
The construction of the projects uses English paper piecing. Cathy offers several methods for paper piecing using various materials, so you’re sure to find an approach that feels right for you. The basic instructions include both hand sewing and sewing by machine.
The book has a clear organization and dozens of color photos to illustrate and inspire. It also has a sense of fun. A bowl for chocolates is made from chocolate wrappers.
You might know the author, Cathy, from her classic book, The Uncommon Yarmulke. She has served as President of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework. On her blog, GefilteQuilt, Cathy documents the custom Judaica she creates for clients and her expressive needle art.
With Stitch-a-hedron! Cathy spreads her creative joy to the whole world of sewists. The ball made from matzah fabric at the top of the post is the one photo from the book with a Jewish motif. Of course, you could give any project a Jewish twist with your choice of fabric.
Cathy sets out a clear and simple method for laying out the fabric pieces of these three-dimensional shapes and for sewing them together. Her approach also gives you a lot of control over how the final projects will look, including the orientation of each piece of fabric in the final project.
For example, inspired by the fabric matzah ball that Cathy created for the book, I tried my hand at the first project in the book, a twelve-sided dodecahedron, using all matzah fabric. I wanted to make sure that no two adjacent pieces would have the lines of the matzah pattern running in the same direction. That turned out to be easy to do. You could just as easily make a matzah ball that had all the dots running in the same direction. It’s easy to see how this kind of control can be really useful in putting together a project with more involved combinations of colors and patterns.