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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Tutorial: Our Josephine Sews… How to Sew a Simple Patchwork

Folded Patchwork

You’ve read the planning tips, your fabric is all cut out and ready to sew. It’s time to get that machine out, prep your ironing station and create that patchwork. This tutorial is based on the crib size quilt with 9 blocks.

 

You will need:

  • Your Patchwork Plan
  • Pre cut Patchwork Squares
  • General Sewing Paraphernalia
  • Ironing board and Iron

 Create your Blocks

For each block we are going to create 3 short rows and then sew them together. Please enjoy my little illustrations, I hope they help and don’t hinder. They are drawn with the way the fabric passes through the sewing machine in mind.

1. Take your first two squares, place them right sides together, pin on the right hand side and sew a 1cm seam. Open out and add your third square, right sides together, pin on the right hand side and sew a seam.

How to Sew a Patchwork Step 1

2. Repeat for the next two rows. You should now have 3 rows of 3 squares. Press all seams open.

3. Pin the top row to the second row, right sides together making sure the seams line up, sew.

How to Sew Patchwork 3

4. Pin the third row to the bottom of the second row right sides together with seams matching, sew. Press all seams open.

How to Sew a Patchwork Step 4

Make all of your blocks in the same way.

Sew your Blocks Together

Essentially you need to repeat the process you went through to create your blocks. Make sure you are sewing your blocks together according to your plan. I have repeated the instructions here for ease.

5. Take your first two blocks, place them right sides together, pin on the right hand side and sew a 1cm seam. Open out and add your third block, right sides together, pin on the right hand side and sew a seam.

How to Sew a Patchwork Step 5

6. Repeat for the next two rows. You should now have 3 rows of 3 blocks. Press all seams open.

7. Pin the top row to the second row, right sides together making sure the seams line up, sew.

How to Sew a Patchwork Step 7

8. Pin the third row to the bottom of the second row right sides together with seams matching, sew. Press all seams open.

How to Sew a Patchwork Last Step

You have now sewn your patchwork top, all it needs is the wadding and backing which I’ll show you how to do next time…


Tutorial: Our Josephine Sews… How to Plan a Simple Patchwork

The world of patchwork and quilting is vast, and if you just want to get started with something simple it can be a bit daunting. It can be especially tricky if you want to use scraps or small quantities of fabric and you’re not sure if you’ve got enough to achieve what you want to do. Here are some hopefully helpful tips to get you started…

1. Start Small

Rather than embarking on a cover for your king size bed, begin your voyage into patchwork by sewing a lap or cot sized quilt or small play mat. That way you can work out if this craft is for you and make something manageable. The sewing techniques are the same so you’ll be set up for larger projects too.

2. Squared Paper is Your Friend

I absolutely love squared and graph paper, and using it to plan your patchwork will really help. If you take a look at this example, I’ve planned a crib quilt that should measure 36 x 36″ or 90 x 90cm. Taking into account the 1cm seam allowance I’ll be sewing with, each square will need to be cut to 12 x 12cm and I can fit in nine squares across and nine squares down. I decided to use five different fabrics and set about planning how they could fit in with a pattern.

Here is my plan. The four corner blocks are all the same and there are three other designs with the central one only being used once.  This illustration may appear a bit naive but it makes a really handy reference. There is no need for you to get the colouring pencils out or fill in the pattern, I just did that for japes.

Planning a simple quilt resized

 

3. Take Your Time with Your Design

Selecting your fabrics can be time consuming; if you’re working from your stash you will be limited by what you have in your collection. Take time to cut out a 12 x 12 cm square of each option, this will help you to see if what you’ve selected really works rather than laying bigger pieces side by side.

4. Work in Blocks

For this quilt I have created blocks of nine squares, so three rows of three to make nine blocks in total. By breaking it down this way I can create the patchwork gradually and can make changes to the layout if need be. Working in rows can be a really useful approach but I reserve this for a more casual creation.

5. Feel Free to Change Your Mind

The design process doesn’t stop until the patchwork is complete. If you put your blocks together and something isn’t right, don’t be afraid to unpick, make changes or even start again – it is so much better to have a project you’ve spent time on and love, than a quick fix that you don’t even like.

So why not give it a whirl? Enjoy the process and make a simple heirloom piece that you can be really proud of. In my next post I’ll tell you how to sew your squares together to complete your well planned patchwork top.

Patchwork Image for planning post