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Posts tagged with: hand sewing

Tutorial: Our Josephine Sews… How to Finish your Patchwork ( bias binding free method)

Your patchwork has been planned, sewn and now you’re ready for the finish. There are lots of ways you can complete a simple quilt: the method you choose can be down to personal taste, time constraints and even the space and materials available to you. I tend to opt for the hand tie method; it is straightforward and once the skill has been acquired it can be adapted further to suit your style. This is a speedy finish with no bias binding – it turns out really well.

Final Patchwork Tutorial

You will need:

  • Your Patchwork
  • A Piece of Cotton Batting the Same Size as your Patchwork
  • A Piece of Cotton Backing Fabric the Same Size as your Patchwork (I used a vintage brushed cotton)
  • Quilting Safety Pins

Create your Quilt Layers

1. Place your patchwork on a flat surface, right side up. Put your backing fabric on top, right side down. Now add your batting. Make sure all three layers line up on the sides and at the corners. Pin all the way around.

Patchwork layers

2. Mark a 15cm gap at the bottom, leave this area unsewn to enable you to turn the whole thing right side out. Sew around with a 1cm seam allowance. Clip the corners and trim any excess fabric away.

3. Turn your quilt right side out, push the corners out and press. Sew up the gap at the bottom using a neat little ladder stitch.

Hand Tie Layers

4. Place your quilt down on a flat surface and smooth it out. Pin through the layers in the 6 corners where your quilt blocks meet.

5. One by one remove your quilt pins and create your ties in their place. Using a needle and thread (doubled with no knot) pass the needle through close to where the fabric corners meet and bring it up on the other side, leave a nice long tail. Repeat and then taking both tails tie a couple of knots as close to the fabric as possible.

Final Patchwork Tutorial Needle in Fabric Final Patchwork Tutorial Tie
6. You could also use tapestry wool or embroidery thread to create your ties. You can even sew buttons in place of the ties, create covered ones in the same fabrics as your quilt for an extra special finish.

Now you have your completed your first quilt, give it a wash and let it dry naturally. Your quilt with wrinkle and soften over time in a really pleasing way.

My Makes: The Door Hanger Do-Over

Have you ever finished making something, looked at it and straightaway decided that you could have done better? This happened to me recently when I set to work on some hanging pockets intended to create some handy additional storage.

I’d spent a whole morning sewing, so pleased to be getting on with a project from my to-do list. I gave it a final press, proudly hung it in place, then realised that even though it looked splendid, I’d neglected to line the pockets making it a bit floppy and only half as useful as I anticipated it would be. I might have said aloud “oh, it will be alright”, but what I really felt was a huge sense of disappointment – those few precious hours of stitching not bearing the results I wanted.  It hung there for a while, until the other morning when my thoughts turned to the possibility of a do-over – I couldn’t resist.

When I was finding my way around dressmaking last year, there was a whole parade of do-overs, but these changes were wrapped up the sewist’s best tool – the toile and it felt ok to remodel until I was completely happy. The number of times I shifted darts, moved waistlines and pondered sleeve options were innumerable, so why when it comes to interiors projects should it be any different?

With that in mind, I gave myself the opportunity to try again and slowly unpicked my less than handy work. I lined the pockets and even slightly changed the construction to make it more sturdy; and now I have a functional, hanging tidy, ready to filled with baby essentials when the time comes. Although I’d rather get it right first time, there is no harm in a do-over, now what else can I rework?

The Sewists: My Versions

When putting together The Sewists, there was much sewing to be done. Every project was carefully considered and worked through, some I even managed to complete entirely right down to the final tiny details; like painting a face or neatly snipping ribbon ends.  Here you can see Curious Pip’s Mermaid, Kate Bowles’ Hand Bound Notebook, plus glimpses of Anna Alicia’s Bargello Embroidery Collar and Sophie Strong’s Cameo Brooch, all of which I made in my workroom, when the book was yet to reach completion.


For me, the project that presented the biggest challenge was Kate Bowles’ Notebook. I had never attempted bookbinding before but was keen to include the craft in the book and to have a go myself. Kate’s instruction and encouragement was excellent, and on my visit to meet her I was brave enough to reveal my endeavours. For a first attempt my stitching wasn’t that tight, so next time I’ll watch out for that. Working with paper and thread made a nice difference to my usual sewing which is usually cloth based.

I learned so much from working through all the techniques featured in the book, and know I will return to the projects again. I do hope you’re enjoying making with The Sewists.

My Makes: English Paper Piecing

Whenever anyone asks me about starting to patchwork, I always say that if you don’t start, you won’t finish. I spent years looking at patchwork quilts, touching the different prints, wondering if I’d ever get round to sewing one. Then one fateful day I just did it.

Patchwork Collage

The fabrics come from a variety of sources, some are precious old ones that would have been left languishing in a cupboard if I hadn’t embarked on this project. I think a quilt is a good way to preserve and appreciate the treasured pieces in my stash; enabling them to be useful as well as beautiful.

This patchwork only comes out sporadically (thanks Clueless) and every time I marvel at the colours and the patterns. I love the crinkle sound of the paper and the tiny stitches I have to pop my glasses on to achieve. I have no idea when this project will be completed- but it will, in time and then I will probably start another one because as Mary Poppins said “Well begun is half done.”