Here is my super quick tutorial on how to piece patchwork in double time. This patchwork technique is great for beginners, fun for the young sewing bee or even something different for the patchwork perfectionist.
Below are step by step instructions on how create a block of patchwork, very quickly and easily. The patchwork block can be used to create a patchwork quilt, patchwork pillow, or any other patchwork creation you choose.
I hope you enjoy this speedy patchwork tutorial.
Please note: Children must NOT be left unsupervised with either a sewing machine or pressing iron.
Example Fabric Requirements
Contrasting fabrics are needed to create a block of patchwork. For the purpose of this exercise, and if this is your first time creating patchwork, you can use any scrap fabric that you have to hand.
However, strips measuring 3.5 inches wide x 15.5 inches long will give you a 15 inch block – suitable for a cushion cover or a first patchwork quilt block.
In this tutorial, I have used ‘Bare Branches’ by Moda.
Essential Tools required
Cutting mat, cutting ruler (minimum 18″ x 3.5″), rotary cutter, pressing iron, thread, scissors, sewing machine, fabric pins (if desired)
Cut strips to your desired size – these strips are 2.5″ thick, by the width of a fat quarter (18″).
Lay your second strip on top of your first strip. At this stage you may wish to pin the two fabrics together.
Always lay the fabrics facing each other, so the wrong side of the fabric faces outwards.
If you use pins, please ensure they do not obstruct your sewing line! Therefore, pin on the opposite side to where you are sewing – this will act as a reminder to which side you are sewing, as you take your fabric to your sewing machine
Take your strip to your sewing machine and select a short stitch length approx. 1.2-1.4
Place the foot of your sewing machine a quarter of an inch from the top of the fabric, as it may gather under the needle/feed dogs. Lower your needle and sew 2-3 stitches and reverse sew 3-4 stitches to ‘lock’ your stitches. Sew in a straight line, a quarter of an inch from the edge of the fabrics and reverse sew 3-4 stitches when you get to the end of your strip.
Note: If your sewing machine does not have a quarter-inch marker for you to follow, you can draw a quarter-inch line along your strip with a fabric pen.
Open out your first two sewn strips of fabric, so the front side of the fabric is facing you.
Lay your next strip of fabric on top of fabric strip No.2 – face down.
Continue sewing each strip of fabric, in your desired order, using step 3 and step 4.
Now it’s time to iron those seams. This will give you a nice flat block of fabric, which will make it easier to work with.
Please note: Check the fabrics’ tolerance to heat on a scrap piece of fabric first. Do not use steam as this can distort the fabric, making it crooked and out of shape. Children must NOT be left unsupervised with either a sewing machine or pressing iron.
Use your fingers to open up your seams, so as the front of the fabric is exposed.
Pressing a few inches open with your fingers/thumbs will make life easier for you, to carry along the seam with a pressing iron.
Your open seams will now look like this!
Transfer your work back to your cutting mat.
You will now begin to cut your strips width ways. At this stage you will start to see the patchwork take form.
Familiarise yourself with your cutting ruler again. From the left hand edge of your fabric, measure your desired width and begin to cut the block into equal strips.
Note: Make sure the cut is exactly the same width as your original strips in Step 1. (My original strips were 2.5″, so my cut will again be 2.5″)
Your block will now look like this!
Go back through steps 1-7, laying, sewing and ironing.
TIP! At this stage, make sure your you line up all of your open seams – Lay your second row on your first row and check that the edge of your ironed seams matches on both sides.
You will now have a full patchwork block to play with as you wish!
It’s always a good idea to ‘square’ your block, before adding to a project. Simply clean up your edges, by making small, straight cuts, measuring the block as you go – this will create an even block on all sides.
I do hope you have enjoyed this Easy Patchwork Tutorial.
If you have any questions at all, please do ask.
I would also LOVE to see your project photos, which you can post on my Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/dandeliondream.co.uk
To see my work in ‘Bare Branches’ by Moda, please visit my Etsy store at www.dandeliondreamco.etsy.com