Patchwork Tutorial

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Tonight I want to show you a step-by-step guide to making a block of ‘Disappearing 9 Patch’ patchwork.

This quilt top is made up of 42 of these blocks.

As the name implies, the first step is to collect 9 different squares of fabric. I choose to use 5 inch x 5 inch squares but you can select whatever size square you wish.

Nine squares laid out in the preferred arrangement.

Sew the squares together to create 3 rows. Press the seams as you go.

Sew the rows together. Make sure that the seams line up.

You will now have a block of nine squares sewn together.

Fold the block in half, press and then cut.

Repeat the process to create four equal quarters.

Rearrange the quarters to create a pleasing visual balance.

Sew the pieces together. Remember to ensure that the seams line up in the centre of the block. Press.

Make as many blocks as you need for your project.

I generally use a plain coloured block for the centre block.

This is the first of 12 blocks needed to make a throw for the foot of the guest bed. It may be a slow process as I do not have a great deal of fabrics of suitable colours.

UFO No More

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It is less than 2 months since I wrote this post in which I committed to completing some unfinished projects in 2021. The first was a patchwork quilt for our queen-size bed.

I am pleased to report that the entire project is finished. I did not do the quilting as I have neither the skill nor the equipment to quilt such a large piece. My primary aim was to make a piece of patchwork which used all of the blue-toned fabrics and to declutter some of the bits of fabric that I had be hanging onto for far too long. All have been salvaged from one source or another, with many of them being scraps of homemade garments from various family members. What wonderful memories!

After completing the patchwork, I purchased a piece of suitable backing fabric and placed my handiwork and faith in Tanya who had been recommended to me. I was not disappointed. Tanya quilted the piece using a fairly simple design as I had requested.

Once the quilting was done, the final touch was to bind the edges. I cut bias strips from the remainder of the backing fabric. The handstitching of the binding was a bit tedious but it is now finished and I am thrilled with the final result.

Here are a selection of views of the quilt which is now an integral part of our bed linen.

I hope you have enjoyed following the story of the quilt as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

There has been a significant hiatus in blog posts and I do apologise. Real life events have been first and foremost as my mother is quite ill. Please keep her in your thoughts. My blog presence may be a bit hit and miss but I will certainly be here when I have something of interest to share.

Sorting the Squares

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Tonight I pulled out some fabric which I have set aside for patchwork.  In one of my previous fits of organising, I decided to precut some 5 inch squares.  These are stored in bags and are sorted by colour.  Any pieces of fabric which are destined to be patchwork squares are also in the bags.  You can see them here on the third shelf.

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I am going to make a baby quilt for one of my work colleagues who is due in a couple of months.  Since she knows she is having a girl, I decided to use some of the pink fabric along with a bit of purple and green.

These are some of the squares already cut.

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Some of the other fabric waiting to be cut up.

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The pattern I will using is called Disappearing 9 patch.  It is simple yet effective in my opinion.  You can read about it in more detail here.

I am inspired to get started on it seriously and hope to do so on the weekend.  My sewing machine has been serviced and I picked it up this afternoon so now there is nothing holding me back.

 

Project Completed

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It is almost a week since my last post and in that time I feel as though I barely managed to keep my head above water, let alone write or publish any blog posts.  As well as running a home and holding down a full-time job I have been caring for my 2 granddaughters, aged 5 and almost 7.  By the time I cook meals, pack lunches, wash clothes, supervise homework etc I am pretty well exhausted.  Luckily, my stint is for 10 days so I can see the end in sight.

I had almost finished a patchwork project before things got busy and I have now finished hand-sewing the binding.

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This is a knee rug which I have made for my mother for her birthday.  Like the other work I have shown you, it is based on a disappearing 9 patch block.

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This photo shows the backing which is from a sheet that I bought some time ago from the local op shop.  In fact, all of the fabric is either salvaged from unpicked garments or offcuts from other sewing projects.  It is all cotton or poly/cotton but of varying weights.  In my opinion, this rug represents the true essence of patchwork – using up what you have.

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A close-up shows the wide border with mitred corners and then the binding to finish it off.

This is my first completed patchwork so I am definitely no expert.  If you were able to study the piece closely you would find that it is far from perfect.  There are some joins in which the corners do not match precisely, it is possibly not as flat or smooth as it should be and there are the occasional wrinkle and pucker.  However, I regard these as part of the love with which these was devised and assembled.

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Finally, I wanted to show you that you do not need to spend a heap of money on a plethora of gadgets.  I used my standard dressmaking scissors, tape measure and pins.  In addition, I used a set square and 1 metre metal ruler which I had on hand.  I also used a 1/4″ foot and a quilting foot for my sewing machine.  The 1/4″ foot was a handy addition but not essential, whereas I could not have completed this rug without the quilting foot.  I was lucky that both of these items had generously been given to me.

Patchwork – 5 Months Later

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I have finally made it back to my patchwork that I first showed you here and here.  Well it is 5 months later and I have finally got back to doing some more.  I now have 31 blocks completed and here they are laid out on the floor in a totally random order.  None of the fabric was purchased specifically for the project.  It is all offcuts from dressmaking projects or small unused pieces from my stash of fabric.  That stash is a bit smaller now.  🙂

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By my calculations these 30 blocks should cover the entire bed but I am not too sure how much overhang I want at the sides and the end or how much I will lose when I add the wadding and quilt it.  I think I will sew all of these together and see what I think.  Then I can add another row or two of blocks if I feel it needs it.  I am also wondering whether to put a plain border of 6 – 8 cm all around the edge.

Please share your thoughts or experiences on patchwork/quilting in the comments.

I have also cut out another 80 squares for a smaller rug using the same technique but more about that another day.