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.

2021 – Year of the UFO

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In this instance UFO refers to ‘Unfinished Object’.

UFO’s often frequent craft and sewing rooms and mine was the beginnings of a patchwork quilt.

You can read about the first part of the project here.

Everything came to a grinding halt a bit over 6 years ago. This was predominately because I did not have enough scraps to create the additional blocks which I decided that I needed.

Fast forward a few years and I had managed to collect more scraps so I restarted the patchwork a few weeks ago. This is the first block of the new batch.

11 blocks finished to create a total of 42. This will be enough to make a generous quilt for our queen size bed.

Today I sewed all of the blocks together. The patchwork is complete. The next step is to make the quilt.

I spread the completed patchwork on our bed to get an idea of how it would look. I am very happy with the result.

I hope there is not another 6 year hiatus before it is completed.

Sewing Projects

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Last month I wrote this post about a baby quilt I was making.  I finished it last week and gave to my colleague who was absolutely thrilled with it.

Here is the result of my endeavours.

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This crazy quilt was made entirely from scraps and thrifted fabric and bits and pieces of it were made over a number of years.

In complete contrast, my next sewing project was made in less than an hour this morning.  GMan recently bought a new Kindle e-reader but had not decided about a case/cover so I suggested that I could make one.

I did not take any photos during the construction process as I did not have a pattern and just made it up as I went along.  I was pleased with the result.

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It is made from a couple of scraps of poly cotton fabric – patterned on the outside with a plain red lining.  I cut up an old handtowel which had been in the pile of old towels and used this for some padding to provide some protection for the Kindle.  The bias binding and velcro tab were also scraps that were lurking in my stash of sewing bits and pieces.

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And this is how it looks with the flap sealed with the velcro.

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The rest of my day was spent far away from the sewing machine but more on that tomorrow.

 

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.

A Unique Gift

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I have been making a gift for Izz for her birthday.  She has a doll’s bed which has been passed down to her but no bedding.

I bought 2 u-shaped pillowcases recently from the op shop.  Here is one that I have unpicked ready to use.  Note the roll of fabric which is the dismantled and pressed frill.

2012-08-06 01The Duke bought a piece of foam cut to size for the mattress and I have covered that using some of the pillowcase fabric.

2012-08-06 02The next step was to make a patchwork quilt.  I worked out the size and number of pieces I would need.  The plain pink is more of the pillowcase, plain mauve from a piece in my stash of fabric, Dora pattern is a few leftover scraps from the doona cover and curtains that I made for Miss O last year and the pink patterned fabric is from a blouse I picked up at the op shop.  The frill is the one I unpicked from the pillowcase.  The hemmed edge remained intact so I simply regathered it and reapplied to the quilt edge.

2012-08-06 03I bought a large piece of cotton/bamboo batting for a bed quilt I am working on for Izz’s bed so I used a small piece for this quilt.  (I think this is a rather spoiled doll!)  The backing is more leftovers from some op shop fabric.  I quilted it by simply machine stitching along the seam lines which is nothing fancy but seems effective.

2012-08-06 04The finishing touch was to make a matching pillow.  A couple more fabric scraps and some salvaged filling from an old cushion and I had a complete set of bedding for the doll.  Here is the mattress with the pillow.

2012-08-06 05The total cost of things I bought specifically for this project was $6.60.  This is a gift which I know will be loved regardless of the cost.  I am looking forward to seeing Izz’s face when she opens the gift.

Now I need to work on the the bed quilt I am making as well since her birthday is in 2 weeks and I want to be able to give her the present before we go on holidays.

Something Different

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I have always eschewed patchwork groups and my comment has been, “Why would you spend heaps of money on fabric just to cut it up into little pieces so that you can sew them back together again?”  I simply don’t see the attraction and in my opinion it is a waste of money.  In fact many of the creations are just for display and serve no practical purpose.  Once again, why?

However, I have recently discovered that this is not the case with all patchwork and quilting.  I have been reading Frugal in Cornwall and if anyone knows how to do something for nothing (or not very much), it is Froogs.  She has been quilting for some time but has really got into it recently.  This post is just one of many where she discusses upcycling fabric for these gorgeous quilts.

Anyway, I have been inspired and finally capitulated.  At the moment I am just creating some blocks out of scraps of fabric from my cupboard.  Most of it is new – offcuts from completed projects or pieces that have been given to me.  A couple are garments that have been unpicked.

2012-05-12 01When I looked through my stash it seemed that pink seemed to be the dominant colour.  Not entirely surprising, since I have 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters.  These are the blocks I have made so far.  There will be some blue as well with touches of purple and green.  I am not sure how many blocks I will be able to make with the fabric I have got.  Nor do I know what I will make.  I am wondering about a quilt for Izz, whose birthday is in August.

Watch this space for more progress.