How to Make Patchwork
Making your own patchwork fabric is a good way to use scraps from other sewing projects or to recycle good fabric pieces from worn-out or second hand garments. Patchwork patterns range from basic to intricate, the simplest made by stitching together assorted fabric squares of equal size. Patchwork pieces add color and charm to home decor In the finished form of quilts, comforters, tablecloths, pillows, curtains or stuffed toys.
Things You'll Need
- Fabric scraps
- Fabric chalk or washable marker
- Ruler or template
- Sewing scissors or rotary fabric cutter
- Sewing pins
- Ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Colored or neutral thread
Choose a simple pattern of squares for your first project. Select a color scheme and collect fabric pieces of similar weights and textures. Mix or match colors and prints for interest.
Wash purchased fabric lengths or pieces in cold water and mild soap. Dry and iron according to fabric type.
Make or purchase a square template in a size about 1/2 inch larger on all sides for seam allowances or use a ruler to measure and mark fabric blocks or strips. Sturdy cardboard cut to size is easy to make and cost effective.
Place the fabric right side down on a clean work surface. Place a ruler along the straight grain of the fabric and mark a line with tailor's chalk or washable fabric marker. Lay the template along the line and trace the template's outer edges.
Cut out the measured fabric pieces with sharp scissors or a rotary fabric cutter. Arrange the pieces into a pattern on a flat surface.
Pin adjoining pieces together following the desired patters, then stitch them together using 1/4-inch seams. Iron each seam open or to one side before adding more fabric pieces. Iron the final length of patchwork fabric when finished.
- Making patchwork is a good way to use fabric scraps from other projects or to recycle good fabric pieces from worn-out garments.
- A shortcut for making this type of patchwork is to cut equal strips of fabric, piece them together, then cut horizontal strips and piece those together.
- Check crafts books for more complex patchwork motifs.
- Double stitch all seams on lightweight fabrics such as silk or satin to avoid fraying.