How To Make A Patchwork Quilt

Many quilters learn how to make a patchwork quilt from a family member, their mom, aunt, grandma, but just as many learn the craft using websites, books and! We’re the premier online quilting site, our quilting experts are many, and knowledge base is extensive. Our video collection reflects our collective level of quilting know-how, and to give you an idea of the quality of our instructional videos, watch Guidelines for Quilting – Rules and Patchwork Pieces, which demonstrates how easy it is to measure and cut your fabric blocks using the right quilting tools.

As you the video demonstrates, patchwork patterns and quilts aren’t all about hard work and frustration! We have the tools (and tool-torials!), we have the expertise, all of which we share with our ever-growing base of subscribers by way of videos, newsletters and a variety of quilting articles. As a subscriber you get to enjoy our full range of videos, which cover topics such as:

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Of course the only way to really learn how to make a patchwork quilt is to make one!

Patchwork Patterns

There are many patchwork patterns for you to choose from, and it’s best to start with something basic. Any form of quilting will feel a little fiddly to hands unaccustomed to the techniques involved in piecing and completing a quilt, so we’re going to start with the basic elements. To start with you will need the following tools:

  • rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • enough space to work your quilt
  • a sewing machine
  • scissors, threads and fabric – enough for the top, back and batting
  • quilting ruler
  • and, last but not least – the design

The design we’re focusing on today is a simple square patchwork design, nothing too difficult or complicated. Then, once you’ve gathered the essentials, the starting point is going to be the size of your quilt and the fabric you want to use. Smaller quilts mean less of everything all round, plus you’ll need to decided on what colors and prints. Pastels are a great choice, as are bold, rich colors, and of course the best fabric to use when quilting is cotton. It’s strong yet light, easy to work with and feels divine to snuggle under!

Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s go!

Patchwork Quilts

OK, now you need to start measuring and cutting out fabric squares for your patchwork quilts. Always make sure to factor in the 1/4” seam allowance, cut each square 8” x 8” (this is a generous size and a good choice for beginner level quilters). Cut enough to cover the size of your quilt. Next you need to lay them out by arranging them in strips, exactly as you intend them to be placed once your quilt is completed. Once you’ve got them in place, start to ‘stack’ the blocks (fabric squares) and transfer them to your sewing machine.

Sew each strip, using the 1/4” seam, then press each strip with a warm iron along the back of the strips. The next step is to sew the strips together. This stage will require that you pin the strips, as you’re no longer sewing along a short edge. Once you’ve sewn each strip to the next, you will be left with a basic but very definite patchwork fabric top. Again, press as you go, ensuring that you flatten the seams on the back.

Next stage is to add the binding. This is the quilt ‘edge’, a narrow piece of material that runs along the quilt top, creating a finished border to your patchwork quilt. You can use a complimentary or contrasting binding, cut 1” wide, and folded in half by pressing with an iron. To create a long eog piece, you will need to sew lengths of binding together (something you can do in a hot second on your sewing machine), making sure that the binding piece is long enough to run around the entire quilt top.

Pin the back of the binding to the front of the quilt, edge to edge. Take care with this part – you don’t want to sew your binding to the wrong side of your quilt. Now stitching a 1/4” seam, attach the binding to the quilt. Once you’ve stitched the whole way around, it’s time to lay out your back, batting and top together. Using enough space to line up the three layers, lay down the batting, then the back, and finally the top. Make sure your backing is face up, your quilt top face down.

Pin the three layer together through the binding, leaving a little overlap of batting to fill the binding. Now you need to stitch along three sides, leaving the final seam undone. Now sew along the final seam, from the corner in, both sides, leaving a gap or about 40 to 50cm. The gap enables you to turn the quilt inside out, leaving you with your quilt right side up, all three layers sewn together. Finally, hand stitch along the gap, tucking the binding under as you go, using small, neat stitches. Handstitch the binding to the back of the quilt.

To complete your patchwork and quilting efforts, you can then stitch corner to corner, through each individual patchwork piece, to create a simple yet effective quilted look. Once done, your quilt is complete and you’ve just learned how to make a patchwork quilt!

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