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"life is meant to be colourful"

How I do Patchwork – Easy Tutorial

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Hello dear friends! Sometimes projects may start very spontaneously! One photo from a friend in the Instagram may lead to a quilt and tutorial!

Strawberry Cake quilt top

Katherine from ‘Sew Me Something Good’ is my long time quilting friend! We love same happy colours and scraps! When I saw her strawberry I knew that is a ‘must’! I had even ready cut 1,5″ squares (of course I had to find few more fabrics to have many different prints and colours in my strawberry).

From Katherine I found Bec from ‘Skyberries Handmade’ who has made great tutorial for the strawberry!

patchwork strawberry

When making the strawberry I started to think that this would become so good small wall quilt … what else to add? And I remembered two special fabrics. When I was fabric shopping with my friend Leena from ‘Tilkkutie” in Finland, we found these two kithcen themed pieces. We cut them half, one pair for her and one for me, and said lets see what we can make with these. My first thought was Make a Strawberry Cake! So this little quilt got name ‘Strawberry Cake’!

My way to create quilts is usually based on fabrics I have and sometimes I use blocks I have already made. I thought to show how easily you can do that.

Photos below show you how I tried different fabrics. Because I wanted to use those kitchen fabrics, I thought to try if few mugs could find place there too. Mugs are from the ‘Quilty 365’ quilt project which I started and managed to make the ‘Fabric Forest’ Quilt but then didn’t have time to continue.

mosaic one for quilt

So I wanted to have the kitchen fabrics, mugs and the fabrics with tea pots and cups. Kittens looked too busy so out they went. Red stripe in the middle pops out strangely. Something ‘half-strong’ needs to be on the opposite side of the red stripe so I took my favourite hexy fabric. I have nice memories for many of my fabrics!

Here is the final decision. I add also little squares on the left side because the juice-glass needed more colour.

quilt designing

So now it’s time to think how to connect all the pieces. First I look what pieces are matching as they are and those are the three pieces on the top. So I sew them together. Also the juice-glass with the tea pot strips on the right can be sewn together.

patchwork

Now the up panel and the big block will show us what size we need to make the other parts.

Down left the purple cup is smaller than the apron fabric (and that I won’t cut smaller), so I shall add happy stripes piece. I don’t like maths so I use my other pieces to check the correct size. Ruler helps also to see how much sew allowance we need. It’s always better to cut slightly bigger piece than too small. In the first photo I show that I want to trim the mug from up and down to be able to add good size strip.

mosaic 2 patchwork

I leave the down-right corner last, because from that strawberry fabric I can cut any size piece I shall need.

So I start to think what to do with the strawberry block. It is a little bit smaller that the block with tea pots. I chose to use the hexy fabric on the left and the ‘happy circles’ on the up side. Happy circles will also separate the strawberry and orange-juice-glass so there is not so much white around.

strawberry patchwork

To be able to have a good size stripes so that the lovely fabrics shows, I shall trim the strawberry block from all sides – and little bit more up and down.

how to plan patchwork

And now we have to think what size the piece should be. My grid here is 1/2″ so the strip should be 1,5″ + seam allowance which is 2 x 1/4″ so we need 2″ strip (remember better a little bit more). Up right my finger nail shows you where the seam will be. Then sew the strip and trim it.

mosaic 3 patchwork

I really like the purple tea pot! Next we shall add the hexy piece. I keep all my pieces on their exact place as well as possible, to see all the time what sizes I need and not to mix up my thoughts. The next one is easy. You can cut big enough piece and trim it later. If you like to save your fabric, you can see from the grid on the cutting mat that we need 2,5″ strip + seam allowances which are 2 x 1/4″. So we need 3″ piece (a little bit bigger). The length I shall trim later.

IMG_5957

Now we have already finished the up and middle panels and there is left only the down panel. Aprons and purple mug are sewn together. We can cut big enough piece from the strawberry fabric (I cut it so that the berries are nicely in the middle) and after sewing that, trim the panel to be the same size with the other two panels.

strawberry mini quilt

Now we just sew the panels together and if needed trim around.

strawberry quilt top

I hope this tutorial helps you to see how easy it is to create your own patchwork. You can start even more easily using beautiful, fun fabrics instead of the strawberry (or any other) block. Use prints and solids, strong and light colours, add some white for freshness, mix and match and enjoy your patchwork journey!

I want you to start patchwork if not today, tomorrow! Please don’t wait until you have the sewing room, until you have done the autumn cleaning, until and until … then you never do it. I only regret that I didn’t start patchwork and quilting 20 years earlier!

Remember that you can always trim and even cut the whole thing again and IT’S ONLY FABRIC! If it just doesn’t work this time, start again. Every project is important even it wouldn’t become our favourite quilt. Every time we learn something. I still haven’t learnt to add enough white around my blocks to be able to trim later to the size I need! But then that leads me to the creativity! For me it was hard to stop here … I started to imagine triangle borders around etc. etc. but I want to keep this small and to finish it soon.

I have add now narrow stripy border with corner squares and you will see that next time when I shall show you also how to quilt and finish this small wall quilt. We shall make the binding, hanging sleeve and even the label! (did I promise too much?)

I’m planning to write tutorial for the most simple “Start to make patchwork”. You don’t need any fancy tools and you may find the starting fabrics from your home. I really want to encourage everyone at least to try patchwork and quilting. So often I hear/read that ‘I have been thinking/wanting long time to try quilting’ – but You didn’t yet – why?! It’s good to make different things because you never know what could be your favourite and what talent you have!

Did you enter our 6th Anniversary Give Away? If not, there is still time, click HERE and you can win gorgeus patterns and quilt magazines! What could be better way to start or continue your quilting experience!

Thank you very much for your visit! Thank you for your beautiful, long comments on our 6th Anniversary post!

TEJE

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Author: Teje

I am a Finnish woman living in Crete in Greece. Quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and if there is still time, reading and painting, with happy company of our two sweet dogs and one cat!

22 thoughts on “How I do Patchwork – Easy Tutorial

  1. that strawberry has a lot more pieces of fabric in it then one would think at first glance!

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  2. What a wondeful post and tutorial. The quilt is so happy – thanks for sharing

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  3. A a beginning quilter, this inprov method of quilting appeals to me. I think crating my own blocks will be a lot more easy than following a quilting pattern. Time will tell. Thanks for sharing your method of creating this wall hanging. It was perfect reading today because it is where my mind has been wandering.

    Have a great weekend.
    xx, Carol

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    • Thank you Carol! I’m happy to hear that this looks good to you! For me it’s easier to make my things than follow patterns. Any way I would start to plan and change it. When making your own, there are no mistakes, only changes of plan! I’m looking for to hear more about your new project! x Teje

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  4. Thank you for going to so much trouble with pictures and explanations of the planning. I’ve done a few quilts this way, and the thoughts and planning are different every time. Keeps it fresh!

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    • Thank you Sue! That’s the fun and interesting about patchwork that it’s always different. Usually I don’t know where my plan and ideas lead me so I don’t know how it’s going to end up. x Teje

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  5. What pretty fabric you always use … your lovely writing style and pictures make me happy and inspired … and who can resist the pictures of your ‘puppies’.

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  6. Ihana tarina tilkkutyön syntymisesta! Minun kankaani odottavat vielä ideaa. Mukavaa viikonloppua!

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    • Kiitos Leena! Olen iloinen etta nama kankaat loysivat paikan jossa naen niita usein ja muistan hauskoja hetkiamme! Hyvaa viikonloppua koti Suomeen! x Teje

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  7. Teje, this quilt is just so cute! The drink with the straw coming out of caught my eye. How very creative. This is my favorite and most fun way to make a quilt. Creating so instinctively as the quilt is made. I love how you did this. It’s going to be beautiful. And the fabrics you used are gorgeous.

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  8. Your post makes me want to start quilting even more, but there are not enough hours in my days at present! Ros x

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  9. This is an excellent tutorial. It seems I have been doing this for a long time, but doing it more now as improv. You are right, you never know where it will end. I really don’t use patterns for most projects, or change them as I see the need. I was following you for a while, will start again.

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  10. How fun seeing your process! I tend to do a lot of piecing just like this. Add a little here, trim a bit there, until it comes together! It is only fabric just like you said! You quilt is so happy, fun and bright…I just love it!

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  11. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I love each block, the quilt design is wonderful. Especially with all the colorful fabrics you have used. x Barbora

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  12. Loved reading about your process! The final product is darling 😀

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