How to sew a patchwork quilt

Written by cyndee kromminga
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Sewing patchwork quilts was born out of necessity by our pioneering ancestors. Even though they were made mainly from rags and old clothing, they were also quite beautiful. Sew a patchwork quilt of your own using fabric scraps, discarded clothing and even old curtains, tablecloths and sheets. This patchwork quilt is a wonderful recycling project that will be stitched full of memories from fabric of the past.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Miscellaneous old clothing and other fabric
  • Sheet
  • Quilt batting
  • Lightweight cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • 7 yards, 1 inch wide bias binding
  • Quilting needle and thread
  • Pen
  • Quilting lap hoop

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  1. 1

    Draw a 4" square on the lightweight cardboard and cut out. This is your patch template. Iron the clothing and fabric to be used on the patchwork quilt. Trace around the patch template on the fabric and cut out. Trace and cut out 300 assorted patchwork squares.

  2. 2

    Lay the squares on a flat work area. Arrange in a pleasing design 15 squares wide by 20 squares long. There is no right or wrong arrangement to create a beautiful patchwork quilt.

  3. 3

    Place the squares with the right sides together on the top row of 15 and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the row over and press the seams open. Sew the remaining 19 rows in the same way.

  4. 4

    Place the top row of patchwork squares on the second row with the right sides together. Pin at each intersecting seam. Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the rows over and press the seams open. Attach the remaining rows in the same way.

  5. 5

    Iron the sheet and lay wrong side up on a flat work area. Place the quilt batting over the sheet. Center the patchwork quilt on top of the quilt batting with the right side up. Baste the quilt layers together. Attach the quilting lap hoop to the centre of the quilt sandwich. Making small quilting stitches, quilt an "X" from corner to corner in each square. Move the quilting lap hoop further from the centre and repeat until all the patchwork squares have been quilted with an "X."

  6. 6

    Lay the quilt on your flat work area. Trim the batting and sheet backing even with the patchwork quilt top. Turn the quilt over. Match the quilt back with the right side of the bias binding along the quilt edge and pin. Pin around all four sides of the quilt, beginning and ending at the bottom centre. Sew the pinned binding using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Fold the binding to the front, mitre fold the corners, press and pin. Hand stitch the pinned binding edge to finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Spend a few days with your kids cutting all the fabric squares and tell them stories about each fabric piece.

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