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How to Sew Patchwork by Hand

Updated April 17, 2017

Patchwork is used in quilts, throws and even appareal. Sewing patchwork by hand is a skill your grandmother or great-grandmother probably used, and sewing patchwork as a hobby is still popular today. Making things from patchwork originally began as an economical use of different scraps of fabric. Today fabric is typically chosen based on the pattern, and can be different or colour-coordinated with the rest of the project. In some projects, however, the fabric is still mismatched scraps left over from other sewing projects.

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  1. Collect enough patches for your project and arrange them in the pattern you will use. Carefully fold back and iron a half inch on each side of each patch. Place the patch back in the arrangement with the back facing up.

  2. Thread your needle, and tie a double knot at the end of the thread. Align two patches, and push the needle through both of them at the crease. Pull the thread through the other side, and push the needle back through 1/8th of an inch away. Repeat until the two patches have been stiched together. Sew another doube knot at the end.

  3. Continue sewing the patches into strips, then align the strips together and sew them in the same manner.

  4. Cut a piece of backing fabric the same size and shape of the patches. Don't forget to leave 1/2-inch on all sizes.Fold a 1/2 of fabric back, and iron in into place.

  5. Hold the patchwork and the backing face to face, and stitch the edges together at the creases. Sew three sides together to make a large pocket.

  6. Turn the pocket right side out, so that the front of the patches is on one side and the front of the backing is on the other. Insert batting or stuffing, depending on the needs of the project.

  7. Pin the open end of the pocket with the crease at the edge and the folded material facing in. Stitch across the length of the patchwork, sewing through all four laters of material.

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Things You'll Need

  • Patches
  • Iron
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Backing

About the Author

Leah Newman has been a professional writer since 1999, writing about fine arts both in print and online. She specializes in how-to articles covering DIY projects. Newman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia and a Graduate Certificate in Children's Literature from Pennsylvania State University.

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