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Making a Patchwork Quilt

Category Patchwork
Making a patchwork quilt begins by cutting fabric into pieces of various shapes and sizes and sewing them together to form blocks. This quilting style is great for using up leftover fabric scraps or you can purchase new material in the colors and patterns you like. You don't need a lot of experience to make a patchwork quilt. This is a guide about making a patchwork quilt.


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January 7, 2008

This is one of several pillow quilts I made last winter. I got the idea from a lady friend who showed me how to make them. It's an easy way to have a lightweight multi-colored quilt for your bed.

I cut 5 inch squares (you can use any size you like) serged up 3 sides, stuff lightly, serge up that side. Lay one edge of one square on top of edge of another square and sew down that side. Then add another square to that one and so on until you get a strip. Lay it out on the bed to see how many you need for your size bed. Then just make more strips and sew the strips together. I used the zig-zag stitch to connect the edges together. Don't forget to blow out your machine every so often as this project can create lots of lint and clog up the machine. I did not attach a border but you can if your want to.


Everyone that has seen them really liked the idea. I hope you do too.

Happy Crafting!

By Marian from Danville, VA

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By 6 found this helpful
February 6, 2012

I made this quilt quite awhile ago, in the late 80s. It is entirely handmade. I cut the hexagons for each colored flower and strung them on thread in little stacks, to keep the pieces for each block together.


I worked on this project quite a bit during my lunch hour and on a vacation driving trip. I hand stitched the hexagons together and saved the completed flowers. Once they were all made, I then hand pieced the quilt top.

The embroidered flower details were added after the layers were basted. I used a quilting stitch stencil and marked the pattern on the center hexagon.

The final quilting, also hand done, was a simple 1/4 inch outline stitch around all of the full and partial hexagons.

The only machine sewing was when I attached the binding.


The quilt covers a king size bed with a bit of a drape. The DH, to this day still thinks I was crazy. But we both love the quilt.

By Barbara from Bremerton, WA

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By 10 found this helpful
April 19, 2010

The first quilt I ever made was a simple hand sewn patchwork quilt worked in strips at my grandmother's knee. This is a pattern now done on a machine and committed to memory that has been repeated many times over as Christmas, anniversary, wedding, and shower gifts.


The size of the squares can be adjusted to make it fit any size bed, crib or daybed by simply measuring the mattress top, dividing by 6 and adding 1 1/2 inch per square for seam allowances, i.e. if your square is to be 5 x 5 1/2 inches cut your squares at 6 1/2 x 7 inches.

Mattress Sizes

Approximate Time: 12 - 15 hours



When selecting your fabrics, try to stick to the same weight and type of material. Cotton and cotton blends work best and are usually less expensive than most fabrics.

I found after cutting my squares, that the pink butterfly fabric was too heavy or bulky with the other fabrics and had to make a trip back to the fabric store to choose another material. Also, make sure your fabrics are machine washable to avoid dry cleaning bills on such a large item.

Wash, dry, and, iron all fabrics to eliminate the possibility of shrinkage after your quilt is finished.

Once your quilt squares are cut, lay them side by side - plain, pattern, plain (or vice versa) to determine how you want your pattern to work out. The last color will be the most prominent on the quilt. Once you have decided how you want your pieces to lay in the design, assign each fabric a number from 1 to 6 and set them in order on the table so you only have to move down the line when you pick them up from the pile as they are added to your quilt.

*Note: If you have access to a serger and a rotary cutter and mat, I highly recommend using them as it will save 2/3 of the time you will spend cutting squares with scissors, trimming and pressing seams open during the assembly of your quilt and will provide more uniform squares.

If you must cut your squares by hand, pinking shears are your best choice to prevent raveling because of heavy handling and will reduce raised or lumpy areas under your seams.

Starting on row one and following the pattern sheet below, with right sides together match up edges and stitch pieces together at the 5/8's inch mark making one long strip, beginning and ending each row with the same fabric piece.

As you finish each strip, match it lengthwise to the previous sewn strip. If you are using a regular sewing machine, press seams open first. Pin on seam lines with the seams facing the center of the quilt row.

Once you reach the center strip, which will be the same as the first and last squares, you will pin one facing to the right, the next side facing to the left and continue pinning left to the end of the row.

As you add rows to your quilt, it will become too bulky to manage on the machine.

I recommend sewing strips together until you reach the middle row, which will be a repeat of the very first row you made. Set the piece aside and continue making strips, following the pattern for the lower half of the quilt as you did for the upper half.

Once the bottom half is complete, pin it to the upper half and stitch both halves together. This way you only have to deal with the bulk of the quilt once.

At this point, you can add borders to the sides.

If you don't want to add borders, I recommend you buy a flat sheet. It's more economical than purchasing fabric for the back and you don't have to piece it together. Buy it one size larger than your quilt topper. Keeping layers smooth, layer from top to bottom:

From the center out, tie the layers together at various points (about every 9 squares) with embroidery thread or yarn. My preferred method is to machine stitch using the button stitch.

Check both sides to make sure all layers are smooth. If you encounter bunching, simply remove the tie smooth and retie.

Fold the outer edges of the sheet over the raw open edges, leaving a little hangover for a small border, miter in the corners by folding the point over to meet the border and then folding the edge over the top. Top stitch all the way around.

The last picture shows how your quilt will lay on a double bed with the pattern dropping off the outer edges. On a queen size bed it will all lay on top.

By Sew Crafty from CA

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By 0 found this helpful
August 22, 2007

I made a special quilt for my daughter birthday. I made this quilt design myself.

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June 8, 20052 found this helpful

If you just want to make a quilt and you don't have a huge fabric stash, just do a two colored quilt. First remove the biased edge, rotary cut the fabric in long six inch strips, alternating the colors as you sew. End the piece so one color is at one end and the other color is at the other end.

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February 18, 20051 found this helpful

Everyone who sews has lots of small scraps. I use mine to make quilt tops. Cut muslin or light color fabric into strips 4 inches wide and as long as you want the quilt (maybe 3 yards). Or you can cut squares about 10-12 inches.

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June 11, 2008

I had a lot of novelty print scraps of fabric. I started cutting my scraps into 1 1/2 inch strips for rag rugs. Then I thought, "What better use can I get of these cute motifs?", a quilt of course.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 26, 2009

Keep Memorial Day in your thoughts all year! This a simple quilt to make and a nice display of loved ones. You can make a small wall hanging (as shown) or a full quilt. Fun for a beginner, novice or a great way to use your novelty fabrics!

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September 24, 2007

Use toothpicks or wooden skewers to apply liquid glue for small projects. You have more control with where you put the glue, and you won"t use too much.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 15, 2007

I am looking for a pattern for a fun quilt made out of fleece in squares. I have seen one but I am not sure where.


November 16, 20070 found this helpful

Walmart sold them a couple of years ago, but I haven't seen them lately. It would be easy to make your own, just cut squares and sew them together in a random pattern. I made one with 4 inch squares, used a 1/2 in seam allowance and snipped the seam 6 to 8 times on each side to form a fringe.

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November 18, 20070 found this helpful

Oriental Trading catalog has a kit like this for sale. Try to go to their website to see if you can copy the pattern.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 20, 20070 found this helpful

I was looking at which is Joanns fabrics and they had the directions to that quilt.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 26, 2007

I love the tip submitted about making a quilt out of old clothing. I would love to make a quilt for my daughter out of some of her baby clothes. I know nothing about quilting though. Does anyone know of any websites that have easy to follow instructions on how to make a simple patchwork quilt?


January 26, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Lindsie :)
I, too, love the baby clothes idea and I'm not a quilter either. I found a site that says it's for beginners. Out of the 5 ideas, I love the rag quilt the best....I saw one a few years ago given to my son and his bride for a wedding gift (in denim) and I fell in love with it. At any rate, here is that site: http://quilting  /easy_quilts.htm I hope this helps.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 4, 20070 found this helpful

That was my tip for the clothes quilt. It really isn't at all hard, BUT, it takes common sense and some time to cut a little beyond the seams so one has the excess to fold under and stitch down....OR, you can cut right up to a double edge and just machine stitch it down to the quilt base, not the backing which comes last. Or, do not cut a thing, and make it warm enough with the whole garment, stuffing a little quilting within each garment.

When piecing things together, even cute matching baby socks can fill in the odd places and be stitched down. I've wondered about washable cotton hats, caps, too.

Take your time, save only the better garments that aren't stained, and are of similar cloth, such as all cotton, or cotton/poly blends for the whole quilt. Use
velveteens or corduroy fabric clothes for their own separate quilt. Smocked dresses look good but seem to have too much cotton threading/gathering
to trust to last in tact. I'd fear they'd come loose and present a real problem after several washings or
with age.

Denim garment quilts are especially heavy and should be made of the lightest weight denims, or should be mixed in with other "textured" fabrics sparsely.

All the same age/size is o.k., but if not too wide a spread, it will all work together fine. Don't get too frustrated unless the clothing design has lots of ruffles, or pleats, or excess fabric, which is more work. Keep it crisp and simple, laying it all out first, of course, once enough clothing has been saved.

Little jackets/vests/aprons/spring coats are really cute sewn right with the companion piece.
Sunbonnets are a focal piece, as are cute appliqued garments placed well, say in each corner?

I believe one important point, too, is to place mostly pastel colors on one quilt, mixed only with a few light to medium colors; then all medium darker colors together.

Avoid obvious newly unwashed rich colors like the primary colors, red/green/blue/gold, because of the fading possiblities. Wash all colors to see what they might do, if they are new or unworn. Not to do this would also not keep with the theme of what/why one is trying to make a quilt.

For the added interest, you could use colorfast embroidery thread and make wide blanket
stiches around a few or even all of the garments, using different colors, but be careful to make it tasteful and not too mismatched to the garment.

If a girl, the edges could be made scalloped with
all dresses, hem-side out toward the edges of the
quilt. If a boy, the pant legs could be used in the same way, creating a shallow square edging pattern
if the legs are not out too far.

Remember to button and zip, snap and tie, hook and close anything that is loose, even stitching it down if there is ANY chance of it coming loose and ruining the overall pattern you have designed.

Poly/cotton blend soutache, braid, rickrack, or biased hemming tape could be used for a garment edging that is contrary or too plain, but wash the trim first to see how it will hold up should you need to ever wash the quilt.

Avoid knit items since they might stretch and warp when used this way, UNLESS you are so good that you could quilt across them several times, and
have enough pieces to make a quilt? Most mothers
do not.

Flannel isn't a good item to use, either, since it pills
so badly. Fleece does also. But ruffle pullups, sassy unusual items can sometimes be layed out in the center and worked away from, if using enough to form a center. However, always try to use the same thickness of garment, and it's respective stuffing material, so the quilt is reasonably level to the feel and the eye.

Logically, if one is going to use the quilt rather than hang or store it, it needs to be of practical fabrics. If
of fancy things, it really should be just hung/stored
and dusted several times a year. I'd even shadow-box frame an especially nice quilt, signing and dating
it, for posterity.

The best thing I can think of is that if one garment doesn't work out as well, take it off and replace it with another. It's a very forgiving craft and lots of interesting fun that everyone and anyone will greatly appreciate if done well.

God bless you. : )

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By 0 found this helpful
February 16, 2015

I would like to make a grandmother's flower garden quilt, but do not have any directions on how to sew the pieces together to make the flowers.

By Liz


February 16, 20150 found this helpful

http://www.patt  lower_garden.htm

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

How do you make an easy patchwork throw?

By Shyla


September 13, 20110 found this helpful

Here's a video on how to make a patchwork throw.

http://www.yout  ch?v=GebJ-H5KS18

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By 0 found this helpful
June 3, 2011

I am going to be a grandma, and I am looking for an easy patchwork quilt for a baby.

By Marie


June 4, 20110 found this helpful

This will depend on if you want to make a quilt with the tiny little pieces that make a fancy design or if you want to use just plain squares. If you want to use just plain squares, google "Around the World" quilt patterns. I would probably add for infants or something like that. I'm sure you will be able to find something.

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