Patchwork Instructions

Patchwork can be as complicated an intricate arrangement of several different shapes or as simple as the fabric checkerboard show here. Choosing your basic design is the first step toward making a patchwork project. Select a simple patchwork pattern first (one made up mostly of squares and rectangles), then gradually work up to more difficult designs.

Preshrink and press all fabrics. You will need three different fabrics, two solid colors and one print. Cut cardboard templates and trace them onto fabric, adding 1/4 in. seam allowances. Sort the pieces according to color and shape.

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Stitch the squares together into eight rows of eight alternating colors and using 1/4 in. seam allowances. Press all seams open, then pin and stitch the rows together.

The next step is to select fabrics. Keep in mind washability and durability above all. Also consider color, pattern, and texture so that the overall design will be pleasing.

To begin cutting your pattern pieces, you'll need a cardboard template for each piece. Trace around the templates onto fabric and cut each piece 1/4 in. beyond the penciled lines. Cut the pieces individually and sort them according to color and shape.

When "piecing" your patchwork fabrics together, you can use hand or machine sewing. Hold the pattern pieces firmly in place with right sides together. (There is no need to pin or baste short seams. However, long seams should be pinned together so the pieces line up correctly.)

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Stitch 4 triangles together to make a square; then stitch four squares together to form a row. Repeat this procedure to make a second row. Cut border strips form print fabric. Stitch all the pieces together by bordering the checkerboard on two sides by fabric strips.

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Add the two rows along the top and bottom of the game board and border the outside edges with fabric strips. Back the design with quilt batting and backing fabric. Baste the three layers together and place the design in a quilting hoop. Quilt the pattern piece as desired.

To hand sew the pieces together, use tiny running stitches. To machine sew, use stitches of medium length, stitching along the penciled lines.

Piece one entire block at a time, then press all of the seams to one side (toward the darker patches). Sew the blocks together by forming rows, making sure each block lines up with the one next to it.

Finish the game board by stitching bias strips in place around the outside edges of the design.