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Ministry of Craft Blog

    Monday, December 31, 2018

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    I have always been very curious about patchwork and quilting but for one reason or another never gave it a go. I imagined I might get a bit frustrated with the speed the project came together as I am used to fast results when sewing and dressmaking. I proved myself wrong and have fallen in love with this both rewarding and addictive craft when I joined our Beginners Patchwork and Quilting course and had a great time making my first quilt.


    Patchwork and quilting are often mentioned in the same breath, as they are often combined in the same project, but they are two very different techniques. Patchwork is the art of sewing together pieces of fabric to form a pattern or block, which are then sewn together to form a quilt top. Quilting is the sewing together of the three layers that make up a quilt - the top, the central wadding, and the backing.

    The basic kit is a rotary cutter, self-healing mat and a clear acrylic quilting ruler. For sewing the fabric together we used a quarter-inch foot and for quilting the layers together a walking foot.

    The key to successful patchwork lies in cutting your fabric accurately, and this is why the rotary cutter, mat and ruler and invaluable. You place the quilting ruler over the fabric, lined up on the mat and cut the fabric by moving the rotary cutter away from you to cut to the correct size.

    Once your pieces are all cut out, you piece (that’s quilting talk for “sew”) them together. Quilting requires a quarter-inch seam allowance, which allows for minimal bulk in your quilt and this is where the quarter-inch foot came in. After piecing, pressing is key to ensure accurate seams and a quilt that will lie flat.

    To quilt, you sandwich three layers, a backing piece, wadding and top fabric, on which the quilt design is marked. All three layers are tacked into place using rows of stitches. A good-quality quilting thread, which is coated with a finish makes the thread glide through the fabric and a walking foot to stitch the marked design will keep all the layers together. It is finished off by squaring the edges and attaching binding around all four sides.

    And these are the beautiful results from the rest of the class!





    I am determined to carry on with my new found interest and have started to look around at other techniques and designs, these amazing quilts caught my eye on a recent trip to Liberty's.


    If you’ve never tried it before, don’t be scared to give it a go, we have a new 3 week day course starting at Bamber Sewing Machines on Tuesday 29th Jan, details here. Once you’ve got the hang of smaller projects, you’ll be whipping up a quilt in no time!



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