How to do the patchwork technique at home

Blankets made from printed scraps, colorful vintage-style curtains, and colorful tablecloths are the result of patchwork. This handicraft technique breathes new life into obsolete fabrics.

Handicrafts are fun, informative, relaxing, and a useful skill when you want to create unique clothing or decorate your home. Among them, the popular patchwork technique allows you to sew pieces of fabric together to create new pieces.

It doesn’t take much experience to come up with an idea and persevere in realizing it. If you know patchwork techniques that can be used even with used patches, you can create bedding, accessories, decorations, and more.

patchwork technique

Two English words created the concept of patchwork. Patch means ‘piece of fabric  , and work means ‘work’. The combination of the two terms means working with pieces of fabric.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary  definition , patchwork refers to pieces of fabric in various patterns and colors sewn from different pieces or cuts of fabric.

Patchwork is nothing new. Its roots began in ancient Egypt as a design combining pieces of fabric. Over time, each civilization has expanded its styles, textures, sizes, and shapes.

In order to create works in the patchwork technique, essential handicraft tools are needed.

  • knife
  • scissors
  • needle
  • iron

Fabric strength, size and type are all important. It can be sewn by hand, but it is also possible to use a sewing machine . One thing to note is to make sure you have a ¼-inch presser foot to emphasize the edge distance.

The following fabrics are recommended for patchwork.

  • wool
  • linen
  • silk
  • canvas
  • noodle
  • tightly woven fabric
  • denim or jeans
  • flannelette
patchwork recycling
You will need minimal sewing tools to get started. Depending on your design, you may want to add some more useful tools.

scrap work skills

There are many ways to work with scrap, and one thing in common is creativity.

  • Origami : Connect the pieces with a paper pattern guide. You can experiment with different colored geometric shapes until the fabric pieces are assembled.
  • Log Cabin Style Patchwork : Create a log cabin shape with small squares. You can also use this method to make flowers.
  • Dresden Plate Patchwork : Sew all the scraps side by side to form a circle. Pieces must be the same size.
  • Grandma’s Garden Patchwork: Cut patterns designed with hexagonal pieces and layer them with other fabrics to create texture and color. Suitable for decorating coasters and bags.
  • Application pattern: Draw the desired shape on paper, cut out the fabric and attach to the image with hot melt tape or patchwork glue. A technique that can also be used on shirts or sweaters. For best results, stitch a few stitches between the pattern and the garment.

How to do patchwork at home

Iron the piece of fabric to be used before starting work . Also, make sure you hold the tape measure in your hand so that the pieces are in the same proportions. Use a compass cutter instead of scissors to make round shapes.

The next step is to make pieces to use from old fabric or new scraps. Patchwork capabilities are evident in projects such as:


Replace the wallpaper with a fabric rug! Living rooms and bedrooms look great when you sew all the scraps together and stick the result on the wall .


If you plan to stick scraps to your curtains, ideally choose a translucent fabric that allows light to pass through . It can be sewn by hand, on a sewing machine, or by gluing the cuts together with fabric glue.

furniture upholstery

You can make furniture upholstery out of patchwork. Another option is to use sewing scraps to cover the cushions.


Make tablecloths with small, medium, and large shapes taken from plain fabric. You can combine squares, rectangles, diamonds, or any shape you want, but the texture must be flat. Otherwise, you won’t be able to place things reliably on the tablecloth.

children’s tent

Tents and tents for children are popular . Patchwork is a clever way to make these play tents . Design a large blanket to serve as a roof for sleeping.

Patchwork tents can be used to decorate your kids and even your backyard.

patchwork laundry

There are two ways to wash patchwork. Handwashing first will help you take better care of your patchwork piece. Otherwise, put them in a washable mesh bag and toss them through the washing machine. If the fabric is faded, wash it with a few drops of vinegar to maintain the color .

If working with 100% cotton, wash before sewing. This is because the material tends to shrink on the first wash.

Are patchwork and quilting the same thing?

Patchwork is often confused with quilting . The difference is that the latter is used for three-layer quilting.

The top is patchwork, the middle is the fluffy quilt filling, and the bottom is the lining that fuses the whole craft. However, not all quilts use scraps of fabric.

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