Patchwork Perfect ! or diary of an old stool (part one)

IMG 7174So this is the dictionary definition of patchwork…

‘Patchwork or “pieced work” is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different fabric shapes (which can be different colours). These shapes are carefully measured and cut, basic geometric shapes making them easy to piece together.’


…the fabric

IMG 7288IMG 7281IMG 7285We needed to recover the padded, top step of our shop step stool.

This will be its 4th re-incarnation!

IMG 7287IMG 7283As this piece was to be all about colour and also to serve to advertise our spotted cotton fabric,

(not that it needs us to shout about it-it’s one of our most popular best sellers), we wanted to keep the patch shape and design simple.

IMG 7280IMG 7284We stock a lot of colours in this fabulous ditzy spot print.

It’s one of the few designs where we repeat colours rather than move onto something new- infact we just keep on adding to the range!


IMG 7278IMG 7286We wanted this stool to look decorative, bright and fun

(so did not select the practical beige and brown colour options for this project).



…the project

IMG 7146IMG 7217Having decided to use 10cm squares, we designed a master plan


and worked out how many squares we were going to need to make a patched fabric big enough to cover the stool.


IMG 7147IMG 7151The patch templates were cut from light card (we used 160 gsm)-it needs to be firm enough to hold the shape but thin enough to tack through.

Allow 1.5cms seam allowance on all four sides, and cut out the fabric patches 13cms square.

IMG 7148Next, we chose to interface our patches,

(iron-on interfacing might have been better, but we chose to use up some old stock of sew-in that was available).

The interfacing was to add strength and stability to the final piece.


IMG 7149Each fabric patch needs to be pinned and tacked to the card template, before it can be patched together – there’s a lot of preparation to patchwork, but it’s worth the effort to prep the pieces as precisely as possibly for the best end result.

For the perfect square, fold the fabric over the corners and the tack down the sides with big secure temporary stitches.


IMG 7180Now the patch joining can happen-just follow the original design plan  until the piece is complete.

Using tiny stitches, match the folded edges (right sides together) and whip over the fabric edges from the wrong side, picking up a tiny amount of fabric with each stitch.


IMG 7177IMG 7216We methodically joined our squares into strips and then joined the strips together.

When the pieces are all joined remove the tacking and cards.


We choose to laminate our patchwork (watch this space for a separate blog about fabric lamination)

IMG 7188IMG 7186IMG 7187And here’s a bit of stretching and stapling to join the laminated, patchwork to the finished stool!


IMG 7192IMG 7189Start with opposite sides, trim, the pleat in the corners, then staple in the gaps.

It’s important to keep checking that the design is is correctly positioned on the front of your work and that there are no bumps or bubbles appearing.


IMG 7191IMG 7195

…the finished result!

We like this stool it makes us smile!