Search This Blog

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Making a Patchwork Comforter and Pillowcase Part 1

I was approached to make the soft furnishings for two baby girls that are soon to arrive. The mom wanted everything in bright pink and she expressed being fond of patchwork quilts. I therefore set out to see what I could make to meet the demand. Travel the journey with me and I'll show how easy it is to do some of the things you always thought were reserved for people other than yourself.
Here are the links to all of the blogs in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I am starting with comforter which I determined should measure 2200 x 1400 cm. The largest denominator that divides into this is 20 cm. I will therefore need 11 squares of 20 cm each in the length, and 7 squares in the width. That means that each comforter will require 77 squares. The pillowcases are a little more tricky. They measure 800 x 440 cm. I finally decide that the best solution is to cut 8 'squares' for each pillowcase measuring 22 x 20 cm. I use a square from my hardware tools to mark and rule straight lines on the 5 mm thick batting. I use a dressmakers pencil to draw the lines on the batting. This will simply wash out when the cloth is eventually washed.

I mark 5 squares in each row and draw 8 rows of 5 squares each. This gives me a total of  40 squares. I then layer the batting four layers on top of each other. I cut through the layers two at a time, but have no need to measure every single layer as the first layers mark the cutting lines for the bottom layers. When it come to the final row of squares, I cut only three layers. This leaves me with one square in excess. After this I repeat the same steps for cutting the 16 squares I'll need for the two pillowcases, measuring 22 x 20 cm.

The 154 squares for the two comforters on the left and the 16 squares for the two pillowcases on the right.

I will be using 8 different fabric patterns for the bedclothes. I now divide the squares as evenly as possible among the 8 types of fabric. The pillowcases are very easy to divide; they each get two squares from each fabric type.

I now set them aside to clear my working space. I will work my way through the pile from top to bottom.

I clean my cutting mat and lay the fabric on top of the mat, folded double so I can cut out two squares at a time. I lay the squares evenly spaced on top of the fabric, leaving ample fabric for seam allowance between the squares. I will rather trim away excess than end up having not enough. I then use the rotary cutter to cut fabric quickly. This fascinated my little nephew to no small degree.  I repeat this process until each and every block of batting has a square of fabric to cover it.

The large piles on the left and the middle are for the comforters. The small pile is for the pillowcases. Note how I keep them separated since they are not the same size.

The pillowcases each have only 8 blocks and I plan their layout first.

I use a Dressmaker Pencil to mark each block. PC means the bloc is for a Pencil Case and this particular block goes in the Right hand blocks, 3rd down. Now, if anything or anyone should upset my piles, I do not have to redo everything.

The 154 blocks that make up the two duvets are a little more tricky to sort. I divided them equally among the two duvets.

I then lay out my first duvet to make sure it is visually appealing.

Each square is once again marked to tell me where it is supposed to go, even though I collect them in order.

The four piles that make up the 2 duvets and 2 pillowcases are ready to be sewn. We'll let that stand over for the follow-up blog.

For more crafty ideas and great products, visit
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
You can subscribe to this blog and receive regular updates by email by simply registering your email address at the top of the current blog.