Freebies & Features

Popular Patchwork!

Like many creative activities, the ancient art of patchwork began with humble utilitarian roots, as a way to lengthen the life of a threadbare garment by sewing patches to it. In time, artistic influences led sewers and quilters to patch various fabrics together intentionally, mixing colors, patterns and even textures.

This season in particular, we're seeing patchwork applied to everything from quilts to clothing to fashion accessories to home decor items of all types! From the look of heavily embellished crazy quilting to simple, orderly fabric squares joined together row-by-row, the look is popular because of its creative and casual charm. Our designers are busy putting together some great patchwork projects for you to enjoy; until then, we've got a few tips to get you started:

  • If you're unsure about how to combine the fabrics for your own patchwork creation, or for a more unified look, just utilize the prints within a particular collection or color family.
  • Better yet, choose a pre-printed patchwork "cheater" or shortcut pre-printed fabrics, and simply stitch along the lines for a pieced effect.
  • For a more Bohemian approach, choose a more daring mix of prints for a flouncy tiered skirt, eclectic tote bag or funky table covering.
  • Patchwork is a carefree look, so you can relax and be less concerned with precise seaming and matching the patterns. This makes it a great technique for beginners and time-challenged sewing enthusiasts alike!
  • Seam allowances are generally pressed toward the darker of the two fabrics so they'll be less visible from the right side.
  • Experiment with a mix of textures as well as colors and designs. Cotton prints blend beautifully with flannel, osnaburg, velvet, and yarn dyes. (If desired, apply lightweight fusible interfacing to the lighter weight fabrics for added body when paired with the heavier fabrics.)