Expert Pat shows you how to quilt with gorgeous stripwork
As a great starter project, our Woman’s Weekly strip patchwork tablemat is made from alternate blocks of green and blue with a pink and red backing fabric (all by by Kaffe Fassett).
But you can use up your stash of fabric remnants. Just make sure you plan your design out on paper first so that you get a harmonious and even design.
For a bigger project, like a bed cover, simply make more stripwork squares and bind with the appropriate length of fabric edging.
The strip patchwork technique in this tutorial is very simple to follow.
- 6 different pieces of fabric measuring 7x6in (18x16cm) for the strips
- 2 different pieces of fabric measuring 7x28in (18x72cm) for the back
- 4 squares of thin wadding measuring 7x7in (18x18cm)
- Contrasting fabric measuring 13×14½in (34x37cm)
- Bondaweb measuring 4×12½in (10x32cm)
- Freezer paper
- Matching sewing thread
- Sewing machine
- 1/4in presser foot
- Rotary cutter
- Quilter’s ruler
- 6½in quilter’s square ruler
- Self-healing cutting mat
- Hand sewing needle
- Small sharp scissors
How to quilt a patchwork tablemat
1. Using your rotary cutter or sharp scissors, cut your backing fabrics into 4 squares measuring 7x7in (18x18cm).
Cut each of your strip fabrics into 4 strips measuring 1½x7in (4x18cm). Cut these down the selvedge if you can.
For the seam binding cut 2 strips down the selvedge measuring 1½x12in (2.5x32cm). For the edge binding cut 2 pieces measuring 2½x12½in (6.5x32cm) and 2 pieces measuring 2½x14½in (6.5x37cm).
2. Lay the backing fabric square wrong side up, lay the wadding square on top, tack or pin together.
3. Decide what order you’d like your strips to go in and lay the first one right side up on top of the wadding matching the top edge. Lay the next strip in your chosen sequence right side down on top and pin.
4. Sew the two strips together using a ¼in (6mm) seam along the raw edges. Flip down the second strip and finger press well.
The wadding will want to ‘shrink’ the width of the strips, so make sure you finger press firmly. You can use the iron to press but be careful if your wadding is polyester!
Lay the next strip face down on the second strip, stitch and flip. Add your strips in this way until all 6 have been used.
5. Trim the block to be 6½in (16.5cm) square using your rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat.
6. When all the blocks are complete, lay them out in rows of alternating colour and turn the blocks each time you lay a new one down.
7. Take the first 2 blocks right sides together, pin along the side through all the thicknesses and sew with a ¼in (6mm) seam allowance to create a pair of blocks.
When all the rows are complete, press out the seams with your fingers or gently with an iron. You can trim the wadding out from the seam if you wish to reduce bulk.
8. When all the pairs are sewn, join them all together with a ¼in (6mm) seam allowance to make one entire tablemat piece. Checking as you go that your seams line up at the joins.
9. Cut strips of freezer paper measuring ¾in (1.5cm), iron to the wrong side of the seam binding strips in the centre with the wax side down. Iron over the seam allowance, remove the freezer paper carefully as this can be used again, and re-iron to fix the seam allowance in place.
10. Cut strips of Bondaweb ½in (1cm) to match the lengths of the seam binding strips. Iron Bondaweb rough side down, onto the centre of the wrong side of the seam binding and then remove the paper backing.
11. Iron a length of the seam binding over the open seams on the back of the tablemat, in one direction first and then the other. Hand-stitch the binding on both sides to secure in place.
12. Fold the shorter lengths of edge binding in half lengthways and press. On opposite sides of the tablemat, match the raw edges of the tablemat to the raw edges of the binding. Pin and sew right sides together with a ¼in (6mm) seam allowance.
13. Turn the binding over to the reverse side of the tablemat edge and hand stitch in place. The front of the binding will show approx. ¼in (6mm) and the back binding will be wider to echo the wider seam bindings.
14. Prepare the remaining two lengths of binding in the same way and sew them to the other two opposite edges, this time lapping over the edges to the tablemat front to give a neat finish at the corners. Stitch and turn as before.
To make longer strips of binding to go around bigger patchwork projects, watch our bias join video below.