In August 2020 I gave my first patchwork and quilt workshop at a baby shower party. Together with the guests of the party, we sewed the quilt top of Sara’s baby quilt. The workshop was organized by Hobby House Qatar who received two further requests for patchwork workshops after the photos went viral.
But the timing was a bit of an issue. We managed to arrange one workshop at the end of August which was a private one-to-one tutoring. Over two days we managed to finish the patchwork top for a quilted cushion, the patchwork sandwich as well as the first basic steps for quilting it.
Developing the Pattern
When I started brainstorming on what could be done within two days, I immediately thought of a quilted cushion cover. In my opinion, they are perfect for starting off in the world of patchwork and quilting.
So, I started developing a pattern that covers the basic patchwork blocks such as Half Square Triangles, Diamond Squares, and House Squares.
This gave me the opportunity to talk Lolwa through these basic building blocks. At the same time, I showed her other examples from my quilting projects that used different blocks. As I give most of my quilts away, I had to show her photos. But it gave her a good idea of the variety you can achieve with Half Square Triangles alone.
Why I Love Quilted Cushions
I love making quilted cushions. Having started off with them as well, I think there are perfect quilting projects for a beginner.
- They are quick to finish and you have relatively quickly a success. If you start off with a whole quilt you are likely to be annoyed at one point as it will simply take ages to finish it.
- They are perfect to learn the basic building blocks and to try out different combinations.
- You can try out a new block as a cushion cover before attempting a whole quilt. This way you can check if it works well with the fabric you have chosen or see if the colors are harmonious.
- And they are easier to quilt for a beginner. There is less fabric you have to handle under your sewing machine. It is easier to move around this way. And even for a more advanced quilter, they are a cool way to practice your free motion quilting techniques.
And of course, you can use all your fabric scraps for them and make them matching to your quilts. 🙂
Mixing up Some Blocks
I had prepared a few things for the workshop, but as we needed only a few of the prints from the charm pack I could not cut those in advance. On day 1 we concentrated mainly on cutting the fabrics for the basic blocks and sewing Half Square Triangles.
Squaring up the Half Square Triangles took us quite some time. This is such an important part that I wanted to make sure that Lolwa really knows how to do it. Despite the fact, it is such an annoying and tedious step for making a quilted cushion. I knew that this could be demotivating for her and I kept encouraging her by telling her that I also do not like this part of the process… 🙂
Mixing up Some Blocks
On day two we focused on putting the basic blocks together to assemble the patchwork top of the cushion. When doing this a little mix-up of blocks happened. But we noticed it too late when we were done with the middle row of blocks.
If you compare this pattern with the one in the photo you might notice the different directions of the outer green House Squares. 😉
So, the lesson of this day was to make the best out of it and work around our little mistakes.
Instead of undoing the seam, we just switched the direction of the outer light orange-white Half Square Triangles. As it still looked a bit odd, we added tiny green triangles in the white corners to match the green print of the House Square. I am not 100% sure, but I think this new shape is called a Boat Square. 🙂
The final patchwork top turned out to look slightly different than the design I had developed. But it looked harmonious nevertheless. No one will see our tiny mistake after all… 😉
Quilting the Patchwork Sandwich
Day two was almost over when we finally managed to put together the patchwork sandwich. But the quilting was nothing was too much to finish as it was planned originally. After more than four hours of working on our patchwork cushion cover, we were both pretty exhausted. I just showed Lolwa how the quilting part is done and what you need to pay attention to. In the end, it is a learning-by-trial process I believe.
So, I took Lolwa’s patchwork cushion cover home and quilted it the next day. To make her feel part of the process I recorded a little video of me quilting the cushion. 🙂
Lolwa’s Finished Quilted Cushion
Another thing I like about quilted cushions is that are quick to finish. No binding is needed. All you need is the fabric for making an envelope backing for the backside.
Quilting and finishing the cushion was actually faster than preparing the quilted cushion for a nice little photo shot with the quilter’s husband. 🙂
Another thing that I had already introduced for Sara’s baby quilt is these nice little improvised paper bags. I just got plain paper bags and made some Me + My Craftroom stickers and labels on the computer.
Considering the fact that Me + My Craftroom is just a hobby so far, I start to look quite professional and serious already… 🙂
If you are interested in the pattern of this quilted cushion, check out the Me + My Craftroom Shop. I am planning to make all my patchwork patterns available for downloading as PDF files.