Our latest quilt block is ideal for any stitcher, featuring a fun sewing machine motif complete with needle and thread. Make up into a handy cover for your machine to keep it safe and looking stylish. You may recognise the red, white and blue fabric from the opening sequence to our favourite programme, The Great British Sewing Bee. This quick and easy make is perfect for anyone inspired by the series.
- Fabric: Makower London Stripe, 50cm; white, lining,
- 50cm; cotton, red; blue; white, scraps
- Felt, white
- Wadding, lightweight, 50cm
- Thread: embroidery, blue; white Buttons, white, 1cm Freezer paper
- Pinking shears
- Block: 18cm square
- Machine cover: Custom-sized
Make a machine block
Download the templates and print out. Copy a mirror image of the sewing machine template onto the back of a piece of freezer paper and cut out the individual sections. Iron the wax side of pieces 2, 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16 onto the reverse of red fabric, ensuring there is enough space between pieces to cut a 5mm seam allowance around each one. Iron the remaining pieces onto blue fabric in the same way.
Cut out each piece with an accurate 5mm seam allowance all around. Using the template as a guide, tack and stitch pieces 1, 2 and 3 together. Press the seams to one side before sewing piece 4 along the bottom. Stitch pieces 5 and 6 to the end of this section.
Tack and stitch pieces 7, 8 and 9 together and press. Do the same for pieces 10, 11 and 12 and sew these to the top and bottom of the centre section, matching up the seams where necessary. Sew strips 13, 14, 15 and 16 to the top and bottom of the block. Peel away all the pieces of freezer paper and press the entire panel. Add a border using 3cm wide strips of white cotton.
Cut the four smaller rectangles representing a spool, balance wheel, take-up lever and needle housing from white felt. Lightly glue these in place on the block before securing with small oversew stitches.
Sew buttons to the picture where indicated by the dots on the template. Use two strands of white embroidery thread to sew the bottom of the needle housing and the needle itself. Use two strands of blue thread to sew across the spool, then use back stitch to sew from the spool to the needle as indicated on the template by the broken line.
Sew a machine cover
Measure your machine’s height, width and depth. Add 4cm to each measurement. Cut rectangular front and back panels to this height and width. You will need two from striped fabric, two from lining and two from wadding.
Multiply the machine’s height by two and add this to its width. Cut a gusset of striped fabric with the resulting measurement as its length and the machine’s depth as its width. Cut lining fabric and wadding the same size. Lay the long gusset strip of wadding on a flat surface. Place the lining fabric on top and the striped fabric right side down on top of this, and pin the layers together. Measure the length of the machine’s handle and draw a rectangle in the centre of the strip, large enough to accommodate this (ours is 3cm x 15cm).
Stitch around the rectangle you’ve drawn. Cut out the centre of the rectangle, leaving a 1cm seam allowance, then unpin and push the whole of the striped fabric through the hole. Flatten the material right side up and press. Pin the layers together again before topstitching around the opening.
Pin together the fabric, wadding and lining of the front and back panels. Pin these to either side of the gusset, right sides facing, starting at the centre of each piece and working out in both directions. Stitch the pieces together and place over your machine to check the fit. It should be fairly loose and too long. Trim the seams neatly with pinking shears.
Create a piping effect around the seams of the cover by folding the layers of fabric 5mm from the seam and topstitching along the line of the seam. This will tighten the fit. Place the cover over the machine again and mark the desired length. Fold up the hem of the cover twice to cover all raw edges and topstitch.
On your sewing machine block, turn under 1cm of the border and tack. Lay the sewing machine cover flat and place the block in the centre of one side. Pin and sew in place through the top layer of fabric, using two strands of embroidery thread and small running stitch.