We’re all guilty of hoarding old fabrics and clothes with the intention of making something with them ‘one day’. Let that day be now; combine your vintage materials to craft this lovely quilt. Plus, use old crochet pieces to create a pretty coordinating pillow. It’s a great way to use up your stash and keep memories of times past alive.
- **Make a quilt**
- Fabric: embroidered tray cloths,
- Antimacassers or tablecloths; shirt, men’s, cotton;
- Floral print, scraps; plain, backing
- Wadding, quilt, 2oz
- **Stitch a cushion**
- Fabric, cotton: floral prints,two; plain, white
- Dressing table mat or doily, crochet edge, approx 25cm diameter
- Thread, embroidery
- Cushion pad, 40cm Embroidery frame (optional)
- **Make a quilt**
- 98cm square
- **Stitch a cushion**
- 42cm square
Make a quilt
Wash, dry and press vintage fabrics and cut old shirts into useable panels, discarding plackets and collars. Next, cut a 15cm square and a 5.5cm x 15cm strip from card to use as cutting templates. Place the square template on the reverse of embroidered fabric, positioning it centrally over a motif. Draw around the square in pencil. Mark out more squares in this way.
Machine stitch 2mm inside the square borders before cutting them out. This will prevent the embroidery coming undone if cutting through a design and will also stop the linen fabric stretching out of shape while you piece the patchwork together.
Use the card strip to mark and cut several pieces of men’s shirt material and floral scraps. Lay the strips together in sets of three and stitch together on the long edges with a 5mm seam allowance. Press the seams flat and use the card strip to mark and cut across the trio to make a strip of blocks. Combine them to make several blocks of nine patches and sew together as before.
Make more square blocks from three 5.5cm x 15cm strips of fabric. Use up any oddments of embroidery that were too small to make whole squares from. Press all the patches and lay out on a flat surface in a symmetrical design. Ours is five patches by five patches. Stitch the squares together in strips, then into a whole block, taking care to match up corners neatly.
Cut several 5.5cm wide strips of floral fabric and sew end to end to make a continuous piece, long enough to outline the patchwork. Cut and sew to opposite edges of the quilt top, trimming away the excess each time. Sew to the remaining edges to complete the border. Repeat this process again with different fabrics until you are appy with the look. Press the quilt top.
Measure the dimensions and cut wadding and backing fabric 1cm larger than the quilt top. Lay out the backing, place the wadding on this and add the quilt top face up centrally over the two. Pin in place, starting from the centre and working out in all directions, smoothing the layers as you do so.
Quilt using a straight stitch, working out as before to avoid creasing the backing fabric. Quilt the borders and retrim the raw edges if necessary. Turn under 5mm of the quilt top. Turn in the backing fabric and wadding to match and pin. Slip stitch the edges with thread to coordinate with the border fabric.
Stitch a cushion
Press a dressing table mat or doily and lay onto a piece of paper. Mark around the central cotton panel with a pencil through the holes of the crochet onto the paper to create a rough template. Cut a piece of floral fabric 2mm bigger all round than the template.
Fit the mat into an embroidery frame or lay flat. Pin the floral fabric shape over the centre of the mat. Fold under the edges of the material and slip stitch with two strands of coordinating embroidery thread.
Cut a 30cm square of different floral fabric and pin the crochet mat to the middle. Use white thread to stitch in place around the centre shape. Stretch the crochet edges out and pin, top, bottom, left, right, followed by the spaces in between. Sew down the edges as before.
Edge the border of the floral square with a 3cm wide strip of plain white cotton in the same way as for the quilt border. Add a second border of floral fabric 5.5cm wide. Press the cushion top and use two strands of coloured embroidery thread to add a neat running stitch next to the border seams. Your panel should measure 45cm square.
Cut two 30cm x 45cm pieces of backing fabric. Hem one long edge on each piece. Place the cushion top face up, lay one piece of backing face down, raw edges matching and the hemmed edge sitting over the crochet mat. Lay the other piece of backing fabric face down against the other edge so the two hemmed edges overlap to form an envelope back. Pin in place and stitch around all four edges. Turn the cushion cover right side out through the envelope back and press. Top stitch the edges 5mm in from the seam if desired and insert a cushion pad.