You’re going to need these.

It is important to have the basic tools to ease you into your project. There is nothing more exasperating than having your momentum stopped because you’re missing a thing or two.

When I started my first quilt, the only tools I had were a tiny cutting mat, 8.5” quilt ruler, rotary cutter, scissors, pins, thread and sewing needles. I began by hand sewing because I wasn’t sure if this was for me and I wasn’t going to invest on something that I wasn’t sure about. Ridiculous, right? A few years on and I have a room stocked up with quite a bit of gear. And as much fun as hand sewing was, I was pretty lucky to receive a sewing machine that Christmas. It was definitely quicker with a sewing machine!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you can always start small, get some fat quarters and test the waters to see if this is for you.

Here are the basics that have helped me along the way:Eggquilts_suestrobel_tools

  • A good sewing machine with interchangeable foot capability.
  • ¼ inch sewing machine foot
  • Walking foot
  • Hand sewing and machine quilting needles (change needles for every new project or after 10-12 hours of use)
  • Tape measurer
  • Quilting ruler
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Pins
  • Cotton thread
  • Basting spray
  • Masking tape
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Steam iron and ironing board

Beginners 16″ Octagonal Nine Patch Cushion Cover

This is a pretty quick and easy project. You’d be able to get this done in an hour or two, which makes it so gratifying and fun! It’s also a great platform to start and see if patchwork is for you. Let’s begin!

A) Background fabric B) Front fabric

For material, you will need 5 fat quarters (18″ x 22″) and 18″ square batting:

  • 2 fat quarters for patchwork (front and background)
  • 1 fat quarter for the backing for the quilt sandwich (this will be inside of the cover, so you wouldn’t need anything fancy)
  • 2 fat quarter for the cushion envelope
  • 1 square of batting measuring 18″ x 18″
Cut “Square 1” diagonally to make triangles.

Cutting for patchwork:

  1. Square 1 (cut into squares and then cut diagonally in half to form triangles):
    1. 2 square cuts of front fabric
    2. 2 square cuts of background fabric
  2. Square 2:
    1. 4 square cuts of front fabric
    2. 1 square cut of background fabric
  3. Cushion envelope (these are to overlap for the back of the cushion to form an envelope):
    1. 1 cut of 11″x 18″
    2. 1 cut of 13.5″ x 18″
  4. Batting (my preference is always either cotton or bamboo):
    1. 1 square cut of 18″ x 18″


Change your machine foot to a 1/4 inch foot. Start by piecing the triangles. Pair a front fabric and a background fabric, right sides together and pin along the diagonal line. Then start sewing a 1/4 inch seam along the diagonal part of the triangle.
Bring the sewn pieces to the ironing board and press it towards the dark (darker fabric).
Square the pieces. You want to trim away the pointy ends and square them up so it’s easier to piece the whole thing together. Using the block pattern above as a guide, lay out your squares to create the octagonal shape.
Stitch these together in blocks of three. Bring these back to the ironing board and press the first and third row in one direction and the second in the opposite direction. This will allow the seams to nest nicely when you piece them together.
Once again, bring it to the ironing board, press and square the block. Tada! Patchwork part is complete! You are half way to having your very own handmade cushion cover my friend!
Now we want to create a “sandwich” for the quilting portion. Smooth out the backing fabric, right side facing down, and spray it with some basting spray. Place the batting on top, smooth it out and spray more basting spray and place the patchwork on top of it. Smooth it out.
I use basting sprays instead of pins because it is just so much easier! If it was a super large quilt, I would probably bast it with spray and put a few pins around to help with the weight. Quilt Basting sprays won’t harm your machine or your quilt. It’s washable. Just use it as per the instruction. Use, don’t abuse 🙂
Bust out the masking tape. Use the masking tape to mark the quilting lines. Screw on the walking foot and start the quilting process by sewing close to masking tape. These work as guides, I ended up sewing more lines than these to make sure that my batting sits nicely in this quilt sandwich. Once again, square off the excess material. There you have it! Your first quilt sandwich!!
For the cushion envelope, hem one side of each piece. Fold the length of the fabric and once again onto itself. Press it well with the iron.
Sew the hems shut. I do it twice, once on the top and another on the bottom to make sure it wouldn’t stray.
Now this is the finisher! Bring back the quilt sandwich, right side up. Align the envelope pieces at the top and bottom of the quilt sandwich, right side down. These will overlap. I placed the wider piece on top of the shorter piece. Pin them down. Sew the edges together with a 3/8″ seam. Trim off excess material.
Trim off the edges of square and flip it inside out. Stuff it with a cushion and you are done! Since this is a 16″ cushion cover, you can stuff it with a 16″ cushion inner, unless you prefer a puffier looking cushion, in which case you can place in a 17″ inner.
Your first completed patchwork/quilting project! High fives all around!

I would love to hear from you and see the projects that you have done. I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and perhaps found a new love in quilting!

Awesome Sauce!

Scrap cushion cover completed! I got through this half way and noticed that it is another food related patchwork! Food is not just a nourishment, it is an obsession bordering on totalitarian. Based on my compulsion to make quilts and a love of food, I should have been a bear. Snuggle and eat. If it wasn’t for my trusty Labrador who takes me out for a walk everyday, I would be a bear right now. A very cuddly bear with a cool quilted jacket. Yeah!

Here’s Awesome Sauce!!!


Leo the animal quilt

I finished Leo last week and sent him on his way to his forever home. I didn’t want to put up any photos until his new owner gets to see him first hand. He arrived at his new pad today and I foresee a lot of snuggle time ahead for the both of them. I love making quilts and I love it more when other people love it too! Thank you Jessica for giving me this wonderful chance of making you an animal quilt.

And here is Leo! He is a lap quilt, with his body measuring at 30″ by 70″. He is sewn together using 100% high quality quilting cotton, cotton batting and cotton thread.
eggquilts_suestrobel_leo_animalquilt eggquilts_suestrobel_leo_animalquilt2 eggquilts_suestrobel_leo_animalquilt3 eggquilts_suestrobel_leo_animalquilt4

A little hoarding never hurt nobody.

I’m looking out my window and I see grey and rain. It seems like Auckland is having a hard time getting herself in gear towards summer. I have a semi-quiet week ahead of me and so I had some spearheading ‘self’ plans mapped out for this Monday. I was going to walk off the 3000+ calories ingested over the weekend at the Auckland Taste Festival (which was and still is the most amazing food fest I’ve been to to-date!), I was going to clear out the fridge and start some clean eating before Christmas, and fix up the garden. Alas, all of that would not be happening today.

However! I can’t complain. Because on days like this, I feel especially grateful that I have a craft room with enough fabric “hoardage” that I can submerge myself in some patchworking. I have always wanted a Missouri Star quilt. Today could be the day!eggquilts_hoardfabric

Scraps Scraps and more SCRAPS!

I find it the hardest to throw away perfectly good scraps of material leftover from previous projects. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this one. However, what can be done with scraps which are too small for much, but too big to throw away? I have made a salvage quilt a few years back and I loved every back-breaking second of it. Deep down, I still believe in the quintessential principal of quilt making, and that is to use up whatever that is available. Want not, waste not. I don’t have enough scraps for another queen size quilt, although I do have enough for small projects. I have started to separate my scraps into colour groups and have decided to make modern alphabet patchworks with them. I see another throw cushion cover coming!!eggquilts_awesomesauce