How to make a Patchwork Quilt

Want to make a patchwork quilt and don't know where to start? You will find that there are hundreds of different quilt designs you can use but, if this is your first adventure into patchwork and quilting, the secret is to keep it simple.

The following small quilt is made with 5 inch squares of patchwork cotton.

Finished size of this quilt is approximately 31.5 inches square but you can easily change the proportions by adjusted the number of squares.


49 different 5 inch squares of cotton patchwork fabric
OR use two co-ordinating charm packs with 25 x 5 inch squares in each.
Thread to blend with colour of fabrics for joining squares.

Seams to be stitched at a scant quarter of an inch and press as you go.

Lay out your squares on a table in 7 rows with 7 squares in each row and arrange as you wish. Take the first row across the width and join squares (by machine or hand) making one long strip.

  1.  5 inch squares
  2. Join two squares
  3. Make strip of squares

Join the squares in the remaining 6 rows in the same way.

TIP: Press the seam allowances of row 1 all in the same direction. Press the seam allowances of row 2 all in the opposite direction and alternate the direction of pressing for remaining rows. This makes joining rows of squares much easier as the seam allowances 'nest' together.

Join the strips of squares together by stitching row 1 to 2, row 3 to 4, row 5 to 6 and then join these pieces together until all 7 row strips become one piece - your quilt top.


1 metre (39") of 112cm (44 inch) wide patchwork cotton for back of quilt (this gives an extra few inches on all 4 sides when making up.
Square of wadding - lap size at 45 inches
Thread for quilting
30cm (12 inch) of 112cm (44 inch) wide patchwork cotton for binding strips


Place backing cotton face down and then centre the wadding on this. Centre the quilt top you have just made right side up on top of the wadding making a sandwich of the layers with the wadding in the middle.

Pin with quilting pins or curved safety pins (specially designed for pinning the layers of a quilt together) starting from the centre and smoothing out as you go, pinning in the centre of the squares to leave the seams free for quilting.

When secure - quilt along the seam lines by machine or by hand which will hold the wadding in place. Also 'stay stitch' around the edge of the quilt top a quarter of an inch in from its edge and trim along the quilt edge (not the stitching line) through all thicknesses. This stitching line holds the edges together and acts as a guide for applying the binding with the quarter inch of quilt between the 'stay stitching' line and the edge of the quilt being covered with the binding.

Apply double binding using a length made from four 2.5 inch width of fabric strips joined together as shown in Double Binding Finish off by hand stitching the binding which has been rolled over to the back of the quilt.

Congratulations - you have now made your lap quilt!