When starting out with patchwork and quilting, beginners frequently see a pattern or design they would like to make but are unsure how to translate that into a quilt. I recently was given some 12″ by 12″ Graph Paper for Quilters and Papercraft pads from Sew Easy to try out and what a wonderful thing – perfect for designing blocks and quilts.
You get 25, 12″ square sheets which are divided up into inch squares sectioned into fours – for the four quarters. They also have four, eight and twelve inch dividing lines to make it easy to grid out different sizes of quilt blocks.
But how do we draft a basic design?
I have a friend, Daisy, staying with us through lockdown at the moment and she has only just started her sewing journey. She wanted to make some cushions and some glasses cases and so we used the Quilters Graph paper to plan the designs, going for a modern block layout rather than more traditional quilt blocks.
These would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift which are quick and easy to make. They would also be great for craft fairs or charity sales. It is suitable for children with help depending on age and also perfect for beginners who would like to make something useful and learn a few skills on the way. You could easily change the size for larger glasses as I did for my sun glasses. This is where the graph paper is so handy – simply draft out a different size and calculate the pieces you need to cut. Sew Easy!
First, decide on the overall size. For the glasses slip case, we went for a 7 1/2″ square. Check with the actual glasses you want to put inside them – mine are quite small but some have larger lenses which would need an increase in size. Easily done with the graph paper.
We then drafted the design and used colouring pencils to decide on the fabric placement. Each block is then easy to count how many inches it needs to be BUT don’t forget to add seam allowances! I draft my pattern’s finished size and just add half an inch to all dimensions. Easy to remember and it works for me.
Then cut your pieces of fabric to the required size. You can either use your rotary cutters and rulers or go ‘old school’ and make templates. These are again easy, I still have mine cut from cereal boxes when I was first learning. They still come in handy and they don’t have the associated cost when starting out. Rotary mats, cutters and rulers are expensive! Make sure your templates are accurate (including the seam allowance) and then use a pencil to draw around them on the wrong side of the fabric. Use scissors to carefully cut out the shapes.
Daisy made her glasses case fully by hand whilst I went for speed and used my sewing machine. If sewing by hand, it is handy to mark your sewing line, 1/4” in from the edge. Again, use a pencil to draw the line on the wrong side of the fabric. Then you can sew the sections together.
We added a scrap of wadding and quilted the outer as this provides additional protection to the contents. It’s a great way to learn how to quilt and simply have a go if you haven’t done it before.
Cut another square of lining fabric, you can use any cotton or poly/cotton for this as it won’t be seen. Using up old shirts or bedding is something I do but make sure it isn’t stretchy.
We also added a little tab to pop a button on to hold the case closed. You can use your machine or hand sew a button hole or use a press stud. A little piece of velcro is another option – hook piece on one side, hoop piece on the other.
If you used Velcro or a press stud you can still add a decorative button which gives a professional finish to the case.
You can find the full pattern in my shop here.… Happy Mother’s Day!