Bite Sized Sewing: How to Make a (Faux) Patchwork Quilt

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Hello everyone! I’m An from the blog StraightGrain, and today I would like to share a little tutorial for a (faux) patchwork quilt. I really like patchwork quilts, but as you probably know, patchwork quilting is very time consuming. And time is not something most moms have in excess, right? So when I saw the “patchwork cheater fabrics” produced by one of my favorite brands – Birch! – I immediately knew what I would use it for.

The yard of Camp Sur I bought at CedarHouseFabrics had been in my stash waiting to be turned into a fake quilt for months when Sara contacted me for this series. Her offer to join the series gave me that necessary push I needed to finally get started on my project.

I have made (simple) quilts before, and always finished them off with bias binding, which takes quite a bit of time. In order for the project to be finished within the hour (strict instructions by Sara!), I opted for corded piping instead.

I used fleece as batting, as I didn’t work with a classic ‘quilt sandwich’. The quilting is done without the backing fabric (which is only added later), and regular batting wouldn’t run through the machine as smoothly as fleece. If you prefer to use classic batting, you can always add a layer of thin fabric just to make it run smoothly.

– 1 piece of cheater patchwork fabric (Birch has beautiful cheaters in almost every collection)
– 1 piece of fleece or another type of batting (of about the same size)
– 1 piece of backing fabric (of about the same size)
– corded piping (length = circumferene of quilt)
– thread, pins, scissors, etcetera

I made a quilt with 1 yard of fabric. It can be finished in 1 hour. Ready? Steady? Sew!

0:00 Let’s start with cutting the cheater fabric. If you would like the quilt to have only complete patches, cut your fabric in such a way that you have a 1/4″ (7 mm) seam allowance all the way around. Round off the 4 corners with the help of a bowl or glass.


0:05 Pin the cheater fabric onto the batting, right side up. Next, stitch horizontal and vertical lines across the entire surface of the quilt. I stitched at foot width at both sides of each printed line, but you can also stitch right on top of each printed line, of course.


0:45 Cut off any excess batting. Next, stitch the piping onto the edge of the right side of the cheater fabric. Use your zipper foot (or a special foot for cording, should you have that). Clip the corners (you can also clip the corners after the next step, but then you’ll have to cut through (too?) many layers).


0:50 Pin the right side of the backing fabric onto the right side of the cheater fabric. Next, turn the
entire piece upside down, so that the batting is now on top, and stitch around the edge, right into the stitch line you ran in the previous step. Leave a turning hole at the bottom of the quilt. Cut off any excess backing fabric.


0:55 Turn the piece right side out, and close the turning hole. No need to do this by hand, by the way; if you pull the piping aside a bit, you can run a stitch line which is as good as invisible..


1:00 Your cheater quilt is done! Time to do a little test: show your quilt to one of your housemates or friends. When my mom saw my quilt, the first thing she said was “Wow, all those little scraps of fabric you stitched together!”.
He he :-)

Thank you, dear Sara, for having me here today!

An from StraightGrain blogs mostly about the clothes she creates for 3-year old daughter Norah, and started her electronic sewing patterns label earlier this year. Her third pattern, the Hanami top and dress, will be available in the second half of August.

  1. Cool! I have not seen much of this type of fabric! a great idea!!

  2. You just made my day! I was stressing about making lap quilts for friends and family for Christmas! You are my new best friend! Thanks for the tut!!!!

  3. Wow! A quilt that I could actually finish in one sitting! Love it!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. what fabric did you use on the back?? it looks like a knitted fabric almost.

  5. I need some help visualizing, please: When sewing the verticle lines, don’t the feeders get stuck on the batting? Also, the “quilting” portion (sewing horizontal/vertical lines) is only on the front, not the back piece, correct? thank you!

    • Hi Kimberly,
      Indeed, the quilting is only on the front, not on the back piece. On my machine, regular batting does not get caught in the feeders, but on other machines, it might. That is why I suggest in the tutorial to add a layer of thin fabric just to make it run smoothly (or use fleece, like I did here).

  6. What did you use for the backer? It looks nice and soft.

  7. How do you secure the backing fabric to keep it from billowing out?

    • For this quilt, I ironed a tiny bit of fusible interfacing between the layers before closing the turning hole. Just about a square inch in the middle and at the four corners. But I don’t always do that – topstitching the piping is a good alternative. But then you might not be finished within the hour ;-)

  8. It’s brilliant! The fabric is so cool that no one will care if it is cheater.

  9. I should have read your questions and answers before emailing you a question you’ve answered! Debi Sokol

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