A little garden time
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Cheater's patchwork, a tutorial


Yet another project that uses up those scraps. These mini patchwork patches have multiple uses and are so easy it feels like a cheater's version of patchwork. They can be used to appliqué on t-shirts, for patching holes, stitching on to paper or cards or used as whole pieces of fabric to cover moleskines, make wallets, etc.

Sewing machine * fabric scraps * small iron * fusible webbing * rotary cutter or scissors

How to
Determine the size you want the final piece of patchwork to be, cut out a piece of fabric that size and iron a piece of fusible webbing to it.


Cut out a variety of small squares of fabric, best to use a rotary cutter for accuracy. My squares are very small, about 13 mm or 1/2 an inch; larger squares would be even easier.


Peel the backing paper of the fusible webbing off of your base piece of fabric then begin lining up your squares (right-side-up) on to the side of the fabric that you removed the paper from (the "glue" side.) Line them up horizontally and vertically with no spaces between the squares forming a grid with them.

Next begin pressing your squares with a small hot iron, I used a Clover Mini Iron but a travel iron would work too. I found it easiest to do one line of squares at a time instead of trying to line up the whole grid.


When you have filled the area you want to cover with squares secure them using a zig-zag stitch with your sewing machine stitching along the gutters of the squares of your grid. Experiment with your zig-zag stitch width and length before stitching the patchwork.

Note: It's easiest to not clip the threads at the end of each line, just lift the presser foot and gently move the fabric to your next line.


To finish, trim the edges of your fabric or cut a shape out of it and adhere another piece of fusible webbing to the back of your finished patchwork - thus creating a finished, ready-to-use patch. When you remove the backing paper from your finished patch be sure it is completely cool before gently lifting it off.


I find I can iron these patches on to paper to make cards or iron them on to fabric with equal success. You will need to stitch around the outer edge on to the fabric or paper the patch is adhered to. This is also an easy way to create quick pieces of patchwork for making small sewn items like wallets, just skip the final step and leave off the last piece of fusible webbing.

Note: I use the Bondaweb brand of fusible webbing because in the UK it seems to be easiest to come by. If you've never used fusible webbing before simply follow the manufacturer's instructions for whichever brand you use.


I hope you give these a try. It's another project that becomes a little addictive, I started going mad with tiny squares when I first tried out this idea.

About the Clover Mini Iron
Of all the various forms of appliqué one of my favourites is using fusible webbing then stitching the edges, it makes a neat job of small pieces appliqué. I bought the mini iron mainly for this purpose. Mine was about £25 which has been a worthwhile investment as I use it a lot. Clover now make a new version (Clover Mini Iron II) which allows for different attachments.
If like me, you wouldn't need any of the attachments the new iron can accommodate there are now bargains to be found on the old models like mine - I've seen it as low as £7 on ebay.



oh my gosh - that's so pretty!!!!

isabel f.

thanks!!! this is realyyyyyy beautiful and easy to do :))
thank you for the idea :)))


That's genius, pure and simple. And helps me to justify keepionmg even tiny weeny scraps ...


Aren't you clever? What a brillint idea!


Very cute! I love that it's green, too - a great use for tiny scraps that might otherwise hit the garbage.

margie oomen

It is really beautiful , the squares, your method and the card you made. Thanks so much for sharing it.


That's a neat little project for those teeny tiny scrap I always save...thanks for the tutorial :)


There is really no other word for this but brilliant! Simply brilliant!! After reading your tutorial I want to go into my studio and cut all of my scraps into tiny little squares and fuse, fuse fuse!

I posted about your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:



That is fantastic - thanks for sharing! :)


clever, genius, beautiful idea! you rock!


what a fantastic idea for all those tiny scraps!so pretty:)xo fi


wow...that's so pretty. thank you for sharing

Sister Diane

This is a wonderful project! The ric rac is a perfect little detail. And, I'm always looking for things I can do with my Clover Mini Iron. Thanks so much for the tutorial!


Great tutorial - I'll have to give it a go!


I am going to love this new project! (Once I finish the hexie project! Half way there.

Just beautiful, Joanie. Can't wait to make.


Lovely...for the card, did you cut out a heart shape from the paper and glue the patchwork on the inside of the card?

Joanie Gorman

Ginger, you could use a bit of glue and attach the heart to the card but instead I added another piece of fusible webbing to the back of the heart and ironed it on to the card just as you would on to fabric. I then zig-zag stitched around the heart through the paper. If you've never tried it before practice on another piece of applique and paper first as a tester, you wouldn't want to damage a patchwork heart you've made.

Hope that helps, Joanie x

Joanie Gorman

I'm so sorry I wrote Ginger instead of Jinger!

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Your postcard design is so wonderful and cute. I'd like to try this. thanks for the idea.



Super instructions and neat idea. Thank you so much. Greetings from Germany

My 1st Bambina !

Genius ! Thanks for sharing !!!

Anne M.

This is such a GREAT idea can't wait to try it! Knew I was keeping all those scraps for something =)

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There is really no other word for this but brilliant! Simply brilliant!! After reading your tutorial I want to go into my studio and all
thank you for the idea :)))

Mitchell J. Ramirez
2213 Adamsville Road
Harlingen, TX 78550

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Very nice patchwork. I would like to use it.
I like the way of explaining the procedure.


Carla Finley

Beautiful mini quilt.

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