What is Patchwork?

Definition and origin

In order to make a perfect definition of Patchwork, we have to look back a few years. In its beginnings, it was based on to join certain pieces of fabric, to form a single piece of fabric. This technique was also used to be able to make certain patches in the fabrics, as a patch, and to be able to continue using them. Although this was the beginning, it is true that little by little, the purpose of the technique was perfected. So much so that what began as a patch, became one of the great decorative techniques.

The term Patchwork is the union of two words with English origins: Patch+Work (patch and work). As I'm sure you know, this is a textile technique, or form of sewing, that joins different types of fabrics in a variety of colours.

The truth is that you can not put a birth date to the Patchwork. This is a really old technique. So much so that one of them was found in Egypt, in the tomb of a queen and in the year 980 b.c. Also in the V and VI centuries b.c. a saddle with this finish was found. While in the 1st century B.C. it was a carpet that incorporated a quilted and patterned finish as well as stitching.

The development of Patchwork

Little by little this technique was used in different parts of the world. North Africa, Syria or India were some of the pioneers. Until it arrived in Europe, a little later than in those we have mentioned, around the 11th century. When it began to work in Europe it had a very clear purpose: decorative..

Although quilting applications were already used in Europe, it seems that the arrival of Patchwork gave a big turn, because everyone was admiring the great beauty of it. It was not only suitable for bed linen, but also for certain tapestries and flags. In the 13th century a variety of quilting was developed in Italy. It was called the trapunto quilting. It is none other than two layers of fabric with which they are made bastille-shaped drawings. It is necessary to point out the importance of the quilting, since it was used as a kind of protection. Soldiers were protected thanks to these quilts.

Today is one of the most used techniques when making bed linen.. Both quilts and bedspreads. Although we also know that it does not stop there. Imagination and resources have made that we also see bags of this type, cushions and fashion garments. Because both Patchwork and quilting are closely related techniques, which can go together.

What do you need to make Patchwork at home?

Material to make patchwork at home

Sometimes we think that it can be complicated to get started in this technique. But nothing is further from the truth. As well as letting your imagination run wild, you can create your own bags as well as quilts, etc. Remember that being made of small scraps or pieces of fabric, it is always an ideal way to recycle. Remember that being made from small scraps or pieces of fabric, it is always an ideal way to recycle. Do you want to know what you need to get started?

  • Base or cutting board: It is a surface that prevents you from scratching your table. What can be defined as a protector, which also contains measures both in inches and centimeters. Of course, it will always depend on the one you choose.
  • Cutter for fabricsAlthough you think that scissors are basic, in this case not so much. It is best to opt for a cleaner and more precise cuts that will leave us the cutters. Of course, they are special for this job. They have a round and rotating piece that will move through the fabric, preventing it from fraying.
  • RuleWithout a doubt, a basic element when it comes to cutting the fabrics. Try to make them wide and rigid so that they last much longer.
  • Sewing machineSewing machine: In order to make the work cleaner and with a better finish, the sewing machine is the best ally. Below you will find a selection of the best models of sewing machines for patchwork and quilting.
  • IronAn iron also ensures a perfect finish. Every seam you sew will need ironing.
  • Fabrics chosen: It is always better to make sure to choose good garments so that our work also has a better result. In this case, quality fabrics are necessary. Silk, linen, wool and flannel are perfect, as well as 100% cotton.
  • Needles, pins and thimbleWhen we have a sewing job in sight, they are essential.
  • Paper and pencilThe paper we will need to make the patterns. The pencils can be black or white.
  • Tape measure and threadWe are going to use cotton thread. Both in beige tones and in the basic black or white, as they are the most demanded shades.

The best sewing machines for Patchwork 

Machines Features Price
Singer Starlet 6699

Singer Starlet 6699

-100 stitch programs
-12 positions
-6 one-step automatic buttonholes
259,00 €
View offerGrade: 9/10
Singer Patchwork 7285Q

Singer Patchwork 7285Q

-98 stitches
-13 positions
6 one-step buttonholes
313,90 €
View offerGrade: 8/10
Brother CX70PE

Brother CX 70PE

-70 stitches
-12 positions
-7 one-step automatic buttonholes
299,00 €
View offerGrade: 9/10
Alfa Zart 01

Alfa Zart 01

-404 stitches
-12 positions
One-step automatic buttonhole
599,00 €
View offerGrade: 7/10
Bernina Bernette Sew & GO 8

Bernina Bernette SEW&Go8

-197 stitches
-15 positions
-7 buttonholes in one step
379,99 €
View offerGrade: 9/10

sewing machine comparator

Singer Starlet 6699

This sewing machine is 46 cm long, 27 cm wide and 37 cm high. It has a total of 100 stitches, of which 76 are decorative, 9 basic and 8 flexible.

Its threader is of automatic type, as well as the stitch selection. Speaking of them, it is worth mentioning that they can reach 6.5 mm in width. In addition, it has LED light and back button.

Singer Patchwork 7285Q

In this case we find another Singer machine. It has 98 types of stitches, among which 15 will be for quilts, 8 for elastic fabrics and 61 decorative. It also has 13 needle positions.

The width of the stitch can reach 7 mm. Its dimensions are 34cmx44cmx35. It is an electronic machine, with which you will obtain professional results in the Patchwork technique.

Let's not forget about its double needle function and also, for thicker fabrics you can switch between two presser foot heights.

Brother CX70PE

A new model of electronic sewing machine. Intended for Patchwork and quilting, with which you will get a professional result. You can use it whether you have or not notions in the world of fashion.

No foot pedal required. It has 7 styles of buttonholes, automatic threader, LED light and reverse button. The stitch length can reach 5mm, while the stitch width can reach 7mm. Its speed is 850 stitches per minute. With 6 feed dogs and double presser foot height.

Alfa Zart 01

In addition to the 404 stitches and with memory, this machine also has 18 Patchwork stitches. It is easy and comfortable to use. Perfect to make all the sewing pieces you can imagine. It has LCD screen and free arm.

It also has 2 alphabets with symbols, double presser foot height, automatic threader and stitch speed control.

Bernina Bernette

Another electric machine and perfect for both quilting and Patchwork. This is one of the most complete models you can find. Automatic threader, free arm and powerful starting system.

But it also has 15 needle positions and 197 different stitches. In order to create different styles, it has memory functions. Thus, we can save the best creations.

How to make Patchwork

It should be mentioned that there are several techniques available to make Patchwork. We will see little by little the most common ones. But to start and broadly speaking we should look for fabric scrapswith which we are going to work. The ideal is to cut them all in the same way. That is, in a square or hexagonal shape, for example.

When you have thought about the shape you are going to give them and before cutting, bear in mind that you should leave half a centimetre more on each side. Because it will help us to sew the pieces of fabric together. Once this step is done, we will join the pieces as we like. First with pins and then, we will sew them to obtain the expected final result.

How to make Patchwork without needle

Increasingly, the technique of needleless patchwork is becoming a great favorite. Mostly because of its simplicity. You can put it into practice when the design is somewhat elaborate. For example, to make Patchwork pictures. This technique is also known as 'False Patchwork', because no needles or thread are needed.

To get started, you will need fabrics of different colorscardboard or a polystyrene base. In addition to a cutter and glue or silicone gun.

The technique is very simple, as we mentioned before. First, you must transfer the chosen design to the surface. That is, to the cardboard or polystyrene base that you have bought. Then, you will cut out the pattern that will form the design or drawing. Each pattern will be placed on the fabric and cut out, but keeping in mind that we must always leave a few millimeters as a margin.

We will place the pieces of fabric to cover and fill our design.. We will fix them with glue and that's it.

Which fabrics to choose for needleless patchwork?

It is true that in this case, too cotton fabrics are perfect. But you can also opt for silk. Although in this case, you have to be very precise because it slips quite a lot. With linen you will get a more professional look to your paintings or your works in general. If you do not master this technique, stay with the mentioned fabrics. But if you are already an expert you can also work with synthetic fabrics. They are a bit more complicated, but not impossible.

Patchwork Applications


Patchwork Quilt

A perfect way to cover your bed. Besides having a long tradition, it will bring a personal and very flattering style to every bedroom. On the one hand, the double bed will always be combined with the colors of the room.

The pastel shades and floral prints are the most chosen to add the warmest touch. This type of patchwork quilts will also add a decorative style with vintage and retro touches. On the other hand, we find the children's bedspreads, where the brightest colors and drawings will be the protagonists in the rooms of the little ones.


Another of the great ideas of this technique is to see it reflected on the bags. Without a doubt, they can also be very creative. Formed by colorful and printed pieces of fabric, they will be perfect for covering a type of shopper bagor a bag to take to the grocery store.


Patchwork Cushions

We use them both in the living room and in the bedroom. Not only with a specific function at the time of rest, but also as a decorative feature. That's why the Patchwork technique also helps us to do this. You only need the stuffing and to create the cover of your cushion. You can combine colours as well as patterns and make them in different sizes. Decorate your home with these patchwork cushions!.


Patchwork armchair

Chairs, couches and armchairs can be decorated with this technique. With slight vintage and Nordic inspirationHere are two great ideas for decorating the interiors of your home, because you deserve a rest on a work of art! Here you have more information about how to get a Patchwork armchair.


Pattern for Patchwork

As we all know, thanks to the Patchwork patterns we will be able to elaborate an endless number of ideas. They are the basis of each of them, that is, the drawings that will inspire us throughout the process. From figures to dolls or instruments and so on.

If you've come this far, it's because you're still not quite sure.

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