Prettypockets

Materials

  • Pack of five coordinating fat quarters
  • 50cm (1⁄2yd) of self coloured toning fabric
  • 50cm (1⁄2yd) calico or cotton for backing
  • 50cm (1⁄2yd) wadding. Chris used 'Soft and Natural'
  • Four buttons
  • Fabric marking pencil of your choice
  • Quilt hanger (optional)
  • Sewing and quilting threads

Finished Size

Approx 30 x 80cm (12 x 31in)

Skill Level

Beginner

This wall or door hanging is an attractive quilt and very useful too; it has four handy pockets and a quilted area in between to pin your club and quilt show badges onto. Make one to keep by the door for post, keys and mobile, and one in your quilt room for assorted cutters and markers.

Cathedral Window Pockets

  1. These are the top pockets of the hanger. You will need two Cathedral Window blocks. Cut a 12in square from each of two different fabrics. Take one square and fold in half, right sides together. Machine stitch the short sides together.
  2. Open up the 'pocket' and machine stitch the open edge, leaving a small gap for turning right side out. Do the same with the second square. Turn through to the right side. Pull out the points carefully and slip stitch the gap to complete. Press the square. See Figure 1.
  3. With the stitched seams facing you, fold two points of a square into the centre. Sew the points together with a few stitches. Repeat to join the remaining two points in the centre. See Figure 2. Fold the second square in the same way. Slip stitch the two squares together, side by side.
  4. You will see that the two squares stitched together form a diamond shape in the centre. Cut a piece of a different fabric, exactly this size. Pin it in place on top of the diamond. There is no need to hem it. See Figure 3. You can use a motif for the diamond shape, if your fabric allows.
  5. Now roll back each of the folded edges in turn. Pin into place, encouraging the fabric folds to curve and taper down into the corners and centre of the square, covering the raw edges of the diamond shape. See Figure 4 and the picture for guidance. Slip stitch into place. Repeat for both squares.

Secret Garden Pockets

  1. These are the bottom pockets of the hanger. You will need two Secret Garden blocks. Cut a 12in square from each of two different fabrics. Take one square and fold in half, right sides together. Machine stitch the short sides together.
  2. Open up the 'pocket' and machine stitch the open edge, leaving a small gap for turning right side out. Do the same with the second square. Turn through to the right side, pull out the points carefully and slip stitch the gap to complete as in Figure 1. Press the square.
  3. Cut two 6in squares of a contrasting fabric. There is no need to hem them. Place one on the centre of the right side of your stitched squares to make diamond shapes. Pin in place.
  4. Fold two points of one square into the centre. Sew the points together with a few stitches. Repeat to join the remaining two points in the centre. Fold the second square in the same way. Slip stitch the two squares together. See Figure 2.
  5. Where the two squares are stitched together, a diamond shape is formed in the centre. You can cut a piece of contrast fabric to cover this diamond as in Step 4 of Cathedral Window Pockets, or as a Secret Garden variation you can leave it uncovered, as Chris has done.
  6. Roll back each of the folded edges in turn. Pin into place, curving the fabric folds and tapering them into the corners and centre of the square. This will reveal the contrast square inside, and cover the raw edges of the diamond shape if you have used one. See Figure 5 and the picture for guidance. Slip stitch into place. Repeat for both squares.

Figure 1:The stitched square

Figure 2: Fold the stitched squares

Figure 3: Pin a diamond shape over the join

Figure 4: Roll back and stitch the folded edges

Figure 5: Reveal the contrast squares inside

Pocket Back Panels

  1. The blocks you have made are the front of the pocket panels. To make a back panel, you will need to cut a 12 x 9in rectangle of the self coloured fabric, one of wadding and one of backing fabric.
  2. Lay the backing fabric right side down, lay the wadding on top and place the contrast fabric on top, right side up. Tack or pin together securely. Quilt the panels. Chris used a vermicelli pattern, but you can quilt in straight lines or stitch around a specific design on the fabric.
  3. Cut four 2 x 13in long strips from a contrast fabric for the binding. Fold each one in half along the length, wrong sides facing. Press. With raw edges matching, stitch a strip to the top and bottom of the panel, sewing from the front. Stitch a binding strip to each side in the same way.
  4. Fold the strips to the back and slipstitch in place, neatening the corners as you go. Make a second panel in the same way. You can use the same or different fabrics.

Central Panel

  1. Cut one piece 8 1⁄2 x 9 1⁄2in from the self coloured toning fabric. Cut 2 1⁄2 x 13in strips from two alternative fabrics to create the log cabin border. Sew in place one side at a time and trim to match the edge before you add the next strip. Stitch the logs in place around the central panel as in the picture. Trim to 12 x 13in. Cut a piece of backing fabric and wadding to the same size.
  2. Draw a sunflower motif onto the central section of the log cabin block with your preferred fabric marker. Lay the backing fabric right side down, lay the wadding on top and place the log cabin block on top, right side up. Tack or pin together securely.
  3. Hand quilt the motif with large stitches, in a contrasting thread. Cut four 2 x 14in long strips from a contrast fabric for the binding. Fold each one in half along the length, wrong sides facing. Press.
  4. With raw edges matching, stitch a strip to the top and bottom of the panel, sewing from the front. Stitch a binding strip to each side in the same way. Fold the strips to the back and slipstitch in place, neatening the corners as you go.

Panel Assembly

  1. To make the top panel, take one vermicelli panel and the Cathedral Window panel for the pocket. Lay the pocket panel on top of the vermicelli panel at the bottom, both with right sides up.
  2. Slip stitch the pocket panel to the vermicelli panel as in the picture. Repeat to make the bottom panel. Hand stitch up the centre of the Cathedral Window and Secret Garden panels to make two pockets. This also prevents the panel from gaping.
  3. The three panels are then slip stitched together. Take care to make the stitches small so that the binding is kept neat and straight. You can add extra decoration with fancy buttons, silk flowers and Suffolk Puffs.

Suffolk Puffs

Left - Figure 6: Stitch all round the circle, Right - Figure 7: Gather up the puff

  1. Chris made Suffolk Puffs, sometimes called yo-yos, for the centres of the Cathedral Windows and Secret Garden panels. Chris kept the puffs small and in scale for this hanging. You can make larger ones if you wish.
  2. To make the puffs, draw around a small jar lid onto cardboard or template plastic, to make a circle template. Your cut circle needs to be about twice the diameter of the puff size you’d like, plus 1⁄4in for turning, so a 1in wide puff would need a 2 1⁄4in cut circle.
  3. Turn 1⁄4in of the raw edge over to the wrong side. Using a double thread, securely knot one end and sew a small running stitch all around the folded fabric edge. See Figure 6. When you have stitched round to the starting knot, gently pull the thread, carefully gathering the stitches together. Secure the thread and hide any loose ends inside the puff. See Figure 7.

Hanging Sleeve

  1. To hang your pretty pockets quilt, add a hanging sleeve to the top panel. Cut a piece of fabric about 1⁄2in shorter than the quilt is wide and about 4in deep. Turn the short edges in 1⁄4in and stitch. Fold in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch along the length. Turn the tube right side out and press with the seam running across the middle. If you are likely to exhibit this at a show you will need to cut the hanging sleeve fabric 8in deep otherwise it will be too narrow to take the large wooden battens used at such venues.
  2. Pin the sleeve to the back of the quilt just below the top edge, with the seam facing the quilt. Slipstitch the sleeve into place, leaving a little fullness to pass a hanging rod through. Catch the backing fabric and wadding with your stitches, but try to avoid stitching through to the front of the quilt. Thread dowelling or a fancy quilt hanger through the sleeve and hang it proudly on your wall or door.

First published in Popular Patchwork February 2008