This quilt has been made by Chris Hammacott to utilise the feed
sack fabrics she purchased on eBay.
- 2m of denim cotton
- 2m of cotton ticking
- About 2 metres mixed feed sack fabrics
- One 5in square of white/cream fabric for the centre
- 215cm (84in) square of wadding and backing fabric (you can join the
backing fabric if you cant find any wide enough)
- Buttons and strong thread for quilting
200cm (80in) square
Chris was utilising a number of feed sack fabrics that were purchased already cut into 5in squares. If you have purchased smaller squares, just cut your toning cottons into the same size. Other charm squares could also be used
- As feed sack fabrics are purchased in small quantities, and it is unlikely that
you will be able to purchase more of a design, Chris has teamed the mixed colours
and designs with denim and ticking. This she feels enhances the work-a-day nature
of the fabrics and gives a real feel of the make do and mend concept. Of course,
you could team the feed sacks with a single coloured cotton, maybe a dark red, or
use recycled fabric to further increase the worn quality of the fabrics.
- Start by cutting:
- 56 5in squares of ticking fabric (cut 5in strips across the width and
then crosscut into 5in squares)
- 56 5in squares of denim fabric - these are the blue squares on Figure 1
- 116 5in squares of feed sack fabric (includes four for the border corners)
- One 5in square for the centre
- Referring to Figure 1, take the first two
fabrics in row 1, place RS together and
sew. Take the first two fabrics in row 2 and
sew together. Continue in this way sewing
the first two fabrics from each row together
without lifting the presser foot in between.
This is called chain piecing. Use a sticky
label to number the columns 1 to 15 to save
mistakes when they are stitched together.
- Repeat step 3 to sew the next two pairs of squares together for all the strips.
Continue until all the squares for each column are sewn into one long strip. Press
the seams on the first column to the top and on the second to the bottom, continue pressing
the seams in odd numbered columns to the top and even numbered columns to the bottom.
- Take the first two columns and pin together. Where the seams meet they
should mesh neatly due to the pressing. Sew all the strips together and give the whole top
a good press. Remove any stray threads.
Figure 1: Quilt Layout
Borders, Quilting and Binding
- For the border, measure your finished quilt top through
the middle of the quilt. Cut two 3in wide strips of ticking to this measurement.
Sew to either side of the quilt. Measure the quilt again including the border youve just
added and cut two more strips to match this measurement. Press the seams towards
- Measuring as in step 1, cut four 4 1⁄2in strips of denim. Sew two to two sides of
the quilt. Sew four corner squares of feed sack fabric to the ends of the remaining
two strips. Then continue and sew to the last sides as before. Press the seams
towards the borders.
Note: The border is wide to reflect the size
of the squares, if your squares are smaller
keep the border strips narrower. You could
add more borders if you wish.
- The centre cream square can be left plain,
or suitably embellished. Chris has sewn a
heart and the year in backstitch. You could
place a larger button in the centre when you
come to quilt. This square provides the central
point, so make it work for your quilt!
- Measure your finished top and cut
wadding and backing fabric roughly
2in larger all round. Lay the backing
fabric RS down on a clean surface,
spread the wadding on top. Float the quilt
top onto the top RS up and make sure
there are no creases. Put a safety pin in
each square to hold the layers together.
If you are worried about your fabric put
the pin at the edge of a square over two
seam allowances where any holes wont
be so obvious.
- Starting at the centre, sew a button to
the corner of each square. Use a thick
quilting thread and make sure you tie off
well to stop the buttons popping off later.
Buttons are a traditional quilting technique
in feed sack fabric. They are quick,
efficient and sit well with the working
fabrics. Chris' buttons are thick plastic in
cream and red. Shirts from a charity shop
can give a good supply of smaller buttons.
Remember, if this is for a young child, use
ties instead of buttons.
- Cut 1 1⁄2in strips of denim and use to
bind the quilt edge, with a single fold
binding. A double fold would be quite
thick to work in the denim. Sew with one
raw edge matching the quilt top and fold
to the back and slipstitch neatly.
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 13 Number 10 - September 2005