Try this sew and cut patchwork method to make a useful sunglasses case. Designed and made by Sharon Russ, it is stitched entirely on the machine – no hand sewing involved!
- Two fat eighths of contrasting fabrics for the patchwork blocks
- 25cm square of lining fabric
- 25cm square of wadding
- 20cm of fabric for sashing and binding
- Matching thread
- Square block of card measuring 11cm (4 1⁄2in) or adjust for smaller versions
To fit average sunglasses
The materials used in this project are available from all good quilt shops.
If you are always putting your glasses down and then losing them then a case made in bright colours will save you hours of searching. It would also make a good case for your rotary cutter, so while you are at it cut a few extra blocks and
make a spare.
Depending on the size of your glasses the case can be produced in a small, medium
or large size by using a variation on the basic square template. The case shown
uses an 11cm (4 1⁄2in) square template but this can be reduced to a 10cm (4in) or a
9cm (3 1⁄2in) template. Use your collection of mix 'n' match leftovers or use a pair
of contrasting fabrics.
Use 1⁄4in or 7-8mm seams throughout; do not mix imperial and metric measurements.
As this is such a quick make it is a good idea to cut all the components at the beginning of your sewing session.
As you work you will be able to pick up the piece required and your case will be finished in double quick time.
- Four blocks of quarter square triangles
- Sashing 40 x 4cm (16 x 1 1⁄2in)
- Binding strip 90 x 5cm (35 1⁄2 x 2in)
- Lining square approx 24 x 24cm (9 1⁄2 x 9 1⁄2in)
- Wadding square approx 24 x 24cm (9 1⁄2 x 9 1⁄2in)
Making the Blocks
Figure 1: Components needed to make the case
- Place contrasting fabrics RS together with the lighter one uppermost and press.
- Draw two squares onto the light fabric with no space between. Draw the diagonals.
Figure 2: Sewing the units
- Sew 7-8mm (1⁄4in) either side of one diagonal in each square. See Figure 2.
Cut along all drawn lines.
- Press the seams on each of the resulting eight triangles towards the lighter fabric
and then join each pair to make four blocks of quarter square triangles. Press.
See Figure 3.
Figure 3: Piecing the unit
Joining the Blocks
- Place one block RS together onto the sashing and stitch. Trim sashing level with
block. Join second block on opposite side of sashing. Press seams towards blocks.
- Sew one long edge of each pair of blocks to either side of the sashing. Trim and
press as before.
- Sandwich wadding between the blocks and lining fabric. Pin or tack to hold, then
quilt in the ditches of the patchwork and the sashing.
Figure 4: Folding the binding
TIP! A walking foot is a good idea if you have one but firm pinning or tacking will be
adequate to prevent the layers from moving.
Binding and Finishing
Press the binding strip in half lengthwise, open, press each side towards the centre
leaving about 5mm (3⁄8in) through the middle. See Figure 4.
Figure 5: Sewing the case side and base
- Place the RS of the binding strip onto the lining side of the quilted fabric and
machine along the fold line. You can either fold a mitre at the corners or take
a couple of tucks or gently round the corners.
- Turn the binding towards the RS of the quilted fabric covering the stitching line.
Use an edge finishing stitch to fix the binding down. Zigzag width 3-4 and length1-2
is quite suitable or you could use a blanket style stitch if your machine has one.
- Decorate the junctions of the design as required but do not press, as this will
flatten the wadding. Adding a button will help disguise points that are not quite
- Fold the fabric in half WS together aligning the edges of the binding. Machine
in the ditch making sure that you reverse at the start and finish. Leave about 3-4cm
(1 1⁄2in) at the top edge if you require a turn back on the corner. See Figure 5.
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 12 Number 7 - July 2004