Tag Archives: patchwork

It’s been a while…

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well I think the past 8-9 months have definitely proved this to be the case.

Back in April when Chris and I moved into our dream ‘fixer upper’ home, I fanatically wondered over the many projects that we would undertake to build what would be our perfect house…both inside and out. Lists upon lists were written of what we needed to finish each and every room, magazines were thoroughly leafed through and pages torn out for creative reference, conversations over the differences of 50 shades of light grey were had and also what seemed like personal financial investment was given in places like B&Q, Wickes, Farrow&Ball and the local reclaimed Wood Store. However, it was what we always wanted. A project, something we could mould to reflect who were are and something we would fall completely in love with.

So, here we are 9 months down the line and I can safely say that we are on our way to achieving just that. With the main rooms of the house done (apart from the bathroom…we are still deciding between the wet room option or the traditional bath/shower combo…oh how our lives have changed), I am finding myself missing my smaller, more personal creative projects. Decorating a house is a challenging project in so many ways, that I have found myself craving my sketch book, staple gun and sewing machine.

I decided a step change was needed, therefore I took to our basic wooden chest with an idea to give it a bit of a make over. 

Wooden Chest

Inspired by a recent trip to a Flea Market in New York, I wanted to see if I could give this tired looking piece of furniture a trans-Atlantic makeover. The overall look for the chest was to be a more worn out, shabby chic look with a bit of an urban twist.

I firstly painted the wooden panels of the box with my trusty Annie Sloane chalk paint in three different colours – Grey, Off White and an Olive Green shade. After which I decided to add a numerical detail to the front of the chest using a stencil I made myself (the numbers turned out to be a bit wonky, which I kind of liked).

annie sloan paint

painting panels

sanding chest

painting numbers

After the paint was dry, I cut some upholsterers foam to size to fit on the top of the chest and softened it around the edges with some wadding. This was then covered with additional wadding and a large piece of cotton to ensure a comfy finish for the seat. I managed to buy some old sacks from the Saturday Market in Brighton and used these as my upholstery fabric layering an additional printed sack over the top as a design feature.

with seat foam

seating covered

I then used some thicker thread to hand sew the patterned sack into place and stapled all layers to the reverse of the chest lid, finishing by covering the messy edges with a neatly cut and sewn square of sacking.

finished product

The chest itself has already found pride of place in our study/creative space where I hope to use it as a perch to sit a doodle away in my sketch book, dreaming of more creative projects to undertake.

Ohio Star Patchwork Cushion

I am a big fan of patchwork and really enjoy making cushions from this easy but gorgeous pattern. It is definitely all down to the fabrics you choose that determines how cool this cushion can end up looking, so I would say take the time to pick colours and patterns that really work together. Here is a simple step by step guide on how to make the Ohio Star;

  • This block is based on a nine patch (3×3 grid) and is composed of triangles and squares
  • Decide on the size of your grid. If you are working on a 12″ block this will be made up of 9  4″ x 4″ squares
  • Two templates are needed – a square and a triangle that is 1/4 of that square
  • Add grain line and “Ohio Star” to templates
  • Place templates on the wrong side of chosen fabric (lining up straight grain) and draw around with a sharp pencil
  • 4 squares and 16 triangles will be needed in total
  • Cut out adding a 1/4″ seam allowance, by eye, on all sides of each shape. Place shapes in order.
  • Pin sets of two triangles and stitch along pencil line. Press seams open
  • Pin two sets of triangles together to form a square. Stitch and press seams open
  • Sew the block together, first into three rows then stitch rows together


  • Decide on the finished width of sashing – add 1/2″ for seams
  • Measure the size of your patchwork square
  • Cut sashing for for the top and bottom using the the measurements from one side of the pattern to the other and stitch in place. Press seams to sashing
  • Measure the length from top to bottom including the sashing you have already sewn and cut two stripes. Sew in place and press seams to sashing.

Quilt “Sandwich”

  • Place the patchwork block on the wadding and cut it 1/4″ bigger
  • Place the wadding on the backing cotton fabric and cut out
  • Tack all three layers together


  • Always start quilting from the centre of the work
  • Thread can be matching or a contrast
  • The purpose of quilting is to hold the three layers  together and it can be decorative as well
  • Start by either quilting a motif in the centre or quilt a line about 1/4″ within the square
  • Quilt within some of the triangles and all four of the outer squares
  • Quilt a line 1/4″ from the inner edge of the sashing


  • Cut a backing fabric the same size as the cushion front
  • Stitch a seam using 1/4″ seam allowance, gently round the corners. Stitch the line a second time for added strength
  • Clip the corners and turn right side out. Stuff with cushion pad
  • Slip stitch the opening