Kai's Kite Site: Patchwork Workshop


All images and designs: Copyright 1995-2009 - Kai Griebenow. All rights reserved.

Now the second workshop in my pages, the Patchwork Workshop. Patchworking can be quite simple, or very complex…..it just depends what you would like to do. For a workshop it is always good to start with something simple. Thus I decided that the Log-Cabin would be a nice start for the newcomers under the patchworkers J .



As you see, patchworking starts with a basket full of stripes of the same width (Image 1). Happy cutting. I use a yardstick to get them to the same width – I use the width of the yardstick to make it easy for me.

The next thing you need is a cup of coffee…….it will be a long night.


You see, I was a bit busy in-between and also did cut some white squares. It is not important how the exact dimensions of the squares are – but they have to be exact squares! Every little deviation will result in larger deviations in the blocks you are going to create.

The next step is to use the first color of stripes and attach the squares to it. I use a sail-maker’s soldering iron with a very fine tip from Weller. It is very practical in the sewing process and more rational if you align all the squares on the stripes.


Don’t forget to drink some coffee in-between – you may fall asleep otherwise soon J .

The next step is quite logical, stitch the joined pieces together. In contrast to traditional quilters I prefer to use a sewing machine instead of doing it by hand (would be funny with ripstop to try otherwise). Since you hot-tacked all the pieces you don’t have to worry. The seem allowance I use is exactly the width of the little foot in the sewing machine – I don’t have to think that way (even though I am at my fourth cup of coffee by now it is getting somewhat tiresome).

Well, guess what is next. Right, turn the seem and close it as shown. Now you ended up with long stripes sewn. Next you cut the stripes into little pieces with a hot-gun and you can do the same procedure again……on the next colour of stripes you would like to use. It is exactly the same procedure that you do: Hot-tack, sew, cut, turn 90 degrees, hot-tack, sew, cut………where is my coffee??

Something to the colors. If you would like to create a nice pattern with the Log Cabin block it is a good idea to make the block somewhat symetrical. For example, you can use darker colours on one half (two neigbouring strips) and lighter colours on the other half. In case of the kite created here it is blue on one half and lighter colours on the other. The closer you match the colours on both halfs, the stronger the pattern will appear when you sew them together.



Finally, after many steps you end up with a pile of squares like the one above. Depending on the kite you would like to make you can make different numbers. I usually make about 50% more than I really need (in case they don’t turn out that nice – the se ones go into bags, tails……). The larger you make the square and the more pieces, the better you have to sew and align! For the beginning I don’t recommend more than the number of pieces shown above. Make sure by the way that you end up with a square and not rectangle. 

These squares you can now arrange in different ways. I show you some of the possibilities below of what you can do with the above square. Some examples are shown in the images.


Have fun – and don’t forget the coffee. Very tedious work ahead. 


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