What is Patchwork and How to Use it at Home?

Patchwork is a traditional technique that consists of using and joining fabric pieces to create a whole. Discover all the amazing things you can make to accessorize your home.
What is Patchwork and How to Use it at Home?

Last update: 18 November, 2021

Patchwork is a traditional technique in which different pieces of fabric are sewn together to create designs on a wide variety of home accessories. In this article, we’re going to explain how to use patchwork to decorate your home in a traditional, but elegant way.

What is patchwork?

Patchwork is a form of textile art with origins in ancient Egypt that’s been reproduced in different parts of the world. It’s noteworthy that each civilization performing this technique has put its own stamp on it.

Ready to experiment with different shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and designs to create a unique item?


Flowers with fabric.

Considering that the art of joining pieces of fabric together to create textiles has evolved throughout different civilizations, there are different techniques. Between them we can find:

  • Grandmother’s garden: one of the most colorful and popular techniques. It consists of creating designs from hexagon-shaped pieces.
  • Log cabin: perhaps the most classical and traditional way of making patchwork. It consists of using small squares of fabric that each represents the shape of a fireplace. This technique is commonly used to create and construct fabric flowers.
  • Paper piecing: means joining fabric with pieces with paper. Here, we create patterns on paper, cut them out, and sew fabric to these pieces. Then they’re joined together to create the design.
  • Application: this technique is the most flexible because we can draw a paper pattern (or use a photo) and then print it onto fabric.

What equipment do you need to make patchwork?

The main tools required for patchwork are creativity and imagination. Although you can start by replicating drawings and patterns, over time you’ll achieve such dexterity that you’ll be able to create unique and incredible items.

Also, you’re going to need some basic sewing equipment such as:

  • Needles, pins, and thimbles to protect your fingers.
  • Protective boards to avoid damaging your work table.
  • Thick rulers to cut with greater precision.
  • Scissors, a sewing machine, and an iron.
  • Glue and markers for fabrics.

How to use patchwork at home

Cloth patchwork blankets.

With the patchwork technique, you can create incredible decorative accessories for your home. Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you!

Using fabric scraps is a very sustainable option. It’ll give old fabrics such as clothing, bedding, and curtains a new lease of life. The only thing you need to do is to cut these fabrics into the shapes you need.

Interestingly, you can even analyze how many accessories such as buttons, zippers, and pockets you want to add to your designs, These items can be used as decorations to complement your patchwork.

Tablecloths for your tables

Square, round, rectangular, and rhombus! Using these shapes, you can create your own tablecloths in the best patchwork style. You can choose between large, medium, or small patchwork shapes.

The only important thing to consider when making tablecloths is that you use smooth fabric to prevent tableware from wobbling. Also, you should ensure that the seams are as neat as possible.

Upholster old furniture

Sofas, dining chairs, and even furniture coverings–any upholstery can be done using patchwork. Although some knowledge of upholstery is required.

The possibilities are endless! Your old chairs will look like new with a little paint and some new cushions.


To make curtains with pieces of fabric, you must choose translucent fabric scraps to allow for the passage of light. Although, being such an important home decorative element you have to join each piece well, through hand or machine sewing, as well as fabric glue.

A play tent for children

Patchwork quilt for children.

Children love tents and often make very creative ones indoors. For this, they typically use their bedding and any other garment to carry out or support their ideas.

With the patchwork technique, you can make a large blanket for them to use as a tent cover or curtain.

Patchwork on the walls

It can be difficult to adhere pieces of fabric to walls, but you can use pieces of wallpaper instead. The principle of the technique is the same: cut out different sized pieces of wallpaper in varying shapes, colors, designs, and textures and stick them on the walls.

Moreover, with this technique, you can decorate any space you can imagine–not just a child’s bedroom.

How else would you like to implement patchwork?

The ideas to decorate with patchwork are endless. Using this technique, we can make all types of garments, and even shoes and decorative paintings. What’s more, now that you have an idea of how to use this technique, you can make all the ideas in your head come to life! What will you create?