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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Cardmaking 201, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial | 27 comments

Tutorial: Patchwork Squares

Tutorial: Patchwork Squares

This tutorial comes to us from Melissa T – go see her blog to view more of her fabulous creations!


These cards were all made using the little bits of paper that I just could not toss. As long as I can cut a one and one sixteenth inch square out of it, I can use it!

I start with a regular A2 size card front, often out of paper that is not my favorite, but sometimes just with white card stock (the heavier it is the easier it is to stitch through.)

I take all my scraps and select five or six that coordinate some what, and I love ones that look like an old time fabric. I cut the scraps into squares that are 1 1/16th inch and then the fun begins with arranging them on the card front. I keep the idea of a grandmother’s quilt from long ago in my mind for inspiration (when they used to use up old clothing scraps.) I use adhesive to attach the squares to the card front.I try to put the squares close together so the paper below does not show through when it does not match, but sometimes it is nice to see a border around all the squares when it does match.

Then I use my piercing tool to poke holes all around the outside edge of the card, about an 1/8 inch from the edge. I also pierce holes around all the squares so that I can stitch between them (again thinking of the olden days doing hand stitching, so it does not have to be perfect.) The more holes you pierce, the more detailed the card will be. Then I use embroidery thread to hand stitch around the whole thing.

I love the variegated threads (if they match the papers somewhat) because seeing the lighter and darker shades of the thread adds to the texture of the card. Have fun using up your scraps!



  1. Wowza, Melissa! These cards totally ROCK, gf! I remember when I was little, my mom teaching me to hand quilt and I made a baby quilt for my aunt, who couldn’t get pregnant until 8 years later. That was so fun and it meant so much to her {and me!}!! You did an awesome job on these! ;D

    • Thank you!

  2. Wow, the result is so cool looking, but honestly, how long does it take to make a card like that with all those little paper pieces and the hand stitching?! I’m not sure I have that much patience!

    • Thank you! The stitching does take time, but I usually do it while watching TV or my favorite episodes of OWHtv (about half an hour per card.) The cutting of the scraps is easy now that I do it as I go to manage all those scraps the way the “Scrapwrangler’ taught us. After making another style of card and have those bits and pieces lying there, I cut them into squares and place them in a little divided plastic box to use later when I feel like putting a “quilt” together.

  3. Wow, those are really beautiful.

    • Thank you Cara!

  4. I have never seen cards like this before. They are gorgeous!!!! Great technique! Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Thank you Susan!

  5. Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your technique. I am also an embroiderer and took up cardmaking to make things that get done quickly, but I would like to try combining the two and your idea looks like a great way to get started.

  6. Thank you Jean! I am certain with your embroidery skills you can make some really cool cards. 🙂

  7. Your cards are beautiful, Melissa. I really like the cross-over between embroidery/quilting and cardmaking! I used to do a lot of embroidery and this looks like fun! I will try this technique–I just hope I can pierce my holes somewhat consistently! Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and talents!

    • Thank you Yvonne! My pierced holes are all over the place most of the time, but I am thinking it makes it look that much more “hand-stitched.”

  8. Holy moly! Your cards are amazing! I’m not sure I have that much patience lol. Anyone who gets one of these will be truly blessed.

    • Thank you Cherie!

  9. What a stunning technique! These are really amazing and the amount of time and effort put into them really shows. So unique!

    • Thank you Paula!

  10. I SOOOOO want to do this!! So colorful and fun!! My mom would love it! Thanks so much for the idea (hugs)

  11. Thank you Michele!

  12. Melissa, Your mother is soooooo proud of you!!!

    • Aw, thanks Mom! We need to set you up with a “Crochet Master” blog.

  13. Wowzers.. these are beautiful. They look like you would need a lot of patience to make them,, and I was not blessed with much of that! I’ll give it a try.. but I think I’ll use the sewing maching. Thanks for the inspiration Melissa.. your cards really do Rock!!

    blessings ~ Pam

    • Thank you Pam!

  14. Melissa, love your cards. I’ve done machine stitching on my cards before, but hadn’t ever thought of hand stitching. I was thinking it would be very time consuming, but after trying one, it wasn’t too bad. I just didn’t scold myself when my holes weren’t perfect. 🙂 And what a perfect way to use those last few scraps from a 6 X 6 paper pad. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you Kristie, your card is awesome and now I would like to borrow your idea for adding the sentiment and the ribbon (more embellishments!!!!) 🙂

      • It actually isn’t ribbon, Melissa. I used thick brown cardstock and cut it into banners. The cardstock just seemed easier to “pop up”.

        • Now that really is cool. I will have to try that! 🙂

  15. I just checked this out after seeing you as the Featured Friday Card Maker. I love the way you use bits and pieces of card stock. I usually just toss them….not any longer. This is a fabulous technique and I will plan on using it soon. I like the fact you actually stitch and don’t do fake stitching. You do wonderful work. Going to start following you as of today. Thanks for sharing!!


  1. Featured Friday Card Maker: Melissa T, Yorba Linda, CA | Operation Write Home - […] follow her, she’s so talented! She shared a tutorial here at OWH a while back and that one is…

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