Friday 21st December 2012, 9.12

Jessie Fincham is the writer behind crafting and sewing blog Messy Jesse, named after her childhood nickname – though she’s not that messy at all! We caught up with Jessie to find out more about her passion for crafting, thrifty finds and her ultimate guide to the perfect patchwork Christmas decoration.

Tells us a little more about yourself, Jessie:

“I love all things crafty and adore hunting in car-boot sales, charity shops and auctions for vintage fabric and kitschy items to decorate my new home. I recently opened Sew and Quilt, an online emporium selling an array of quilting and crafting fabrics to tempt craft fanatics into starting their next sewing project! If you haven’t tried quilting before, you must. It’s a fascinating pastime and not at all as difficult as it looks – you’ll be hooked in no time!”

To demonstrate her crafting passion and talent, Jessie has shared with us her method of how to make a Christmas decoration using a patchwork block technique and our Lifestyle craft fabric.


What you will need:

Various scraps of fabric measuring up to 5”

White cotton scraps

Binding fabric 21” x 2”

Wadding 4.5” square

Printed fabric 4.5” square


Cutting Instructions:

White cotton 3.25” square x 1

White cotton 1.5” square x 4

Various prints 1.5” square x 4

Various prints 1.75” square x 4

Starting with your larger white cotton square, lay two 1.75” squares on top.

Draw a ¼” pencil line from both sides of the diagonal corner, stitch along these pencil lines and cut through the middle to make two segments.

Now draw the pencil lines again through the centre of both segments, stitch and cut again forming four segments. Trim the edges, to clean them up. Great, you’ve just made what’s known in quilting as flying geese!

Lay out your flying geese to form the tips of the star pattern, this will help you with the next step.

With your printed 1.5” squares, sew them together in a 4-patch – taking note of the fabric placement so your correct star fabrics line up together.

Lay the white 1.5” squares to the corners to form your complete star block.

Begin stitching together working in rows and then press the seams open. Now join the rows together and press again.

Lay your backing fabric face down with the wadding on top, and the star block on top again, creating a sandwich.

Pin in place and stitch a ¼” around the star points in a coordinating thread.

Create your binding by cutting a strip of printed fabric, measuring 21” x 2”, fold in half width-ways and open. Fold again with both raw edges to the centre.

Begin pinning the binding all the way around the edges as shown, when you get to a corner fold the binding away from you then fold back again, creating a point of fabric.

Sew 1/4” away from the edge, stopping and starting as you get to each corner.

Turn your block over and fold the binding over.

Fold over once more to hide the raw edges (using the pressed creases as a guide).

By hand slip-stitch the back closed, making an invisible line of stitching.

Now for the loop! Cut a scrap of printed fabric measuring 5” x 2”. Fold in half lengthways and stitch along the edge to form a tube.

Turn inside out and sew together to make a circle. Turn the circle inside out again, to hide raw edge. Hand-stitch the loop to the back of the tree decoration – and you’re done!




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