Patchwork Tea Cosy
A teacosy not only helps to keep the pot – and the all-important brew inside it – warm, it is also a beautiful finishing touch to the tea table. Hexagon patchwork is a traditional technique that is perfectly suited to this classis project. What’s more, the small scale of this make means that it’s a great introduction to this style of hand piecing. This Salt Water collection from the wonderful Tula Pink provided by Coats Crafts works so beautifully together it’ll make a great addition to your kitchen.
Fits a standard 4 cup tea pot
Collection four coordinating fat quarters
Lining fabric 40cm x 50cm
Cotton batting 40cm x 50cm
Synthetic fleece (Thermolam) 40cm x 50cm
Bias tape, 3cm wide x 150cm
Rotary cutter, ruler & cutting mat
Needle & coordinating thread
Iron & ironing board
Prym scissors, Mettler threads, sewing needles supplied by www.habico.co.uk
Templates: Templates are provided for the overall shape of the teacosy, this will fit a standard 4 cup teapot, this template is placed on the fold to cut a single piece of fabric to the correct size. The two hexagons templates are used for making the patchwork pieces. The larger hexagon is used as a guide when cutting the fabrics, the smaller hexagon will need to be copies or traced repeatedly and used inside each fabric hexagon.
Click here to download the templates. It is a large file so will take about a minute to download.
Cutting the batting and fleece
Fold the piece of batting and place the teacosy template onto the fold to cut the shape, re-pin the template to cut a second piece of batting to the same shape. Repeat with the piece of synthetic fleece, to create two identical pieces of batting and two of fleece, and set aside.
Create the lining panels
Using the teacosy template placed on the fold of the lining fabric, cut two identical shapes from the fabric. Position one lining panel on to each of the synthetic fleece panels, aligning the raw edges around the panels. Pin the lining to the fleece on both pieces and set aside.
Cut the hexagons
Using the large hexagon template as a guide, begin cutting the fabrics to create the patchwork. I worked in rows of hexagons alternating the pairs of prints, you can position the pieces in any design you choose, simply place each hexagon onto the batting in the desired design until you have enough hexagons to cover the front. Repeat to cut a second set of hexagons for the back panel of the teacosy.
Create the hexagon
Cut the required smaller hexagons template from paper. Position one paper shape into the centre of one fabric hexagon and carefully fold the small border of fabric over the paper. Use an iron to press the fabric over the sides of the template to create a neat and secure fold. With a needle and thread, tack the folded section of fabric in place using long stitches around the edge of the shape and fasten off. Repeat until all the fabric hexagon pieces are folded around the paper.
Tip - Taking the time to press the fabrics around the hexagon template as you fold it in will make the hexagons much neater and not only will they fit together easier, but the finished patchwork panel will look really professional.
Creating half hexagons
Due to the curving shape of the teacosy, there will be sections where part of some of the hexagon will extend past the batting. To avoid waste, cut the paper template neatly in half and repeat to have the fabric. Position the paper template on to the fabric and secure in the same way as the full hexagons.
Join together the hexagons
Lay out the fabric hexagons into your chosen design. Begin to join them together by placing them with right sides and working with small neat hand stitches into folds of the fabric with whip stitch. Keep the stitches small and close together, drawing the thread through tightly as you work to prevent the stitches being visible on the front of the work. Gradually work along the sides adding in new hexagons with each seam until the entire section is stitched together.
Tip - Handworking patchwork can seem like a long slow process – if you’re really short of time, check out this handy tutorial showing you how a couple of specialist products can make the process much quicker.
Press the completed patchwork panels
Repeat the process for joining the hexagons to create the back patchwork panel for the teacosy. Carefully snip the tacking threads used to hold the fabric to the paper templates and remover the paper piece from the back of the work. Secure all loose ends and carefully press the hexagon panels flat.
Layer and trim the panels
Using the batting as a guide, trim away any excess fabrics from the hexagon panels to match the shape of the batting pieces. Place the hexagon panels, right side up on to the batting. Place the lining and synthetic under the batting so that the patchwork and lining fabrics are outermost. Place the two identical pairs of sandwiched fabrics together, the lining will be inside and the patchwork on the outside and pin in place.
Tip - Working with a layer of cotton batting give the outer section of the teacosy a wonderfully soft feel and the insulating properties of the synthetic fleece ensures that the pot and its contents are kept warm.
Join the pieces and add bias tape
With a straight machine and taking a 1cm seam allowance join the pieces of the teacosy together working around the sides and upper curved section, leaving the straight lower edges unstitched. Trim the seam allowance down and pin in place a length of bias tape over the raw edges of the seam. Join the bias tape using neat hand slip stitches.
Finish the lower edge with bias tape
Open up the teacosy and work a line of straight machine stitches around the base opening of the teacosy taking a 1cm seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance neatly and pin a length of bias tape over the join to conceal the raw edges, and neatly overlapping at the back. Sew in place with neat hand slip stitches to finish.