Holes in Quilts part 1

Nope–not horrible accidents with your favorite snuggly quilt, but deliberately creating holes while you’re making a quilt. I was reminded of this technique last week and it’s been nagging at me until I did some today. If you have ever sewn clothing, it’s simply a facing, like a pocket opening. If you haven’t done that, here’s how to make a hole-y quilt.

There was a scrap of wool that jumped out of the scrap basket, begging to be used, so I obliged. Partnered it up with some squares of African fabric that I had and I was ready to go. By the way, size doesn’t matter with these…you can make the hole any size or shape that you’d like. I’m working with pieces here that are in the 5-10″ range.


You need a main fabric and a facing fabric. The brown wool is my main fabric and the facing fabric is the light brown print. Put them right sides together, where you want your hole to be. Then draw your shape on the facing fabric. Or draw your hole shape on the facing first and then put the fabrics together!


Stitch completely around the shape, directly on the line. The next step is to cut through both layers about 1/4″ inside that stitched line. Don’t be shy now–you’re trying to make a hole!


You will need to clip the corners right up to the stitching–be careful not to cut the stitching! All that’s left is to turn the facing all the way to the back and press.


You can see that my corners aren’t very smooth, but I worked them a bit more after this pic and got them nice and flat.


Now you do have a couple of options. I wanted a teeny bit of that facing fabric to show on the front, so I pressed it to show. You can press so that none of your facing fabric shows. You can trim the facing fabric smaller or it can actually be the same size as your main fabric. After you fill the hole, you can choose to topstitch around the edge, plain, fancy or by hand! What’s missing in this picture, though, is what I want to have show through that hole!

It can certainly be a single piece of fabric, but I wanted to have a little pieced design inside that dark color. And to refresh your memory, my most basic improv block is stack-slash-move—stack your fabrics right side up—cut through all layers with angled cuts–move the fabric in each stack to a different position in the stack.

holes-in-quilts-6 holes-in-quilts-7

Then stitch each layer back together. So, I pieced together a little block and put it behind the hole!


It worked! And I like it! So now I’m not simply playing with scraps–I want to finish this! Time to audition background fabrics. But first I had to audition beads, of which I knew I had quite a few that would work with these fabrics.


Yep–beads will be added!

First I tried a dark background, discharged black.


Maybe light would be better.


Not horrible, but let’s just say that I tried many, many more and I think I have decided on this one.


The entire piece will be another of the 12 x 12’s that I do, but further work will have to wait because I want to make more holes!!!

Next time will be all about circles…and a rookie mistake!


6 thoughts on “Holes in Quilts part 1

  1. Great reminder……oh how we can ignore some fun techniques for so long that they are nearly forgotten….thank you! BTW – everytime you display and arrary of bead embellishments you are auditioning….I drool….you really have a fantastic stash!


    • I do have so many beads…that’s because I can’t resist them any more than I can resist fabric. My only hope is to avoid the “places of temptation”. HA not likely!!!


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