How To Hand Piece Joseph’s Coat–A Tutorial

Joseph’s Coat, quilts, TUTORIALS

I have had several write me that they think this quilt will be very difficult and would be hard to make.  I thought I would show you how to do it in sections – it probably looks like it is more difficult than it actually is.  I do believe all quilts when broken down into sections is much easier to do than one might think.  We all do this in our own way of course as we all have learned or taught ourselves our own method.

First of all, I said I was doing Joseph’s Coat with Inklingo a method of printing your templates directly onto fabric.  I will be printing out most of my melons with Inklingo but I found that I could get more pieces out of my yardage for the odd shape background pieces by just pressing my freezer paper templates onto the fabric and squeezing as many as I can on it and then cutting out with the rotary cutter and/or scissors. (this is due to the odd shape, when using most other shapes you do not waste a lot of fabric)  I have on these first melon pieces used pencil to draw out seam lines – but will be using the Inklingo to print on the melon pieces from now and spent part of yesterday preparing some.  This piece I am showing you has the pencil marks – I will show the Inklingo another day.

step 1

I have these pieces cut and ready to go.  I take them off of my wall and put on this small felt board to keep them in order and not forget placement – the empty spot on the lower area shows where I took them from. As you can see I have put my first colors of yellow/orange on the wall – I will need to work this whole section before I add more color as I have no plans to get my portable design wall out right now.


Don’t take too many pieces off of your design area at one time or you might get mixed up also I have a 12 inch square here so can’t fit many on it which is a good thing I think.


step 2:  finger press the center of your pieces – I do this as I work so only the two pieces I am ready to sew are finger pressed in the center.


Step 3:  pin, these melon shapes are gently curved there is no need to clip anything to help it along – start in the center and pin the center, then work out – use as many pins as you are comfortable with – it doesn’t matter if you need more or less than I do – it is for you to be comfortable with what you are working on.


Step 4:  hand stitch or machine stitch – up to you – I am hand piecing – this one little section just took a couple minutes – I use a running stitch and back stitch every 10 stitches or so for added strength.  The melons are six inches so big enough to handle easily.


Step 5: when I am working on each section in the living room or where ever I am stitching I just gently finger press the seam down a little – press towards the melon, it lays flat easily.


it is now ready to move to the next melon.


When I get this whole section sewn I will take another photo and show you later today or tomorrow how this is attached to what is now on the wall.  A section this size doesn’t take long to make at all – depending on how often you get up to do something else that is!!

By working on one section at a time = I get plenty of exercise because I normally work in the living room for hand piecing and then get up and go to the sewing room to press with the iron and place on the wall and get more pieces.  This is important to me because I stiffen up easily in the hips and knees because of osteoarthritis.

I hope this little tutorial shows you how easy it is to do this and that it is easier to make than one might think.

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5 comments… add one
  • Caroline in NH Jul 21, 2011

    I have this pattern, from an old source, and cut a bunch of pieces from some 30s repros for this. It’s in my “eventually” pile. I’m amazed that you can see the stitching line at all! Maybe it shows up better in person than on the enlarged photo. Then again, it’s entirely likely that your eyesight is better than mine to start with!

  • Della Jul 21, 2011

    Your quilting talent is endless.

  • Crispy Jul 22, 2011

    I’ve never finger pressed a curve before stitching, I’ll have to try that next time I do curved piecing.


  • claire quilty Aug 4, 2013

    I love to hand stitch block pieces together. Thank you for a helpful tutorial that includes stitching curves and matching the points. It is extremely helpful and has encouraged me to take on curves.

  • carol Jul 10, 2014

    I am starting this block, and I have to tell you I am confused! I have carefully cut out my pattern pieces, and as I start piecing, I do not understand why my melons are slightly longer than the triangle pieces. It confuses me as I join because it seems that the tails are longer and therefore I cannot figure how to line everything up to join. Does that make sense?

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