Postage stamp quilts are intricate works of handmade art that showcase hundreds or thousands of different fabrics in one quilt. This quilt type is ideal for using up very small scraps of many fabrics. Quilters often trade fabrics with friends or with quilting acquaintances online so that they have a large variety of prints to use. There is no one actual postage stamp quilt pattern, but a series of patterns. Any quilt made up of many tiny squares in multiple fabrics is known as a postage stamp quilt.
Things You'll Need
- Cotton quilt fabrics
- Muslin fabric
- Rotary cutter
- Rotary mat
- Rotary ruler
Cut a large amount of 1 1/2 inch squares in multiple quilt fabrics. Cut an equal amount of 1 1/2 inch squares in muslin. Use rotary cutting tools to cut the fabrics, to ensure the most uniform fabric squares. The number of squares depends on your desired finished quilt size. This project depends on random piecing, so cut a pile of squares, then piece a pile of squares. Continue repeating these steps until you have a size you like.
Pin together one print square and one muslin square, with the right sides together. Sew along one edge using a 1/4 inch seam. Sew together another pair of fabrics, using one print and one muslin. Place the two sewn pieces together to create a four-square design, with the prints in the upper left and the bottom right. Place the pieces with the right sides together. Pin and sew along the edge to create a four-patch. Your piece should measure 2 1/2 inches.
Sew together a number of four-patch squares. Lay out four of the four-patches on the table, making sure that each one has the print on the upper left corner. Pin two together and sew them, creating a four by two square strip. Pin the other two together, creating another strip. Pin the two strips together and sew, creating a 16-patch square. This square should measure 4 1/2 inches per side.
Continue making 16-patch squares. Cut more print squares and more muslin squares when you start to run low. Whenever you trade more fabric scraps, add more squares to your print bag to keep a good variety in your finished squares.
Assemble enough 16-patch squares to create a strip wide enough to complete your quilt top. Create enough strips to make a length to complete your quilt top. Sew the strips together, choosing some from earlier in your sewing process and some from later, to further mix up the variety of quilt patches in your top.
Measure the length of your quilt top. Cut two strips of muslin of this length and 4 1/2 inches wide. Sew one of these strips along the right side of the quilt top and the other along the left side.
Measure the width of your quilt top, including the width of the right and left border strips. Cut two strips of muslin of this length, and 4 1/2 inches wide. Sew one of these strips along the top edge of the quilt top and the other along the bottom edge. You now have a postage stamp quilt top ready to be quilted.
Tips & Warnings
- Make a small wall hanging in this pattern to decorate your home and to get a feel for the scope of this project before planning a full-sized quilt.
- Photo Credit sewing image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com
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