Sunday, February 21, 2010

Postage Stamp Quilt-along Tutorial #1

Finally the first tutorial for the Postage Stamp Quilt-along! Yey!

And technically, there is only one true 'tutorial' for this quilt-along. Since the technique is the same throughout the entire process. But I will still be posting weekly to give you all that little push if you need it.

One correction from my original calculations - I originally said that this first tutorial would make 2 'sections' - but you could actually make 3 sections. But more on that later.

It is very important to make sure you use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I cannot stress accuracy enough. If you are unsure - measure from your needle and mark it. Accuracy in your seam allowance makes for less frustration when matching seams later.

So let's begin.

You will start with 34 strips of light (or white/cream) and
34 strips of dark.
Each strip is 1.5 inches wide and 21 inches long.
Sort your strips into groups. You will have 4 groups total.
Group 1 / 3 = 9 strips of light & 8 strips of dark
Group 2 / 4 = 8 strips of light & 9 strips of dark

You will sew one group at a time.

Group 1 - start with a 'light' strip and sew all strips in group together. Alternating between light and dark. You will also end on a light strip.

Group 2 - start with a 'dark' strip and sew all strips in group together. Alternating between dark and light. You will also end on a dark strip.

You will end up with with two 'blocks' that look something like this.

See how Group 1 on left starts and ends on a 'light' strip. And how Group 2 on right starts and ends with a 'dark' strip?

Press all seams towards the dark strip as shown.

I also press from the front to make sure that they are pressed flat.

Now you will cut these into 1.5 inch strips. First trim the edge to make it straight...

Then start cutting into 1.5 inch strips. You will end up with 4 groups again that look something like this.

Now you will begin to sew them together. You can do them in any order as long as you alternate between a strip that starts with dark then one that starts with light.. and so on.

Sew 17 of them together.. pressing the seams all in one direction this time.
I like to press as I go for this step. I think it's easier to match my seams when the piece I'm working with is flat.

It will slowly start to grow..

And grow.. until you have one big block that is 17 'stamps' across and 17 'stamps' down

This block is what I have previously called a "section". You should have enough strips from this initial set to make 2 sections and possibly 3.

If you only make 2 - save all the remaining cut strips to use in later "sections". This will help to mix up the squares a little bit.

A Twin size quilt will need 20 sections (4 across x 5 down)
     approx 5.25 yards light and 5.25 yards dark
Queen will need 30 sections (5 across x 6 down)
     approx 7.5 yards light and 7.5 yards dark
King will need 42 sections (7 across x 6 down)
    approx 10.5 yards light and 10.5 yards
I hope all this makes sense - Please don't hesitate to ask for clarification - I will make sure to answer all of your questions! 

So.. go get sewing!
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shaina said...

That's actually pretty cool!! I have a thing for patchwork quilts. Can't wait to see it all done!

ritad said...

I've got lots of strips cut, but I'm beginning to wonder if I have enough light (white). I want all my lights to be the same fabric. Any idea about how much I will need.(for a twin) I want to be sure I have enough before I start sewing together.

Kim said...

I have a question do you pin each square when sewing the rows together? I can't wait to get started. I just bought my cream colored fabric yesterday.

Jandi said...

I can't wait to start! I love this! I am going to use a few different shade of white/off-white to get a bit of a vintage look.

Joanne said...

Thanks for doing this Heidi, I can't wait to start! ♥

Mikol said...

Looks great! Looking forward to getting this started. Thanks so much.

susan said...

oh wow! that is one heck of a block
cant wait to get started
thanks againbof

Cheryl said...

I am so excited about this Heidi! Thanks for putting together this great tutorial! Congrats to our sew-in winners!

Alice Grace said...

This is going to be gorgeous! I plan to start cutting my strips this week!

Bev C said...

Good luck with the quilt,it looks so lovely. Happy Monday.


Jenni said...

I've started, can't wait to see it grow.

retdairyqueen said...

Hi Heidi
Just wanted to say a big thankyou for my beautiful pot holdres and for being my partner in the Pot holder pass I love them So bright and cheerfull
Mug was great to
Funnily enough I have visited your blog befoore
Hugs Illene

Valerie said...

I am going to start tonight! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

country mouse said...

I've already started, and I'm kind of glad there are left over strips. Why...well I got impatient and only did two sets (instead of 4) so my first block ended up a little more "patterned" than I would have liked. :S Guess that's what I get for rushing :P The extra strips will help me make sure the others don't. Your first section looks awesome! Thank you for all your work.

Poppyprint said...

These quilts are going to be great! I've got too many projects on the go to start one myself, but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone elses come together. Very clear instructions and photos!

omashee aka Barb said...

Thanks for inspiring me to make a quilt that I've always admired and wanted for my own. Thinking of doing two. Would it matter somewhere along the way if I chose to use 2.5 inch strips instead of 1.5?

Wonky Girl said...

Your section looks great! I am now inspired to join. Bought a whole bolt of good muslin at 50% off (guess from where?)and will use it for all light strips. As Barb said, I may cheat and use 2.5 inch strips cuz I have swapped a mile or two of those. Now to mix up spray starch and grab a new rotary blade for the muslin.
Thank you for such an inspiring tut. :)

Notjustnat said...

Love your postage stamp quilt. What a great used of scraps. Thanks for sharing - Hugs Nat

kris said...

i love this!! i've been ogling the llbean quilt for ages and want to do a version for my daughter's room, have built up a stash pile and have a lot of cream flannel to use for the white pieces/backing! the strips method makes so much more sense than the single square test section i did! thanks so much!

Sew I Did It Myself said...

Just beautiful! Love that quilt and looking foward to seeing your version. Love the tut as well. Hope it's alright I posted your tutorial on my blog and added links to you hope you get a great following for your quilt along. Wish I could join but I am snowed under right now. Since I blogged about you I have the advantage of starting it wwhen some of this "snow" melts.


Diane said...

I have all my strips sewn and cut and ready to assemble. I was going to shoot for a king size, but I am thinking more along the twin size right now :)

isa & marta said...

Gracias Heidi , excelente tutorial. Me costo un poquito porque he usado retazos que tenia y no son iguales todas las telas, distinta tension pero lo he hecho , tambien incorporé la foto al grupo bajo el nombre de quiltera. Puedes verlo en el blog también, http:/

Lori said...

Thank you so much for the directions. I have had a whole basket of noodles, cut, so tonight I played in them. My pieces will be a bit bigger, but still look the same. It such a nice relaxing project. I am looking forward to see where it leads me!

Anonymous said...

Just love the tutorial on the postage stamp quilt. Awesome way to use up scraps. Thanks

Debbie A.

Carrie said...

THANK YOU!!! I love this type of quilt, but I've got very little quilting experience. Every other website was like Greek to me. Pictures and simple instructions were just what I needed. Thank you, thank you!

Marieke said...

Gorgeous, I love it!

One Second Needle said...

Thanks for the postage stamp quilt tutorial. I think you're directions are quite clear and the pictures were helpful as well. Great post!

Impera_Magna said...

This tutorial was recommended by John'aLee... I will be making a postage stamp quilt this year using "Hartfield" honeybuns!

Patti said...

This is a fantastic tutorial. You are an excellent teacher. Very helpful and I am anxious to finally start the postage stamp quilt I have longed to create. Thanks!

wedding stamps said...

I've never seen a tutorial on this before. Super cool, the result is amazing and it is really neat to see the process. I'll have to put this on my too do list. I really like the small squares too, the result is a work of art!

Diane said...

Hi! I thoguht you would be interested to know that I am back at work on this... got two sections done today :)

Susan said...

That's a lot faster than sewing the squares together, but then I can't use my leftover scrappy pieces! I just do them as leader enders and it all works out.

Zack Ross said...

Those designs are looks very nice and amazing.I'm totally impressed by your great work.

Activities With Kids

MommyNaturally said...

Thank you! This is so helpful! I've included your post in my blog... not published yet, but I'm working on a quilt :)

Thanks again for sharing how you made a postage stamp quilt. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

I found this beautiful quilt and absolutely fell in love with it. You have made this so simple and clear, your tutorial is awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing.