I do love scrappy quilts, and my postage stamp quilts are among my favorites. Most of you know this, and some of you share my obsession. My two-inch treasures have been well discussed here, some have been sold on ebay®, and several of my readers are making their own scrappy little treasures into quilts. Hop over to Colorado Lady to see her progress on a postage stamp scrappy quilt. Then peek at Lemonwood Clock for another. There are lots of inspiring links on the Lots of Links page. I know of nearly a dozen readers who have started a Postage Stamp Quilt.
Some people look at them and think they are intimidating, but to me they really are one of the simplest quilts you can make. But they can get tedious. The cutting is straightforward, the seams are simple, there is practically no planning for color or design placement. In my humble opinion, some wacky corners in your matching are quite acceptable on these, unless you are entering a contest. The finished quilts are colorful and busy enough to hide flaws. That said, perfectionists can make all their corners as tidy as they want! I am definitely not a perfectionist.
They are like a giant I-Spy quilt, with novelties and so many interesting fabrics in them. We have kept little ones entertained at family gatherings, asking them to go count the purple squares, or find how many cats or butterflies they can find. Having finished five of them, ranging from double to king bed size, I am now starting on my sixth. Slowly, no rush, just doing a few blocks every now and then.
This is one of those quilts that can be assembled in more than one way, and none of them are right or wrong. If super-scrappy is not your style, you can sort your pieces and create a color-washed pattern. Some people advocate stitching together rows of eight little squares, then attaching the next row, etc. I use the same “squares, rectangles, squares” technique that was used with ten squares in the Classic Squares Quilt Tutorial, and that is what I am demonstrating here.And I am talking scrappy here. This quilt will use over 4,000 two-inch squares of fabric, and I aim for as few duplicate fabrics as possible. Frankly, you could probably duplicate each fabric three or four times and many people would never notice it. But having no repeats makes for a fun challenge! You could start with squares as big as 2.5 inches, or even go tiny and start with the classic one-inch fabric squares. Two-inchers just feel manageable to me, but still give the mosaic effect. If you love the look, but have a limited fabric supply or limited patience, consider strip-piecing a quilt using 10 to 50 different fabrics. You can find good directions for strip-piecing a postage stamp quilt at Seams To Be You and Me.
How I Assemble One 12.5 Inch Postage Stamp Quilt Block
Click any photo to enlarge. This is the same process as shown in the Classic Squares Quilt Tutorial, which is on a much larger scale.
|Note to perfectionists! You may want to square these up to 3.5 inches before proceeding, to help keep all corners matching.|
A year ago, I had over 40,000 little squares cut (OK, way over, I re-estimate it at 75,000). I have used some, but I can’t stop cutting as I acquire other fabrics. Take a look here, it really is an obsession! However, I hope that you will be inspired to try making a scrappy postage stamp quilt sometime! Let me know if you do, I would love to share your progress with others too. – Mary
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