Postage Stamp Quilts are many and varied - with variation in layout and size of each square - and so is the way to approach making a Postage Stamp Quilt. I have chosen to make my Postage Stamp Quilt from fabric scraps and by sewing 16-patch strip pieced blocks with a random layout.
I started by tipping over my scrap bin and noticed that many of my fabric scraps were small/narrow strips (trust me, you don't want to see this mess!). And so it started:
Step 1 - Cutting Strips
You'll need a total of 432 strips to make a Postage Stamp Quilt measuring 54 inches x 54 inches. However I rarely cut all fabric in advance for a project, and prefer to have short cutting sessions followed by sewing sessions.
Step 2 - Sewing Strips
Sew four strips together, pressing all seams to one side (press all seams in the same direction). This block now measures 6.5 inches x 7 inches. Press carefully without pulling the strip set out of shape.
Step 3 - Cross cutting the strip set
Cross-cut the strip set at 2 inch intervals. You will have some excess fabric left over which may you may need if your strip set is a little wonky. Make sure that you are cutting at a 90 degree angle to the sewing lines. If not, straighten up by trimming back.
You'll need a total of 324 of these units :: four units for each 16 patch block. (Again, there's no need to make all of these units first ~ it does get a little tedious).
Sew together four units into a 16 patch block. Each block now measures 6.5 inches x 6.5 inches.
This is where direction of seams allowances becomes important!
Arrows indicate the direction of the seam allowance.
The direction of the seam allowance is indicated by the arrows above; sewing and pressing ALL blocks the SAME way ensures that you will be able to easily match the seams when eventually sewing the blocks together into a quilt top.
Press all final seam allowances in one direction. Be consistent in pressing seam allowances for all blocks. I am left handed and found it easier to press these final seam allowances toward the right.
Make a total of 81 blocks.
Step 7 - Quilt Layout
Arrange the 81 blocks in 9 rows each of 9 blocks. The arrows above refer to the direction of the final seam allowances of the individual blocks in Step 6. (For example, the final seams of all blocks in the first vertical column should be pressed up). By alternating the direction of the final seam allowance all of the other seam allowances will also "lock" together and will make matching of seams a piece o' cake.
Sew blocks together into (horizontal) rows. Press all seams in one direction; and in opposite direction for every second row.
Sew all 9 rows together into a quilt top! Press seam allowances (direction not important).
You're done! Quilt top measures 54.5 inches x 54.5 inches.
Any questions? Please feel free to ask by leaving a comment, and I will reply in the comments sections.
Work in Progress (Part 1)
Postage Stamp Quilt (Part 2)
Postage Stamp Quilt - Finished Quilt