Polaroid Sew Along 2017

To find the other Polaroid Sew-Along posts and tutorials, please head over to the Polaroid Sew-Along Page!

Piecing Polaroids

In my last post I gave you a very thorough run down on the pieces needed to make individual blocks. Although this is a great way to use up scraps and various cuts that you may have laying around, it isn’t the most efficient way to piece these blocks. Not only does it take more time to individually cut the strips and piece the polaroids, it also creates a lot of waste. If you know that you are going to be making a lot of these blocks (and by “a lot” I mean more than say… 5 or 10), then you may want to consider chain piecing them. Be aware, this is not your average chain piecing! I recommend chain piecing them on an uncut strip.
Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

I know what you are thinking. “What is this magic that you speak of?! Uncut strips?”

It isn’t really anything too spectacular, but it will allow you to squeeze one or two more blocks out of each strip of fabric!

Strip Piecing Explained

One of the first things we learn when we tackle a larger quilting project that works with yardage is efficient cutting. We take our yardage and cut it into strips of a certain width, and this width is determined by the size pieces that you need. In our case, the sides and the top of our polaroids are 1″ wide, so we would cut out a bunch of 1″ strips. Once you have your strips cut, you then sub-cut these strips to create rectangles, squares, or whatever type of unit you’ll be working with to create your block. In our polaroid blocks, we have 1″ strips that are both 2.5″ long and 4.5″ long, so we would then sub-cut those 1″ strips down to those sizes.

For the method I am going to be describing today, we are going to skip the step where we sub-cut. This means that we are going to cut 1″ strips, and then we are going to sew our fussy cut blocks to those nice and long 1″ strips. If you are using Fat Quarters, you will be cutting 1″ x 22″ strips. If you are using yardage (a 1/2 yard or larger), you will be cutting strips that are 1″ x WOF.

How many strips you cut is determined by

  1. How many polaroids you can squeeze onto your strip
  2. How many polaroids you are planning on sewing for your project

Strip Piecing with Polaroids

Piecing with Strips

First, decide which side of your fussy cut squares you are going to be sewing. For the sake of this guide, I’m going to be sewing onto the right side of my squares. We are going to call the polaroid that you are sewing on the “active polaroid.”

Note: For some reason, I just feel more comfortable with my strip on top and my fussy cuts on the bottom, as the whole system just runs more smoothly this way for me. If you feel more comfortable having your strip on the bottom and the fussy cut squares on top, then go for it!

Strip Piecing Polaroid BlocksStep 1: Cut a 1″ strip the width of your fabric. Head to your machine.

Step 2: Take one of your fussy cut centers, and line it up so that the edge of your 1″ strip is nice and straight with the right side of your square. Begin sewing, back stitching as desired.

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Step 3: Before you get to the end of the block, stop sewing with your needle in the down position on the active polaroid. Grab another one of your fussy cut squares, and line it up as you did with the previous step. Note: You can get the bottom edge of your active polaroid preeeeeetty close to the top edge of the polaroid that is next in line to be sewn. You want to make sure that these squares are not overlapping, and that you have enough space to cut when you are finished sewing the strip, so you be the judge of how close you want them!

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Step 4: Continue sewing on the active polaroid, back stitching when you get to the end. As it is being fed through your machine, guide the next polaroid along until it is under your needle and it becomes the active polaroid! Make sure to back stitch after the transition from one polaroid to the other.

Step 5: Continue in this manner, stopping with your needle down on your active polaroid, adding the next polaroid in line, sewing, and then back stitching when you transition to the next in line.

So by using this method, you can sew one strip and see how many polaroids you can comfortably jam on to it. Count up how many polaroids you have left, and divide that number by how many you fit onto your first strip. Round up! Then add one more strip to use for the other side of your test strip.

For example: Say I can fit 17 fussy cut squares on one strip, and I have 25 more fussy cuts to sew. I know that I will need 2 more strips for the rest of the fussy cuts. That is just for the right side, so I’m going to double 2 to 4 in order to have enough strips for the left and right side of each fussy cut square.

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Separating the Polaroids

Now you need to separate your polaroids off of the strip. It is important to do this step before you head to your ironing board. When your pieces are unpressed, you can trip the strip using an already existing square edge by lining up the ruler with that straight edge. If you press your piece open first,  you run the risk of pressing the strip out of shape and causing the strip to get a bit wonky on the block. Also, it is more difficult to cut a square line on the side of the block like this because you are extending the line off of an already cut piece, which happens to be pretty tiny, if that makes sense? It may save time to press that seam first and then separate the polaroids, but from experience I know that I have a higher chance of having nice straight and square lines by cutting first (and using the already existing line of the fussy cut block) and pressing second.

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Step 1: Lay your newly sewn strip onto your cutting table so that the strip is on the table and your fussy cut squares are facing up.

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Step 2: Take your ruler and line it up with the edge of the first fussy cut square. Use the edge of the square as your guide and cut the strip in line with it. This will separate the first polaroid from the strip.

Strip Piecing Polaroid BlocksStep 3: Move on to the next polaroid.

TIP: You are going to have a little bit of fabric on the left side of your block – this is the fabric that was between the first and second block. I like to ignore this little tab of fabric for now (see above) and cut all of the same sides of my blocks in one go. This makes things go nice and fast as it is a repetitive motion. I pile all of my blocks to the side as I go down the line, which allows me to only have to turn the pile once to remove the remaining tabs, instead of doing each block one at a time.

Trim the right side of the fussy cut square in the same manner as the first polaroid you separated (image below).

Strip Piecing Polaroid BlocksMove the squares into a pile as you work down the line.

Step 4: Continue down your strip until all blocks have been trimmed.

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Step 5: Flip your pile around and begin trimming any overhang on the other side of the block.

Strip Piecing Polaroid BlocksStrip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

At this point, I then return to piecing as apposed to pressing. I like to do all of the same action in groups to save time. So I will flip my block and begin sewing the side opposite of the side I just sewed to strips using the same piecing method as above.

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Once all of those sides are sewn in place, I will once again trim the blocks, first cutting the right side and piling up the squares, and then flipping the whole pile and trimming off that extra little tab that is left over.

Pressing the Polaroids

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

Once both of my sides are sewn, I press my block with my seams towards the outside frame. I pressed my seams this way more for aesthetics than anything else, as I think the loft from pressing the seam to the side adds a little bit of dimension to the block and makes it look more like the fussy cut center is framed by the border.

TIP: Start by pressing your polaroids with the fussy cut square facing up. Gently open up each side and push down with your iron with steam.

Strip Piecing Polaroid BlocksTIP Con’t: At this point, flip your polaroid over, and press it one more time with the right side of the fussy cut block facing down. After you press it with steam, let it cool in place on your ironing board. Doing this will help keep the sides from flipping back up!

Strip Piecing Polaroid Blocks

When my sides are nice and flat, I need to sew another 1″ strip to the top.

I’m going to use the same method as I did above, sewing along the strip and adding the next polaroid as I near the end of the active polaroid taking extra care to make sure that the seams I pressed are being sewn to the correct side when I pass over them. Once I get to the end of my strip, I can see how many polaroids I have left and calculate how many more 1″ strips I will need. I know that the number of strips I needed all together for the 1″ strip at the top is the same number of strips that I will need for the 1.5″ strip at the bottom!

Before I return to my ironing board, I make sure that I have all top and bottom strips sewn onto my blocks, and all of the extra bits of overhanging strips trimmed off. Now you properly trim your polaroid to size.

Polaroid Sew Along 2017 Trimming Polaroid

If you need guidance on trimming your blocks, refer to the detailed instructions in this post! Feel free to ask any questions here in the comments, on Instagram, or in my new Tea & Brie Community Group Page on Facebook!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

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Sew Along 2017

To find the other Polaroid Sew-Along posts and tutorials, please head over to the Polaroid Sew-Along Page!

Materials

I think one of the best aspects of this Sew-Along is how you have complete control over the finished product. Are you interested in making a mini quilt? Awesome! Do you want to make a clutch? COOL! Are you all about pillows? Yes! Do you want to create a circle skirt with all polaroids just above the hem? So cute! You absolutely have the creative freedom to follow your vision.

For all participants, I recommend using the following materials:

  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • rotary cutter (45mm will make it easier for some of these smaller cuts)
  • acrylic rulers
    • If you don’t have a 2.5″ square acrylic ruler, I recommend picking one up. These are really great for fussy cutting, and are the perfect size to cut the center of your polaroid.
    • I also recommend a square acrylic ruler that is somewhere in size from 4.5″ square to 6.5″ square. This will not only be the perfect size to trim your polaroid to size, but it is also an easy size to handle to create either drop-shadow blocks or tilted polaroid blocks.
    • When I first started quilting, I picked up this pack of omnigrid rulers. It really does offer an amazing range of rulers that you can use for a wide variety of projects. Highly recommend!
  • washi tape or painters tape
  • a sewing machine that you can sew an accurate 1/4″ seam and a scant 1/4″ seam on.
  • an iron that gets nice and hot and has steam

Step 4: Admire your fun new block! Oooooh. Aaaaah!

Fabric Requirements (per block/polaroid):

Below you will find the fabric requirements needed for your polaroid block, adding a drop shadow and background sashing, and creating a tilted block with and without sashing. At the end of Section 1 and Section 2, there are photos showing you how to line up your ruler to trim the polaroids. This step is necessary in preparing the block to use in projects. Trimming for both the Drop Shadow Block with Sashing and the Tilted Block (with and without a drop shadow) will be explained later on in their respective guides.

Please Note: Today is only fabric requirements and trimming. Full, step-by-step guides on piecing your polaroids, adding drop shadows, and creating tilted blocks will be released over the next two weeks. These guides will be the perfect aid for beginning sewists who need a little extra guidance beyond the pictures below.

Section 1: Polaroid Block

Each Polaroid block needs the following:

(1) 2.5″ square (the cute little fussy cut center)

(2) 1″ x 2.5″ strips

(1) 1″ x 4.5″ strip

(1) 1.5″ x 4.5″ strip

Polaroid Sew Along 2017 Block Measurements

This will yield a block that measures 3″ x 3.5″ unfinished || 2.5″ x 3″ finished.

TIP: Before moving forward, please note that you absolutely need to make each layer larger and then trim down, and this is true regardless of how many steps you are taking to make your blocks (just adding sashing to your polaroid, adding sashing on a tilted block with a drop shadow, or any other combination). You are working with very small measurements on these blocks. Depending on which Polaroid Adventure you choose to follow below, you may be working with strips that measure only 1/4″ finished! My blocks are nice and crisp because after every single step, I square/trim my block. If you don’t take the time to do this, you will have a block that is a bit more organic and wonky.

Trimming your Polaroid (gallery view):

Trimming your Polaroid (text only):

Step 1: Lay your ruler on top of your untrimmed block, making sure that the 1/2″ line on the top and right side of your ruler are lined up with the top and right seam of your fussy cut square. You can see the two blue marks that I made for myself as a guide in the upper right hand corner of the fussy cut square. This cut is important! You will know that you are lined up correctly if the 45 degree line on your ruler passes through the top right corner and bottom left corner of your fussy cut square. You can also see that a 2″ “box” on the ruler surrounds the fussy cut square (the 1/2″ line on the right, the 1/2″ line on the top, the 2.5″ line on the leeft, and the 2.5″ line on the bottom).

Step 2: Trim away the fabric to the right and top of the ruler.

Step 3: Flip your block over, lining up the two edges that you just cut with the 3″ line and the 3.5″ line respectively. You can see how the washi tape on my ruler makes it easy for me to quickly identify those lines. You can double check that your ruler is in the right place by making sure that the 1/2″ line on the right side of your ruler is in line with the right edge of the fussy cut block, and the 1″ line at the top of the ruler in in line with the top ede of the fussy cut block.

Step 4: Trim!

 

If you are interested in adding sashing to your Polaroid:

The size of your sashing really depends on the size that you want your finished block. Above you can see that we trimmed our blocks to 3″ x 3.5″ unfinished. This should be the size of your polaroid regardless of how wide you make your sashing.

Sashing for the Polaroid Sew Along 2017

The following measurements are for a 4.5″ unfinished block. Within the next week or so, I will be updating this post with a free download for how to adjust the size of the size of your sashing for a range of block sizes. In the meantime, for a 4.5″ unfinished block you will need:

(1) 3″ x 3.5″ Polaroid, trimmed (see above)

(2) 1.5″ x 3.5″ strips

(1) 1.25″ x 5″ strips
Sashing for the Polaroid Sew Along 2017This will yield a block that is around 5″ square. Trim down your block to 4.5″ square using the following pictures as a guide.

Trimming the Sashing (gallery view):

Trimming the Sashing (text only):

Step 1: Lay your ruler on top of your untrimmed block, making sure that the 1″ line on the right side of your ruler is lined up with where the right edge of the polaroid meets the sashing. The 3/4″ line on top of the ruler should be in line with where the top edge of the polaroid block meets the sashing. You can see where I marked blue lines in the top right corner of my ruler to use as a guide. I also marked blue lines at the bottom left corner of the polaroid where the 3.5″ and 5.75″ markings intersect.

Step 2: Trim the right and top sides of your block.

Step 3: Flip your block over, and line up the two sides that you just trimmed with the 4.5″ lines on your ruler. You will be trimming 1″ away from where the edge of the polaroid and the sashing meet on the right side, and you will be trimming 3/4″ away from where the edge of the polaroid and the sashing meet on the top.

Step 3: Trim!

Drop Shadow Block

Step Section 2: Drop Shadow Block

If you are interested in creating a piece that uses the drop shadow technique, but you aren’t crazy about a black/gray color scheme, you are in luck! In terms of color selection, you are only limited by the fabric colors manufactured! Since Robert Kaufman now has 303 colors available in Kona, and other manufacturers are starting to roll out tons of colors in their own lines of solids (Cotton + Steel, Riley Blake, Art Gallery Fabrics… you name it!) your choices are nearly endless.

So, keep an open mind and check back tomorrow for more on color. Full, step-by-step guides on piecing your polaroids with drop shadows will be released on 5/11. In the meantime, drop shadow block specifications!

If you are interested in adding a drop shadow to your Polaroid, you will need the following:

(1) Polaroid Block, trimmed (See Section 1)

(2) 1″ square of “background” material

(1) 1″ x 2.5″ strip of “shadow” material

(1) 1″ x 3.5″ strip of “shadow” material
Polaroid Sew Along 2017 Drop Shadow Measurements

Trim the bottom and the side down 1/2″ using the following as a guide. Your block now measures 3.25″ x 3.75″

Trimming the Drop Shadow (gallery view):

Trimming the Drop Shadow (text only):

Step 1: Lay your polaroid on your cutting mat so that the drop shadow is on the right and top sides. Ooooops! You can see here that I didn’t cut a long enough strip of shadow for the right side of my polaroid. Good thing we added in more fabric so that we can trim down!

Step 2: Lay down your ruler so that the 1/2″ markings are laying on top of the seam of the polaroid and shadow. You can see here that the blue markings I made for trimming my polaroid earlier on work as a guide for the drop shadow as well! The 1/2″ intersection should be right on the corner of the polaroid. YES!

Step 3: Trim!

In order to add sashing around your polaroid block with a drop shadow, you will need the following background fabric:

(1) Drop Shadow Polaroid Block, trimmed (see Section 2)

(2) 1.5″ x 3.25″ strips

(1) 1.5″ x 5.75″ strip

(1) 2″ x 5.75″ stripPolaroid Sew Along 2017 Sashing Measurements

The above background fabric will give you an unfinished block around 5.75″ square. I realize that this is pretty large, but it will really allow you to trim your block down square. You can always use strips that are a bit more narrow if you don’t want to trim so much off! I cut down my blocks to 4.5″ from the 5.75″ square.

Section 3: Tilted Block

Tilted Block Polaroid Sew Along 2017

Full, step-by-step guides on creating tilted blocks with and without drop shadows will be released on 5/14.

Turning your Polaroid Blocks into tilted blocks is a great way to add some interest to your overall design. The great news is that even though the polaroid in the middle of the block is tilted, your block is still square, so you can chose to do only 1-2 tilted blocks if you want! You can also easily change the direction that the polaroid is tilting, as well as how severe the tilt is. Full, step-by-step guides on creating tilted blocks with and without drop shadows will be released on 5/14. Stay tuned!

tilted polaroid sew-along 2017

In order to create a tilted block with a drop shadow, you will need:

(1) Polaroid Block with Drop Shadow, trimmed (See Section 2)

(2) 2″ x 3.25″ strips

(2) 2″ x 6.75″ strips

Tilted Block Polaroid Sew Along 2017

In order to create a tilted block without a drop shadow, you will need:

(1) Polaroid Block, Trimmed (See Section 1)

(2) 2″ x 3″ strips

(2) 2″ x 6.5″ strips

Tilted Block Polaroid Sew-Along 2017

 Full, step-by-step guides on creating tilted blocks with and without drop shadows will be released on 5/14.

But I Don’t Want Creative Freedom!

I understand how too much creative freedom and too many options can be really intimidating for some folks, and that is ok. For those of you who would like a more concrete project, I’ve calculated the amount of fabric you need to make approximately 30-36 blocks. You are still going to have the freedom to choose the size block that you want to end up with (within a couple of inches), and how many polaroids you commit to making. These two factors will determine how large or small your quilt will end up being (mini quilt? baby quilt? crib quilt?). If you are at a place right now that you want to just make a bunch of blocks, and see where the project takes you, then I say go with it! The following measurements will give you a whole bunch of blocks to work with.

In order to make approximately 30-36 polaroid blocks, you will need:

2 Fat Quarters of White

1 Fat Quarter of Black/Dark Gray

1 Fat Quarter of Light Gray

Remember: Urban Sewciety has bundles available for anyone who is interested in purchasing a Polaroid Kit!

Congratulations if you made it through that entire post! Phew! I have some great tutorials coming up that will explain different techniques for piecing the blocks, step-by-step guides for calculating custom sizes, and full tutorials on how to make drop shadows and titled blocks!

Happy Sewing!

Meg

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  • Jen U.

    Meg — Muchos mahalos for this awesome, well-written (grammatically AND technically) and thorough tutorial.  I have a heap of Polaroid blocks accumulated from the recent IG swap and did not know where to start with the trimming process. so all the detailed info with photos is super helpful.  I definitely want to try some tilted, drop shadow block layouts, so looking forward to the May14th post on this topic.  Rock on, sister!

  • […] In my last post I gave you a very thorough run down on the pieces needed to make individual blocks. Although this is a great way to use up scraps and various cuts that you may have laying around, it isn’t the most efficient way to piece these blocks. Not only does it take more time to individually cut the strips and piece the polaroids, it also creates a lot of waste. If you know that you are going to be making a lot of these blocks (and by “a lot” I mean more than say… 5 or 10), then you may want to consider chain piecing them. Be aware, this is not your average chain piecing! I recommend chain piecing them on an uncut strip. […]

I am hosting this free Sew-Along sponsored by Megan and Meg of Urban Sewciety. My goal is to provide you with all of the information, guidance, and support that you need to create fun and whimsical Polaroid Blocks that you will be able to use in a variety of projects! You will learn how to piece the Polaroid blocks themselves, different techniques for setting them into larger blocks, and be inspired to create a finished project with them that you will love. At the same time, we hope that you are able to connect with a community of sewists on social media who have varying skills and a range of interests.

The Polaroid Sew-Along

To find the other Polaroid Sew-Along posts and tutorials, please head over to the Polaroid Sew-Along Page!

Goodies

Before I get into all of the technical details about the blocks and the more in-depth tutorials later this week, wouldn’t you like to know what goodies are up for grabs in the sew-along? OF COURSE YOU DO!!!

First and foremost, I’d love to offer you a button that I designed to use if you are going to be writing about the sew-along on your blog or on social media. Feel free to download the image below onto your computer to use on social media!

Download Me!

To Download: Click the image above to open in a new window. Once the new pages opens, right click the image to save it to your computer.

Prizes

The Polaroid Sew-Along is being sponsored by Urban Sewciety. Each week, beginning the first week of May, they will be offering prizes to eligible participants. To learn more about our schedule and prize eligibility, please visit The Polaroid Sew-Along Information Page HERE.

Are you ready for the goodies? Then let’s go!

  • IMG_2593Prize 1: Polaroid Kit (5/13)

    • All of the fabric you need to make 30+ polaroids! You will be receiving a surprise package of super cute and extra fun fussy cut squares, as well as all of the fabric you need to frame them, create a drop shadow, and add sashing. You can see the fabrics that are in the bundle you will be receiving over at Urban Sewciety.
    • (please note: the image above is *not* an image of the actual fabric you will be receiving. These are the blocks that I am working on for my personal project. Part of the fun of Prize 1 is the surprise in opening up those fussy cut squares! The image is just an example of a drop shadow block ready for sashing.)
  • Prize 2: Paper Piecing Kit and Thread (5/19)

    • Urban Sewciety will be sending the winner a copy of the Polaroid Paper Piecing Pattern from Kristy at Quiet Play along with all of the fabric needed to complete the pattern and a coordinating spool of Aurifil Thread! YES!

Prize 3

 

  • Prize 3: Handmade Seam Ripper and Seam Ripper Pin (5/27)

    • This may be one of my favorite prizes. The winner will receive a handmade seam ripper by a local artisan, Wood Turner Dave Kother (examples of his work above). Along with the gorgeous seam ripper, Urban Sewciety is throwing in a seam ripper pin by Colette Patterns!

The Polaroid Sew-Along

  • GRAND PRIZE: TBA – Valued at $150+

    • I am SUCH a tease. I am not going to tell you the Grand Prize yet! I have visions of making this very dramatic Grand Prize Announcement after we kick off our sewing. I am absolutely terrible with surprises, but I think that in this case I need to stick to my guns. NO SPOILERS. Not even a single hint. Don’t even try to get it out of me…. Ok, maybe just one hint.  I will tell you that the Grand Prize winner is going to be able to choose a Large Open Wide pouch that I’ve made (I have 6 or 7 fabric combinations in inventory to choose from! This bad boy has reinforced seams and is perfect for toting around projects). Inside the pouch will be a ton of goodies picked out by Urban Sewciety and valued at $150+! Have you guys seen these open wide pouches? They are huge. This is a large one. I can get a ton of yarn into one of these things, so this is going to be chock full of awesome. Are you excited?!

Polaroid Sew-Along Kits

If you would like to purchase a Polaroid Sew-Along Kit for the Sew-along, Urban Sewciety has them available for purchase HERE. They also have the white for the frame available if you need to pick some up. There will be an in-store event coming up in May, and if you are local and would like to be involved, I recommend getting the “right white” so that you can participate!

Where to Shop

I am so excited that Urban Sewciety has agreed to sponsor this Sew-Along. They are being incredibly generous with their prizes! Be sure to find them on the web and give them some love when you have a chance. Also, many of the items that will be a part of the prize packages can be found in their store.

Urban Sewciety: Website * Shop * Instagram * Facebook

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The Polaroid Sew-Along

Welcome to the 2017 Polaroid Sew-Along!

To find the other Polaroid Sew-Along posts and tutorials, please head over to the Polaroid Sew-Along Page!

Our Mission

Polaroids have a special place in my heart and sing to my soul. I am the proud owner of 4 polaroid instant cameras! You can imagine my delight when I realized that I could turn all of the little bits and bobs of hoarded prints into something fantastic. That the scrap that I created from cutting into treasured prints did not have to get tossed in the bin! I *know* you guys are with me on this! Somethings are just too precious to toss!

I am hosting this free Sew-Along sponsored by Megan and Meg of Urban Sewciety. My goal is to provide you with all of the information, guidance, and support that you need to create fun and whimsical Polaroid Blocks that you will be able to use in a variety of projects! You will learn how to piece the Polaroid blocks themselves, different techniques for setting them into larger blocks, and be inspired to create a finished project with them that you will love. We are hoping that in the meantime, you are able to connect with a community of sewists on social media who have varying skills and a range of interests.

Timeline, Rules, and Eligibility

The Polaroid Sew-Along Page has all of the fine details that you need to better understand the Sew-Along. It is also the place where I will have links to all of the blog posts associated with the Sew-Along. Please head over there for all of the fine print and the Sew-Along Timeline!

Find us on the Web

Meg Fahrenbach of Tea & Brie can be found here on her website as well as on Instagram. She also has a Facebook Fan Page and a newly formed Facebook Group where she hopes members of the community will begin to interact, share photos of Tea & Brie patterns (in-progress and finished), as well as ask questions and troubleshoot. Her newly opened Pattern Shop is a great place to look for your next quilt pattern. Meg has a true passion for sewing and quilting and absolutely wants to share her enthusiasm with you! The positive energy is contagious!

Meg and Megan are the co-owners of Urban Sewciety in Westfield, NJ. Their space is one part shop and one part sewing studio. They have a wonderful selection of tools and fabric, as well as a wide range of classes that are constantly being added and updated. They have an online shop associated with their website, and can also be found on Instagram. Their Facebook Page is regularly updated.

There is also a New Jersey Sews Facebook Group that is a great place to connect to local sewists and stay on top of sewing and quilting events in the area!

Thanks so much for joining, I hope you have a wonderful time Sewing Along with us!

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Posing on Point Block Tutorial

I am so excited to be sharing this tutorial with you today! When I was approached by Stash Builder Box to be their February Ambassador, I was beyond excited. I knew that I wanted to come up with a quilt that would not only highlight the 3 yards of fabric that I would be receiving, but also showcase each fabric. I was limited in that I could only use the three fabrics that I was sent, but I was also allowed to use a solid. I typically use a minimum of 10 prints in a quilt, so you can imagine how this was a challenge for me! As I was spent time brainstorming designs, I grew more and more excited about the project. I just loved how the fabrics were playing off one another, and I felt that using three fabrics was not limiting, but rather forced my out of my comfort zone and helped me create something that I wouldn’t have otherwise!

Posing on Point Tutorial

As I began working on the first block to test, I realized how much potential it has. The Posing on Point block is just big enough to be used as a mini. It could be given boarders to be used as a placemat. It is the perfect size for a little pillow, and of course many blocks can be made to create an entire quilt.

Posing on Point Tutorial

I hope that you enjoy the tutorial below, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Posing on Point

Supplies

  1. Fabric Pencil and acrylic marking ruler
  2. Fabric Scissors
  3. Rotary cutter and mat
  4. Acrylic ruler for cutting strips and squaring up
  5. Sewing Machine
  6. Iron and board

Fabric Requirements/Cutting

  1. Approximately 20-25 strips of fabric. Please read through the entire tutorial before cutting your prints in order to make sure that your strips are long enough to cover your background fabric.
    • Strips should be cut in a variety of widths ranging from 3/4″ to 2.5″ wide.
    • At least (4) strips need to be 12″ in length. The remaining strips can be shorter, down to at least 3.5″ in length.
  2. (4) 2.5″ squares in a variety of prints. The example uses 3 different prints.
  3. (4) 6.5″ squares for background. The example uses Kona Snow.
  4. Please note:  In my example block, I have (3) prints that I am working with as strips and 2.5″ squares in the corners. I also added some strips of Kona Snow (my background fabric) to the (3) prints, giving me (4) fabrics to use for string piecing all together.

Posing on Point TutorialInstructions

Block is comprised of (4) string pieced 6.5″ unfinished squares that will measure at approximately 12.5″ square unfinished when pieced. Use a 1/4″ seam throughout, and press string blocks as directed. Press seams open when piecing together Posing on Point.

Counter Clockwise from Top: Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 4)

Counter Clockwise from Top: Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 4)

  1. Using a fabric pencil, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of your a 2.5″ square (Figure 1). Be sure to note any directional prints that this time when choosing which diagonal to mark.
  2. Place (1) 2.5″ square, right sides together, onto (1) 6.5″ background square.
    • Sew the two pieces together, stitching directly on top of the diagonal line that you drew (Figure 2). If you are using a thicker thread, you may need to sew just to the right side of the marking in order to stay consistent with this seam throughout your remaining blocks.
  3. Using your acrylic ruler, use the 1/4″ marking on the seam you just sewed and cut away the corner of the fabric towards the outside of the square to reduce bulk (Figure 3).
  4. Use a hot iron and steam to set your seam. With your background square facing right side up, use high heat and no steam to gently open up and press the fabric. Be gentle here to avoid stretching on the bias. Once your corner is open, use steam to press the seam so that it is flat and crisp (Figure 4).Posing on Point Tutorial
  5. Prepare for String Piecing
    • Using your fabric pencil and marking ruler, mark 3/8″ in from the right on the bottom edge of your 6.5″ background square. Repeat this step marking 3/8″ down from the top on the left edge.
    • OPTIONAL: Draw a 1/4″ line on your first strip. This step is great if you do not have a 1/4″ foot on your machine or if you are unable to use the edge of the foot you are using to guide your 1/4″ seam.Top: Figure 1 Bottom: Figure 2Top: Figure 5
      Bottom: Figure 6
  6. Place your first strip, right sides together, on to your background square (Figure 5). You are going to be lining up the bottom edge of this strip with the two marks that you made earlier (Figure 6). Your 1/4″ line should lay right on top of the top left and bottom right corners of your background square. I like to think of this as your anchor strip because it is the first strip that is creating and maintaining that nice diagonal line that all of your other strips will be based off of!Posing on Point Tutorial
  7. Sew using the 1/4″ line that you marked, or by lining up your 1/4″ foot with the bottom edge of your strip.Posing on Point Tutorial
  8. Use a hot iron and steam to set your seam. With high heat and no steam, gently open up the fabric strip and press it towards the bottom corner of your background square. Once your strip is open, use steam to press the seam so that it is flat and crisp.

    Top: Figure 7 Bottom: Figure 8

    Top: Figure 7
    Bottom: Figure 8

  9. Begin piecing off of your anchor.
    • With your background square right side up, lay your next strip right side down. Make sure that the edge of this strip is lined up exactly with the raw edge of your anchor strip, and that the edge of the strip extends beyond the edge of the background square. Figure 7 shows the direction in which the fabrics should be facing (background with anchor: right side up, new strip, right side down), but the strip is not lined up and is not extending beyond the edge. Figure 8 shows everything properly lined up and ready to sew.Posing on Point
    • Sew 1/4″ in from the raw edges of the anchor and new strip, completely securing the anchor to the background square and sewing down one side of your second strip.Posing on Point
    • Use a hot iron and steam to set your seam. With high heat and no steam, gently open up the fabric strip and press it towards the bottom corner of your background square. Once your strip is open, use steam to press the seam so that it is flat and crisp.
  10. Continue adding strips in this manner, matching up raw edges and then pressing the fabric open, until the entire side of the background square is covered.Posing on Point
    • When you are using strips that are the width of fabric off of the bolt (40″-44″ long), you can trim them down before you begin sewing to make them easier to manage and maneuver. If you are doing this, you need to make sure that you are not trimming the strips t0o short. I like to make sure that there is about 1/2″ – 1″ of overlap beyond the background square. When in doubt, sew first and trim second!
  11. Trim to square
    • Now that the bottom corner of your background square is completely covered in strips, you need to trim your block and remove all of those unsightly strip ends hanging over the edge! After giving your block one final press, bring it to your cutting mat and flip it over so that the wrong side is facing up.Posing on Point
    • Using the edges of your background square as a guide, take your rotary cutter and acrylic ruler and cut away the ends of the strips hanging beyond the edge of the background square.Posing on Point
  12. You have now completed (1) out of the (4) blocks that are needed to complete the Posing on Point block. Repeat Steps 1-11 (3) more times, yielding 4 blocks all together.Posing on Point
  13. Lay out all 4 blocks, arranging them in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing, trying to balance some of the colors and width of strips. The secondary square-on-point pattern will begin to develop if you choose to sew four or more Posing on Point blocks together, so don’t worry too much about that at this stage, or if you are only making one block. Right now we just want to make sure that our square-on-point that is floating in our background fabric is lined up nicely, and we have matching points!

Piecing Your Block

You are now going to sew your top right block to your top left block and your bottom right block to your bottom left block. When you are finished, you will sew the new top unit to the new bottom unit, completing your Posing on Point Block!

  1. Take your top right block and fold it over on top of your top left block, right sides together.
  2. Pin in place
    • In order to pin, focus your attention on where the top two edges of the center on-point square creates a point. In my example layout above, you can see that these edges would be the red/pink grid fabric and the gold strawberry fabric in the top two blocks. Fold back your top fabric to make sure that the bias lines are laying exactly on top of one another. I have seen some just look at the edge of the fabrics while they are pinched together to make sure they meet up, but I really don’t like this method. I think it is important to fold back your top fabric at least 3/8″ and look there, because that way you are checking that the fabrics are toughing closer to where you are going to be creating the seam! You aren’t sewing on the edge, you are sewing 1/4″ away from the edge, so that is where you need to check your points (see image below).IMG_2144
    • Place one more pin towards the opposite end of the edge to make sure that it doesn’t shift while you are sewing. Since you have some additional layers of fabric to sew through, it isn’t as easy to ease the fabrics straight as you sew. By placing another pin, you can make sure that your edges line up and don’t shift out of place. Posing on PointYou will be able to see your marks from Step 5 in the Instructions, and can use those as a guide for your second pin.
  3. Sew 1/4″ away from the edge, removing pins as you sew, backstitching at each end. I really really don’t recommend sewing over pins here, especially since you have some thicker layers to sew through.
    • Use a hot iron and steam to set your seam. Press your seams open to reduce bulk. Flip your unit over so that it is facing right side up, and give it a good press with steam to make sure that it is going to lay nice and flat. Allow your unit to cool on the ironing board, right side up, so that your seams won’t creep up as the steam dissipates and the fabric comes back to room temperature.
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 with the bottom left and right blocks.
  5. Sew top unit to bottom unit
    • I once again recommend pinning here. Because there are a number of layers, diagonals, and points, if you take the time to pin, you will increase your chances of having gorgeous crisp lines on your finished block! Begin pinning in the center, and work your way out.

      Top: Fig 9 Bottom: Fig 10

      Top: Fig 9
      Bottom: Fig 10

    • Again, fold back your top fabric at least 3/8″ and line up your seams at that point (Figure 9). When you pin, put the tip of your pin in about 1/4″ down (Figure 10). This will help you secure the fabric right in the area where the seam will run. Whenever I pin seams together like this, I always pin to the right of the seam. This way, when I start sewing, once my needle hits the beginning of the open seam, I can stop with my needle down, remove the pin, and continue sewing. My needle down in the seam (or right before it) will hold the fabrics in place and keep them from shifting when I remove my pin.
    • Sew with 1/4″ seam, making sure to backstitch at each end.
  6. Use a hot iron and steam to set your seam. Press your seams open to reduce bulk. Flip your block over so that it is facing right side up, and give it a good press with steam to make sure that it is going to lay nice and flat. Allow your block to cool on the ironing board, right side up, so that your seams won’t creep up as the steam dissipates and the fabric comes back to room temperature.

Finishing

Ta-da! You have finished your Posing on Point Block! If you are interested in fabric requirements to make this block into a full quilt, stay tuned. I am going to be releasing a mini-pattern with all of the fabric requirements listed out for 5 sizes of quilt! YEA!

Posing on Point

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments here, on Facebook, or on Instagram!

Happy Sewing!

Meg

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