The postage stamp quilt
I love postage stamp quilts. I love every one that I see and years ago bought a postage stamp top on EBay that I quilted. Then I though it would be a good idea to make one for myself.
I saw this pattern and my postage stamp quilt was born.
In fact, it was born in 1998 right after we moved to this house! This pattern is based in a 1" finished square and I cut and sewed, cut and sewed......
and actually finished the top. Or so I though.
You can see that I changed the pattern a lot and once I got it done I realized 2 things. First, it's only 78" square which makes it pretty useless as a bed or wall quilt. It's too small for one and too big for the other. Rats!
The other problem is this edge. That cut off diamond annoyed me no end. I think it looks like I got lazy and gave up and apparently that's exactly what I did.
Then apparently I got interested again in 2009 and spent a lot of time in EQ drafting up border ideas. They all make a huge quilt and I like each version. I seem to remember posting this on the old blog and soliciting opinions.
Apparently we all selected one because I printed it and made some notes. I also dated it or otherwise I'd never have found the old layout images!
Now we will fast forward to Friday. I took this to CSQ sewing and within about a hour I was able to interpret my notes, verify everything, do some block calculations, change the borders a little and get started. The first border will add a row of 9-patches all around to close off the edge diamonds. Then I'm going to add a 2" black border, then 2 rows of postage stamps and then a 4" black border.
Of course I don't have enough black fabric but I do have enough to finish the first and second borders. I'll buy more for the outer border and binding. I feel confident that I can get something close enough to work for this. How it will look after 20 years and some fading is going to be someone else's problem.
I seem to have plenty of pre-cut squares to finish this quilt off. I started sewing but quickly remembered to test the seam allowance. The quilt was sewn completely on my Juki machine and I use my little Janome Jem Gold at sewing. The seam allowance was way off! I spent another half hour fiddling with shims to get that set correctly and then I was on my way.
By the time I left Saturday (and I was the last to leave) I had all of the blocks done for the first border! Next month I can get that border sewn on and maybe also the 1st black border. I guess I need to get busy shopping for solid black fabric.
Even though this quilt is almost 20 years old I still love it. I think using the black fabric kept it looking modern and the dated fabrics in the postage stamps just look like sparkling jewels. It's going to be about 98" square when it's done which is a little too big but I'll try to use a cotton batting and maybe it will shrink up to the perfect size for my bed.
But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Maybe I should just focus on finishing the top for now.
4/10/2017 01:08:39 pm
For some reason I am hungry for pie after looking at your EQ drafting ideas! Good think it is lunchtime here.
Tina in NJ
4/10/2017 01:41:38 pm
Lovely top! I'll strip piece 1" finished squares, but working with squares that size drives me insane! If you don't mix the blacks in the same border, this should be fine. I would put feathered wreaths in the black spaces, but I'm a very traditional quilter and you really don't need quilting advice from me.
4/10/2017 03:32:05 pm
if you put it in the dryer too beside cotton batting it will shrink up - mine always do - love a postage stamp! what size are your squares?
I love this quilt, too! and I really like the 6th option- bottom right. that's funny, cause I guess that's the one you picked to finish it. the others with the patchwork corners look too full; this option finishes it off nicely. and congrats on "almost" finishing a 20 year UFO! I have a few of those lingering around myself, I think!
4/10/2017 07:52:06 pm
The only way I would consider that is sewing the squares a strips and then cutting them to make rows.
4/11/2017 08:23:54 am
that is a lot of work....buy, hey, over 20 years.....then it's not so bad. hahahha
4/11/2017 09:55:42 am
Your post is full of excitement for finishing this gem. Love EQ
4/11/2017 12:13:27 pm
Wow. WOW. Wow. This is the first time I've learned of a postage stamp quilt. The eye admires it while my brain recoils from the work it takes to get those itty bitty squares together. I do like the combination of black with jewel tones. Admirable that you don't "accidentally" sweep your UFOs off to the landfill or the first person who admires it.
4/11/2017 05:36:45 pm
Yes, please, just concentrate on finishing the top for now ... next month you can think about wadding and quilting ideas, which should include something spectacular in the large black spaces.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.