Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Julie Finn1
How-to: Sew a Postage Stamp Quilt from Small Fabric Scraps
Would you like to sew a quilt using only your fabric scraps that are so small that any normal crafter would toss them in the trash?
You bet you would!
Postage stamp quilts have no rhyme or reason other than that they’re made of teeny, tiny (1.5″ tiny!) squares of fabric. You can trade postage stamp quilt squares with other crafters, or sew entirely from your own scraps. I’ve been working on my postage stamp quilt for years, now, and I don’t expect to finish it until I’m old. My quilt blocks have fabrics from the first gifts that I sewed for my daughters, from fabrics that I dearly loved, used up, and then forgot about until I noticed them again in this quilt, and fabrics that are scraps from the curtains, pajamas and quilts that we’re using right now. It’s my own version of (nearly) zero waste fashion!
Here’s how to start creating your own postage stamp quilt:
Fabric: For the most accurately sewn result, use only your fabric scraps that are approximately the same weight. I do combine quilting cottons, flannels, vintage polyesters, and even the occasional silk scrap (if it’s VERY special), but I do not use jersey knits, denim, or upholstery fabric in my postage stamp quilt. Those types of scraps can be used as part of a felt and fabric matching game for children, if you’d like to preserve them.
Sizing: Although you can sew your quilt however you like, the traditional postage stamp quilt is sewn from 1.5″ square pieces, which are sewn with 1/4″ seams, so that the result is a finished quilt consisting entirely of 1″ squares. The finished quilt is astounding, but, of course, starting with 3″ squares will get you done in half the time, so there you go. Go a little larger, and include just two of each fabric, and you can make yourself an I Spy quilt.
Sewing: The process for sewing a postage stamp quilt is actually surprisingly easy. Here’s a really simple way to handle the construction: