Saturday, March 1, 2008

Postage Stamps are Tiny

I just signed up for a terrific swap on Craftster. It all began with this forum about postage stamp quilts, which are quilts made from 1.5" blocks. One-and-a-half inches! So it takes 144 blocks to make one square foot of quilt, and you can just go ahead and multiply that by the size of quilt you want. I suggest that you choose your smallest bed. I think it sounds awesome, mostly because I like to quilt using squares, because I like how they all line up so nicely, but there are only a certain number of things one can do with a square. And this is another thing.

So I signed up for this swap, the Postage Stamp Quilt Squares swap. I'll be in a group with, say, 9 or 10 other people, and we'll each make up a set of, say 60 quilt squares for each of the people in our group, so maybe 600 squares in all, which is a lot, but in turn, each of those people will be sending me a set of 60 quilt squares, so I'll have 600 new squares in the end, and I can actually start sewing my quilt.

I requested a book from the Monroe County Public Library entitled Quilts A to Z: 26 Techniques Every Quilter Should Know. I haven't read it yet, but apparently P is for Postage Stamp Quilts, and the author uses fusible webbing to line up all the quilt blocks military-style so that everything comes out nice and straight upon sewing. It's definitely a technique I'm into trying out, because even with my 10.5" quilt blocks, I occasionally get a little off-line, and I imagine that the saving grace that offsets the chaotic colors and patterns of a postage stamp quilt is the precision with which the blocks are lined up.

Postage stamp quilts are really popular on Crafster, with its DIY no-matter-what ethic, but they're not as popular on etsy, maybe because they take so damn long that there can only be so much profit in it. There is at least one really beautiful example up right now, though: isewisew writes that her postage stamp quilt is entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted. All I can say? Wow.

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