Polaroid Block Tutorial

I’ve been part of the #superawesomequiltbee this year and it’s been so much fun! You can see photos of the blocks we’ve made using the hashtag on Instagram. I picked November as my month because birthdays in my family start in full swing (Happy Birthdays to the boy, his mother, my childhood bestie, Rosi, Aimeeee and a few others) and roll right on through the holidays (Happy Birthday Busta!) and on to the new year (Happy Birthday Esteban!). Needless to say, November is when I hit the “oh shit, I need to get the holiday crafting going full throttle!” panic button. 😀

For my block I’ve picked the Polaroid block. I wanted something quick and easy to make that would allow everyone’s personal tastes to shine through. I may have also been inspired by the DC Immortals collection. There have been a couple Polaroid swaps around Instagram lately and I loved them but the center image on those was a bit too small to showcase my awesome Immortal Ladies prints. After some time with my acrylic rulers and a few prints I decided a 4″ finished center square would be awesome for showcasing the ladies and many other prints.

image of 4 quilt blocks

Dragons, Supergirl, Rainbow, and Wonder Woman

I made a spreadsheet and did some ratio math to figure out how large to upsize the Polaroid block so everything would be proportional. Turns out, you don’t actually want everything proportional. It’s the thin frame that signifies the Polaroid block. So I just folded my too big block up until it looked about right. 🙂

Once I started pulling fabrics for the center image it was hard to stop. I figured eight examples was more than plenty to get folks going. haha. I am not sure how big the quilt will be at the end, haven’t done the math yet, so there will be plenty of time to cut up my whole stash later. 😀

image of 4 quilt blocks

Snowman, Elephant, Whale and Flower blocks

Hope you have fun making this block!

Fabric requirements

For 4 blocks

  • 1.25” x 60” for sides and tops of border fabric
  • 2” x 24” for bottoms of border fabric
  • 4 – 4.5″ squares for the center image

For a single block

  • 1.25” x 15” for sides and tops
  • 2” x 6” for the bottom
  • 4.5” square for center image



Any of the Bee solids, but no more than one pepper frame per person please.

Center Images

any noun – person, place, thing, or shape – have fun with this! (see email or spreadsheet for more information)

Unfinished Block Size

6” wide by 6.75” tall

Cutting Instructions

  • Cut 4 – 4.5” squares for your center image
  • Cut 2 – 1.25” x width of fabric (wof) for your sides and tops
    • Subcut into 8 – 1.25” x 4.5”
    • Subcut into 4 – 1.25” x 6”
  • Cut 1 – 2″ x wof for your bottoms
    • Subcut into 4 – 2” x 6” rectangles
photo of a cutting board with cut fabric, a rotary cutter, and an acrylic ruler artfully arranged

All the pieces needed for two blocks

Alternatively, you could skip sub-cutting the frames before piecing and sew the center images to the frame fabric in strips and then cut the frame fabric.

photo of a sewing machine with piecing on it.

Strip piecing center images to one cut of frame fabric.

Piecing the Block
Seam allowance = ¼”

1. Sew your two side pieces to your center image, right sides facing.

photo of a sewing machine and fabric being sewn together

Sew the side frames to the center image right sides facing.

2. Press your seams to the side.

Image of an iron pressing open seams of patchwork piecing on top of a pressing board.

Press the frames open

3. Sew your top and bottom pieces to the center image, right sides facing. Be sure you have your center image facing the right way and your frame isn’t upside down! :O

image of a sewing machine and fabric being sewn together

Sew the top and bottom frames to the center image, right sides facing

4. Press your seams to the side.

image of two stages of the block piecing process

Before and after sewing the top and bottom frames

5. Do not trim your block.
6. Repeat for remaining 3 blocks.
7. You’re done! I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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Last week I participated in the #honestcraftroomies Tuesday night Periscope hop. We talked about our favorite designers and I showed off the Alison Glass Handcrafted prints that brought me to her work. I may be overindulging at this point but I am really looking forward to the knit blanket stitch along that’s starting any time now. I also showed off my Cotton + Steel Basics bundle that is full of awesome prints to blend with anything or to stand on their own. Then there was a bit of a tour of my sewing space because I got nervous and talked quickly and had a fair amount of time left in my 10 minute slot. 😀

Unfortunately, something was up with my Periscope because my video was mirrored the whole time and sometimes upside down. 🙁 I contacted their support and they’re looking into it. I discovered on Sunday that my videos were working again so I decided to do a current sewing WIPs periscope on my lunch break today. You can catch my replays over on Katch. If you want to make your own design boards the tutorial I used is from Lori at Bee in My Bonnet. You can get it from her website or from the Fat Quarter Shop’s YouTube channel. Mine still need the binding around the edges but that’s a task for another day. I want to get working on my quilts now! 🙂

I am hoping to do more periscopes. Maybe I can do my knitting WIPs next. My poor neglected knitting WIPs. At least we’ll be traveling some for Thanksgiving so I should be able to get some knitting time!

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Making things

Hello! It’s been a minute. My technology hasn’t caught up with my dream world wherein the blogs I write in my head show up on the blog perfectly formatted with stunning pictures. Some day, maybe.

I’ve made a few things lately:

You guuuuys!!! It's done. Labeled, washed, and ready to be gifted! Plus bonus baby. We haven't decided if we're gifting him too. :D #gifts #quilting #process #moderncrosses

Yep, made both of these things. One was a wedding gift and one is for me and Chris to keep. You guess which is which.

Leonard is all put together! Thanks for the class @rosemakesthings!!! #leonardthellama #sewwhatsherlock #paperpiecing

Leonard is all put together! Thanks for the class @rosemakesthings!!! #leonardthellama #sewwhatsherlock #paperpiecing

Lunchtime sewing and the back is complete. I asked the birthday girl if she wanted the stripe and she said yes and I really like it now that it's sewn in. Applique is hard. My shoulders and neck are not looking forward to 12 more elephants. #gifts #quilti

The back of my niece Fia’s birthday quilt.

I’ve also been in a couple Instagram swaps.

There’s been a lot more sewing/quilting in my life. I’ve recently joined a neighborhood quilt group – which is splendid and gives me a chance to meet some ladies in my neighborhood. It’s been lovely having the ladies to use as a sounding board for quilting and for general life things.

I’m gearing up for the #superawesomequiltbee next year with Rose and Kate and some new friends. I have November so there’s tons of time for me to figure out what block I want to do. Have any of you ever participated in a quilting bee and do you have finished quilts (or at least quilt tops) to share? 😀 I’d love to see some.

I’ve also downloaded Periscope. You can find me over there as LittleWit. I am not entirely sure what I want to do with it yet but I definitely want to do something. If there is anything you want to see me scope about, let me know! 

I’ll be back soon. I promise. I have much more to share about the little guy up there. And since there is no Ravelry for quilting I really need to record my makes somewhere. 🙂

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Sew Together Bag

I’ve been wanting to make this bag since I first saw several of them at Camp Stitch-a-lot in November. I started on this one in December as a birthday gift for my friend Tammy. Alas, I was rushing a bit too much amid all of the holiday crafting and managed to break my sewing foot (mad skills, I have). I then grounded myself from sewing until it was replaced. heh.
Sigh. I may need to take a long hiatus from sewing. Managed to break a needle and my favorite foot. #woe Maybe it's time for some knitting...

Once I got my new foot and I worked myself up to sewing again I found doing just a little bit each day and following the Quilt Barn sew-along allowed me to complete it without breaking anything else. haha. I am trying to get better about portioning out my sewing tasks instead of marathoning them. Although marathoning does tend to be my mode of operation.





I’m really pleased with how it turned out and have another one under wraps. I need to make one for myself too! 🙂

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Surprise! (Or maybe not so much now…)

So, I’ve written this post tons of times in my head but apparently never sat down and wrote it on the computer. I figured out what was causing my August dry spell. It ended up being a bit more of an intense dry spell than the usual summer slow down. Turns out I was having the first trimester blahs. haha. go figure.

We’re pretty excited. I think that’s the right word. Excited, terrified, busy planning, making room, in slight denial, you know, all the normal emotions. 😉

My second trimester came and I started crafting up a storm again. I made some things for the home, for friends, for other babies, and for the holidays. Now, I’m into my third trimester and steadily working toward my Evernote of things to make for the nursery. I would like to announce that I have successfully checked off 3 baby sweaters from my list. (And at this point, no more baby sweaters are “scheduled” before my delivery date.)

And all three of these have been knit since the New Year. Turns out baby sweaters knit up quickly! Even newborn sweaters in fingering weight.

From left to right:

Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly Brooker in leftover Knit Picks fingering weight that a friend dyed for me awhile ago for a sweater for me.
Wee Envelope by Ysolda in yarnchef Cider in Tiger Energy and Light Roast. These are also leftovers from one of my sweaters. haha
Wyatt by Kelly Herdrich in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in Bing Cherry. I bought this lovely yarn at Rhinebeck this year and now I want to knit something for myself with the leftovers!

I foresee another slowdown in crafting around April. Three guesses as to why and the first two don’t count. 😉 But hopefully once everything gets sorted and settled I’ll have more awesome and modeled things to share. 🙂

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