Tutorial: Striped Quilt Blocks and Painted Frames

I know, you don’t even know what we’re making yet!  But you could use these for many projects, and I didn’t want to forget to post this little tutorial, so here it is! 

First, the painted frames:

1.  Buy inexpensive picture frames.  I think wooden ones would work best, but I found metal ones at the dollar store, so that’s what I used!  Remove the back of the frame and the glass, SAND LIGHTLY, and take to your favorite painting area!

2.  Paint with your favorite colors!  I used Olympic latex paint; did you know you can get samples, 7.12 oz. in this case, for less than $2.50?  Cheaper than craft paint!  If you have metal frames, I recommend using a spray primer for metal to help your paint adhere.  I couldn’t find any when I needed it, so I just stuck with the light sanding, and it works, but a primer would be ideal!  For wooden frames, it’s not as much of an issue, but you may want to prime with white if you’re using a light color on a dark frame.

3.  Spray with a clear sealer.  This one I found in the craft department; there are others to be found in the spray paint section.  This will help prevent paint chipping.

Now, the quilt blocks!  These are my first blocks.  A seasoned quilter would look at these blocks and instantly replicate them sans tutorial if he or she desired, but knowing that most of you are crafters rather than quilters, I’ll put this out there!  I’ve always found quilting a bit intimidating, especially in blogland, but this is VERY simple!

These instructions will give you blocks of 1/4″ stripes, and you can make the blocks whatever size you choose!

1)  Cut 3/4″ strips of fabric.  You may use any number of fabrics in one block; I used only two.  Given that you will have a 1/4″ seam allowance on each side of your strip of fabric, you’ll be left with 1/4″ visible in your block!

2) Place one strip of fabric with its printed side up.  (This isn’t much of an issue with solids.)  Place another strip of fabric on top of it, with its printed side DOWN.  This is called putting fabric together with RIGHT SIDES FACING.  You probably already knew that, didn’t you?

3)  Match up the right sides (as in, not left sides) of the strips so that the edges are even.  Then stitch along that side with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  You’ll see guidelines on the plate of your machine, near the presser foot, with measurements; one will say 1/4″, and aligning the right edge of your fabric with that measurement will produce a 1/4″ seam allowance!  Remember to backstitch at the top and bottom (when beginning and ending this seam).

4) Open up your fabric so that you see both printed sides; you’ve begun your block!  Now, add another strip of fabric by placing it printed side down on the right edge of your block, and stitch as in step 3.  Continue until your block is of the desired width!  Trim it up if desired.

5) Iron your seams on the back side of the quilt block.  I pressed them all to one side.  In the picture below, you can see that half have been pressed, and half have not.  Pressing really is important in quilting, don’t skip it!

And now you’ll have quilt blocks that look something like these!  By the way, if your seams aren’t exactly straight, no worries!  It’s officially called “wonkiness”, and it’s very popular in modern quilting!  People do it on purpose!  Fortunately for me, this is my favorite type of quilting.  And in this area, I’m a natural. 🙂


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