ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Postage Stamp Quilt Tutorial

Updated on March 21, 2011

Getting Started with Postage Stamp Quilts

Postage stamp quilts are made up of thousands of tiny 1 inch by 1 inch squares sewn together. Through history, these quilts were a way to use up the tiniest scraps of fabric left over from sewing. Postage stamp quilts are often pieced with no set pattern in mind, but there are no hard and fast rules about how to arrange the colors of the squares. Making a postage stamp quilt is simple, but requires a lot of patience.

This Postage Stamp Quilt Tutorial will teach you 2 different ways to make a postage stamp quilt:

1. Squares

2. Strips

Alisha Rusher, CC-BY
Alisha Rusher, CC-BY

Patterns for postage stamp quilts

The pattern of a postage stamp quilt can be as random or as planned as you like. The first picture on this page is actually from my postage stamp quilt which is a work in progress. My postage stamp quilt is made from fabric scraps that are randomly pieced together. Many of these scraps were from old clothes or leftover from other quilts. This method of piecing a postage stamp quilt works on a natural color theory that every color goes together in small enough bits. Look around you in nature and you will see this to be true.

Other ways to arrange a postage stamp quilt would be to group like colored fabric into stripes, alternate colored pieces with white squares, or you could use postage stamp piecing in combination with other quilt piecing techniques.

My favorite design for a postage stamp is to arrange the colors so they make a diamond shape that fades through all the colors of the rainbow. This quilt pattern is often called "Trip Around The World"

Below I have included a collection of postage stamp quilt photos.

Where to buy a postage stamp quilt

If you are not into making your own postage stamp quilt, ebay is the best place to buy one. Even if you do want to make your own postage stamp quilt, check ebay for some great designs. When searching ebay, you can find some great pre 1930s vintage postage stamp quilts

How to Scrap Piece a Postage Stamp Quilt

There are 2 ways to make a scrappy postage stamp quilt. The first way involves cutting your squares first and then piecing each square together. The second method of piecing a postage stamp quilt is to cut and sew strips of fabric then cutting the strips and sewing them back together.

Piecing on the fly results in a scrappier, more random assortment of fabric. Strip piecing a postage stamp quilt makes the process go much quicker.

Books on Making Postage Stamp Quilts

Postage Stamp Quilt on The Fly

To start out a postage stamp quilt, I cut my scrap fabric into 1.5" squares. This makes a 1" square sewn piece with 1/4" seam allowances.

I throw all my squares into a bucket (or a box, bag, whatever) and mix well.

When I am ready to start piecing my quilt, I grab 2 squares and sew them right sides together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Without lifting the presser foot, I take 2 more squares and sew them right side together. I keep doing this, basically until I get bored of sewing. This is also called chain piecing or string piecing. There will only be 1 or 2 stitches between each set of squares. Cut these pieces apart and throw them into the bucket.

The next time I come back to sewing, I will take my pieces that I have just sewn (strips that are 2 squares long) and sew them together using the chain piecing method so I have strips that are 4 squares long. I cut the 4 square chains and then sew the strips together so I have strips 8 squares long. I do this until I have strips that are 16 squares long. Press all the seams in one direction.

After I have created strips that are 1 high X 16 long, I sew the strips together using the same method, being careful to alternate the direction of the seams. I do this 1X 16, 2 X 16, 4X 16, 8 X 16, and finally 16 x 16. This is one completed block

After I have enough 16 X 16 blocks completed, I sew them together to make the quilt top.

For the quilt sandwich (top, batting, backing), I prefer to use the lap quilting method and then join my quilted pieces together. A smaller section to quilt is easier than trying to quilt the whole top at once by hand or on a home sewing machine.

How to Chain Piece (Video)

Strip Pieced Postage Stamp Quilt

The Second method of making a postage stamp quilt is strip piecing.

Strip piecing is very similar to piecing on the fly, but instead of starting with small squares you start with strips of fabric.

To make a 16 x 16 block you need Fabric strips that are 1.5 inches wide and 24 inches long (16 + 8 to give 1/4" seam allowances).

*EDIT: You can actually use strips that are any length X 1.5" wide. To prevent fabric waste, ideally your length will be a multiple of 1.5. Every 3" of fabric strip will give you two 1 1/2" squares.

*If you want to make a postage stamp quilt really fast, you could buy several jelly rolls of fabric. These are collections of fabric cut into 2 1/2 X 42" strips. This would allow you to get sewing faster.

With right sides together, sew 2 fabric strips together, then 4, then 8, then 16. Press all seams in the same direction. Do this with different sets and different colors. This will give you a block that is 16.5" X 24".

Using a rotary cutter, Cut this block into 1.5" strips across the seams you have just sewn. Throw all of these strips into a pile.

Pulling strips out at randome, Sew these new strips together to create a block that will have a finished size of 16 X 16 (actual size will be 16.5" x 16.5" before you have put the quilt top together).

Combine these blocks to make your quilt top, layer and baste your quilt sandwich and finish up with machine or hand quilting.

How to strip piece (Video)

This video shows you how to do strip piecing for a 9 patch quilt. The process is the same except you will be using smaller pieces and bigger blocks for your postage stamp quilt

Tell Me about Your Quilting Adventures

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • cooksalot profile image


      8 years ago

      I've only just heard about this type of quilt. I so want to get some of my other projects out of the way so I can give this a try.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      8 years ago

      I love quilting, but I don't know that I could make such tiny squares. :) BLESSED!

    • SunnyEllis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @Charmcrazey: I started mine with the chain piecing method and love the look. My 2 year old kept dumping out my bucket of squares. I'm going to try again with the strip piecing method, when he is older.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Great tutorial on postage stamp quilts. I've never attempted one but they are very pretty. Added to my Quilting Squidoo Angel Lens.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      8 years ago from So Cal

      This is really great and I am going to add it to my quilting lens. I collect quilt info there so when I need it, I have it. Great job, angel blessed.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)