Polaroid Quilt

While it’s obvious I haven’t been busy writing blog posts, know that I have been busy sewing. In fact, I recently finished one of the most time-intensive quilts I’ve made. It all started last summer when one of the guild members in my Bee Hive swap asked us to make Polaroid blocks for her. Basically, they’re little blocks with a fussy-cut image surrounded by white borders to make it look like an old Polaroid photo.

I made my five blocks for her, and then realized I couldn’t stop making them. Hunting through my fabrics to find little images was so much fun. So I decided to make a Polaroid quilt as a sort of I-spy quilt for friends who have two young girls.

I started making blocks and soon realized that with blocks this small (mine were 3 1/2 x 4 inches) you need a lot of blocks to make a quilt. My plan called for 196 to be exact. It became clear that I wasn’t going to come up with that many unique images from my stash, so I asked my mom to help me out. From her stash, she gave me some great novelty fabrics: Dr. Seuss, Sesame Street, and Peanuts prints plus lots and lots of food fabrics.

At a sewing retreat at the end of September, I got to work cranking out the blocks. My piles steadily grew, although I didn’t get to put much up on the “finished” wall. After bumming fabrics off a few follow retreat attendees, I left with all 196 blocks done.

Next came the layout. I found some lightweight denim fabric and thought that would add a level of coziness to the quilt. So I started by sewing sashing strips to the sides of the blocks.

The last name of the family receiving the quilt starts with an E, so I set my letter E block at an angle. It took a bit of trial and error to get the angle right and placed within the sashing grid I had in mind.

Because my columns of blocks weren’t close to being perfectly aligned, I offset the rows, which also added a little movement and variety. To make the quilt a bit longer, I added a second lightweight denim fabric on the top and bottom.

Because we’re all about the jokes, Greg and I added captions to about 20 of the images before I sent the quilt out to be quilted. (Unfortunately, the ink ran when I washed the quilt, so the captions got pretty smudgy. It was a bummer, to be sure, but I was glad it happened to me and not to our friends the first time they washed it.)

Holly Seever did the longarm quilting for me, using an allover pattern of grouped flames. I figured that there were enough individual things going on that an allover pattern might help unify it a bit.

On the back, I sewed together larger cuts of the some of the fabric used on the front. Finding the matching fabrics on the front and back might be another fun game to play.

This past weekend, I finally give the quilt to our friends! They seemed to have fun looking at all the images, and I hope it keeps them cozy and entertained for years to come.


Leave a comment


  1. Kara Gross

     /  January 24, 2018

    What a cool idea. I love it! Very graphically pleasing to the eye.

  2. Roberta D Housel

     /  January 24, 2018

    Great Idea, Makes me want to go through my scraps to see what I’ve got, Thanks!

  3. Love your polaroid quilt. I need to make one for sure.

  4. Julie Wallace

     /  January 25, 2018

    Christine – you did good. What a beautiful quilt and such a unique idea. JAW

  5. What a wonderful gift!

  6. Reblogged this on Random Repeat.

  1. Welcome Pineapple | Christine Doyle

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