The lion is the most popular block in the Safari quilt pattern – and now he’s available as a stand-alone pattern. Use him on pillows, tote bags, placemats, and more. Or make a whole quilt with just lion blocks!
Choose any of my square applique patterns. They’re all designed to finish at 10 inches, so they’ll all fit in the Polaroid frame dimensions we’ll be working with here.
If you don’t have any of my quilt patterns, you can buy one here, or choose one of the free patterns available here.
Prep your materials. For a single block (good for a pillow cover) you’ll need. . .
1 piece of cotton batting cut 18 inches square (or a little larger)
1 piece of fabric for the background of the “photo” cut 10 1/2″ square
scraps of white fabric (I like using white on white prints for a tiny bit of texture) cut into the following strips
two strips 1 1/4″ x 10 1/2″
1 strip 1 1/4″ x 12″
1 strip 3 3/4″ x 12″
1/3 yard background fabric (the part around the Polaroid frame) – for best results, use a fabric that is a random scattered pattern that works in all directions. I love the speckly polkadots I used and I’ve got them on order in a bunch of great colors for the shop.
Sew the 1 1/4″ x 12″ strip to the top of your block, opening and pressing the strip like the side strips.
Complete the Polaroid frame by adding the 3 3/4″ x 12″ strip to the bottom of the photo.
See how the raw edges at the bottom of your applique are all hidden now? It looks just like a photo!
Now it’s time to cover up the rest of the batting.
Pick any side of your Polaroid and sew on a strip of the background fabric, using the same “stitch & flip” method.
The rest of the photos will be zoomed out like this one so that you can see the whole block. The background fabric should completely cover the batting and there will be some overhang.
Continue adding strips to cover the batting. I moved on to the right side next.
And then the top.
And finally the last side.
You can go in any order you like – just continue until the batting is covered.
Oops! I still have a little sliver exposed!
I’m not going to worry about it. I know I cut my batting square on the big side, and my next step is going to be to trim the block down to size. I’ll keep an eye on that sliver. If it doesn’t get trimmed away, I’ll use a scrap of the same fabric to add one more strip to cover it.
Trim the block to 17 1/2″ square. That way when you sew it together with other blocks to make a quilt, it will finish at 17″ square.
My first step in trimming is always to flip the block over and trim away the excess background fabric from the batting edges. That way I know exactly where the batting ends.
I just use my rotary cutting tools to cut away those red triangles showing around the batting square.
Then flip your block back over and trim to size. make sure you leave at least 1/4″ of background fabric around each corner of your Polaroid frame. You don’t want those corners to get buried when you sew your blocks together!
I was careful to trim away that uncovered sliver of batting.
Here’s a little mockup showing just four blocks together. If you use the same fabric for all the backgrounds, it looks like a page in an album with a bunch of Polaroids scattered on it!
Here are some dimensions and yardage requirements for all three of my standard quilt sizes.
My crib quilts are usually 50″ x 50″ but for the Polaroid version it will be 51″ square. Make 9 blocks total, arranged 3 x 3.
1 1/4 yard total of fabrics for the “photo” backgrounds
3/4 yard white fabric
2 3/4 yards background fabric
at least 3 fat quarters for applique, though you’ll probably want more for variety
My napping quilts are usually 50″ x 60″ but for the Polaroid version it will be 51″ x 68″. Make 12 blocks total, arranged 3 x 4.
1 1/2 yards total of fabrics for the “photo” backgrounds
1 yard white fabric
3 1/2 yards background fabric
at least 3 fat quarters for applique, though you’ll probably want more for variety
My twin quilts are usually 70″ x 90″ but for the Polaroid version it will be 68″ x 85″. Make 20 blocks total, arranged 4 x 5.
2 1/4 yards total of fabrics for the “photo” backgrounds
1 1/2 yards white fabric
5 3/4 yards background fabric
at least 5 fat quarters for applique, though you’ll probably want more for variety
You can get a lot of the fabrics you need in my shop.
The fat quarter bundles are all shown in the shop as a stack of fat quarters and are ideal for the appliques.
Fabric bundles (shown in the shop as color-coordinated strips of fabric) are all precut 12″ strips perfect for the “photo” backgrounds. The bundle sizes are all based on my normal quilt layouts. For Polaroid quilts a crib-sized bundle is enough to make all the photo backgrounds in a twin-sized quilt.
For the white fabric, I really like using white-on-white prints. The White Architextures print I have in the Warm Neutrals fat quarter bundles is perfect, and I have some leftovers available. You can get that here.
Finally – I’m adding some great fabrics for the backgrounds to the shop. I’ve got that terrific scattered speckly polkadot print like I used in my sample coming in in lots of great colors. They’ll be available by the half yard.
I can’t wait to see your Polaroid blocks!
Find links to all the posts about pattern size and layouts here.
A couple of weeks ago I sent out a survey asking readers which block from each of my quilt patterns you’d like to see as an individual pattern. Your responses were awesome! I’ll be working over the next several weeks to release the patterns you chose – and I’m starting with the one that was most clearly a favorite.
I had so much fun with the Bears in the Hills project that I immediately needed another way to play with felt applique and embroidery. I had been having glimmers of an idea about using traditional quilt patterns as felt applique and I thought it would be fun to do that as a frame around one of my applique patterns.
It was so much fun to make that I decided to put together a tutorial showing how to make the frame. I want you to be able to use it in combination with any of my applique patterns you already have. I’m always looking for ways you can get more use out of your library of patterns. 😄
So here we go!
This layout works for two different possibilities. If you want the full rectangle, use a double-sized sheet of felt (I carry them now in the shop in some colors) and a 12″ x 18″ frame. That’s a standard size I know for sure you can get at Michaels because I checked over the weekend. 😄
If you want just a square frame around your square image, ignore the blue striped parts of the image and use a 12″ x 12″ frame – also a standard size.
What You’ll Need
One 12″ x 18″ sheet of felt for the background. I highly recommend wool-rayon blend or bamboo felt. Don’t use acrylic felt – it will pill and look grubby before you even finish making it. This is the felt I use in all my projects.
Assorted felt colors for the other parts. I used the following colors. . .
Optional – I like to use a Q-snap frame for this kind of handwork, so I bought a couple of extenders for my 17-inch frame so it could go all the way to 20 inches. I also used some cheap muslin as a base for my felt so I didn’t need to catch the felt in the clamps.
Prep the Pieces
You’ll need to cut some strips, triangles and circles from your felt.
For the triangles, cut four strips of felt 1″ wide and 12″ long. From each strip, cut 1″ squares. You need a total of 40. Cut each square in half on the diagonal to get 80 triangles.
For the blue stripes, cut 8 strips 1/4″ wide and 12″ long.
For the pink polkadots, cut nineteen 1/2″ circles. (I buy mine pre-cut from Woolhearts on Etsy.)
Choose your pattern for inside the frame and print it at 80% size. I used one of the cats from the Cuddly Cats quilt pattern, but changed his eyes to happy sleeping eyes. There are also a bunch of free patterns available here. Cut out all the pieces. (I like to print mine on freezer paper to make it easier to cut out the pieces accurately.)
Put It All Together
I started by gluing my large background sheet of felt to some cheap muslin so I could easily hoop it without covering up any of the stitch area. Here you can see my piece in its hoop.
I used a couple of batting scraps under the clamps to give them more to grab onto, since the muslin was pretty thin.
Next I started to arrange the cut pieces onto the background felt. Here’s the plan. . .
Each square in the grid is 1/4 inch. I don’t like to mark on felt, so I used a ruler as a guide to position my pieces.
Here you can see that I’ve laid the ruler across the bottom of the background piece so that the top edge of the ruler is exactly 3 inches up from the bottom edge of the felt. That’s where I lay down the purple triangles in a pinwheel arrangement. I originally positioned one triangle in each inch of the background felt, but I photographed this after I finished all the stitching – which draws up the width a little bit. (You can see that the finished width is now a smidge less than 12 inches, which throws off the alignment of the triangles a bit – but you get the idea.)
Once you get the bottom row of triangles in place, it’s easy to build out the rest of the pinwheel frame. When you’re happy with how it’s all laid out, glue each piece in place with a swipe of glue stick.
Use the ruler as a guide to position all the skinny blue stripes as shown in the diagram and glue in place.
Position your face. I shifted mine a bit to the right, just to make things more interesting.
Sprinkle some polkadots in the background and glue them down too.