Last week I showed you how I made the photo squares for my son’s quilt. Most of the quilt was made up of those blocks, except for the one in the very center. I’d like to share that one with you today. I feel like that one square really pulled together the whole idea I was going for.
While the photo blocks were made using traditional piecing, this camera is mostly paper pieced. I probably could have gotten away without it on this one too, but I wanted that lens to come together precisely, and paper piecing was a good way to ensure that happened.
To make this, you’ll need:
black, white, light grey, and medium grey fabric
background fabric (I used dark grey)
this pattern, printed with each section cut apart from each other (A, B, C, and D) with more than 1/4” remaining on all sides
I’m not going to explain the details of how paper piecing works here, so if you need a refresher I highly recommend this video from Crafty Gemini. If it’s been a while for me, I give it a watch before I begin.
Begin with section A, adding the pieces in numerical order. It’s hard to see the white fabric against the white paper, but this is 1A, 2A, and 3A.
Trim and press as you go. This is the lens with pieces 1A through 9A sewn on. I don’t actually recommend a directional fabric for this because you really have to pay attention to what you’re putting where and how it’s turned. That said, I did it twice.
Continue, adding pieces 10A through 14A.
Trim around the edge of section A, 1/4” from the line. It will look like this from the pattern side…
…and this from the fabric side.
Complete section B the same way. It’s only three pieces, so much easier.
Trim 1/4” from the line.
Section C should look like this.
Here is section D.
This is where things went wrong for me, which I didn’t realize until MUCH later. I’m going to explain how, so you can avoid my mistake.
When you look at the paper side of the pattern, where the numbers are printed, you’ll see the shutter button on the upper right, piece 3D.
But, when you’re paper piecing the pattern is in reverse and you’re working from the back, so from the fabric side that button should end up on the upper left.
My mistake was forgetting that entirely and placing the button on the right. Nope, nope, nope. This, and subsequent photographs, are flipped to show it correctly so you’re not confused, but just know there’s a block in my sewing room that’s made for a lefty.
Match up the edges of section A and section B and stitch together along the pattern line. Don’t remove any of the paper from the back yet.
Because of my mistake, I attached section D next. You should go in order, with C first and then D, but it doesn’t matter much. As long as they’re on the correct side you’re good.
Here’s what it will look like with A, B, C, and D all attached. We’re done with the paper piecing portion, but don’t tear out that paper yet.
For the border of the block, cut two pieces 1 3/4 x 9 1/2” and two 3 x 13 1/2” from the background fabric. They’re larger than you’ll need, but we’ll trim them as we go.
Pin the 1 3/4” wide pieces with right sides together on the left and right of the camera. The long edges should be even, and the strip will overhang the camera a bit. Stitch along the pattern line on the paper, all the way to the edges.
Trim the short ends even with the bottom edge of the camera.
Press the sides out. Trim about 3/4” off each side, or so the width measures 13”. We’re going to trim again at the end, so this doesn’t have to be precise.
Pin the remaining two pieces to the top and bottom edges of the camera, with right sides together. Stitch along the pattern line on the paper, edge to edge.
Press those pieces away from the camera.
Here’s what it should look like from the paper side.
And now you can go ahead and (carefully) tear out all that paper!
Press the block well and trim it to 12 1/2” square.
Now it’s ready to include in your quilt.
As you can see here, I made my son’s quilt 5 x 7 blocks. I also added a border, which I think I cut about 6 1/2” wide, because I wanted this to be large enough for his bed. Looking forward to seeing it wrapped around him again soon!
The quilting was done by Marie’s Custom Quilting. It just so happens, my kids took karate lessons from Marie’s husband for about a decade. It was fun to have that added bit of home for my son.