Hi! I’m Beth and I blog about my quilting and sewing adventures at Plum and June. About a month ago, my 9-year-old daughter asked me to help her create a very specific quilt-related item. She wanted a quilt that would be a wall hanging to display photos or drawings. At first I thought it was a crazy idea but since I always love a quilt-y challenge, I worked with her to figure it out. And I am so glad that I did because we came up with a project that was both practical and pretty!
I wrote a blog post/tutorial last month about our first photo corners quilt, which was a mini that could fit several photos. But since writing that post, we’ve come up with an updated version, which we are calling the “Photo Corners Scrapbook Page Mini Quilt.” The idea for this new version is to create a mini quilt that displays one photo or drawing and is made out of fabric related to the type of photo or drawing it frames!
I’ve also updated the how-to a bit for these quilts, which is what you will find right on this post!
A variety of fabric scraps/pieces
Backing fabric, 1˝ larger all around than the finished piece
Batting, 1˝ larger all around than the finished piece
Photographs and/or drawings
1. Preparing the Photo Corners: Cut four squares 2 1/2˝ x 2 1/2˝ from your fabric. Fold each in half diagonally. Press the folds. Stitch lines across the entire folded square, parallel to the fold, as shown below.
2. Decide the size of the photograph or drawing that you would like to display and measure it. Take that measurement, add 1/2˝ to both the length and width, and cut a piece of fabric to this size for the photo holder background (this fabric will be hidden when your photo/drawing is in place.) For example, if you will be using a 5˝ x 7˝ photograph, you’ll need to cut a piece of fabric that is 5 1/2˝ x 7 1/2˝.
3. Decide how big you want your finished mini quilt to be, and cut a piece of backing fabric and a piece of batting 1˝ bigger on all four sides. At this point, you might want to lay out all your pieces of fabric that you plan to use for your mini quilt and decide where you want your photograph/drawing to be (or you can just do what I tend to do and figure it out as you go!)
3. Once you are happy with the layout, place your photo holder background fabric piece right side up on the batting.
Quilt the background fabric through both layers. As you can see in the photo below, I stitch my line a little past the fabric and then turn the fabric 90 degrees, make a few stitches, and then turn the fabric 90 degrees again to stitch the next line instead of stopping and starting.
This works fine because those lines will be covered later with more fabric on both sides, but if you are quilting through the backing fabric now, you might want to quilt differently, as you will be stitching through the same area again.)
4. Arrange your prepared photo corners from Step 1 on the quilted photo background as shown below. Use a 1/8˝ seam allowance, and stitch around the entire perimeter of the fabric to baste the corners to the background. At this point, you should make sure your photo/drawing fits in the frame, with a little extra wiggle room, as it will become a 1/4˝ smaller all around when you add the frame strips.
6. Flip the strip of fabric right side up and quilt a few lines across that strip of fabric as shown (otherwise known as Quilt-As-You-Go.)
7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 three more times until all four sides of the frame are covered. I usually work my way around the background piece, but you can also do the top and bottom first and then the sides. Note: If you want to embroider words onto your strips of fabric, this is the time to do so!
8. Attach and quilt the rest of your fabric pieces until you are satisfied with the look and size of the mini quilt.
9. Layer the backing fabric piece right side down, and the quilted top right side up. Add additional quilting thorugh all 3 layers if you like. Sew the binding on as you usually do (instructions on binding can be found here). This will attach the backing even if you don’t do any more quilting. Embellish using fabric markers and/or stamps, and you are done!
A. No binding/pillowcase method: When you get to step 9, place the quilt top and the backing fabric right sides together. Use a 1/4″ or 1/2″ seam allowance to stitch around the perimeter, leaving a gap for turning. Turn right side out, press, and topstitch around the perimeter, right along the edge, closing the gap.
B. Making a pocket for storing extra photos: Cut a piece of scrap fabric 2 inches bigger on all four sides than your photographs instead of batting. Repeat Steps 2–7, using the pocket fabric piece in place of the batting (remember to layer it right side down before quilting). Layer the completed pocket front, right sides together with a piece of fabric the same size. Sew around the perimeter using a 1/4″ or 1/2″ seam leaving an opening along the bottom for turning. Turn and press. Place the pocket on your background fabric and sew along the two sides and bottom making sure to enclose the opening you left for turning along the way. Finish as above. Note: If you want to add quilting to the background fabric, you should do that before attaching the pocket!
C. If you are making one of these as a gift or just for fun, you can choose to use a cute novelty fabric as the background for where the photograph/drawing is to be placed.
Here are a few more we made (you’ll have to pretend that my daughter’s drawings are photographs!).
Pen pals (no binding version)
Sisters (pocket version)
Thank you, Beth! We love this project! It’s a great way to make your child feel like the ultimate artist! And what’s better than that?