Fold and Sew
Fold and Sew
The following instructions may be used by individuals to make their own personal quilts, but my Fold and Sew technique is trademarked and may not be taught to individuals or groups without my express permission. Contact me at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I call this quilt “Vi’s Journey” as a tribute to my mother in law. She passed away this summer after a long decline so the dark half of the quilt represents that time, along with a few light squares to signifying when we were together enjoying as much of her as was possible. The quilt goes from dark to light with the light being her arrival at her heavenly reward and reunion with all those in her life that had gone on to be with the Lord before her. But she left many here on earth to miss her and the dark squares in the light represent our grief and loss. Use the following instructions to make your own quilt.
Start with a 10”, 5”, and two 2 1/2” precuts as shown.
Position the 5” (right side up) and one 2 1/2” square (wrong side facing up) on the 10” square as pictured above.
Fold the 10” background block over the 5” and 2 1/2” squares.
Sew a scant 1/4” seam along the length of the fold in the block.
Iron open as shown above.
Position the second 2 1/2” precut (wrong side facing up) below the attached 2 1/2” precut, lining up the raw edges of both the squares.
Fold 1/4 of the background over these 2 1/2” blocks to enclose them.
Sew a scant 1/4” seam the length of the fold in the block.
Iron open as shown
Use the Fold and Sew method to enclose the remaining raw edges in scant 1/4” seams as shown in the following photos.
Fold block in half and take a scant Iron open 1/4" seam on the fold.
Fold a quarter of the block and Iron open to complete take a scant 1/4" seam on the fold
Vi’s Journey quilt requires 20 blocks made as shown. Half the blocks will have a dark 10” precut background with a light 5” precut, and half the blocks will have a light 10” background block and a dark 5” precut. All the 2 1/2” squares are cut from medium shaded fabric.
Big and Small
These blocks finish at 7 1/2" by 8 1/2" so I made multiple blocks in a variety of color combinations and drove myself crazy laying them out in many settings. Here are a few of them.
Each had it's attractions but here's the layout I loved best. What do you think?
Here's how the "Fold and Sew" technique came to be.
I had a set of Moda bake shop layer cakes and charm packs and wanted to get them made up into a quilt; but my time for personal quilting is very limited so I wanted something fast and simple. I like the square in a square block so placed the 5" squares on the 10" squares for color placement. I dreaded the rotary cutting I was facing and it hit me as I was looking at the fabrics that I could fold and sew the 5" into the 10" without having to get out my cutter. Simple and easy. That was the start of it.
I originally called the method Rotary Free Bake shop, but half the students in my first class cut the 5 and 10 inch fabric squares out of scraps from their stash, so I renamed the class "Fold and Sew". Fat quarters work great for this method because you can get 2- 10" and 4- 5" squares out of one fat quarter. Or cut the fat quarter into 4- 9" squares (no waste) and buy a coordinating set of 5" charm packs which will result in rectangle blocks instead of squares.
The first and easiest, "Square in a Square" block, is constructed like this. First place a 5" square in the middle of a 10" square. A definite color contrast between the 5 and 10 inch squares is a necessity in this method. Small prints, tone on tones, or plain fabrics work best.
Fold one side of the 10" square to the middle of the 5" square and sew a 1/4" seam on the folded side.
Repeat with the other side. The edges of the 10" square should meet in the middle as shown below.
Iron open and repeat the process with the other 2 sides. The result is a square in a square block.
The next block I came up with I call "Square in a Corner". Instead of placing the 5" square in the middle of the 10" square, place it in a corner.
Fold the 10" square in half and sew a 1/4" seam on the folded edge.
Iron open then fold the 10" square so that it encloses the 2nd raw edge of the 5" square. Sew a 1/4" seam on the folded edge. Iron open. The result is the "Square in a Corner" block.
Two 5" blocks can be positioned on the 10" block for a "4 Square" block. Place two 5" squares side by side, one face up and the other face down.
Fold the 10" square in the middle to cover the two 5" squares. Sew a 1/4" seam along the folded edge.
Iron open so that both 5" squares are now face up.
Fold the 10" square in the middle, again, to enclose the remaining raw edges of the 5" squares and sew a 1/4" seam. Iron open. The result is the "4 Square" block.
"Triangle in the Corner" block. It's an easy way to have triangle piecing without dealing with bias seaming. Fold the 5" square into a triangle and position on the corner of a block- raw edges to raw edges. Put 1, 2, 3 or 4 folded triangles on the 10" square for different effects.
Baste the bias folded edge to the 10" square or glue with a fabric glue so that it doesn't open up while quilting. Or fold back and sew the bias edges for a curved seam effect as shown below.
You could even place the folded 5" squares on the corners of a "Square in a Square" block.
Or place folded 5" squares on two corners and folded 2 1/2" squares on the opposite corners.
Make an "I Spy" block by adding folded 5" precuts to the center of a "Square in a Square" block as shown below.
"Triangles in a Square". The triangles can also be positioned in the middle of the blocks. In this version, the triangles are positioned on the 10" square as shown.
or like this
Just remember that the raw edges of the 5" squares either have to be lined up with the raw edges of the 10" square, or enclosed in a seam on the inside of the 10" square. Fold and sew to enclose the raw edges as shown in the previous blocks.
Another version of the "Triangles in a Square" block is done this way. Fold the 10" square on the diagonal, in both directions, then position the folded 5" triangles as shown.
Sew a 1/4" seam on the diagonals to enclose the raw edges of the triangles.
Here are a few other blocks: the possibilities really are endless!
In the above block, the 5" block is folded into the 10" block on point. 2 1/2" blocks are added at the points of the 5" block.
This block uses a 2 1/2" block folded on point into the center of the 10" block. Folded 5" blocks are added to the corners after the small square is sewn into the 10".
The above series shows how 2 1/2" precut strips can be folded into a 10" square to form an X block.
I made this little table runner by folding a 2 1/2" precut strip diagonally into a 10" square and then adding folded 5" squares to 2 corners of the block. There are 8 of those blocks in this table runner.
You can even make pinwheel blocks with this method. Fold a 5" square in half diagonally, twice. Position them on the blocks as shown. (the above picture shows four 10" blocks)
Two more fold and sew blocks-the idea courtesy of Peggy Bodeman from my class at Quilt Nebraska 2013. They turned out beautifully, Peggy!
Add some folded 2 1/2" pre-cuts on the outside of the 5" folded precuts.
Then add another set of 2 1/2" precuts to the inside of the 5" precuts. It's so much fun to see what can be created!
For this block, first fold a 2 1/2" precut into a 5" precut then fold and sew the resultant block into a 10" precut. I used this method for some of the blocks in my quilt "Portland Freebie". You can center the blocks as I did or do as Bea Bauerle did and place them off center for a very interesting look. Thank you for that placement idea Bea!
I used the block on the left to make my Petite Odile quilt using 5" and 2 1/2" precuts. Shari Rich added a folded 2 1/2" square into the block for a cute little Christmas house.
The students at my class at Camp Comeca were amayzingly creative. Here's a sampling of what they came up with.
Cheri Tye Darice Cecil Geraldine Steinbrink
Judith Thompson Kelly Thomalla Peggy Minneman
Shari Rich Trese Eisinger (my sister) Jen Huff (my daughter)
The above quilt was made by Cheri Tye, in one day, for her grandson Gabriel. Thank you for sharing, Cheri. I bet Gabriel loved it.
The above quilt was made by my daughter, Jen, using the square in a square block. It's the first quilt she's ever made and she said it was sooo simple using the Fold and Sew technique.
This quilt uses 2 different blocks together to form the triangles. Jen and I collaborated on this design. Jen's really enjoying this method!
Last but not least- a block, and the quilt made from the block, using precut hexagons. Thank you, June Dudley, Editor-in-Chief of Quiltmaker magazine, for this fantastic inspiration.
Last Updated: Sep 15th, 2017 - 11:17 PM