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Friday, August 7, 2015

Sew-Along: Polaroid Sleeping Bag: Making the Polaroid

This post is part of the Polaroid Sleeping Bag Sew-Along. You can find the main post and supplies list, along with links to all available posts in the series, HERE.


Are you ready to get started??

Today I'll share the complete process for making the inner polaroid section of each block (The I-spy print + white sashing). My blocks are larger than the standard polaroid blocks you may have seen. If you would like to make smaller polaroid blocks, I suggest checking out Karen's post over at CapitolaQuilter.

I actually suggest that you check out Karen's post no matter what, because she has some great tips that I wish I had remembered before I had started my blocks. I'll reference her suggestions throughout this post, but I'm not going to show you how to do them.

For a quick run through, here is how we will create one polaroid block:

Take one charm square (4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches) (A)
Sew to the top: 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch white strip (B).
Sew to each side: 1 inch by 5 inch white strip (C).
Sew to the bottom: 2 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch white strip (D).

*After you attach each section, press seams towards the white fabric.*

And you have one center of a polaroid block!

Super simple!

Cutting Fabric:
All instructions are for creating 50 polaroid blocks, which is how many you'll need to make one sleeping bag.

I-Spy Charms:

What you'll need:

(A) 50 - I-spy charms, each 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches.

By I-spy, I am referring to prints that have fun, playful designs or images that will make it fun for a child to look at and pick out the different items in the print. That's the reason I chose this block for my sleeping bags! When we are out camping and the kids can't sleep, they can stay up looking at all the different pictures on their bags.

I had a huge stack of I-spy charms (5 inches by 5 inches) from some Flickr swaps I participated in a few years ago. I simply cut those down to size, and then cut out squares from my stash for the rest of the prints.

Karen has a great idea for making a viewfinder window to get just the right fussy cut. If you want to do that, cut out a square that is 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches, and then cut out a 4 inch square from the middle. The border of the window needs to be 1/4 inch on all sides for an accurate fussy cut.

Set your charms aside.

White Sashing:

You will need 1 yard of white fabric.

Before you begin, read through the entire tutorial. Also check Karen's post in case you decide to use her method for attaching the sashing, which I think is really great!

You will need:


- (B) 50 - 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch strips
How To:Cut: 6 - 1 inch by WOF (at least 41 inches long) strips.
Subcut each WOF strip into: 9 - 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch strips.


- (C) 100 - 1 inch by 5 inch strips (2 strips per block)
How To:Cut: 13  - 1 inch by WOF strips.
Subcut each WOF strip into: 8 - 1 inch by 5 inch strips.

- (D) 50 - 2 1/2 by 5 1/2 inch strips
How To:Cut: 3 - 5 1/2 inch by WOF strips.
Subcut each WOF strip into: 16 - 2 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch strips 
*You will need 2 additional 2 1/2 by 5 1/2 strips, which I recommend simply cutting out of a corner of your fabric than cutting an entire extra strip of fabric that might end up going to waste.
*If you have a usable 42 1/2 inches per strip, then you can get 17 pieces from each WOF strip - eliminating the need for cutting two more extra pieces.

Assemble Blocks:

1. Attach ONE white 1x4 1/2 inch strip to the TOP of ONE charm square. Repeat for all 50 charms.

** If you want to do this using Karen's method, do NOT subcut the WOF strips. Instead, sew 9 (A) charms to the WOF strips - make sure you sew the strips to the TOP of the charms. Be sure to sew the charms close together or the strips might not fit 9 charms. Then trim at exactly 4.5 inches.**

2. Attach ONE white 1x 5 inch strips to each SIDE of your (AB) block.

**Again, you can use Karen's method to attach strips to each SIDE of the now (AB) charm piece. Attach one side, trim and then attach the second side. You should be able to sew 8 charms per strip. Make sure to sew them close together so you don't run out of room on the strip. Trim to 5 inches. **

3. Attach ONE 2 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch strip to the BOTTOM of each (ABCC) block.

** If you want to use Karen's method for the last piece, you'll need to cut your strips 2 1/2 inches by WOF. You should be able to sew 7 charms per strip, which means you'll need to cut just over 7 strips. Attach strips to each BOTTOM of the now (ABCC) block. **


These really are straight forward. And if you are making 50, it can be a bit monotonous. Here are a few things I recommend doing to make it easier and faster.
  • Cut out ALL your fabric first. 
  • Chain piece!!
  • If you do chain piece, here is my quick and easy method for cutting apart all of the blocks:
:: Fold your charms accordion style, so they are folded on top of each other, not around each other.
:: Go through each side and trim the little strings. It's SO fast and then your blocks are already stacked nicely together. :)

And that's it for the first step! I'm still working on sewing all my white strips to the charms. I'm maybe a fourth of the way done. If you have any questions, let me know!! :)

If you are sewing along, be sure to link up your pictures! :)

    An InLinkz Link-up




  1. Congratulations, she is beautiful!

  2. Thanks for including a link the the chain piecing tutorial - I had no idea three years ago when I wrote the post because a guild mate asked me about how I constructed the blocks I brought to show and tell that it would be so useful. I'm hoping to sew along with a modified mixed scale version.

  3. Hi, Diane! Your works are amazing! I've stopped in and found so many interesting things which I like immensely! It's really great that you share your process of creation by steps. I like it. Thanks for this!
    Merry Christmas!
    Commented on Write about Christmas at au.essay-writing-place.com, 03:53 AM


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