Polk Block: Paper-Piecing with Scraps
Intermediate | 16 min
Embrace the flexibility and spontaneity of paper piecing with this scrappy block. Carolyn Friedlander shows you how to select a color palette from your leftover bits of fabric and create a precise design using a template. Paper piecing with scraps enables you to use every last bit of fabric, so don't toss your scraps—save them for a project like this one.
Learn how to:
- Select scraps for your project
- Audition scraps on the template for fit and look
- Paper piece your block
- Learn how to utilize leftover bits of fabric by creating a Polk block of your own design
- Detailed supplies list and downloadable PDF templates
- Step-by-step expert instruction from Carolyn Friedlander
- The ability to leave comments, ask questions, and interact with other students
Here’s what you’ll need:Finished Measurements:
The Polk Block is 7" x 7"
- Sewing machine
- Table extension for sewing machine (optional)
- Sewing machine foot with good visibility of sewing area
- Matching cotton thread (50wt)
- Cutting mat
- Rotary cutter
- Sharp snips
- Iron/ironing surface
- Marking utensil (optional)
- Scraps of desired fabrics (some scraps should be 3 ½” wide for larger portions of block)
- Quilting pins
- PDF Template
Browse members' projects from this class, add them to your Favorites, and share your own work!
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Learn how to make a nautically inspired necklace using twine or decorative rope. Courtney will teach you how to create a small Monkey’s Fist Knot pendant, and then add a vibrant accent with colored cord. This is a great summertime craft for sailors and land-lovers alike.
Make a Nautical Rope BraceletLiana Allday
Before you take off on your next beach vacation, whip up a batch of easy nautical rope bracelets. These tie-on bracelets are the perfect last-minute accessory and can be made in a snap with just a bit of rope, ribbon, leather cord and hot glue. Have fun mixing and matching your ribbon and rope to make unique pieces for all of your friends.
Painted Canvas PillowsCourtney Cerruti
Give your living room a fun makeover with these hand-painted canvas pillowcases. Inspired by the classic, colorful stripes of Hudson Bay Blankets, you will use primary colors to paint stripes on your fabric. Then, follow along as Courtney demonstrates how to sew and assemble this simple pillowcase.
Painted Wooden SignCourtney Cerruti
Learn how to create an easy, eye-catching sign – perfect for décor or special events. Courtney will show you how to arrange vinyl stickers for your lettering, then create a rustic, salty finish using a combination of water-based and oil-based paint layers.
DIY Felt PennantsCourtney Cerruti
Add color and text to your walls with these easy-to-make felt pennant banners. Courtney teaches two ways to make vibrant pennants: by cutting out customized letters and gluing them in place, or with iron-on letters and a sewing machine. Perfect for parties and seasonal décor, these pennants can be made quickly for spontaneous celebrations.
How to Work Stranded or Fair Isle KnittingEdie Eckman
Knit and crochet expert Edie Eckman demonstrates how to work Fair Isle, or Stranded, knitting. Learn how to follow along with a chart and pick up some helpful tips along the way, like how to hold two yarn colors at once, how to catch yarn “floats," how to work in rows and more.
How to Thread a SergerFancy Tiger
A serger makes it easy to whip up garments quickly, but learning how to thread a serger sometimes stops people from using this handy tool. In this tutorial, the ladies of Fancy Tiger come to the rescue and demonstrate how to thread two different types of sergers: a Brother 1034D and a Juki MO 644D Serger. They also share best practices for maintaining your serger and trouble-shooting tips in case you don't get it right on the first try.
How to Substitute YarnDebbie Stoller
You don’t always have to use the yarn suggested in patterns — but if you do stray from the recommended yarn, you’ll want to keep a few guidelines in mind. Debbie Stoller shares sage advice for substituting yarn, such as using a yarn in a similar gauge and weight and sticking to the same fiber family. Also important, you’ll learn how to calculate yardage requirements for your new yarn so you won’t run out in the middle of the project (or buy far more than you actually need).
Furniture Refinishing: Flea Market TipsBarb Blair
There are lots of treasures to be found in flea markets all over the country, but finding a piece of furniture that is ideal for refinishing takes a specially trained eye. Walk along with Barb Blair of Knack Studios as she peruses the stalls at the Pickens Flea Market in South Carolina. Learn how to look for pieces of furniture that will be a breeze to refinish, and how to identify the pieces that will take more time and effort than they're worth. Best of all, you’ll learn how to use your imagination on the fly, envisioning how you might transform a piece of furniture and where it will fit into your home.
How to EmbossCourtney Cerruti
Have you ever wondered how embossing works? In this quick class, Courtney Cerruti demystifies the embossing process, showing you how to do this simple technique at home. You will need just a few items -- embossing powder, wet ink and a heat gun -- to create professional-looking, glossy designs.
Distressed Wooden Chalkboard SignCourtney Cerruti
Create a rustic looking chalkboard sign that you can change with the seasons. Using the magic of steel wool and apple cider vinegar, Courtney guides you through aging a wooden frame to perfection. You will learn how to create your own chalkboard backing and then complete the project with a message written in chalk.
How to Make Binding TapeAshley Nickels
Custom-made binding tape adds a gorgeous finishing touch to your quilts, allowing you to play around with colors and prints. Binding tape is typically used to bind quilts and can be made with fabric that has been cut on the straight of grain. Ashley Nickels demonstrates how to create your own binding tape using any fabric you like and sew the strips together to create one long strip to go all around your quilt. Watch Ashley's class on attaching binding tape to find out how to sew it to your quilt.
How to Attach Binding TapeAshley Nickels
Quilting designer Ashley Nickels demonstrates the traditional method for attaching binding tape to a quilt — a fundamental technique every quilter needs to know. Step by step, you will learn how to pin the binding to the quilt sandwich, attach it using the walking foot on your sewing machine, create mitered corners, join the ends of the binding, and finish with a hand-sewn blind stitch. Watch Ashley's How to Make Binding Tape class for a quick lesson on how to make your binding strips and sew them together.
How to Pull a Successful Screen PrintHilary Williams
Screen-printing artist Hilary Williams provides pro tips for pulling successful prints, helping you troubleshoot what went wrong and figure out how to improve the quality of each print. You will learn how to add the right amount of ink, what parts of the squeegee to use, how to gauge the correct squeegee pressure, and lots of other helpful pointers.
DIY Room Décor: Color-Blocked Bulletin BoardCourtney Cerruti
Learn how to turn a basic cork panel into a colorful, decorative bulletin board in a snap. Courtney Cerruti shows you how to paint a color-blocked design on cork and add a colorful rope hanger. She then shows you how to spruce up your pushpins by attaching colorful pompoms and paper flowers with hot glue. Hang your finished corkboard in your kitchen or bedroom – it’s perfect for displaying your favorite photos and inspirational imagery.
DIY Room Décor: Decoupaged Jewelry HolderCourtney Cerruti
If your jewelry collection is in need of some organization, this class will help set you straight. Courtney Cerruti shares a quick and easy idea for a jewelry hanger that utilizes decoupage and a little bit of hardware. Courtney shows you how to properly apply Mod Podge to adhere pretty paper to a wooden placard, and how to paint the beveled edges with a foam brush. After that, install some simple hanging hardware and you’ll be ready to display your necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
DIY Room Décor: Painted Fabric Wall ArtCourtney Cerruti
Learn how to transform painted cotton fabric into bold, abstract wall décor. Using expressive brush strokes in a color palette of your choice, Courtney Cerruti shows you how to paint abstractly on fabric, then “frame” your painted fabric in embroidery hoops. The finished pieces are lightweight and super easy to hang – perfect for sprucing up a bedroom or making any space your own.
Make a Classic Macramé Plant HangerEmily Katz
Learn how to create the most iconic of all macramé projects: the Plant Hanger. Emily Katz shows you how to create a hanger out of cotton rope tied into simple square knots and half square knots. This project is totally customizable and can work with planters of any size. Emily will show you how to calculate the proportions of your planter and construct a hanger that will hold the pot perfectly.
How to Sew Mitered CornersAshley Nickels
Learn how to make mitered corners on a single piece of fabric from sewing and quilting instructor Ashley Nickels. Starting with a square piece of fabric and a home sewing machine, you will learn how to press the edges, mark corners, stitch the miters in place and trim away excess fabric. This easy technique is great for creating cloth napkins and table runners or finishing the edges of any sewing project that has a corner.
Beaded CrochetMarly Bird
Marly Bird shares tried-and-true techniques for adding beads to single crochet. You will not only learn how to pre-string beads to add to your work as you go, but also how to add beads spontaneously right onto the stitch. Marly demonstrates her beading techniques on worsted weight yarn and large pony beads, but you can use this technique with any yarn gauge and bead—as long as your crochet hook and yarn can fit through the bead.
Setting Up a Screen Printing StudioHilary Williams
You don’t need an expensive or elaborate studio space to create successful screen prints. Mixed media artist Hilary Williams talks you through setting up a basic home studio space. You will learn how to create a printing board, how to set up your space to make clean prints, what tools you will need have on hand, and how to practice good studio cleanup habits.
Magic Loop KnittingEdie Eckman
Learn how to cast on and work in the round with Magic Loop knitting. This technique is ideal for knitting a small circumference object in the round on one long cable needle—a great option for those who don't love working with double-pointed needles. Edie Eckman shows you how to cast on, join in the round, and continue working in rounds.
Beaded KnittingMarly Bird
Learn how to add beaded embellishments to your knits with Marly Bird. There are several ways to add beads to your knitting, and Marly covers all the basics. You’ll learn how to place beads between the stitches on purl rows and knit rows when you’re working Stockinette, and how to add beads directly to the stitches with a crochet hook any old time you feel like it.
How to Chain Piece FabricAshley Nickels
Learn how to construct a nine-patch quilt block using one of Ashley Nickel’s favorite short cuts: chain piecing. Prepare and cut your nine fabric squares and learn how to piece them together row-by-row without ever snipping threads. You’ll then learn how to sew your chained pieces together by nestling the seams. With this trick up your sleeve, you’ll end up with a flawless nine-patch quilt block in a flash.
How to Cut a Mat and Frame Your ArtworkHilary Williams
Having your artwork and photos professionally framed can be pricey—especially if you have several pieces to frame. In this class, Hilary Williams shows how to professionally mat and frame your artwork at home for a fraction of the price. You will learn how to mount and back artwork of any size and add a dust cover to finish it off. Whether you’re an artist with a collection of pieces that need to be framed, or you simply want to frame your favorite family photos, this class will show you exactly how simple it is to get a professional look at home.
DIY Painted Hardware Accessory RackBarb Blair
Pro furniture refinisher Barb Blair teaches you how to create a sweet accessory rack out of found wood and drawer knobs. This project only takes a few minutes to make, but the resulting rack will hang on your wall for years and years to come. It’s perfect for hanging scarves and necklaces, and it’s easy to customize the size and style with your choice of materials.
Ohio Star BlockHeather Jones
In this class, Heather Jones shares how to make the iconic Ohio Star quilt block. Using half square triangles and quarter square triangles, you will learn how to precisely sew the pieces together to create this crisp, geometric design. Bind and finish your block to create a quilted wall hanging, or use the block to make a funky, modern throw pillow.
Knitted Lace MittsWendy Bernard
Wendy Bernard teaches you how to knit fingerless mitts featuring a gorgeous Nested Fans lace pattern in this handy tutorial. Fingerless mitts are great for cross-season warmth, plus they’re ideal for typing away on your electronic devices while keeping your hands toasty. In this action-packed class, you’ll learn how to start with a simple ribbed cuff, read a lace chart, shape a thumb gusset and more. The mitts call for very little yarn, and are a great opportunity to use that precious skein you’ve been saving for a rainy day.
Whippersnapper BlockAnna Maria Horner
This month’s block is gorgeous, graphic and quick to whip up. Textile designer and quilter Anna Maria Horner shows you how to bust your stash of scraps and create precise seams using foundation paper piecing. Learn how to create your own template, audition fabrics and balance light and dark tones.
Acrylic Painting: How to Clean PaintbrushesLisa Solomon
Believe it or not, your paintbrushes and tools can serve you well for years as long as you clean and care for them properly. In this quick class, Lisa Solomon demonstrates how to clean your tools like a pro. You will learn how to scrape your palette clean, and how to thoroughly clean and care for your brushes between uses.
Polk Block: Paper-Piecing with ScrapsCarolyn Friedlander
Embrace the flexibility and spontaneity of paper piecing with this scrappy block. Carolyn Friedlander shows you how to select a color palette from your leftover bits of fabric and create a precise design using a template. Paper piecing with scraps enables you to use every last bit of fabric, so don't toss your scraps—save them for a project like this one.
Make a Leather Key Fob or Wristlet StrapElke Bergeron
Learn how to make a super simple, stylish key fob with basic leather-working tools. Elke Bergeron shows you how to turn your strap into a wristlet, or add a clip to attach it to your favorite clutch. This quick class is a great introduction to leather working, and a fun way to practice your skills.
The Wilton Method: How to Write on CakesWilton Instructors
Stefanie from Wilton demonstrates some simple tips and tricks for mastering the art of lettering with buttercream. Learn about various decorating bag tips, how to do freehand lettering, and how to follow a template to produce cursive letters. With a little practice, you’ll soon be a pro at picture-perfect cake writing.
Mixing Black Using Acrylic PaintLisa Solomon
Instead of using black paint right out of the tube, learn how to mix your own by combining dark brown and dark blue acrylic paints. Lisa Solomon demonstrates how the addition of other colors can create warm and cool tones in your black mixture, adding extra depth to your paintings.
Homage to Josef Albers BlockHeather Jones
Modern quilter and designer, Heather Jones, shares how easy it can be to transform visual inspiration into patchwork goodness. In this class, learn how to construct a bold and contemporary quilt block that pays homage to her favorite artist, Josef Albers, and his series of paintings titled “Homage to the Square.” This crisp design and easy construction allows for creative freedom, so you can scale your block to a different size, or have fun playing with unexpected color combinations.
Unfinished block will be a 7 ½” x 7 ½” square
Finished block will be a 7” x 7” square
Intarsia KnittingEdie Eckman
Intarsia is a knitting technique that produces blocks of color by using separate balls of yarn. Knit and crochet expert Edie Eckman demonstrates this method of colorwork and gives helpful tips on how to read an intarsia chart, avoid creating holes, weave in ends invisibly, and more.
Folk Flower BlockAnna Maria Horner
You don’t have to be an expert quilter to make this eye-catching quilt block. Modern quilter and fabric designer, Anna Maria Horner, shares how to create this folk-inspired flower block using floral print scraps. You will learn how to piece a background, fussy cut fabric, and reverse applique the flower and leaves using a sewing machine (no hand-stitching required). Make multiple Folk Flower blocks and piece them together however you’d like to make a quilt top that is blooming with color and texture.
Final Block Measures 12 ½” x 12 ½”
Final Block Measures 12 ½” x 12 ½”
Calligraphy on Unconventional SurfacesMaybelle Imasa-Stukuls
Take your calligraphy to the next level in this creative lettering class. Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls covers techniques for writing with calligraphy on unconventional surfaces, like wood and chalkboard, using acrylic paint, gouache and chalk. You’ll also learn how to mix custom colors with gouache, allowing you to work with hues other than black and white. If you’re brand new to calligraphy (or just want a refresher), be sure to take Maybelle’s Calligraphy for Beginners class to practice your lettering.
How to Mix Screen Printing InkHilary Williams
To pull a good print, you need to be sure your ink consistency is just right. Screenprinting artist Hilary Williams shows how to determine whether your ink has the correct consistency and what to do if it’s a bit too runny, too thick or too dry. Hilary also demonstrates how to resuscitate ink that’s salvageable with just a splash of water, as well as how to tint ink to make light, pastel colors.
Who's Recently Taken This Class
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