Paper Piecing Patterns – Sew Satisfying!

Paper piecing takes just a little getting used to, but it is worth the effort to learn.  Like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become with the process.  And the results will amaze you.  Sometimes you just can’t get the same results any other way.

Love Grows

If you are new to paper piecing, Love Grows is a great pattern for learning.  The flower, its greenery, and the flowerpot are paper pieced and easy enough for a beginner.  The rest of the pattern is traditional piecing.  When you are finished you will have a 14″ x 26″ wall hanging to gift or to hang onto so you can celebrate your new found passion for paper piecing!

 

coneflowers paper piecing quilt pattern

 

Not into bright? Although Coneflowers has a little more paper piecing than the previous pattern, it’s still easy enough, but looks complicated.  Impress your friends…. and yourself!

 

Sunset on Ellis Island

 

Ready to really jump in?  Go big!  Sunset on Ellis Island measures 43″ x 43″ and has a big WOW factor.  Nelly Vileikis of Artelas Quilts writes clear, easy to follow instructions.  Have fun with color on this one and create a beautiful wall hanging that you’ll be proud to show off.

 

Chickadee Treat

 

Want something on the small side?  MH Designs has dozens of paper piecing patterns in small to medium sizes.  Mary’s themes are varied and she usually packs a lot of detail into her designs.  Chickadee Treat is a 12″ x 13″ wall hanging.  She certainly captured the essence of Chickadees, didn’t she?!

 

Check out all the paper pieced patterns (also called foundation piecing). You’ll probably see several that you want to try!

May 15, 2014 - Quilt Supplies    No Comments

Dream Wool by Quilters Dream Batting now available

QDWoolDream Wool by Quilters Dream Batting available at QuiltersWarehouse.   This wool batting is made with a Scoured and Super Washed Domestic & Fine Merino Wool that has been blended, carded, crosslapped & thermally bonded.  The wool is scoured and super-washed for superior cleanliness and to eliminate shrinkage.  Quilters Dream’s unique processing creates wool batting with exceptionally soft drape, uniformity and strength.  Dream Wool is a beautifully consistent batting that is truly a ‘cut above’.  Soon we will also have case lots available.  Shop now for the entire line of Quilters Dream Quilt Batting including our newest addition, Quilters Dream Wool Batting.

Apr 23, 2014 - Fabric, quilt fabric panels    No Comments

The Perfect Pair makes a Quick Quilt

A fabric panel and just the right border and tah-dah! a quick quilt!

Wood floor     Basketballs and Hoops and Shoes

Surround the Basketball Court panel with a narrow white inner border, then add a wide border of the Love of the Game Oak w/ Basketballs fabric and you’ll have a quick quilt that any basketball fan will love!

Fairy Tale magic   Sparkly night sky

Use the Seeing Stars fabric as a border for Tinkerbell to create a magical throw for a child’s room.  Then make mini quilts with the smaller panels to hang on the walls.  Instant room makeover!   Who doesn’t love a magical fairy tale?!

Modern art flowers in vase fabric  yellow gold small scale fabric

Summer Basket Flowers would look great surrounded by Amber Floral Gingham and then a deep red binding to set it all off.  Just right for a kitchen or breakfast nook wall hanging.  Oh, I just love this particular pairing!  If I go missing it’s probably because I’m in the sewing room whipping up one of these!

Colorful chicken fabric panel   Blue marbled quilt fabric

Look at this beautiful bird!  Down on the Farm Rust Chicken fabric panel is fat quarter size.  Border it with blue Beauty Shop (I’d never pair these together by the names!) for a quick, small wall hanging.  What do you think – binding in black?

There is nothing like the satisfaction of completing an intricately pieced quilt, but sometimes you want a break and a quick finish.  Fabric panels are great for that.  Did you see any here you liked?  What panels would you use, with what fabrics?

 

 

Quilt Troubleshooting – Check the Basics

Are you ever disappointed with your quilt when you are finished?

quilt too fast

Ooops! Now this was just a case of going too fast!  The trusty seam ripper and a flip of the fabric will fix the problem.

 

But sometimes the problem is a little more, and harder to fix – it’s not square, there are tucks or gathers, it’s not the size it’s supposed to be, it’s just generally wonky.  It might be time to go back to basics.  Even if you are not having trouble, it would still be a good idea to revisit these important habits.

1. Prewashing. Now that’s a whole debate on it’s own (LINK TO PREWASHING POST), but whatever you decide to do, it’s a good idea to do the same thing with all the fabric in a particular quilt.  Either wash it all before you start, or don’t wash any of it.  Otherwise when you wash your completed quilt, the parts that were prewashed have preshrunk; the parts that weren’t prewashed may shrink more that the rest and skew the whole project.

2. Cutting. If you need to cut several strips, be sure to square up your fabric after every few strips.  It’s not uncommon to be just the tiniest bit off on each strip and then that adds up.  The next thing you know you are 1/8″ (or more!) off. It’s also a good idea to keep change your rotary cutter blade as soon as it gets the slightest bit dull.  A sharp blade means smooth and even edges.

3. Quarter inch seams – make sure they really are!  Being off by just the smallest fraction on every seam can really add up!  There are several ways to ensure you are sewing consistent quarter inch seams.  Choose your favorite way, then stick to it!

4. Pressing. That’s right. Pressing. Not ironing. Always lift your iron as you move to a new section to be pressed. Pushing your iron around the fabric and result in fabric that is stretched out of shape.  Even worse, it can stretch your finished blocks out of shape!

5. Pin your borders.  When sewing long lengths of fabric together one of them can stretch or get “gathered in” as you go, thereby throwing your quilt out of whack. After you have measured and cut your borders, lay them on your quilt and use several pins.  This will ensure that both the border and the center of the quilt will load through your machine evenly.

Do yourself a favor and review these before you next project. Then reap the rewards of a quilt well done!

Fabric Makes The Bag

Time for a new purse!  Well, when isn’t it time for a new purse?!  I spent some time choosing patterns and then fabrics that I thought would work well with the patterns.

Instructions for Zippered bag with pocketswatercolor flowers

Purse-O-Nally Yours bag and Wander Blossoms fabric: the flowers for the body of the bag, plaid for the top and bottom borders and for the handles, and the blue polka dot fabric for the trim on the flap pocket.  Or would you use the stripes in place of the plaid?

 

Purse with pocketsgrey and yellow fabric

Twin Pocket Tango bag and Zest fabric: the gray flower circles for the bottom corners with yellow piping, the flowers for the two curved pieces with grey piping, and the yellow flower circles for the center of the bag.

 

Recessed zippered top purse patternRed and gray

Margo Handbag by Lazy Girl Designs and Petite Odile fabric: Red for the main body of the bag and for the handles.  The darker fabric for the pocket background.

 

Pouch style pocket purseBoldly colored butterfly fabric

Quattro Purse and Flying Colors II fabric: the colorful butterflies on the black background for the main body of the purse, the light background with the hummingbirds for the first pocket, and the stripes for the last pocket and for the handle.

Now it’s time to pick a favorite.  That might be a little harder!

 

 

Bunny Doll Patterns for All Ages

Happy, fluffy, friendly bunny doll patterns… what’s not to like?!

Springtime Easter pattern

This adorable bunny says Welcome! Holding bunches of carrots and flowers (which you can either paint or make from fabric) bunny hangs out at your front door or on a wall, putting a smile on guests’ faces as they enter, and delights any children that come to visit.

 

Stuffed rabbit pattern

 

Old MacBunny has a farm and it looks like he is planting carrots.  Smart bunny!  The pattern for this adorable semi-jointed doll also includes the wire for his glasses.  And, since every farmer needs a wife . . . .

 

Farmer's Wife bunny doll pattern

 

Enter Ester MacBunny!  Her apron is on and it looks like she’s ready for anything, maybe gardening or baking some cookies for after lunch.  Who knows what the day will bring when you are a farmer’s wife?! Mary Kerr’s easy to follow instructions include several cute ideas for Ester’s accessories. And, again, the wire for Ester’s glasses is included with the pattern.

 

 

Bunny Doll pattern

 

Blossom Bunny is so very ready for Spring (me too! how about you?!) with her beautiful jacket sporting button and yo-yo flowers, embroidery, and applique.  Her hat has flowers, too.  The 8″ x 10″ inch “no stitch” sampler has a friendship poem and is embellished with yo-yo flowers.

 

Bunny Basket pattern

The Bunny Stuff pattern make a bunny doll holding a nice size bag that’s perfect for filling with treats.  Leave a bowl and decorate at the same time.  Or you can use the bunny as an Easter basket and fill it with candy and toys for your favorite little one.  Once they are finished with the contents, they can use the bowl to hold any little treasures they want to have handy.

 

Time’s a wastin’!  Hop to it and make a bunny doll . . . . or two, or three!

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