Reasons to try paper piecing right now

Quilting 101: Reasons to try paper piecing right now

From A Paper-Pieced GardenIn a recent post about the new book of paper-pieced quilt patterns, Little Gems by Connie Kauffman, we asked Stitch This! readers to describe your level of paper-piecing prowess. More than 1000 of you enthusiastically responded (thank you!), and your comments told us that while many of you are paper-piecing fans, others haven’t yet caught the bug.

Maybe you’re new to quilting, or you’ve been playing with other techniques and haven’t yet tried paper piecing, or perhaps you’re just a wee bit intimidated by what appears to be an upside-down-and-backwards process. We’re here to help you overcome your hesitation and discover how fun paper piecing can be.

Being a confident paper piecer can open the floodgates to becoming a more creative quilter. It means having another tool in your toolbox to help you achieve the quilts you dream about. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Read on to see just a few of the reasons your fellow quilters gave for loving this technique.

> “Paper piecing is like painting by number, or coloring inside the lines. You just cannot go wrong with paper piecing.”

> “You can design your own blocks or use the technique to overcome construction challenges.”

> “The smallest quilts and most intricate blocks come out so perfect. AND your friends are just amazed at your skill.”

Need more reasons? How about these: you can achieve absolutely accurate points, it’s a great way to use scraps, it’s perfect for creating a picture, you don’t have to worry about grainline, it’s the best way to do miniatures, and you can enlarge or reduce blocks to suit your needs.

When it comes to choosing fabrics for paper piecing, anything goes…almost. Here’s a tip about fabric selection that’ll help you avoid frustration.

Quick tip: choosing fabrics for paper piecing

Are you ready to give paper piecing a try? You’ll find a wealth of paper-pieced quilt block patterns in these popular books to get you started.

Quilts from A Quilter's Ark
Clockwise from bottom left: “North American Animals Quilt,” “Farm Quilt,” and “Ark Quilt” from
A Quilter’s Ark.

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From 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks
These are just a handful of the amazing variety of blocks in 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks, which includes a CD of patterns to print out so you can get to the sewing faster.

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Projects from A Paper-Pieced Garden
From bottom left: “A Winter’s Tale,” “Dutch Tulips,” and “Four Seasons Sampler” from
A Paper-Pieced Garden.

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From Needles and Notions
Needles and Notions, you can showcase your favorite quilting and sewing notions in a quilt for your sewing space.

Papers for Foundation PiecingDon’t forget the paper!
Paper piecing is always more successful when you have the proper tools. Our Papers for Foundation Piecing work on almost any home printer or photocopier and tear easily when the time comes to remove the paper from your project.

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What pictorial image would you like to paper piece into a quilt? Tell us in the comments.

16 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I have always wanted to do a Triceratops and a T-Rex, since i am a huge dinosaur fan.

    —mary on May 18, 2015
  • A tree with many pieces, all different shades/prints of green.

    —Diana O. on May 18, 2015
  • Winter scenes: horses pulling sleighs, toy store ala Norman Rockwell, village scenes ala Currier&Ives.

    —Lynne on May 18, 2015
  • I would love to do one of my flower garden with the rock wall behind it sprouting ferns as a backdrop for the riot of color in front. Have actually seen some patterns for a number of the flowers so will have to gather them and then work with some graph paper or using Electric Quilt (if I can afford it sometime) to do the rest. With paper piecing the possibilities are endless!

    —Kate on May 18, 2015
  • In memory of my mother, I’m pretty sure it would be a veggie garden over run with a family of squirrels. Those little critters always seemed to know just when whatever mom had planted was ready to eat and would beat her to it half the time. Naturally, all members of her family knew of her hatred for squirrels and made it a point to send cards with them on it and pictures of them and even a squirrel "Beanny baby"!!!

    —debra lee on May 18, 2015
  • I am in the process of paper piecing a Hexie quilt…is tedious, but result will be fabulous. haven’t done much paper piecing, but do want to try more…

    —Jeanette S on May 18, 2015
  • I’ve looked at several pp books and can’t find any horses – so an assortment of patterns of horses in different positions – standing, galloping, rearing up etc. would be wonderful.

    —Linda Fleming on May 18, 2015
  • I have the Ack book and 3 other paper piecing books, but the one quilt picture I have at the top of my list is "Sewing Room Sue" From Needles & Notions/ I have it printed on used dryer sheets which will not be torn off, but have a baby quilt and a table runner to make as gifts 1st. I would love to have them finished so Sue will have a place og honour in my new home ,in 1 months.

    —ELIZAJANE on May 18, 2015
  • My first mini quilt with small pointed stars

    —Margaret on May 18, 2015
  • I’ve created my own pattern – I call it Pansy – using hexis and triangles…will post when finished!1 I love Connie’s "Winter Tale" those squirrels are darling!!

    Jacqueline Keen on May 19, 2015
  • I would love to make bicycles. My family consists of avid bike riders and a bicycle quilt would be great.

    —Cindy Schultz on May 22, 2015
  • I love The Winter’s Tale – but it looks a bit intimidating, but I’d love to try!

    —Carole-Jayne on May 22, 2015
  • I love this Needles and Notions book. I have never seen it before.

    —Renea on May 22, 2015
  • Im trying to figure out how to create my own designs!

    —Bro. AJK on May 23, 2015
  • I want to make a New York Beauty quilt. I have never tried paper piecing but I believe in dreaming big!

    —Kathy Renz on May 23, 2015
  • Snowflakes in complicated designs to go with my paper pieced cardinals.

    —Linda Towers on July 1, 2016

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