Daffodil – a free paper pieced block pattern

Daffodil Paper Pieced Quilt Block PatternBeing only a single paper piecing pattern unit, this cute little 6-inch daffodil block pattern is very easy to sew. Its simplicity makes it a perfect choice for the Miniature Garden Maze quilt.

Use three shades of yellow for the blossom and three shades of green for the leaves and stem to give added dimensionality to the design.

The PDF pattern provides both right- and left-facing versions of the Daffodil, which you can download here:  Daffodil-PieceByNumber

Mama Cat and Baby in Basket – a free paper piecing pattern

Mama Cat and Kitten in Basket paper pieced quilt block patternA companion basket quilt block to the Bow-Tie Kitty in Basket block.  Include one in your basket sampler quilt, or make a little girl happy by sewing one block into a simple purse.

The PDF pattern gives block assembly instructions and includes line drawings of the block so you can experiment with your own coloring ideas, using your favorite colored pencils or markers.

Add the face and whisker detailing with embroidery or fabric paint/markers (click here for some tips). Note that the basket bottom (the bottom half-triangle) of this block is interchangeable with the Bow-Tie Kitty’s basket.

Click for the PDF 6” (15.2 cm) MamaCat&BabyInBasket pattern.

Bow-Tie Kitty in Basket – a free paper piecing pattern

Cat in a Basket quilt blockFeature this adorable bow-tied cat in a basket paper pieced quilt block as the central medallion of your next baby or toddler quilt (enlarge to 18” or even 24” at your local copyshop) – meow!

To reduce the number of seam lines cutting across design elements, you’ll be sewing together partially-pieced pattern sections and then finishing the paper piecing in a subsequent step. The process is only slightly more fussy than the usual method of sewing together completely pieced pattern sections, but the final quilt block looks so much better!

Add the cat’s face and whisker detailing with embroidery or fabric paint/markers (click here for some great ideas).  For a simpler basket, use the bottom triangle of the Mama Cat and Baby in Basket block – the two pattern pieces are interchangeable.

Here’s the PDF 6” (15.2 cm) Bow-Tie Kitty in Basket paper piecing pattern: BowTieKitty-PieceByNumber

Honey Bee – a free paper piecing pattern

double honeybeeSew a whole hive of sweet honeybees with this free paper piecing quilt block pattern suitable for adventurous beginners.  The pattern provides both 3- and 6-inch versions, and the 3-inch Honeybee block is a perfect addition to my Escaping Bugs Bottle Quilt pattern, available in my Etsy shop.

If you like, embroider her antennae with black floss, or use a fabric paint pen instead. Read here for some tips on adding embroidery to paper pieced blocks.

Download the free PDF HoneyBee pattern.

Pansy – free paper pieced flower quilt pattern

Pansy paper pieced quilt block

Pansy

This sweet little Pansy block is a perfect design for the Miniature Garden Maze or any other floral quilt or project.  Try a single block for a jacket pocket, potholder, or all-occasion greeting card.  The free quilt block pattern provides 3-inch and 6-inch versions of the pansy flower design.

Download the Pansy block pattern PDF

Mini-Tutorial: Machine Applique

Penny Penguin paper piecing quilt block from Piece By NumberWith many animal blocks, it’s little things like eyes and mouths that take a design from so-so to so super-cute! Many newbie quilters don’t have much experience with embroidery or applique, however, especially if they’re self-taught. In this mini-tutorial, I’ll explain a quick and easy way to add a touch of machine applique detail to ANY project you choose.

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Where are the free patterns?

Iris - free paper pieced quilt block pattern from Piece By NumberIf you’ve visited my site before, you may have noticed it now looks a bit different.  I’m gradually transitioning all the pages to WordPress, which will make it much easier to add new content and (eventually) update existing content.

You can find my older free paper piecing patterns by clicking on the Free Patterns tab at the top of this page. New freebies will be posted as posts (or “Articles”) – you’ll find them by clicking on the Free Patterns category in the sidebar at the right. Happy sewing!

Resizing printed PDF patterns with Adobe Reader XI

If you’ve ever wanted to print your PDF foundation patterns (or any other PDF file, for that matter) at the exact size you need from your home printer, then wait no more. The latest version of Adobe Reader, Adobe Reader XI, lets you do exactly that and lots of other cool printing tricks. I’ve been playing around with it a little, and want to share what I’ve found so far with you (though there’s probably lots more to discover). If you don’t have the latest version, download it for FREE from Adobe’s website here.

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Hearts, Roses and Scotties

Suellen Mom's quilt made from paper piecing heart and roses quilt block patterns from Piece by NumberTo me, absolutely the best part about designing quilting patterns is seeing finished items made from my designs. It is soooo cool to open an email to find that someone’s sent me a photo of their latest creation! I get more than a little thrill knowing that my design provided a creative spark for its creator.

Whether it’s an unexpected choice of colors and fabric prints, or how the design is incorporated into an item (not just quilts, but all kinds of things!), I am constantly surprised and humbled to discover what clever and original things people do with my patterns. This is why I generally design block patterns, as opposed to complete quilt designs — blocks are literally building blocks (pun quasi-intended) for quilters. They provide a basic starting point for a quilter to build her project upon, while leaving plenty of creative space to develop and express her own ideas and tastes.

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Craftsy!

Craftsy logoHave you heard? I’m talking about Craftsy, of course! If you haven’t checked it out yet, waste no more time! This wonderful site is dedicated to all things crafty, in particular on-line classes and workshops in just about every major area of crafting – sewing, jewelry, knitting, food, gardening, weaving, and of course, quilting.

A class you won’t want to miss is the Craftsy Block of the Month with Amy Gibson. You can sign up any time, watch it any time, go at your own pace, and best of all, it’s FREE. I’m even more excited because Amy will be demonstrating paper piecing with my Circle of Geese block in the October 2012 installment. Woo hoo! Craftsy is constantly adding new classes, so sign up for their free newsletter to get the latest offerings and news.

You can indulge in instant gratification shopping in the Craftsy Pattern Shop. The PDF e-patterns are from small independent designers, including yours truly :-) Once you pay for them via PayPal, they are instantly downloadable! How cool is that? Need a handcrafted wedding gift for Saturday? No problem! A costume for the kindergarten play by tomorrow? Easy peasy. The only thing left for Craftsy to offer is the TIME to take all the great classes and make all the terrific projects…