If you’re a button fanatic, like me, no doubt your collection includes zillions of little buttons snipped off old clothing, snapped up at flea markets and yard sales, and gratefully accepted from grandmas and friends. Show your madness for buttons with this easy and quick project, perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other time of the year. It’s a great project for children, too; my 6-year old son stitched one (with not so many buttons as mom’s) as a valentine for his teacher.
A few touches of embroidery, beads or buttons often make a paper pieced quilt block come to life. Markings for these elements are usually shown on the foundation patterns.
from Escaping Bugs
Bottle Quilt pattern
This spider’s legs were machine satin-stitched after the block piecing was completed. Can you imagine trying to paper piece all those legs?! But they were very easily added following the markings on the paper foundation, and tapering the satin stitch to a point at the end of each leg. The web was machine embroidered with a straight stitch in metallic gold thread, after the quilt top was completed. Continue reading
Paper piecing is easy and fun, but some blocks (particularly intricate, geometric designs) require a certain level of accuracy in the sewing and assembly to look their very best. Try one or more of the simple techniques below to help you achieve the most beautiful block possible.
PAPER PIECING INDIVIDUAL UNITS
- If needed, temporarily hold the first fabric piece to the foundation with a straight pin or a tiny dab of glue stick.
- When paper piecing, take care to sew accurately not directly ON the printed seam line, but just ever so slightly to the RIGHT of it. This helps accommodate the slight bulk of the fabric’s thickness. When you flip the newly sewn fabric piece open and press it, the fabric seam will sit accurately over the printed line.
Nadia Bekker of the Netherlands sent photos of the lovely mini quilt she sewed for her Creative Quiltmaking course with Linda and Laura Kemshall in the UK. For one of the modules, she had to make a miniature quilt, and chose my Tequila Sunrise quilt block pattern. Here’s the end result – it’s simply stunning! (click on the photo for a closeup)
Tequila Sunrise miniature quilt by Nadia Bekker
I finished my Petite Posies mini-quilt yesterday (see original blog post), and wanted to share of few of the details with you!
My idea was to have a very uncomplicated border, so as not to compete with or draw attention away from those wonderful 30’s flowers. Binding or no binding? Finally I decided on a simple turned-under edge, made with the so-called pillowcase technique (find a terrific tutorial in Quilting Daily’s free e-book Quilt Binding and Finishing Methods.)
Auditioning potential border fabrics took awhile, but eventually I whittled the choices down to these two. I decided the floral worked best, in keeping with the overall floral theme; the diagonal check became the backing. Both are modern reproduction fabrics.
The latest work in progress, made with some of my oldest fabric – a miniature quilt of vintage cottons from the 1930’s and 40’s. It’s made with my Petite Posies freebie pattern (available here), with an extra row of posies added. The pieced part is 8×10″ (finished size), and there’ll be a narrow 1″ border all around with a self-binding and very minimal quilting. I wanted to share it with you now, because if I wait until it’s totally done, you may never see it!
The rather simple Woven Ribbons paper piecing block makes a quilt which looks deceptively complex, with an effect similar to caned chair seats. You’ll need 8 different colors for the “ribbons”, plus a background fabric which doesn’t compete for attention with the other fabrics. Batiks and hand-dyeds are especially recommended for this design. Continue reading
I’m looking ahead to a special gift for a special baby-to-be, and thought, what could be cuter for such a project than my cheerful Panda block? (available in my Etsy shop)
Choosing a tone-on-tone white, a subtle swirly black print, and a jungle-y leaf print, I was able to paper piece the 12″ block together pretty quickly (a few hours), even though I’m not at all a fast sewer.
Still not sure what to do next. Make it into a crib quilt? Wall hanging? A diaper bag / toy tote? There’s still a few months to go. In the meantime, the block is pinned to my design wall, waving at me every time I enter my sewing room… Hello Panda!
P.S. For the photo, I basted on black glass beads for the eyes, but will definitely replace them with applique ones before gifting to baby.