Category Archives: Free Patterns and Projects

Poinsettia Star – free paper pieced quilt block pattern

Design-wise, Poinsettia Star is very similar to my Circle of Geese block — the different effect results essentially from how the colors are placed.  And despite the name, this block is not limited to winter holiday projects, as shown in the variations shown below:

Poinsettia Star quilt block variations


A lap quilt, using Flying Geese sashing blocks and muted, but traditional holiday colors:

Poinsettia Star lap quilt

Download the free PDF PoinsettiaStar quilt block pattern.

Grandma’s Tea Party Mini Quilt

Paper piece a tea party!  Whether you’re inspired by Grandmother’s exquisite china, Alice in Wonderland, Downton Abbey or childhood memories, you’ll enjoy the easy paper piecing in this miniature quilt.  I couldn’t resist adding the Broken Dishes inner border, as much for the name as how it sets off the design! 

The quilt was designed several years ago for a Hoffman California Fabrics promotion, and finishes approximately 23” x 25” (58.4cm x 63.5cm).  Cream or sugar?  Download the PDF Grandma’s Tea Party pattern.

Grandma's Tea Party miniature quilt

Blue Tea Party quilt

Double Dutch Rose paper pieced quilt pattern

Double Dutch Rose - blues and golds

Double Dutch Rose – blues and golds

Many quilters will recognize the inspiration for this design as the traditional Dutch Rose block, also called Carpenter’s Wheel or Broken Star. Here, the design has been transformed to use simple blocks based on half-square triangles, rather than the usual 45 degree diamonds. A second round of “petals” completes the design, hence its name: Double Dutch Rose.

Double Dutch Rose quilt - pastels

Double Dutch Rose quilt – pastels

Two color scheme options are offered for this design. The first color scheme (above) uses four shades each of two contrasting colors, plus a strong background color. If you’ve ever taken a fabric dyeing workshop in gradated colors, this is the perfect project for those fabrics. The second variation (at right) uses only three different fabrics. Finished size is approximately 53″ x 53″ (135cm x 135cm), perfect for a lap quilt, wall hanging, or a small child’s bed.

Download the PDF Double Dutch Rose quilt pattern

Cake Basket – quilt block pattern for paper piecing

Cake Basket is one of those great traditional blocks many people imagine when they think of Grandma’s quilting.  Paper piecing makes quick work of all those little triangles forming the basket’s “handle.”  For a true traditional “Cake Stand” block, cover pieces C1, C2, and C4 with a single piece of fabric.

Cake Basket quilt block - 4 color variations

For the free PDF pattern to sew your own 6 inch finished size quilt block, click here: Cake Basket pattern


The Mayflower – a free paper piecing quilt block pattern

left & right facing Mayflower shipsAs every school-age American child knows, the Mayflower was the grand 17th century merchant sailing ship who brought the Pilgrims from England to the New World. This paper pieced version is especially good for gifts for boys, both young and old, depending on the chosen fabrics.  Enlarged to 24 inches, Mayflower makes a spectacular central medallion for a wall-hanging for a den, or a bed quilt for the boy who dreams of maritime adventures!

Download the free PDF 12-inch Mayflower pattern, provided in both left- and right-facing versions.

Mayflower medallion quilt

Mayflower medallion quilt, with Thanksgiving Star cornerstone blocks

Graceful Dancer free paper pieced quilt block

Graceful Dancer paper pieced quilt block

Graceful Dancer

Use the Graceful Dancer block on its own, or creatively pair it with our Jump For Joy!  block. Choose either a square block (full pattern) or rectangle (trim off the 1″ side pieces along the vertical dashed lines). Cover Pieces B5 and B6 with a single piece of fabric the same color as the rest of the figure for a complete silhouette effect. 

Download the PDF GracefulDancer Quilt Block pattern

Knight’s Knot – free paper pieced quilt block pattern

Knight's Knot paper pieced quilt block

2 variations – interwoven center (left), and open center (right)

Knight’s Knot offers wonderful design possibilities! However, it does require some care in selecting colors and setting arrangements to highlight the optical illusion of an intricately folded ribbon knot. Don’t overlook those nice squares in the centers of each pieced unit — how about using them for signatures, or fussy-cut prints for an “I Spy” quilt? And of course, a Knight’s Knot block would be a very nice addition to any sampler quilt.  Download the Knight’s Knot PDF pattern.

In general, Knight’s Knot blocks are most effective with sashing strips to separate them, as in the blue and black example, left.  By alternating highly contrasting blocks (i.e. light/dark values or warm/cool colors), it is possible to effectively set the blocks without sashing (middle image).  In the on-point block version (right),  the different values of the sashing pieces create a second-level optical illusion of 3-D enclosing walls around each block. The cornerstones are simply half-triangle squares.

Click on thumbnails below for larger images:

My inspiration for the Knight’s Knot block was painted on a wall in the beautiful 13th century Chateau de Chillon near Montreux, Switzerland, setting of the famous Byron poem, “Prisoner of Chillon.” Sitting right at the water’s edge of Lake Geneva, the castle is well worth a half-day visit if you’re in the area.

Chateau de Chillon near Montreux, Switzerland, setting of the famous Byron poem Prisoner of Chillon.  Well worth a visit!

Friendship Heart – a free paper pieced quilt block pattern

Friendship Heart paper pieced quilt blockThis little heart quilt block is great for all kinds of projects with signatures or quotations, not just Valentine’s Day. Sew a single block as a very personal present for a dear friend, or a remembrance quilt documenting a special event, such as a family reunion or wedding shower.

Use a water-erase marker to divide a piece of plain cotton into correctly-sized strips for your signatories to sign. This way, if they mess up, it’s not on a finished block and they can easily try again.  Alternatively, if you’re good with computers and graphics manipulation, people can sign onto a plain sheet of white paper.  Scan the signatures, resizing as needed, and then print them out onto printable fabric sheets.

A single Friendship Heart block would work well as a quilt label for the back of your next project.

Click on the link for the PDF pattern of the block in both 6″ and 3″ finished sizes: FriendshipHeart-PieceByNumber. The little quilt graphic below shows one possible layout using this fun and easy quilt block.   

Friendship Heart Quilt. showing one possible layout with this block

Kitty Love, a free paper pieced heart quilt block

Kitty Love paper pieced quilt block patternMiaow!

If you love felines, you’ll enjoy stitching this simple heart block pattern. The eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers are added using your choice of applique, embroidery or permanent fabric markers.

For the PDF pattern to make a 6″ finished size cat quilt block:   KittyLove-PieceByNumber

For some great ideas to easily add embroidery and embellishments to your paper pieced blocks, click here.

Kitty Love Quilt

A Button Heart Valentine (or ornament)

Pearl Button Heart ornamentIf 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.
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