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Paper Piecing Patterns for Quilters



Miniature Garden Maze

Flipping through a favorite quilt book, I came across the Garden Maze design. Though I'd seen it many times before, this time inspiration struck. What a great design -- those big open spaces crying out to frame something special! How about "fussy cut" blocks of a beautiful large floral print? Or paper pieced blocks in flower and other garden-related designs? Better still, much of the Garden Maze itself can be paper pieced, and the rest is easily strip-pieced.

Click image to enlarge

The main foundation pieced unit for Garden Maze is a skewed rectangle or diamond shape. It forms the "X" blocks and the horizontal lattice strips of the Garden Maze when several units are placed end-to-end. Two smaller units "square off" the ends of the completed and joined main units at the quilt's edges. I've provided paper piecing patterns that will accommodate 3" finished size "feature squares." If you are using plain fabric squares instead of pieced blocks, remember to cut them 3-1/2" square to accommodate the 1/4" seam allowance all around.

The vertical lattice strip blocks are easily strip pieced and sewn to the "feature squares" (foundation pieced blocks, other applique or pieced blocks, or plain fabric squares). For 3" finished size blocks, cut the lattice strips (shown above in dark blue) 1-1/4" wide, and the background fabric strips (shown above in medium green) 2" wide (includes 1/4" seam allowance). Alternate rows of foundation pieced units and strip-pieced blocks with "feature squares", with one additional row of the foundation pieced units to complete the Garden Maze design.

Create a stained-glass look similar to the quilt above by choosing glowing hand-dyed fabrics for the foundation pieced flower blocks and background, with solid black for the garden paths. (All the flower block patterns shown above are available in my Etsy shop, though my free flower block patterns would work equally well). For an entirely different effect, alternate the colors of the garden path octagons to create an interlocked ring pattern, as at right.


Because the length of the main foundation piecing unit is nearly 3 times the size of the feature squares, foundation piecing the Garden Maze is best for feature squares measuring about 4" or less, unless you have access to printers/copiers that accept large paper sizes. For another approach more suitable for a larger-scale Garden Maze, see Debby Kratovil's article Don't Be Dazed By The Garden Maze. Personally, I'm looking forward to trying a micro-miniature Garden Maze – but without the paper pieced flower blocks!