Tag Archives: animal designs

Hello Panda!

Panda paper pieced quilt blockI’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.

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.

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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Busy, busy!

Whew – have added several new designs in my shop! I’m  really pleased with how they turned out and can’t pick a favorite – I love them all :-) Care to take a look?

Kiriki the Frog - paper piecing quilt block pattern by Piece By NumberKiriki the Frog is an updated version of a froggie that I designed long ago and had published in the now defunct Foundation Piecer magazine. He looks so sproingy and happy!

(“Kiriki” is a name I thought I made up, being an anagram of “rikiki”, French for tiny, and also evoking “kaeru” and “kikker”, which are Japanese and Dutch, respectively, for frog. But googling “kiriki” pulls up some interesting results, including a 1908 film of Japanese acrobats. Once again proving that there is nothing original under the sun.)

Bluebird of Happiness - paper piecing quilt block pattern by Piece By NumberNext up is the Bluebird of Happiness. Did you know that bluebirds have been symbols of happiness around the world for over 1000 years, according to Wikipedia? I first learned about the Bluebird of Happiness from Laugh-In, lol. Guess that dates me.

As you can see, the pattern is also adorable in other colorways, if one prefers redbirds, canaries or even little brown sparrows. I considered adding tiny embroidered feet, but couldn’t get that to look quite right, deciding after all that simpler is better.

Turtle - paper piecing quilt block pattern by Piece By Number

This cute turtle would be terrific for a baby quilt, don’t you think? Mmmm, these sherbet pastel brights are so cheerful.  I love how the shell can be made with many different fabrics for a very patchwork-y look. Trivia: May 23 is World Turtle Day.

Am on holiday at home for another 3 days, so maybe I’ll be able to get another new design started?  Alternatively, I should get going on cutting some fabric kits for bottle quilts in time for holiday sewing – but that means getting out the ironing board.