A Quilt Story

Paper Pieced Projects

Honestly, this post is a bit of a filler just to kinda keep me in the habit of blogging. I never have shared my journey into paper piecing and I do love some of my paper pieced projects!

I began paper piecing while I was pregnant with the current 17 month old child. It was a bit crazy as I tried to figure it out without reading the instructions….oooopppsssss!

I did, however, fall in love with the process of paper piecing. I haven’t done any large projects, although I have my eye on the elephant abstractions quilt by Violet Craft.  I mean, how cool is that??? It’s a project for another day though – although hopefully not too far down the road.

Here are some paper pieced projects I have worked on though.

Here’s my Pi potholder! Pattern here. My son loves this potholder so much!! He’s a bit of a math geek.

Here is a paper pieced Union Jack pillow. I used this pattern here. I also used this pattern reduced by 50% to make a zipper pouch. Both were gifts for my Brittish loving sister-in-law! I never did get a picture of the pouch, sadly.

Here are some pin cushions in various stages of completion. You can find the pattern here. The one on the right is my first ever paper piecing project and it’s my current pin cushion. The cushion on the left went to a different sister-in-law for Christmas (I have a bunch of sister-in-laws!) and the one in the bottom picture was part of a Sneaky Santa gift at my local quilt shop’s Girls Night Out. I did finish it first though…

Decided to put one of those cute spools in one of my Dwell Blocks as well – I think it was a good decision!

And a favorite project – a mini quilt with the cutest butterflies ever!! This was for a quilt swap and I really need to make myself a copy of this cause I just love it so much! You can find these butterfly patterns here.

All of these are pretty simple and small paper pieced projects. I’ve done a few paper pieced quilt blocks for bee blocks as well.

And finally, here is my quilt that is my only large paper pieced project. Admittedly, it was a pretty simple paper piecing project. I do like the outcome though and it was a Christmas gift for my (at the time) nine year daughter.



A Quilt Story

Bee Blocks – My Catch Up Post

I have been sending out my monthly bee blocks even though I haven’t been posting about them. I love the blocks my hive members came up with in April and May.

Here’s my April block.

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This block is gorgeous but wow, when you see it in repeat it is something else altogether. So lovely. It’s called Hidden Gems and you can find instructions for it (and view multiple blocks) here at Blossom Heart Quilts.

My May block is one of my all time favorite blocks – and almost what I selected for when I’m Queen Bee. (I did change my mind since we’ve done this one twice in my bee.)


I’m really loving the colors of this one! This is the Wanta Fanta block and you can find the instructions here! It’s another block that looks stunning in repeat!

I’ve already done one post about being Queen Bee for June. I’m sure there will be more of that to come as some more of my amazing swarm members send me blocks. I’ve gotten two already and it’s so very exciting!



A Quilt Story

Bee Block for March

So, I’m finally mailing off my March Bee Block at the very last minute. This was a fun block to make. Part of the block uses paper piecing and I kinda fell in love with paper piecing at the end of last year. I haven’t had much time lately to do any paper piecing so this was a great excuse to get back to some of that. This was a very simple paper piecing project so if you’ve never done it, this would not be a bad starting place.

The block is called Wanta Fanta and the instructions for making it can be found here. This is one of my favorite of the Blossom Heart Beehive Blocks. The repeat is very similar to an orange peel block when done but without applique!!

My queen bee wanted the block done with black and gray for background fabrics and yellow, blue, turquoise and purple for the accent colors. Here’s how mine looked.

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I certainly squeezed in a few favorite fabrics. I love the gray with the equations on it. That yellow cotton + steel number is a favorite as well. I even cut up some of my prized cotton + steel bluebird fabric I’m saving for a project I have in mind (I only needed a teensy bit!) Oh, and Moda grunge fabrics are at the top of my favorite list right now!

I’m really enjoying being a part of a quilting bee. It’s fun to work with color combinations that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of yourself. It’s also fun to try the different blocks.

Two more blocks to do before it’s my month to be Queen Bee. I suppose I should start nailing down what I want to do…


A Pin Cushion Story

Pregnancy Update and Paper Piecing

Because those totally go together, right?

About that baby sewing challenge. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Let’s face the facts. I’m 36. I was 27 when I had my third baby. Those nine years, although wonderful, haven’t done much for my ability to handle pregnancy. I remember being pregnant with my first two kids and nothing slowed me down. I was invincible. Six years later, with baby #3, I remember thinking, this is a bit harder than the first two. Now, at 38+ weeks, I’m barely walking (she’s sitting on a nerve) and have been having pretty serious contractions for the last three weeks. Sewing has not been a priority. Getting out of bed has been. 🙂

That being said, I feel pretty good today. So good that I keep thinking I can walk (wrong!!) and trying to clean house. I’ve piddled a bit but decided a small sewing project would be just the thing. You can sit down and sew, right?

While blog binge reading Fresh Lemons today, I found a fun paper pieced template for a spool block/pin cushion. It was from a Good Neighbors Pin Cushion Party back in September where another of my favorite bloggers to stalk read, Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts, came out with a fabric line and there was a round up and all that good stuff. (All the information on that is in the link with the pattern.)

I’ve been wanting to try paper piecing for ages. I’ve done one paper pieced quilt (my Wacky Web Selvage Quilt) but it was very improvisational and a bit different than actually doing a paper pieced design. Every one of those blocks was a surprise! Today, I decided, was the day to get started. Besides, I can manage a pin cushion, right? So I gathered some yummy scraps, printed the pattern and got started.

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I read Faith’s tutorial for paper piecing  immediately after trying to figure it out on my own from reading past tutorials but not having it right in front of me. Go ahead and make sure you read a paper piecing tutorial before getting started – and maybe print an extra pattern piece. I’m just sayin’. It might help.

This picture doesn’t look like much but I started getting excited as it came together. This really was a lot of fun.

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I did find out that my iron is not nearly close enough to my sewing machine (did I mention walking is painful?) so I will have to do some adjusting if I do more paper piecing.

Here it is, all sewn to the paper.

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One other thing I need to get is another rotary cutter for cutting paper. This would have been much easier to square up if I’d been able to use a rotary cutter while it was attached to the paper. I had to peel the paper off without squaring it up and then square it up like you would any other block. I managed to not leave enough of a seam allowance so instead of finishing up at 4 1/2″ it’s more like 4 1/4″. That’s a pretty small block for 14 pieces of fabric! Wow!

EDITED: By the way, after rereading the tutorial, I realized I still goofed up. I should have trimmed the pattern before sewing it to the paper. Hey guys, read the tutorial carefully. Oooopppps! 🙂

And here is the finished product.

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Okay, not quite finished. I want to fill it with crushed walnut shells. I’ll have to go purchase those on Wednesday at my local quilt shop. I didn’t want to wait to share though. I think it’s so freaking cute. I may make another for my sister-in-law just for fun!!

One more picture and I’m done. 🙂 I’m in love…with my pin cushion and paper piecing!

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