Garden Snail Paper Piecing Monday

This week it is my turn on the Snail Paced Slow-along Sew-along….try saying that five times fast.  I am not usually much of a joiner with Sew alongs but I loved the pattern for this quilt – it has a bonus paper piecing pattern which I just loved….

The Sew along has been hosted by the fabulous (and incredibly busy) Gnome Angel using a wonderful pattern by Pen and  Paper Patterns.  Even though the Sew Along has been going since January, I have only just started my quilt.

snail block

This was my first snail and I am thrilled with how he looks.  I decided to use my apricot and red scraps for the shell, with no real plan for where each fabric went… I just had fun with it.

snail paper pieced shell

The shell piece I am using is paper pieced and is really simple… though the pattern also has an option to just use a solid rectangle of one fabric which is even simpler…

scrap pile

I have a decent pile of scraps by my machine and I am determined to get a crib quilt done – that is 16 snails for a finished quilt of 46 1/2 inch square.  If you would like to join in the fun you can find the pattern for sale on Craftsy…. click here to buy it.   If you would like to find out more about the sew along check out Gnome Angels website here

When I was trying to choose my colour scheme I spent ages searching through the hashtag for the Sew Along.  There are some amazing quilts being made with this pattern so check out #gardensnailquilt on Instagram for some great inspiration.

Liberty Butterflies

It has been a while since I have done a Paper Piecing Monday post, as I have not been doing as much paper piecing lately…. but this week I started a fun little project…. Liberty Butterflies.

butterfly block 2

Everyday I am making one butterfly, just to so I am keeping my paper piecing skills sharp!

butterfly block 1

The pattern I am using for these darling 5 inch butterflies is a free one from Lillyella… and you can find the pattern for all three of Nicole’s butterflies here...

butterfly block detail

These blocks are a great way to use up some of my little scraps of Liberty… it does not take too much fabric to make a butterfly.

butterfly quilt block detail

I am not sure what I will do with these when I am done but I am sure I can come up with some way to use them all.  You will find the latest butterflies in my Instagram feed if you want to track the projects progress…. now I am off to make today’s butterfly…

 

Adventure block number 2…

Paper piecing Monday is proud to present block two in my new quilt adventure…

Adventure block 2

I originally designed this block for my green star quilt, but did not end up using the block… but not one to waste a good pattern,  I enlarged it to 12 inches for this quilt…

block pieces

You can find the PDF pattern, with numbers, here…Adventure Star block 2

Oh no more stars…

After an extended break from paper pieced stars I am now venturing back into familiar territory.  At QuiltCon I ran into an old friend who challenged me to make a special quilt… my response to that challenge will unfold over the coming months….starting with this block…

adventure block 1

This is an adaptation of one of the blocks I did for my pink Snowball quilt (which means you can use this pattern too if you want to make your own version of my fun modern baby quilt).

block pieces 1

You can see I used my tried and tested technique of marking the colour variations on the pattern.  If you want to make your own block, and do your own markings… you can download the free paper piecing pattern here….Adventure Star block 1

Another miniature Paper Piecing Monday

This week I was excited to get my latest delivery of Ava & Neve’s monthly Liberty Club.  Once a month I get a wonderful curated bundle of fat sixteenth’s cuts of Liberty Lawn to add to my slowly growing collection of Liberty.

If you are not familiar with Liberty Lawn it is a beautifully delicate cotton that has been made for centuries by Liberty of London.  What makes this fabric so special is how soft the handle is and how vibrant and varied the prints are.  I have been collecting little bits and pieces (fat eights mainly) for about two years and have a small but pretty collection… and I am loving adding to my stash every month with new prints through the subscription service.

Liberty fabric

So when the latest bundle of fabrics arrived I felt the need to make something immediately with all my little pieces…. so I took one of my old patterns and shrunk it down just a little and started making 2 inch Liberty hearts….

heart block

Lots and lots of two inch Liberty hearts.  What I love about this pattern is that it showcases the fabric so beautifully without taking too much fabric to make…. oh and it is really easy to piece too.

miniture liberty hearts

So if you are interested in making some really small hearts for a project you can find the free paper piecing pattern here….Mini hearts pattern

Enlarging Paper Patterns

Over the last week or so I have been slowly putting together another Economy block quilt, this time using my stash of Cotton and Steel fabric…

part of my cotton and steel stash

As Cotton and Steel releases more lines, my stash has grown, as has my love for the modern fabric line.  While I was at Quilt Con I managed to snag and huge bag of scraps, which the Cotton and Steel ladies wrapped in a darling canvas tote bag.    It was as I was unpacking the scrap bag that I realised I just HAD to make an economy block quilt using all the fabulous fussy cutable prints.  I had made a small version last year for a swap…

Economy block mini quilt copy

…but my three inch block pattern was not going to be enough to capture some of the prints I wanted to highlight, so I enlarged the pattern to 7 1/2 inches… and got to work…

enlarged economy block

Now I have the luxury of being able to pull the pattern from my EQ program and just select “Print at 7 1/2 inches” but that is not the only way you can enlarge paper piecing patterns.  Before I had EQ I would enlarge my patterns by:

  1.  Cutting out the block pattern I wanted to enlarge, putting it on the photocopier and selecting enlarge pattern X percent.
  2. Dragging a JPEG of the image into either word or Photoshop, opening a new clean letter or A4 sized document and scaling the pattern using to fit the sheet of paper.

pretty print

Now with all these tried and tested techniques getting accurately sized blocks can be tricky, particularly if math is not your strong suit.  Luckily for us there are some tools out there that can help like The Quilted Snails Enlargements/Reductions chart

favorite block

Now I must admit when I am doing an all over block, like I did in this quilt, I do not worry about the exact size of the block.  I am not trying to match the block to anything other than an exact replica of itself so if the block is 7.689 inches wide it does not matter.  I just scale the block to get it as big as I can on a page.

block detail

Actually many of my finished paper pieced quilts are really weird sizes because my blocks fitted on a Letter or A4 sheet at a unconventional size.    Now if you want to try this yourself with this block you can download my 3 inch version or play with the jpeg in my first Economy block post which you can find here

my design wall

But remember when you reduce or enlarge a pattern you should always maintain a 1/4 inch seam allowance around your pattern pieces…. remember to trim your blocks with a ruler and rotary cutter for accuracy…

trimming block

So now you can go forth and shrink patterns for that mini quilt swap or enlarge them to make a cushion cover….