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

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….


Paper Piecing Monday…the jet lagged edition

After three weeks of sunshine, family and fun I am back to the cold wet reality of Portland… with jet-lag and suitecase full of Aussie sweets!  It is the said “jet lag” that I am blaming for the lateness of Paper Piecing Monday…

For those of you who have not experienced the joy that is jet-lag, and in particular East Coast Australia to West Coast America jet lag it boils down to this…I want to be asleep when it is daytime and I am WIDE AWAKE at 2 am.  Augh!

Enough whingeing and complaining and onto fun stuff…. this weeks block…

simple star finished block

In my jet-lagged haze I named this one Simple Star, do not ask me why!  The block is a 32 piece baby, and not really simple, but quite effective.

Block piecesYou can find the free paper piecing pattern for this 8 inch block here…simple star.  Have fun with it.

Now that I am back home I promise that my posting will involve more than just green stars (not that there is anything wrong with green stars).  A couple of months ago my laptop died and I have had to post from my husbands desktop…and for some strange reason I find writing posts in the office, surrounded by masses of Lord of the Rings Lego and Dungeons & Dragons books off-putting and un-inspiring.

But I promise to work through my discomfort and catch you up on some of the exciting things that have happened in my quilting universe in the last couple of months.

Are you bored with 8 inch green stars yet?

I hope not, as I have another one this week….

Crest star

This 8 inch star is based on a couple of patterns I have found online and in books. This 8 inch version is done for my ongoing green star quilt and you can find the PDF pattern here….Crest Star Pattern.

I am on vacation/holiday at the moment so I am keeping it short and sweet.

Green with envy yet?

If not, give this block a look…

Triforce star

This block is called the Triforce star block…and if any of you know Zelda you will know where it got its name from.   A little geeky I know but I love it.

Triforce star pieces

The block has a few more pieces than the last couple but only a few… 28 in total.  The free pattern can be downloaded here…Triforce Star.

As promised I also took a photo of the stars I have made so far….

Green stars wip

Something new for Paper Piecing Monday

Over the next month or so I am going to try something a little different for Paper Piecing Monday.  I recently found an old book of quilting patterns at a local thrift store and fell in love with the simplicity but complexity of the blocks.  I was fascinated how many of the blocks used this simple square block …


So each week I am going to present a 12 x 12 inch classic block, and the pattern to make it…. starting with the Sawtooth Block.

sawtooth block version 1To make this block you will need 9 components all of which are 4 1/2 inches square unfinished…

what you need

You can find the paper piecing pattern for the simple square block, which will be using over the next couple of weeks here…WQ Simple square block   For the half square triangles you can easily make these traditionally or you can use a paper piecing pattern which you can find here….WQ Half Square triangle

You can also traditionally piece the simple square but I love the accuracy that you get from paper piecing for this.  It also allows you to get your fussy cut center just right .

fussy cutting alignment

When you have made all your components, lay the block out and then start piecing it together.

Block layout

You can remove the paper at this stage, particularly if you have traditionally pieced the half square triangle corners.  To complete my block I sewed the three blocks together in rows and then sewed those rows together.  Easy.

With all the blocks I will be showcasing over the coming weeks, there is so many ways to interpret the pattern.  I will be using Lizzy House’s Catnap fabric range for all my blocks, but the patterns work just as well with solids and scrappy colour play as they do with complete fabric lines.

You get different feeling blocks depending on how you choose to place your colours and fabrics….

Sawtooth block version 2 copy

there really is so many options and so much you can do with just this block….

Sawtooth block version 3This is definitely a pattern that I will be revisiting.  I already have a plan for a whole quilt just out of Sawtooth blocks.

So see you next week for another traditional block given the paper piecing treatment….