Trying Foundation Paper Piecing

I'm always on the lookout for new techniques to try, and one of Angela Walters' Midnight Quilt Show episodes introduced me to paper piecing. I love the effect of the pretty stars in this quilt:

And then I checked out Pinterest and saw all the amazing things that can be paper pieced! I ended up buying two super cute patterns on Etsy from the Tartan Kiwi-- a little dachshund and a panda. I printed them both out and looked at them... and realized I should probably start with something much simpler!



I had seen a cute faceted diamond block on Etsy as well, and decided that I could probably draw a pattern for this one to get something similar. After all... I hope to learn to create my own intricate paper pieced patterns (I always prefer to design my own stuff), so I might as well jump right in!

Sarah Rose Quilts via Etsy

I started by drawing out my diamond shape in Illustrator, creating a 9" block. I then split it into two pieces; from what I understand, subsequent sections of piecing must follow the lines of the previous section, and can't really extend beyond the width of the previous piece. Knowing this, I knew the top and the bottom of the diamond must be constructed separately. I assembled my pink and purple diamond from scraps... and bling! I like it!

Adding piece 3...

... and removing piece 4. Happened more than I'd like to admit.

Finished bottom section

Untrimmed top section

Top and bottom

Removing the paper

Bling! The colors aren't exactly where I meant to put them, but oh well!

So, my brain is a little bit backwards, so I think it overcompensated for the backwardsness of putting the pieces on (you sew from the back, on the paper side), and I ended up getting all my top pieces in the wrong spots. I had meant to put the highlights on the upper areas and the darker fabrics facing downward, but it's not a big deal. I'm actually very happy with how it turned out! Not too bad for a first attempt.

Because I respect copyright and intellectual property laws and am a nice person, I will ask that if you'd like to make one, hop on over to Etsy... Support the artist and go download the original! It's only $3.50! :)

Now that I understand the basics of creating and assembling a paper-pieced block, I can tackle my little wiener dog and panda blocks... and then begin dreaming up some awesome stuff! I think I want to design a hop block and some barley grain blocks to make a neat beer quilt for my hubby...


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