Tag Archives: foundation paper piecing pattern

Autumn Dusk Kaleidoscope Pillow Tutorial

Today I’m going to share a quick tutorial on how to make your very own Kaleidoscope pillow using the Sizzix BigZ L Kaleidoscope die and six fat quarters (I used my Autumn Dusk blogger bundle from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply). For those of you who do not have a Sizzix die cutting machine, I will also include a printable foundation paper piecing option, so read on!

kaleidoscope pillow tutorialA month or so ago, I selected a blogger bundle for my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, and called it Autumn Dusk. The colors made me think of the calm at dusk, and I thought it would be a perfect palette for a pillow. Our couch doesn’t have a single handmade pillow, and that needed to change. In thinking about pattern ideas, I came across my Kaleidoscope die from Sizzix and decided to play. Do you have ANY idea how many different patterns you can make with the Kaleidoscope pattern!? It boggles my mind. Peek at the results from a quick “kaleidoscope quilt” google search HERE to give you an idea of the potential.

fiddlehead artisan supply autumn dusk kaleidoscope pillow sizzix tutorialTrust me when I say the most difficult part is deciding on fabrics and fabric placement.

autumn dusk kaleidoscope pillow tutorial sizzixThis tutorial will include cutting instructions for the same arrangement of nine (9) blocks made from six (6) fat quarters of fabric as I used, as well as assembly and finishing instructions for an envelope-backed 18″ square pillow. If you want to make an identical pillow, you can buy the Autumn Dusk bundle from Fiddlehead HERE, or enter to win a bundle by commenting on yesterday’s post HERE. I have included some affiliate links in this post so that if you click through, I will get a small commission. I only share products I love and use.

Let’s get started!

TUTORIAL- Kaleidoscope PillowMaterials Needed:

If you are creating your own kaleidoscope version, print out this printable provided by Debby at Quilter by Design and start playing with color combinations. Note that you can emphasize a windmill shape, a star shape, or a circular movement depending on where you position your colors and values of fabric. Once your design and fabric choices have been made, it’s time to cut!

Kaleidoscope fabric numbersFor this pillow, cut the following (refer to the photo above for fabric numbers):

Fabric 1: 36 wedges and 12 corners
Fabric 2: 8 wedges and 16 corners
Fabric 3: 8 wedges
Fabric 4: 8 wedges and 8 corners
Fabric 5: 4 wedges
Fabric 6: 8 wedges

sizzix kaleidoscope pillow tutorialFor quick and easy cutting with your Sizzix fabi, cut fabric strips 4″ wide for the wedges and 2 5/8″ wide for the corners.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialThen you can accordion-fold the fabric over the die and cut 16 of each at a time, since the die has 2 corner and 2 wedge blades and you can layer fabric 8 layers thick. That’s 32 pieces cut per pass, if you plan your fabric cutting wisely! (Note that the image above is to demonstrate the accordion-fold, not the uber efficient cutting!)

autumn dusk kaleidoscope pillow tutorial sizzixOnce your pieces are all cut, lay them out in your desired pattern. Tip: Take a photo with your phone or camera once you’ve decided on a layout. Having this photo handy during piecing will make getting everything in the proper place the first time so much easier!

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialNow let’s sew the blocks together!

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialFirst, sew the corners onto the appropriate wedge blocks.

Kaleidoscope Lining up notches from sizzixThe notches cut by the Sizzix make accurate piecing easy. Center the corner piece right sides together with the bottom edge of the wedge piece as shown in the inset photo above. Then use the little corners sticking out from the bottom edges of the wedge as a sewing guide. Set seams and press open.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialYou will then have this.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialNext, pair each cornered wedge with a background wedge. Be sure to sew along the same side edge for each pair, and begin sewing from the corner edge and not the center point. Set seams, press open. **Note that assembling this block is a perfect time to practice pressing and NOT ironing. Even a little wiggle might stretch sections enough to result in a ripple when the final block is assembled. Press: up, down, up. NOT ironing. Got it!**

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialDouble check your arrangement with the photo you took before sewing pairs together.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialYou will now have two halves. Aligning the notched corners and pinning just after the center seam match, sew the halves together. Set seams and press open.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialTa-da! You have a kaleidoscope block. Make 9 total.

kaleidoscope block chain piecingFeel free to chain piece these blocks, but have your layout photo handy. Lay out your pieces and confirm arrangement before sewing each step.

joining rows of kaleidoscope blocks tutorialArrange your blocks as desired. Double check that all fabrics are in the proper place.

joining rows of kaleidoscope blocks tutorialThen sew the blocks in each row together. Finally, sew the three rows together to complete the pillow top.

joining rows of kaleidoscope blocks tutorialI love how the notches cut by the Sizzix help with every step of the piecing process–from piecing to matching points in the final assembly. When joining your rows, you can use the seam line as a guide to make sure you don’t lose any points.

kaleidoscope tutorialOnce your kaleidoscope pillow top is complete, baste it to a 20″x20″ piece of batting (or fuse to fusible fleece), find some coordinating thread and quilt as desired. I used Aurifil 50wt 2560-Iris since it was a nice gentle purple and matched my light colors while providing great contrast with the dark background.

Once your pillow top is quilted, square it up with a rotary cutter, being sure to leave a 1/4″ seam allowance from the outermost points.

pillow envelope backing tutorialNext, we’ll make the pillow’s back panels. Cut two (2) pieces of 13 1/2″x19″ background fabric (my finished pillow top actually measured closer to 19″ than 18 1/2″ square. Adjust accordingly based on the measurement of your pillow) and two (2) pieces of 12 3/4″x19″ batting.

pillow envelope backing tutorialLayer the backing panels wrong sides facing the batting, and lining up three edges. The backing fabric should extend about 3/4″ on one side.

pillow envelope backing tutorialFold the extended edge in 1/4″. Press with a hot iron.

pillow envelope backing tutorialFold over again, flush with the edge of the batting (approx 1/2″) and press. Pin or clip in place.

pillow envelope backing tutorialPin along the edges of the backing fabric and batting to help keep them together if you want to, although I found that they stuck together just fine without any pins. Alternately, you could fuse on fusible fleece instead of batting, although this is a great project for using up batting scraps. With the backing fabric right side facing up, top stitch 1/4″ from the folded edge. Sew again 1/8″ from the first stitches. Repeat for the other panel.

pillow envelope backing tutorialNow it’s time to sew the pillow front to the back panels.  Lay the quilted pillow top right side facing up, and place the back panels right sides facing down, with the raw edges aligning with the raw edges of the pillow top and the sewn hem edges toward the center of the pillow.

pillow envelope backing tutorialThere should be about 6″ of overlap.

Pin securely and sew around the entire edge of the pillow. Be sure to reinforce where the envelope edges meet, sewing back and forth multiple times, since they will receive the bulk of the wear and tear as the pillow form is put in and taken out.

Clip the corners, and turn right side out through the envelope opening, carefully pushing out corners with a blunt chopstick. Insert an 18″ pillow form, or one of your old couch cushions, and enjoy!

kaleidoscope pillow tutorialtula pink poniesMax quickly discovered that there were ponies on the pillow, so he had to run and get his best friend, aptly named Pony.

pony and kaleidoscope pillowpony and kaleidoscope pillowThis pillow apparently now belongs to Pony, since, well… ponies!

 

 

Lupine Season and a Summer Sale

The lupines are in full bloom; some already on their way to seed. That means that country drives in our area are exceptionally beautiful, since lupines sprawl along roadways and in fields like a rolling purple sea, with splashes of pink and white. Summer is here!lupine in bloom maineLupine season makes me think of my paper pieced lupine pattern–one of the first ones I created, and still one of my favorites. I decided that summer is a great time for a sale, and what better inspiration than a field of lupine.  For the next month–through July 23rd–all of my summer themed paper piecing patterns will be on sale–nearly half off! Visit my Craftsy shop to peruse my patterns, add another fun project to your pile, and embrace summer!

LUPINE foundation paper piecing pattern saleIn addition to my lupine pattern, my summer patterns include patterns for buoys, fishies, and some Matisse-style circling seagulls, with sale prices already reflected. If you’re new to foundation paper piecing, I created a beginner’s tutorial to take you step by step through the process HERE.

night quilter summer foundation paper piecing patterns sale

Last weekend while running errands as a family of five–it was my husband’s last day of paternity leave, so I wanted to make the most of it and run the errands I knew I would not be attempting for months with all three kids on my own: Target, especially–and after restocking chicken feed and laundry detergent, my awesome husband pulled off the road at a few stops so that I could get out and photograph the lupine fields. I’m always so inspired by the gorgeous beauty in nature, yet have learned to appreciate the fleeting nature of the sights. Before you know it, the lupines will go completely to seed and the next gorgeous wildflower will take its place.
lupine flower detail purple lupine field busy bee on lupineAhh, summertime! Enjoy the sale and please spread the word!

 

Friday Finish: Fishies FPP Panel Pattern

Wow, that’s a mouthful!! Friday Finish Fishies Foundation Paper Piecing Panel Pattern. If you can say that three times fast, you can have the pattern for free! Thank goodness for abbreviations. (FPP stands for Foundation Paper Piecing, for those who don’t have a full arsenal of quilting jargon).

Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pattern.

This pattern began as a pillow pattern (in the fabric pull above, the bottom fabric is intended as binding and the second-from-bottom is the backing fabric), but as I pieced it and envisioned it more, I realized it would make a great center panel for a baby quilt or underwater nursery wall hanging, too. I decided to offer the pattern simply as a panel pattern so that the end product can be left to your creative desires. The pattern includes foundation paper piecing patterns for three different sized fish, finishing at 2″x9.5″ (large), 1.5″x7″ (medium), and 1″x4.75″ (small), as well as cutting instructions and a piecing diagram for a full 16″x16″ finished panel (16.5″x16.5″ unfinished).

fishies foundation paper piecing quilt panel

I can see this pattern being created with any number of fabric color and pattern vs. solid combinations, as well as different layouts. For color, I’m itching to make a version with a scrappy low volume background and rainbow fish. I could also see using the fish individually for other smaller projects, maybe fabric bins for a playroom, kids’ place mats, or even at the bottom of a little girl’s dress.

paper pieced fish pattern

foundation paper pieced fish patternWhile the specific instructions for making this panel into a pillow or baby quilt are not included in this pattern, I included a “project inspiration page” with different color possibilities and a rough sketch of one way this panel would work in a baby quilt.

fishies baby quilt schematic

Yes, I said it was rough! It’s in creating patterns like this that I really wish I had EQ! It gets the idea across, though, which is what matters… right? On IG, @onceuponadonkey suggested cutting this finished panel into a fishbowl shape to be used on a baby quilt panel. How adorable would that be?!

foundation paper piecing fish panel pattern

This Fishies Foundation Paper Piecing Panel pattern is available in my Craftsy shop. I plan to list additional patterns with step-by-step instructions for making the panel into a pillow and perhaps for making the baby quilt shown above in the near future. What would you make with the pattern?

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday & TGIFF, and I’m joining the Paper Piecing Party for the first time!

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Work in Progress: Buoys

On the coast of Maine, lobster buoys freckle the harbors and are often seen hanging on the sides of buildings, sheds, boat houses, and even near mailboxes further inland. Many of my patterns are inspired by the Maine coast, and my latest works in progress are certainly not exceptions.  I’ve finally completed and posted all three of my buoy foundation paper piecing patterns in my Craftsy store.

buoys on a building maine coast buoys on a building maine coastLobster buoys come in all shapes and sizes, and definitely many different colors. I tried to create patterns for at least the three most commonly seen shapes, and I am happy with how they turned out.

IMG_4886The patterns are super simple and extremely versatile. While testing these patterns, I accidentally sewed the 4″x8″ of the middle buoy, instead of the intended 5″x10″ version. I’m not quite sure what I will do with the little buoy yet, but the larger ones will be made into a pillow once I make a 5″x10″ of that pesky middle one.

I love the detail and precision of foundation paper piecing. There’s something about the exactness of seams and the ability to create anything with fabric that makes me happy.

Buoy 1 foundation paper piecing pattern detail.
Buoy 1 foundation paper piecing pattern detail.

lobster buoy foundation paper piecing patternSince I still need to remake a larger version of the Buoy 2 pattern and stitch these all together, I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday. Stay tuned to see the completed pillow, and stop by my shop if you have an inkling of making some nautical lobster buoy creations!

WIP Wednesday

Friday Finish: Lupine, a Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern

I had never seen lupine before traveling to Maine, but now that I live here they are among my favorite flowers. There is a depth and richness to their color that force me to get really close and admire their intricacy. They are very advantageous growers, almost invasive, and the sheer numbers of lupine seen along roadsides, in fields, and in happy gardens make the color incredibly apparent.

Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, found on Flickr
Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, found on Flickr

Early in my sewing days, I was trying to think of a gift to make for my mother-in-law. I immediately thought of lupine, since they are her favorite flower. (If you have children, do you know the book Miss Rumphius? aka the Lupine Lady? Well that’s my mother-in-law–okay, it’s not really, but it certainly could be!) I had recently found paper piecing and wanted to make her a paper pieced lupine pillow.  The only problem was that all of my searches for paper pieced lupine patterns came up empty.

Flash forward a month or so, when I discovered that I could design paper piecing patterns.  A lupine flower was one of the first sketches I did. Talk about complex! I really wanted to get the heart-shaped petals into the pattern, but I knew it had to be fairly simple to be able to be pieced. I drew out a few sketches, chose my favorite, and began to try to break it down into logical pieces. My brain instantly scrambled.  I had to put the pattern aside, and work on a few different projects for a week or two.

paper piecing process
It all starts with the graph paper and sketch.

After that much needed breather, I picked up the lupine again one evening and smoothly worked it into numbered paper piecing sections. After a month or so of fine tuning and testing, the pattern is ready!

paper pieced lupine quilt block

Don’t you love it!? I wasn’t sure about my fabric choices at first, but now that the block is done, I think they were perfect! They blend together just enough to give the flower depth without detracting from the congruence of the bloom.

This is not a beginner paper piecing pattern in that there are many pieces and a few sharp angles.  There are only simple joining seams, though; no y-seams! If you have a good sense of paper piecing, this block shouldn’t be too tricky. It took me about 4 hours to complete and measures 10″ square (10.5″ with seam allowance).

paper piecing progressIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ve watched this lupine block’s progression. For those of you who don’t follow me yet, here’s a peek at the process from my Instagram feed (@nightquilter). Of course these are taken with my iPhone during my late night quilting foray, so pardon the blur!

Lupine paper piecing progress
Little by little, it comes together.

paper piecing detail

The back is my favorite! Stragglers hanging on after I’ve removed most of the paper.

The pattern will be available in my Craftsy Pattern Store by the end of today, so now if you need to make your mother-in-law (or mom, sister, brother, cousin, friend, or yourself!) a lupine pillow, wall hanging, table runner, bag, etc. you can get right to it!

This particular block will soon become a long-awaited Lupine Pillow for my mother-in-law. I’d say it was worth the wait.

This is my exciting Friday Finish, so I’m linking up!

Crazy Mom Quilts
TGIFF

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