Tag Archives: paper piecing

Circling Gulls Paper Piecing Pattern

2014-02-15 12.54.00

FINISHED! Remember this? I finally finished piecing it!

circling gulls completeFor one of my first designed paper piecing patterns, I’m very happy with it! I love how the gulls are pinwheeling in to fight over the starfish, and as a friend pointed out, the starfish has seen the gulls and is reaching out to flyyyyyyy!  Little does that poor little starfish know that he’s actually going to be lunch and not a flying companion. Then again, maybe it is the starfish’s turn to fly!

photo 2 (2)I’m excited that this pattern pretty much turned out how I had imagined it.  I’m debating the next step for this 12×12″ block.  Should I make it into a pillow? A quilted wall-hanging? Or perhaps tuck it away and aim to make 11+ more of the blocks using up blue, white and orange (or other colors?) scraps along the way. I do think this pattern would look awesome as a full quilt.

What would you do with this block?

This pattern is for sale in my Pattern Shop on Craftsy; go check it out!

My Friend, the Seam Ripper

Tonight, finally, my family was healthy enough that I could sneak away for a bit of sewing! It feels like I haven’t sewn in weeks, but of course it probably was only a few days.  I was eager to make a bit of progress on my Circling Gulls.

The third block of circling gulls has been patiently waiting in a state of in-completion.
The third square of circling gulls has been patiently waiting in a state of in-completion.

I jumped in a bit too eagerly, and in my excitement was a bit careless. Which brings me to a paper piecing tip:

When paper piecing using the fabric scrap method, be generous in your cutting to allow for ample coverage, especially when it comes to long narrow triangles.

When you are so excited to be sewing that you forget this tip, or perhaps think “oh, I don’t want to waste fabric; I think it should fit”, be warned: you may become good friends with your seam ripper. Especially with the super short stitch length used in paper piecing, ripping a seam is tedious and time-consuming work.

My friend, the seam ripper.
My friend, the seam ripper.

Despite my progress detour, I was able to finish the third square. Only one more to go before I get to see my block in entirety.  I am really liking how this block is turning out, and the more I look at it and play with it in Inkscape, I think this block would look great as part of a larger quilt.

A night's progress. Only one more square to go!
A night’s progress. Only one more square to go!

Good night!

Four-pointed Star Pattern Published

I’m more than a little excited! I’ve officially published my first paper piecing pattern! I decided that the little four-pointed star I designed as an element for my Delight in the Little Things art quilt would be a great spot to start in my attempts to learn the ways of Inkscape.
cropped-2014-02-05-15-35-212.jpgYou can find the pattern in my Craftsy Pattern Store. Since my original pattern is for a scant 4″ square, I included larger options in the pattern. Those two dollars and fifty cents not only will get you the 4″ paper piecing pattern template, it will also get you a 6″ and 12″ version. Sweet deal!
What’s even slightly more exciting is that I’ve already had one buyer! Little does that buyer know, but she will be receiving a little “Congratulations! You’re my first buyer” gift in the mail.

Be Kind Chocolates

These are delicious chocolates made locally in the town of Belfast, Maine. I can vouch for their deliciousness! Yummm! Hopefully she enjoys the chocolates while creating some awesome starry project. I can’t wait to see what others create with my patterns!

Circling Gulls Taking Shape

People talk about “the paper piecing bug” and how once you try paper piecing, you are hooked for good. I think I must have somehow fallen into the hive of paper piecing bugs, because I am HOOKED! I love how precise you can be, I love that you can create fabric pictures of just about anything, I love the promise of possibility. Soon after sewing a few paper pieced projects, I started dreaming up new patterns. Leave it to Pinterest to inspire creativity. I somehow stumbled upon this tutorial, and within minutes had my squared notebook in hand.

Sketching designs old school style.
Sketching designs old school style.

As with just about anything, I don’t start simple. I don’t think it’s within my brain function.  My first paper pieced design was for violets. As you can see, this is not the simplest of designs, but they look like violets!!

Violet paper pieced pattern

My brain continued to swirl, and next up came an idea for seagulls circling around a starfish, or maybe a crab. I finally decided on starfish since it would be much easier to create as a pattern, and the design began to come to life.

Designing the Old School Way

I walked through the old-school process for this pattern completely before finding Inkscape, and my first (second if you count the little 4″ star from my art quilt) sewn self-designed paper pieced pattern will be these circling gulls.  The fuzz from photocopies of photocopies aren’t the crispest, but the pattern is proving to be quite functional!

2014-02-15 12.54.00

I finished sewing the first of four blocks while at a Paper Piecing class at my local quilt shop, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast.  I can’t wait to complete the last three blocks to see how it looks all together!

Bring on Inkscape

This post was written a few nights ago, before The Night Quilter blog was live.
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Don’t get me wrong: I love graph paper! There’s something about sketching out a design and working through the logistics of turning it into a paper piecing pattern with nothing but your squared notebook, a pencil (and eraser!), a ruler, and your swirling mind.  However, turning that creation into a share-able, let alone potentially sell-able, pattern using the old school graph paper method is less than ideal.
It works! But it's a LOT of work!
It works! But it’s a LOT of work!
Enter, Inkscape.
While I type this post, inkscape is downloading onto my computer. Inkscape is a free vector graphics editor that will hopefully allow me to get started in learning computer-based paper piecing designing.
inkscape logo
At the very least, with a cost of FREE, it won’t break the bank. Woot woot!  Hopefully learning to use it will be easier than my old school method: draw, refine (read: erase, redraw, repeat), photo copy, cut, tape to plain paper, draw 1/4 seam allowances, photo copy, arrange, create word document with necessary text, attempt to format around anticipated paper piecing pattern drawing, print, cut and paste pattern onto word printout, photocopy again, approve? Scan and convert to pdf.  Talk about noise! All of those photocopies of a photocopy of graph paper ends up with quite a fuzzy pattern. Functional, yes. Aesthetically crisp, no.
Bring on Inkscape!