Guys! I tried my hand at paper-piecing and made a punk rock giraffe pillow! The pattern is from the new book The Paper-Pieced Home by Penny Lawson (more below on the giveaway!) and I’m up next on the blog tour.
Paper-piecing is one of those mysterious quilting things that people discuss with great fervor but it’s hard to understand what all the fuss is about until you give it a try. I have paper-pieced once before when working on this unforgettable quilt but I was excited to give it another shot. I’m happy with the results, I like this bright, funky pillow.
Paper-piecing is everything that people say…meaning it’s super fun and yields amazing results. The folks at Interweave, the publisher, asked me if I wanted to make something from this book and write about it. Considering the promise to myself of creative adventuring and taking on projects that bring me joy, I decided to go for it. I want to get better at paper piecing and this seemed a super fun place to dive in.
Now, before I get into the book and details about this pillow in particular, I have to say that I intended for this pillow to live in the boys room but this guy, up there, kept dragging it down to the living room until I gave up and kept it there. He has plans for this pillow and they involve cuddling during movie time. I can’t say no this face. Could you?
Ok, back to the book. The subtitle of the book is “Quilting a Household One Block at a Time” and it includes 40 different paper-pieced blocks and 14 projects. The design is super retro with rotary phone blocks, box tv set blocks, layer cake blocks…it’s so fun. But, Penny keeps it classy by using linen and quiet colors so it’s retro without being retro-tacky. Know what I mean? It’s a tough balance but she’s good at it and even discusses how to make balanced fabric choices. She describes how to paper-piece thoroughly, as well, so it’s good for beginners to paper-piecing.
The Paper-Pieced Home: Quilting a Household One Block at a Time By Penny Layman
Published by Interweave/F+W ($26.99)
If you have never paper-pieced before it’s actually kind of genius (yes, I’m am now one of those people hyping it up). You sew onto paper that has been printed with an outline of what you are making. Sewing bits at a time and following the instructions closely, you can make literally any design. There is obviously more to it but that is the main idea. The book walks through all of that and includes all level of projects. It a great technique but it did take me a bit of getting used to and some of my seams aren’t lined up perfectly.
As a beginner myself, I found the book clear and straightforward. Penny makes it easy to follow. There was only with one exception. The book didn’t give me enough guidance on how to cut each fabric piece the right size. I sometimes ended up with very small seam allowances. So, I would say err on the size of cutting your fabric pieces TOO big.
Either way, the resulting pillow is pretty fun and the whole thing is made with scraps of fabric. I love a project that helps me diminish the scrap pile. The back of the pillow is envelope style closure, also from leftover scraps. I decided to practice free-motion quilting on the block background which served two purposes. For one, it made it look pretty but it also diminished the visibility of the seam lines.
Now for even more fun stuff, I convinced the publisher to give me a book to giveaway and I added in some of my goodies to help the winner jumpstart their paper-piecing good times.
Drum-roll…J would like to announce:
Leave a comment here to win the book, the fabric squares and 2 spool of variegated aurifil thread! Tell me anything you want, I just like to hear from people! (If you want to be really helpful, tell me what color you think we should paint our living room, as you might have noticed in the first pic, we can’t decide.) The giveaway has ENDED! THE WINNER is April Demroff, look for her on IG as “SewCharmed”. Watch your email April!!
The fine print: one entry per person (U.S. entrants only. Sorry, I cannot afford international shipping). Be sure I can see your email, so I can be in touch if you win! J will be so mad if you win and I can’t get in touch with you! Don’t mess with J.
This book is going on quite an impressive blog tour. And, the results are really exciting and fun, including an awesome rotary phone quilt and Andy Warhol-inspired watermelon. Don’t miss it!
3/16 McCall’s Quilting
3/17 Love of Quilting
3/17 Sandi Sawa Hazlewood of Crafty Planner
3/18 Quilty Pleasure (Quiltmaker blog)
3/18 Imagine Gnats
3/23 Where the Orchids Grow
3/24 Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
3/24 House on Hill Road
3/24 Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
3/26 Pink Penguin
3/27 Bijou Lovely
3/27 Two Little Banshees
3/27 Charise Creates
3/30 Karen Lewis Textiles
3/31 One Shabby Chick
3/31 During Quiet Time
4/06 Pat Sloan The Voice of Quilting / Author Interview
Disclosure: This book (and the giveaway book) was provided to me in exchange for this blog post. My thoughts on the book and the choice of what I made are completely my own, as always.