Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 2 – Cutting the Fabric

This week we will work on cutting out all of the fabric pieces to make your blocks. The cutting chart is on pages 3-4 of the Pieced Primrose quilt pattern. I include instructions to cut enough fabric for 1 block (for practice), 16 blocks for the wall size, or 80 blocks for the throw size.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Abstract Garden Fabric

Above is the one of the bundles of fabrics I used from my Abstract Garden fabric line.
Click here to get a kit in the cool or warm colorway.

When it comes to cutting, I like to speed through the process as fast as possible by layering multiple fabrics on top of each other and cutting strips, then cutting those strips into subunits. I was generous in my cutting calculations so that there would be enough fabric to cover each piece as it’s sewn.

Refer to the pattern to cut each of your fabrics into piles as shown below. If your fabric colors are different, just make a note in the pattern and label your piles so you know what is what.Abstract Garden Fabric

How to Measure a Foundation Paper Pieced Template

I still want to teach foundation paper piecing to those of you who are aren’t following my particular pattern because the methods are still the same. So here’s how you can easily figure out how big of a piece to cut:

For each section of the foundation template, measure the length of the longest line and add one inch. For example, look at the section A1 below and let’s figure out how big the piece of fabric needs to be so that it will cover the entire area on all sides:

Foundation Paper Piece Measuring

Measure the length of both of the long lines on either side of the A1. In this case, one side was about 4 3/4″ and the other is 4 7/8″ so I just rounded that up to 5. Then I added 1″ for seam allowances, so the LENGTH of the piece to cut is 6 inches.

Now measure the width. At one end it comes to a point. At the other end, it is slightly wider than 1 1/4″. Adding an inch makes the WIDTH to cut  2 1/4″ which is close enough. Therefore, each A1 piece will be cut 2 1/4″ x 6″.

Now If I wanted to save some fabric, I could cut a slightly bigger rectangle and cut it in half on the diagonal to get 2 pieces, but honestly that will be more trouble than it’s worth trying to line up that diagonal properly. I’d rather work with rectangles and have a little bit of scraps left over.

So you could repeat this process to figure out how big to cut each piece in the design. But don’t worry, I’ve already done that for you in the pattern – so just follow the chart given.

Most good foundation paper patterns should figure this out for you, so that all you have to do is cut what you are used to: strips, squares, and rectangles (and maybe the occasional triangle).

Homework: Cut All the Pieces for Your Size

Refer to the chart on pages 3-4 of the pattern for the number of strips to cut, and then the number of units to subcut. Just remember to measure twice, cut once! So double check your measurements as you go. Since I made two versions of this quilt in warm and cool, my cut units for both quilts look like this:

Pieced Primrose Cut Units

Click here for coordinating fabric from my Abstract Garden collection from Benartex.

Next week, we will start sewing the blocks! If you’d like to practice first, just cut enough fabric for one block from scraps so you can see how the whole process works. Remember to share your progress on instagram #piecedprimrosequilt or in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 1 – Getting Started

Welcome to a new year and a new quilt along! I just love quilt alongs – don’t you? To ease into making this quilt, all you have to do this week is gather your materials and read through the introduction below. Then we will dive in and start cutting next week! For anyone new to the blog: click THIS LINK for the full supply list and QAL schedule.

Paper Pieced Primrose

What is Paper Piecing?

First of all, there are two techniques known as paper piecing and they are completely different methods. For our Pieced Primrose quilt, we are going to be doing “Foundation” paper piecing, which means that fabric will be sewn to paper foundations and then ripped away before you assemble the quilt. The foundations stabilize the quilt blocks and allow for more accuracy than what you could achieve with regular piecing techniques.

Foundation Paper Piecing

This is what “foundation” paper piecing looks like.

The other technique that we are NOT doing is called “English” paper piecing, which means that fabric shapes are cut out, wrapped around a paper template and then sewn together by hand along the edges. Think of those super popular hexie quilts or grandmother’s flower garden designs. It’s a great technique, just not what we are using during this quilt along.

Foundation Paper Piecing Pros and Cons

So back to foundation paper piecing (FPP for short)! FPP is super simple to achieve because all you have to do is sew on a marked line. You generally photocopy the FPP pattern (also known as a template) and make as many copies as you need for as many blocks as you are making. You can easily sew together wonky shapes because the paper basically does the work of matching everything together for you at the correct angle.

Below is an image of the foundation paper pieced template that’s included in my Pieced Primrose pattern. Please note that the image below is NOT to scale and can’t be used for purposes of this QAL. It’s an example only so you can see what’s included in the pattern. You’ll need to purchase a copy of the pattern itself to get a usable template to photocopy.

Paper Pieced Template

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Pattern – PDF version
Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Pattern – Paper version

The downside of some paper pieced block patterns is that they are larger than what will fit on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. In that case you’ll need to tape multiple papers of the foundation template together. However, with Pieced Primrose, I purposefully designed the quilt block so that it ALL fits on one piece of paper as shown above. After all, I want to make things easy for you so you’ll actually enjoy the process!!

Printing the Block Template:

If you’ve purchased the paper version of my Pieced Primrose pattern, all you need to do is remove the staple in the middle of the pattern, then you’ll have an intact sheet of paper that you can photocopy as many times as needed.

If you’ve purchased the PDF version of Pieced Primrose, it’s even easier. All you need to do is print off the FPP template page from your computer as many times as you need. What could be easier?? But here’s the catch. Please, please, please REMEMBER to print off one copy first and make sure your printer settings are set to print ACTUAL SIZE. It’s formatted to print as a “spread” meaning that the full template will print horizontally on one 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper.

You can test it with the little 1″ square box that’s included in the pattern. Also, make sure you’ve saved the PDF download into a folder on your computer where you can find it again. In all cases when using PDF patterns, download the pattern, save it first, and then print it out if needed. You’ll have way fewer technical issues this way. Once you know you have an accurate template, then print off as many copies as you need for as many blocks as you are making.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

Pieced Primrose Pattern Cover

A Word about FPP Paper

Honestly, I just print my templates on regular copy paper. It’s easy and cheap and readily available. However, feel free to use specialty paper if desired. The choice is yours and you are the boss of your quilt!

For reference, the smaller wall size is made from 16 blocks so you’ll need 16 copies of the FPP pattern template. The throw size is made from 80 blocks so print off 80 copies (plus an extra or two if you want to make a test block.) You can always adjust the size of your quilt by making more or fewer blocks, or adding borders.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Throw Size

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Quilt kit in Wall or Throw size, warm or cool colorway.

Foundation Paper Piecing Uses More Fabric

I put that in all caps and bold to remind you that you that Yes, FPP does use more fabric and you WILL have a large pile of scraps left over. But here’s my philosophy when it comes to FPP: you can either waste time or you can waste fabric.

You can “waste” time getting frustrated by trying to scrimp and save fabric by cutting all pieces exactly. But unless you are a FPP pro, what usually happens is that once you sew the snugly fitting piece, it doesn’t end up covering the entire area and you end up ripping it out and/or giving up. Or you ruin the fabric with too much “Frog” sewing (aka “rip-it! rip-it!”). So do yourself a favor and be ok with the fact that wasting a little fabric is justified in the pursuit of learning a new skill.

Paper Piecing Scraps

Use your FPP scraps for making pet beds for your favorite critters: throw the scraps into a pillowcase, then sew the end shut when it’s fully stuffed.

If the scraps really, really bother you, then I recommend making a test block out of scrap fabrics first. Cut enough for one block using the measurements given in the pattern. If you don’t like the amount of scraps it generates, then trim the pieces down smaller for the next practice block and see if that works out better for you.

Once you are comfortable with how much extra fabric you need for each piece, then cut out all the blocks that way. To figure out how big to cut a “snug” piece, measure the longest line of each sewn piece and then add 1/2″ for seam allowances. I was generous and added a full inch, just to be safe! Just remember, you can always cut away extra fabric, but you can never add more after it’s been cut.

I know that was a lot of words I just wrote. If it all sounds like gobbledy-gook at this point – don’t worry – I’m going to walk you through the cutting starting next week – so it will be all okay 🙂

Tools and Needles and Thread, Oh MY!!

These tools are not absolutely required, but they sure make the job easier! I’m going to show how to make the blocks using these tools so I highly recommend them.

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get my favorite notions for foundation paper piecing.

Good quality needles: I really like the Superior needles – size 80/12. I use them with size 50 weight thread and they are nice and sharp to pierce the paper and make it easy to remove. The paper may dull the needle a bit so be sure to use a fresh needle when starting this project and plan to change your needle after sewing about 20 blocks. Then be sure to use another fresh needle when quilting, or change it if you get a loud clunking sound while sewing. That means your needle is getting dull.

I’ll probably mention this again when sewing, but use a shorter stitch length when sewing as that will make more holes in the paper to make it easier to remove.

Add a quarter ruler – this is the most important tool for FPP. It gives nice crisp lines when you are folding your paper back (more about that later) and ensures that you can cut the excess seam allowances without making a huge mess. I prefer the 12″ add a quarter ruler so that it will work with most sizes of paper pieced units.

Wooden seam roller: I recommend pressing each and every seam in your block as you go. With this design that is a LOT of pressing. So to make the job easier, you can keep a wooden seam roller right at your sewing table and use it instead of an iron for the individual pieced units. Then press the entire block when it’s finished.

My Aurifil thread collections: these are all 50 weight cotton in colors, neutrals or variegated. When piecing with colorful fabrics, I like to use colorful thread that will blend in so I don’t see the thread peeking out from the seams.

Aurifil Thread by Christa Watson

Click here to get my Aurifil thread kits – 12 large spools of premium 50 weight cotton.

I will usually piece with 1 spool of colorful thread, and then quilt with another 1-2 colors so that I can make sure I have enough for the whole project. The nice thing about using cotton for piecing AND quilting is that I can use up any leftover bobbins when making my next quilt!

Gather Your Materials and show off your pretties!

I know that not all of you follow me in all the places, but if you are on Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to see your progress and what fabrics you are using. Use the hashtag #piecedprimrosequilt on instagram, or share pics in my Facebook group ChristaQuilts. If you are the blogging sort, you can include a link to your blog in the comments, and of course you can always email me your pics, too. I love to see it all.

Pieced Primrose Pattern

Feel free to use the yardage requirements as given in the pattern above, or bust your stash and use up a ton of scraps in similar colors. Remember – just because the pattern calls for one blue or pink, that doesn’t mean you can’t use 20 – right??

If you have any questions – feel free to leave a comment. This was a lot of info but I’m ready to get started. Meet me back here and the same time and place next week for the next step!!

Links at a Glance

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

quilting details

Let’s Learn to Foundation Paper Piece with My Paper Pieced Primrose QAL

I just love hosting quilt alongs, and better yet, I love it when you all quilt along with me! Here’s all the info you need to get started on my Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along:

Paper Pieced Primrose

Paper Pieced Primrose Kits Available

The image above shows the 35″ x 35″ wall size in two colorways, made from 16 paper pieced blocks. The images below show the 68″ x 84″ throw size in both colors, made from 80 paper pieced blocks.

For your convenience, I’m offering kits in both colorways, and both sizes – so you can pick and choose what works best for you! All four versions are made from my Abstract Garden fabric for Benartex. And for one week only, you can save 10% off the kit when you enter code KIT at checkout!

Click here to get the Paper Pieced Primrose Kit in Warm or Cool, Wall or Throw.

Paper Pieced Primrose Throw Size  – Warm ColorwayPaper Pieced Primrose Abstract Garden
Paper Pieced Primrose Throw Size  – Cool Colorway

Paper Pieced Primrose in Abstract Garden

Of course you can make this quilt using any fabrics you like! Part of the fun will be seeing all of the different variations! Click the quilt pattern image below to enlarge the materials list:

Paper Pieced Primrose

Supplies Needed to Make this Quilt

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get the recommended notions shown above. 

Quilt Along Schedule:

If you want to follow along, we’ll make this entire quilt from start to finish in just 8 weeks!!
Click the links below for each step of the quilt along:

So don’t worry if you’ve never tried foundation paper piecing before. I’m going to walk you through every step of the process with detailed photos and explanations. The pattern includes the master foundation paper pieced template that you can photo copy as many times as you’d like. It will be a fun new adventure for a new year!

Abstract Garden Fabric

If you can cut the shapes above, you’ll have no problem foundation paper piecing – I promise!! Abstract Garden fabric shown is for BOTH colorways of Pieced Primrose.

So who’s with me? All you have to do is follow my blog each week! You can subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box in the sidebar (either on the right if you are viewing on a laptop, or scroll all the way down to the bottom on your phone). You can also use the hashtag #piecedprimrosequilt on instagram so I can see what you are making!

Coming Up: More about the Making of My Latest Quilts from Abstract Garden

In between moving, hosting the Blooming Wallflowers quilt along, and planning out my next round of designs, I haven’t had a chance to tell you much about some of my latest finishes. So I thought I’d take some time over the next several weeks to share more in-depth about my process of making quilts from my latest fabric line, Abstract Garden.

Geese in the Garden

Geese in the Garden with Abstract Garden fabric

LatticeWork

LatticeWork Quilt Made from Abstract Garden

Pieced Primrose

Pieced Primrose Quilts Made from Abstract Garden

Just in Case you Missed it – Blooming Wallflowers

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Abstract Garden Quilt Patterns

Click here to see my entire quilt pattern collection.

Think of the next several weeks as Do It Yourself quilt alongs. They won’t be as in-depth as my regular quilt alongs, but they’ll provide a little more insight into my quilt-making process and will help you have a smooth experience making your own version. I enjoy blogging about the process so that I can include some in-process photos, in addition to the full color diagrams and quilting plans I include in my patterns for sale.

It should be fun and inspiring, so stay tuned!

Finished Quilt and Pattern – Pieced Primrose Available Now!

This week, I’m excited to release 4 new quilt patterns to go along with my upcoming fabric line Abstract Garden – which starts shipping to quilt shops next month. The PDF versions are all available now for instant download in my Craftsy shop, and print versions will be ready to ship by the end of the month.

Pieced Primrose Warm Colorway

Pieced Primrose in Warm – Wall Size (Actual Quilt)

Today I’d like to introduce you to Pieced Primrose, a paper foundation pieced pattern with tons of movement. I made two versions of the quilt, in both warm and cool colorways, but the possibilities with this pattern are really endless!

Pieced Primrose in the Cool Colorway

Pieced Primrose in Cool – Wall Size (Actual Quilt)

I’ve included instructions for two sizes in the pattern. I made the wall sizes shown above for my booth at quilt market.

Below are digital images of what the quilt would look like in the larger throw size:

Pieced Primrose quilt made from Abstract garden

Pieced Primrose in Warm – Throw Size (Digital Image)

I always think it’s amazing how much the digital versions of my designs look like the actual finished quilts. It’s because I design them in EQ8 using the exact fabrics I plan to use.

Pieced Primrose EQ design in cool

Pieced Primrose in Cool – Throw Size (Digital Image)

In the pattern, I’ve included full sized paper foundation templates which are super easy to print as many copies as you need for any size you wish. I’ll be sharing a tutorial later in the week for my favorite paper foundation method, so be on the lookout for that.

I’ve also included machine quilting suggestions for both quilts. Because I’ve used busy prints for both of the quilts, I recommend a simple all over free motion design. It’s a fun way to practice a motif that you’ve been wanting to try, and by the time you are finished quilting, you’ll be an expert at that design!

quilting detailsClick image above to enlarge for detail.

I love to include designs in my fabrics that are based on some of my favorite quilting motifs so it was fun to quilt round spirals on the warm colorway, to go along with the “blooming roses” spiral print. It’s hard to see the quilting detail, but you can click the images above and below to get a better look.

Quilting detail on PIeced Primrose coolClick image above to enlarge for detail.

I quilted allover square spirals on the cool colorway. For both versions, I used variegated Aurifil 50 weight threads to match, from my new thread collection releasing soon (more about that later when it gets here).

Pieced Primrose Quilt Stats

  • Size: 35″ x 35″ (Wall), 68″ x 84″ (Throw)
  • Completed: October, 2018
  • Machine used: BERNINA 770QE
  • Fabric used: Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
  • Batting used: Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from The Variegated Collection by Christa Watson
  • Quilting Motifs: free motion designs – square and round spirals

Pieced Primrose Pattern Cover

Click the image above to enlarge.

Quick Links

Pieced Primrose Quilts Made from Abstract Garden