What I Love About Paper Piecing

Because the Stitch team is going to be producing the summer and winter issues of Modern Patchwork, I have modern quilting on the brain. In fact, we will be doing the photo shoot for Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 as you read this!

Slow but steady work will make
for a darling paper-piecing project.

I have always loved Modern Patchwork and feet that the title has a strong connection to Stitch. Many of our artists contribute to both magazines, and we often have projects in Stitch that could just as easily appear in Modern Patchwork and the other way around. With so much cross-pollination, taking on Modern Patchwork is a natural fit.

I have loved seeing how quilting techniques have taken a modern twist and translated from showpiece quilts to sewing for the home and closets. These are accessories with time-honored techniques that we can use and love in our daily lives.

With that in mind, I have taken on a little patchwork project myself. I have this darling paper-piecing kit that Vivika DeNegre from Quilting Arts gave to me. (You could say that she is my "patchwork sponsor.") Back in December, when I knew that we would be producing the winter and summer issues, I started this project, and it's been slow going, to put it mildly. However, what I love about paper-piecing is that it's so portable. I can work on it on the train, in the waiting room, anywhere that I am stuck with idle hands.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm not using a pattern. The pieces are so small that I am just putting them together to see what shape they take, and from there I will use the final design to create a pillow. Then maybe I will give it to someone, or maybe I will keep it for myself. It's not the end product, although sewing something for the home always feels like a good thing. It's the journey, the sitting and patiently and slowly stitching and piecing, and I can't tell you how satisfying this is.

For tons of wonderful projects, check out the brand new Modern Patchwork Spring 2014. It's fresh and delightful and just what we need as we emerge from the winter doldrums.

Do you switch off between sewing garments and quilting? I would love to know how many of us cross-crafters that there are out there.

Happy stitching!


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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

7 thoughts on “What I Love About Paper Piecing

  1. I think cross crafting keeps me fresh. If I do the same things over and over, I get bored eventually and it takes a while for me to get motivated. By changing up, it keeps me interested.

  2. I sew garments, baby blankets, household things like pillow covers, table runners, etc, I quilt – lots of baby quilts plus some large bed quilts and am now starting an art quilt. I also weave and knit……lots of cross-crafting for me!

  3. While my main artistic endeavour is quilting, I also sew, knit, string beads, and do collage/mixed media.

    Good luck with the English paper piecing (EPP), which is what the hexagon work is in the picture. “Paper piecing” (without the descriptor “English”) is something else altogether.

  4. Yes, I too am a cross-crafter. This winter I knitted tank tops for 2 of our granddaughters and started a 3rd in a different type of yarn, but it was not as nice a yarn (the sheath had a black fiber stuffed inside so the thickness changed at times and sometimes the stuffing poked out) so I lost interest. Once done, I started crocheting skull caps in college and local school colors; many young people wear them in winter. Then I started sewing on 12 apple place mats I had started for my daughter last year. I hadn’t finished them because a few didn’t have enough width of the apple fabric to finish off one side, so had stopped working on them. This time I looked at them and decided those few apple placemats could just have bites taken out of them where there wasn’t quite enough fabric to go all the way to the edge. I showed the 1st one, that someone had taken a bite out of one side of the apple, to my daughter and she loved it! So, 8 are whole apples and 4 have a bite taken out….uniquely cute! I use to create beautiful jewelry with my girlfriend, until she passed away and I lost interest even though I have my beads and inherited my girlfriend’s as well. I have quilts I’ve made and some still in the works which I must finish before I pass on, as they are for each of our 5 children. I use to do some “farming” on Facebook, but decided that was a waste of my time when I could do something that I will give happiness to others. I also make lovely Christmas ornaments out of old and/or new Christmas cards and sell them and give them to family. I have to have my hands busy when I sit and I sit a lot as I have a very bad back so can’t stand or walk as much as I wish I could. My girlfriend taught me to knit in 2013 so I made a big baby blanket, then I took a class on Annie’s Catalog and learned to knit 3 different lace techniques and made a blouse for my daughter. I prefer to make small things as I can take them to all the doctor appointments for my husband and myself. I love seeing all the patterns for things on these sites and want to do them all, but I’m not getting any older so I must buckle down and finish the children’s big quilts. I’ve made lots of baby quilts but haven’t made a big one for a regular bed, though I have everyone’s hand prints, all sewn on to squares, and I still need to do other squares of different things like outlines of their favorite dog and cat, etc. I have done a couple really nice oil paintings but my mother-in-law did so many when she was alive the family doesn’t need any more. So….I haven’t done any more, though my mother-in-law said she was impressed with how well I painted as, like her, I have the God given talent for it. Anyway. I got my crafting itch from my dear mother…now she was the BEST mother in the world.

  5. Yes I am a switcher, if you want to call it that. I have to be inspired to work on a project. “Or” if I’m running out of time for a project, I will make it my first priority. I sew, crochet, quilt, craft with painting, candle making and whatever else looks good on the net. Being retired allows me to be free with my projects. My down time,
    quiet time or just my time is the favorite time I can have.
    Linda from Duluth, Mn