Paper Pieced Quilt Patterns

  • 01 of 11

    Pitchers for Tildy's Cabin With Paper Pieced Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns
    Small Quilt, Pitchers for Tildy's Cabin. © Janet Wickell

    The term paper piecing is a bit confusing because paper piecing is just one of the methods used for foundation piecing in quilts. However, the word paper has become the name most quilters associate with the technique.

    Flip and sew and sew and flip are two more descriptions you might hear when you read paper piecing patterns. Both describe the actions of sewing a foundation pieced block.

    More About Paper/Foundation Piecing

    • String piecing is a popular "freehand" foundation/paper piecing technique.
    • Don't confuse the term paper piecing with English paper piecing -- that's a totally different construction method, where fabrics are folded around and basted to paper templates (hexagons are favorites). After basting, the shapes are hand sewn together along their edges (taking care to avoid the papers). Papers are removed before the project is completed.

    Learn How to Paper Piece

    Paper Piecing General Instructions
    Paper Piecing Quick Tips

    Pictures of String Pieced Quilts
    Pictures of Log Cabin Quilts (many are paper pieced)

    Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns

    Pitchers for Tildy's Cabin is a wallhanging made from a combination of applique pitcher blocks and paper pieced Courthouse Steps quilt blocks; Courthouse Steps is a variation of the traditional Log Cabin quilt block design and a perfect candidate for paper piecing.

    Pitcher's for Tildy's Cabin Quilt Pattern

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  • 02 of 11

    Paper Pieced Miniature Quilt Pattern, Little Oddfellows Star

    Paper Pieced Miniature Quilt Pattern
    Miniature Oddfellows Star Quilt. ©Janet Wickell

    Paper Pieced Oddfellows Star Quilt

    Little Oddfellows Star is a paper pieced miniature quilt. If that's a new technique for you, definitely read my Foundation Piecings Basics and Paper Piecing Tips before you begin. And it wouldn't hurt to make a practice log cabin block just to get a feel for the technique.

    Foundation piecing isn't difficult, but it's different. Once you understand how to do it, you can assemble any foundation pieced block with few (or no) instructions. Be sure to begin by cutting only enough fabric to make a block or two, because everyone aligns patches differently when paper piecing. My suggestions are generous, but test them out before you dive in and cut tons of fabric.

    Miniature Oddfellows Star Quilt Pattern

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  • 03 of 11

    Miniature Whirlwinds Paper Pieced Quilt Pattern

    Paper Pieced Miniature Quilt Pattern
    Miniature Whirlwinds Quilt Pattern. © Janet Wickell

    Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns

    This little paper pieced miniature quilt is made from sixteen 3" Whirlwind blocks and finishes at 21" square. The quilt blocks are quick and easy to make, but you might have to experiment a bit with patch placement​ because triangles can be a little challenging at first if the technique is new to you.

    After you've made a couple of foundation pieced projects, you'll know instinctively how to make them all.

    Scrappy Miniature Whirlwind Quilt Pattern

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  • 04 of 11

    Christmas Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

    Christmas Log Cabin Quilt Pattern
    Christmas Log Cabin Quilt. Janet Wickell

    This 36-1/2" log cabin quilt is assembled with log cabin quilt blocks that are arranged in a barn raising layout. The design is slightly different than a traditional log cabin -- its red logs are taller than its green logs, and that helps make the horizontal "line" where colors meet appear to curve a bit, instead of moving in rigid stair-steps.

    Alter the fabrics to create a quilt with an entirely different look.

    Christmas Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

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  • 05 of 11

    Log Cabin Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern

    Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern
    Christmas Tree Log Cabin Quilt Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns

    This little paper pieced Log Cabin Christmas Tree quilt measures about 22-1/2" square. The quilt's straight patches are easy to position and sew, and a narrow border surrounds the tree to give it the illusion of floating.

    Decorate this tree for the holidays by adding buttons, ribbons, and charms to serve as ornaments. Make tiny Christmas stockings and tack them on (you can probably find a fabric with stocking images to help make that a breeze).

    Log Cabin Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern

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  • 06 of 11

    Through the Windows, a Paper Pieced Quilt Pattern

    quilt patterns
    Through the Windows Quilt Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns

    Through the Windows was inspired by a carpet we saw at a hotel in Arizona. Black sashing and corner triangles (at the tops and bottoms of strippy vertical rows) blend with the outer border, helping the quilt resemble a three-paned stained glass window. Blocks finish at 6" square and the completed quilt measures about 37-1/2" x 42".

    Take a look at two quilts made from the pattern: Butterflies and Stained Glass Quilt, and Kay Ahr's Arizona Quilt.

    Through the Windows Paper Pieced Quilt Pattern

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  • 07 of 11

    Paper Pieced Pineapple Quilt Pattern

    Paper Piecing - Pineapple quilt pattern
    Pineapple Quilt Pattern. © Janet Wickell

    This pineapple quilt is made from thirty-five 9" square paper pieced pineapple quilt blocks. Two color layouts are used in the quilt, but you have the option of either sewing identical blocks for a more traditional look or going completely scrappy with a huge mixture of colors.

    Paper Pieced Pineapple Quilt Pattern

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  • 08 of 11

    String Pieced Table Runner

    string pieced table runner
    Janet's String Pieced Table Runner. Janet Wickell

    String Pieced Table Runner

    This brightly colored table runner is from a Quilting Book that was published several years ago. It's an example of one simple way to combine string pieced quilt blocks. We used an assortment of fabrics to create the string blocks for this table runner and finished its edges with a lively border print (plus string pieced blocks at the corners).

    Refer to the String Piecing General Instructions if you'd like to make a string quilt.

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  • 09 of 11

    It's Easy to Make a String Quilt

    Make a String Quilt
    String block cut into quarters and then reassembled into a square block with a different configuration. © Janet Wickell

    Learn How to Make a String Quilt

    String piecing is a freeform type of foundation piecing. The technique gets its name from the long strips of fabric that are used -- the strings, which are sewn randomly to a permanent foundation that's typically cut from muslin (but other materials can be used). 

    Learn to String Piece

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  • 10 of 11

    Civil War Inspired String Pieced Quilt Block Pattern

    Learn How to String Quilt
    Make a string pieced quilt block. Janet Wickell

    This example of a string pieced quilt block was inspired by a quilt sewn in North Carolina during the Civil War era. The steps required to make the block vary just a bit from traditional string quilting, but are still very easy to accomplish. 

    Take a look at the quilt block pattern -- We're sure you'll see many ways to vary the block to create a unique quilt.


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  • 11 of 11

    Paper Pieced 6" Log Cabin Quilt Block Pattern

    Paper Pieced Log Cabin Quilt Pattern
    Log Cabin Quilt Block. Illustration © Janet Wickell

    Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns

    Traditional log cabin blocks are assembled with a split color value arrangement, lights on one side and darks on the other. Choose a scrappy assortment of light fabrics and another assortment of darks to make this paper pieced log cabin block. This block finishes at 6-inches square.

    Paper Pieced Log Cabin Quilt Block Pattern