Quilt Patterns

Pieced Quilt Patterns

christmas quilt patterns

Learn the Basics of Quilting

Beginner Quilting Lessons

  • Make a Christmas Quilt - In part one of this beginning quilting lesson learn how to cut the fabric and piece the top together. Coming soon, the Santa Claus applique.

Pieced quilt patterns are just one way that people are getting involved with the quilting community on a large scale. Creating a quilt is an outlet that men and women both seek to express their artistic side. By using pieced quilt patterns, beginners and experts continue to mold the quilt designs that have been around for centuries.

When you sew a comforter or blanket together, you are making something more than just a few pieces of fabric that can keep you warm. A quilt is a piece of art that represents a moment in time. Quilting has been used for centuries and we use patterns that have been around since the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Each pattern and design tells a story about the quilter and her feelings at the time. There have been designs hung in museums, draped over the beds of presidents and drug around the yard by toddlers.

Pieced quilt patterns are just one type of quilting that can be used to make your next blanket or bedspread. Other types of patterns include appliqué, block pattern, and rag designs. It can be used by novices and quilters of many years. Being available to quilters at any skill levels helps pieced quilt patterns continue to gain in popularity.

A Brief Overview

Quilters weren't really using the pieced method until textiles became factory based. Instead of weaving the fabrics together, quiltmakers could spend their time being more creative sewing and piecing their quilts together. Pieced patterns can be quickly sewn together to simply demonstrate a design or they can be meticulously pieced block by block.

There is no size requirement for these designs, as they can be as large as your wall or as miniature as a dollhouse design. Pieced quilt patterns were a good way for quilters to share designs easily. Before catalogs and websites started giving away designs, it was up for the individual to find his or her style. This often came at the help of a neighbor.

By sharing these designs, quilters have been able to build off each pattern that was given to friends and family members. That is where your Internet design databases and magazines come from today. All the years the quilters spent by the fireplace and the bedside of relatives have paid off as now more and more crafting specialists are picking up the needle and thread to have their turn at the fascinating world of pieced quilt patterns.

Choose Your Method

There is never just one way to do something. It can be tying your shoelaces or driving a car and everyone is going to have their preferred method of procedure. English pieced paper quilting and foundation paper quilting are two popular methods that quiltmakers like to use. Of course, that does not mean you have to use either one. As a quilter, you have your own ingenuity at your disposal so you can always find a combination of the two popular techniques.

English pieced quilt patterns are generally used when the design call for pieced together hexagon, diamond, and/or star patterns. The pieced together paper serves as a guide for you to complete your quilt.

To make your pieced quilt patterns using the English method you first cut out your shape for each patch of your quilt or blanket. Then you wrap the fabric around these patches and hand baste them to the paper. To finish you have to hand sew all the patches together. If you haven't noticed, the English method is done by hand and can be quite time consuming if you are not used to this technique for your patterns.

The foundation pieced method is often referred to as paper piecing. If you are taking a beginner quilters course, and you keep hearing the terms "flip and sew" and "sew and flip" they are referring to the foundation or paper piecing method.

Quiltmakers using a foundation technique are actually sewing patches or blocks onto a replica of a quilt pattern. You can create a template by drawing directly on the fabric or material of your choice. Having a pencil handy for this is a good idea, as it will wash out of your finished product. However, if you want to use pen or marker you can do that as well. Washable markers are often easier to see and can be removed just as a pencil mark.

The seam for the template is made around the perimeter of the block itself. You then position the fabric on the reverse side of the template you created and sew your blocks over this area. If you line up your seams, your blocks will lay out perfectly giving you the pieced quilt patterns you were after the whole time.

Quilters who are particularly fond of making miniature quilt patterns really enjoy the foundation method because it works for all squares and patches no matter what their size.

Pick A Pattern

Now that you have a general understanding of what pieced quilt patterns are and how to make them, you can start looking at the designs. Like with any other type of designs, pieced quilt patterns come in a range of difficulty and styles. Some of the favorite pieced quilt patterns include:

  • Grandmother's flower garden
  • Doll house blocks
  • Rising sun
  • Log cabin
  • Windows

When you look at pieced quilt patterns, you will notice that there is an assortment of color. Even if you are making a bag, comforter or blanket you are going to have to pay attention to color. Dark colors can make a person feel far away, while softer and lighter colors draw the eyes inward making the fabric more inviting and comforting.

Understanding that colors relay emotion is important for any person trying to express themselves through arts and crafts. You take the time to pick the designs and patterns of your choosing, so the care over color should be just as diligent if not more. Without the right color balance, the entire pieced quilt patterns could be thrown off.

The first thing to know is the difference between primary and secondary colors. Primary colors are blue, red and yellow. When a person mixes these colors together, they can create the secondary colors, which are purple, orange and green. A good mix of primary and secondary colors gives your quilt a complimentary and vibrant feel. Adding white to the background of your quilt will cause a color to become brighter where as adding black will make a color appear to be darker.

The type of material you use for your pieced quilt patterns is also important. A lightweight muslin, smooth vellum and non-woven interfacing materials are good choices. Basically you just want a material that wont stretch or tear during handling. You also need one that can be used with a dry iron so you can make sure it does not have wrinkles before use.

You can find thousands of free pieced quilt patterns online. Experiment with the different pieced patterns and see what you can create. Also, alternate between the English and foundation methods to see how you like the two different pieced patterns techniques.