Fast and Fun Projects to Paper Piece

Posted by Mary Hertel on Jan 12th 2017

Hello! I am Mary Hertel, and I design paper pieced patterns. My book, Cute & Clever Totes, has just arrived, and I am super excited to share it with you!

Included in the book are sixteen whimsical paper-pieced blocks that can be added to six tote styles. These totes can be used for just about any occasion. Not only are they useful in your everyday living, but they also make sweet gifts.

Using my paper-piecing shortcuts, your blocks will assemble as quickly as 1, 2, 3. But don’t be limited to using these blocks only in tote bags. Here’s a cute and quick Pocket Pillow project that makes a great gift for a youngster.

Just add any paper-pieced block as a pocket to the front of a child-size pillow. The pocket can hold the child’s favorite book or toy.

Using 1/2 yard of main fabric and 1/4 yard of a contrasting cuff fabric, cut out the pieces as shown in this photo.

Main Fabric: Cut 1 rectangle 13” x 16”. Cut 2 rectangles 4 1/2”x 13”. Cut 1 rectangle 8” x 13”. Cut 1 square 8” x 8”.

Contrasting Fabric: Cut 1 strip 7 1/2” x 25 1/2”.

Muslin: Cut 1 rectangle 13” x 16”.

Fusible Fleece: Cut 1 square 8” x 8”.

1 pillow form 12” x 16”.

Steam press the fusible fleece square to the back of any block (after removing the paper). Sew the pocket lining to the block along the top edge, with the right sides together. Flip the lining to the back and press. The pocket may be quilted if desired. Sew the buttons where indicated on the pattern. If this pillow will be used for a baby, replace buttons with appliquéd fabric circles to avoid any choking hazard.

With the right sides together, sew the bottom of the pocket 2” from the bottom of main 8” x 13” fabric rectangle. Flip the pocket up, press flat, and topstitch 1/4” from the bottom edge of the pocket.

Sew the 4 1/2” x 13” rectangles to each side edge of the pocket unit. Pin the 13” x 16” muslin rectangle behind the pillow front. Place the pillow back (the 13” x 16” rectangle) on top of the pillow front, right sides together. Sew only along the top edge. Press the lining towards the back of the pillow front to cover any seams. (This lining is optional.)

I love the Weenie Roll pillow because there are no exposed seams when you are finished.

Open the pillow and place it flat. Pin the pillow cuff along the side edge of the pillow, right sides together. Roll the pillow into a “weenie” shape, skinny enough to fit inside the cuff fabric.

Wrap the cuff around the “weenie” (wrong side of fabric showing) and pin over the previous pins.

Sew through all layers. The pillow will resemble a long tube. Pull the pillow right side out through one end of the tube. The cuff will now be folded in half. Press the cuff flat.

French seams: Fold the pillow in half with the wrong sides together. Sew a 1/8” seam on the side and bottom. Turn the pillow with the right sides together, press flat, and sew the seams again using 1/4” seams. Turn the pillow right side out and press.

Enjoy your sweet-as-can-be Pocket Pillow!

This is just one of many ways to use the adorable blocks in my book. I hope you have as much fun assembling these blocks as I had creating them!

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