Afton Warrick from Quilting Mod has a free paper pieced quilt pattern for you! This Visions of Acoma design includes all of the pattern pieces for you to download, plus step-by-step instructions. Afton lives in the southwest and was influenced by traditional design in the Acoma Pueblo region. Learn more about Afton and her work in her introduction here.
Hello! I’m Afton Warrick, visiting from my blogging haven at Quilting Mod. Today I’ll be sharing a free paper-pieced pattern for Visions of Acoma.
I couldn’t help but be influenced by the artistic flavor of the southwest after living for over a decade in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, here in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico.
When I viewed the southwestern pottery gallery during a family outing to the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, I was taken with the high-contrast, solid colors and angular shapes of the Acoma pieces. This brought to mind the defining characteristics of modern quilts. Thus, inspiration struck! Visions of Acoma is the result of this epiphany.
To create your own 42” square quilt, print your patterns and gather the following supplies:
- 2½” x 10″ rectangle of template material or chopping mat from dollar store
- Thread snipping scissors
- Rotary cutting equipment
- Neutral piecing thread
- Sewing machine
- 12″ Add-A-Quarter ruler
- 8½” x 11″ copier paper or Deb Karasik’s Perfect Paper-Piecing Paper (http://www.debkarasik.com/store-detail.php?cat=1&ID=0)
- Thin shaft, glass-head pins
Fabric + Batting:
- Cedar: 1¼ yards
- White: 1 3/8 yards
- Black: ½ yard
- Ochre: 1/3 yard
- Backing: 1 3/8 yard
- Binding: ¼ yard (four 2¼” x width of fabric strips)
Print your pattern and copy the number of pages specified on each individual page of the pattern. Make sure your printer is set to 100% or actual size. Use a ruler to confirm that the square marked 1″ on the pattern truly measures 1″ on your copies. Copy paper is the most inexpensive option for pattern printing, but I prefer Deb Karasik’s Perfect Paper-Piecing Paper because its translucent quality removes the guesswork in determining where your fabric is situated underneath the paper. Cut the excess paper away from the edges of the pattern units, leaving roughly ¼” beyond the seam allowance. Units should be separated from each other, but do not cut apart each individual piece. Use the quilt illustration to write fabric colors on the pattern pieces. Keep in mind, patterns pieces are a reverse image of the quilt blocks.
Prepare your fabrics according to the cutting instructions in the PDF. Use the cutting sizes listed on each pattern page and the color picture of the entire quilt top to determine which piece you will be using for each section. For the center medallion, use the extra fabric from B4 and C4 for A4 and D4.
The same process will be used for creating each paper-pieced unit. It is most efficient to do the first step for all identical blocks, and then move on to the second step for all of the same type of block, and so on.
If you are using copier paper, pre-fold on all the solid lines of each unit. Use a glue stick to apply glue to the non-printed side of Section 1. You can use a pin to hold the fabric to the paper, if you wish. However, glue is a starch and ot will come out in the wash. Adhering with glue is only required for the first piece of each unit because your lines of stitching will hold the following pieces to the paper.
Position the fabric for this section on the non-printed side of the paper (lines are visible as my paper is translucent), with the wrong side of the fabric facing the paper. The fabric should extend at least ¼” beyond all edges of the shape outline.
Flip the paper over so the fabric is underneath and the printed side of the paper is facing upwards. Fold the paper on the line between the piece you added and the next piece. Since these are your first pieces, you’ll be folding on the line between pieces #1 and #2. To help with this process, place a rectangular piece of template material or cutting mat from your local dollar store over the first piece with one side of the template rectangle on the line separating pieces #1 and #2.
Fold #2 back over onto the template material.
Lay the Add-A-Quarter ruler on your paper with the groove pressed against the fold. The main portion of the ruler should be above the paper with the ¼” lip extending onto the fabric. Cut the fabric down to ¼” seam allowance using a rotary cutter.
For the first piece, I recommend cutting the seam to ¼” beyond the stitch lines on all surrounding sides.
Lay your fabric for the next highest numbered piece onto the piece you just added, with right sides together. The raw edges should be aligned. Do a test flip to see if the piece will cover its section with ¼” extra on all sides. If not, adjust the piece.
Hold the fabric securely in place as you flip the paper over so the printed side is visible and the fabrics are underneath.
Stitch on the line, starting in the seam allowance and continuing until you reach the dashed line of the seam allowance, ¼” beyond the end of the line. Take your stitch length down to less than 2, and use a size 90 or larger needle to make paper removal easier. Paper-piecing will dull your needle, so reserving a needle especially for this purpose is a good idea.
Flip the paper over and press toward the most recently added piece. At this point, the right sides of the fabric should be visible when you are looking at the non-printed side of the paper.
Repeat the process of cutting to ¼” beyond the line, adding the next piece of fabric with right sides together, stitching on the line with a shortened stich length, and pressing until all sections have been covered. Then trim all units, leaving ¼” seam allowance on all sides.
Remove the paper from each section. Begin at a corner. To lessen pulled stitches, fold each piece back on the stitch line. Place your left hand thumb to the side of the top of the stitch line. Remove the paper by pulling with your right hand toward your thumb and downward. Keep going until all the paper is removed.
Once the paper-pieced units have been created, it’s time to begin piecing your quilt top. Full-fledged assembly instructions are included in the PDF, but I’ll share some pointers.
I have a couple suggestions for getting seams to lay flat. When constructing the center medallion, you may want to clip tiny slits perpendicular to your line of stitching, from the raw edge of the seam up to, but not cutting through, the line of stitching.
Secondly, when piecing together the two halves of the inner border’s corner blocks, pressing the seams of one unit the opposite direction they were pressed during construction will allow them to nest with the other side.
Finish piecing your top together, and then meet me back here for a two more helpful hints.
Whether spray basting or pinning, I use a combination of masking tape and plastic clamps to hold my wrong-side-up backing in place before laying my batting over the top. Then, I roll my top onto a cardboard tube that once contained laminated cotton, with the right side of my top facing the tube. I start at the bottom of the batting and alternate between smoothing and gradually unrolling the quilt top onto the batting.
Secondly, it helps me to visualize my free-motion designs and gain muscle memory of the motions involved if I sketch out my ideas with pencil and paper first.
That way, I can approach the quilting process with an idea in mind.
If you make your own Visions of Acoma, I’d love to see. You are welcome to add it to the Quilting Mod Flickr group.