Hi, I'm Shannon Fabrics National Educator Lisa Lueck! I personally love piercing (especially with Cuddle®), so I wanted to share a fun pattern and tutorial with you.
No matter if you love it or hate it, paper piecing can give you a unique look not possible with traditional pieced quilting. I have always been drawn to paper piecing because I can make it my own, and it can be as easy as sew-by-number with straight lines.
See Related: Longarm Quilting Tips for Cuddle® Minky Fabric
Okay, maybe there is a little more to it than that — this technique takes a little practice but is rewarding. Paper piecing with Cuddle® is best with designs that are not very dense, especially as you are mastering the technique.
Notions needed for making a paper pieced quilt block with Cuddle® minky fabric
Some of the supplies for foundation piecing are a bit different than what you might be used to. Make sure you have the following supplies on hand.
- Walking foot
- Polyester thread
- SF101 Shape-Flex fusible interfacing - Pellon
- Pins and small clips
- Rotary cutter
- Fine-tip permanent marker
- Portable hand vacuum
- Small iron with steam
- 90/14 stretch needle
- Light box (optional)
Fabrics needed for making a paper pieced quilt block with Cuddle® minky fabric
- Bliss Batik Digital – Navy
- Cuddle® 3 Snow, Navy, Aruba and Saltwater
General tips to keep in mind when piecing and quilting with Cuddle®
Some important differences between Cuddle® and quilting cotton need to be addressed before we start.
1. Cuddle® has a stretch, so it needs to be backed with a woven interfacing such as SF101 Shape-Flex to prevent stretching. SF101 is used as the pattern and stabilizer. SF101 will be fused to the Cuddle® as you add the Cuddle® pieces. There’s no ripping off the paper at the end of sewing — whew, what a relief!
2. The nap will need to be a consideration as you build your blocks. The nap needs to be consistent from block to block, so note that the nap runs the length of the fabric.
3. There is a little more clean-up with using Cuddle® (especially in the cutting process). A portable hand vacuum will be helpful to keep the Cuddle® dust to a minimum.
4. Pressing Cuddle® needs to be done from the backside to protect the fabric.
Preparing the paper pieced quilting blocks
The easiest way to start is with a simple paper-pieced block (click here to download and print the included pattern). Cut squares of the SF101 about 7 inches, if using attached pattern. The pattern will need to be traced on the smooth side of the SF101. Place the pattern under the SF101 and draw the lines with a ruler and add the numbers.
The dotted line is the edge of the block and trim line. The solid 6” line is the finished size when sewn together. The solid lines inside are stitching lines. A ¼” seam allowance is included for sewing the blocks together. The block will finish as a mirror image.
Sewing the paper pieced quilting blocks
The stitch length of 2.5 to 3.0 is fine for the foundation piecing with Cuddle®. Increase the stitch length to 3.0 – 3.5 when sewing the blocks together. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each solid line.
This pattern is best made with pieces of Cuddle® that are no smaller than 7” by 3” to be sure all the pieces 1-6 will be covered.
- Align piece of back side of Cuddle® with the number 1. The piece should be big enough to extend at least ¼” on all sides. Press the fabric number 1 piece to adhere to the shape flex.
- Add a second piece of Cuddle® with the right side together with the first piece. Make sure the nap goes the same direction when flipped open. (Check nap twice, sew once.) Make sure the second piece of Cuddle® covers piece 2 when flipped open. Pin in place.
- Sew pieces 1 and 2 down with the first stitching line.
- Trim fabric to a ¼”. Lay the piece flat and fold back the SF101 to trim. Make sure not to trim the second piece that gets flipped.
- Flip the second piece. Try to finger press. Smooth out the fabrics. Once you have fabric piece taut (not stretched), PRESS. Make sure fabric is smooth and taut. If not, pull from SF101 and try again.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for remaining pieces.
- Trim the block on the dotted line to keep seam allowance.
I use clips to join blocks, and feel free to mix and match as you desire. Google search “paper piecing patterns” for different options to try.
Free foundation paper pieced quilt block pattern
Click the “Download Now!” button below to download and print our free foundation paper pieced quilt block pattern (designed by Shannon Fabrics National Educator Lisa Lueck).
If you have any questions about Cuddle® minky plush fabrics or any of our Cuddle® Kits, feel free to contact our friendly, no-pressure customer service team at 866-624-5252.
Ready to start creating with Cuddle® minky fabric? Use our store locator to find a selection of Cuddle® minky fabric online or near you.