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Paper Pieced Quilt Projects for Beginners!

For many quilters and sewers, the very mention of a foundation paper pieced project makes them anxious and many quilters will actively discourage people from trying paper piecing as a method because of their own experiences or misconceptions. I've had many a conversation in which I've mentioned that I design paper piece quilt blocks to be met with some version of the response "Paper Piecing is too difficult" and some of these people were very experienced quilters! Interestingly, I've also had many brand-new quilters contact me and tell me that they tried one of my quilt blocks as their first attempt at quilting, and they succeeded and loved it, which just goes to show that sometimes, the thought of paper piecing can be more intimidating than the actual act of using the technique.

However, in addition to this, I do wonder how many of the people who claim that paper piecing is difficult, may have started on a project that wasn't particularly beginner-friendly, so for this blog post, I set out to curate some fantastic foundation paper pieced quilt projects that are perfect for beginners. There are so many to choose from, whether you prefer quilt blocks that have pictorial motifs like I do or enjoy geometric and abstract quilt blocks, I'm sure you will find a project you will want to try in this list.

1.Free Bee

The first one is a quilt block that I designed with beginners in mind and it's free when you sign up to my monthly newsletter.

The Bumble Bee quilt block pattern is great for beginner quilters.

This cute Bumble Bee pattern is great for beginners, because it has a relatively simple design, with only three sections to put together. Plus if you start on the stripes first, this will allow you to get the hang of the method before you move on and start piecing the angles in the wings. There's also a free PDF Beginner's Guide to Paper Piecing available to help you get started.

2. Twisted Log Cabin

If you are looking for something more geometric in style, then you might like to try the Twisted Log Cabin quilt block from Penny Spool Quilts.

The Twisted Log Cabin is a best-selling quilt block pattern by Penny Spool Quilts

The Twisted Log Cabin pattern is great for beginners to paper piecing because the design is all straight lines and has no tricky angles to contend with. Plus, if you are a quilter who has a stash of fabric scraps to use, this pattern would definitely assist you in taking care of it.

3.Storm Quilt Block

Another wonderful geometric quilt block is Storm by Devoted Quilter and at the time of writing this blog post it is free to download!

Storm is a free geometric quilt block pattern by Devoted Quilter. It is a fun quilt block to make if you are just learning how to Paper Piece.

Although the finished block looks complex, beginners will probably be surprised at how simple it is to make. This block is 12 inches when finished, and would make a great addition to a sampler quilt.

4.Bubble Bath Crib Quilt

If you'd prefer a project that is a bit larger then why not give the Bubble Bath Crib Quilt by Larkspur Lane Designs a try?

A quilt with rubber duckies and bubbles, this quilt is a wonderful quilt for a baby shower.

I love how cute this quilt is, and it's quite deceptive because the angles and design are actually very easy for a beginner to tackle, even though the blocks look complex. As a bonus the blocks from this quilt pattern can be used for smaller projects too, so you could make a matching pillow cover or table mat.

5.Modern Terrazzo

Modern Terrazzo is another larger quilt pattern that has been designed by Eva from Gingerly Quilt Company. This pattern makes a Table Runner or Wall Hanging and is made up of several smaller blocks which are easy for a beginner. It's another pattern which will help you tackle that growing scrap pile and also has an option to use applique.

Modern Terrazzo is a fresh, modern quilt pattern which is easy for a beginner.

6.Scrappy Pieced Heart Quilt Block

The next pattern is another one that is good for digging through your fabric stash and using up some of those leftover fabrics:

Fun and Beginner friendly, the Scrappy Heart Quilt Block is a great addition to any sewing project

The Scrappy Pieced Heart Pattern from Said With Love even comes with a YouTube Video for beginners, so if you are someone who likes to watch how it's done before you start a project then it would be a good one to start with. The Scrappy Heart Quilt Block is so pretty and it would make a great addition to most sewing projects.

7.Hearts & Homes

These cute little houses are the next beginner-friendly quilt blocks I thought you might like. Each of the blocks is designed to be 4-inches when finished, and although the description says they are designed for quilters with intermediate skills in paper piecing, the designs are simple enough to make as a beginner.

These beautiful house quilt blocks are beginner friendly.

Designer Scarlett Rose has also created some other blocks that you can mix and match with the Heart & Home patterns, such as trees, shrubs and even a cat!

8.Spools of Thread

If you are really nervous about starting your journey into paper piecing and want a bit more guidance through the process, then Spools of Thread would be a great option for you because Victoria from Little Black Duck has created a video sew-along to help you on your way.

Spools of thread is a fun Mini Quilt to make and even has a sew-along to go with it!

Following the pattern and associated sew-along videos you will guide you through the entire process and you finish up with this great mini quilt!

9.Scrap Happy Sail Boats

The advantage of attempting a larger project such as the Scrap Happy Sail Boat Pattern by QuiltFOX Design is that by making lots of blocks you will really have the hang of the foundation paper piecing method by the end of the project.

Sail Boat Quilt Pattern. This can be traditionally pieced or made using paper piecing.

10.Tell Me A Story Quilt Blocks

Amy Friend from During Quiet Time has a number of beginner-friendly paper pieced quilt blocks to try in her Tell Me a Story Collection. Amy has also written a book called Intentional Piecing which guides you through a number of things including fabric choices and paper piecing.

11.Party Time

Anytime I'm paper piecing, its a party, and the mess I create in the process certainly looks like someone had a party too. If you are keen to try a geometric quilt pattern that gives you a reason to celebrate your new found paper piecing skills, then you don't want to miss Party Time by Christa Quilts!

Beginner friendly quilt pattern in multiple sizes. Party Time by Christa Quilts

The great thing about this pattern is that it gives you multiple sized quilt projects to work on, so you can make a cool modern quilt to use around the home easily and the pattern is very versatile. Oh...and did I mention it is beginner-friendly?

12.Love Birds and Ladybugs

This quilt pattern is made up of a number of smaller quilt blocks, sort of like a sampler quilt. All of the individual quilt blocks are simple and easy to learn paper piecing on.

A quilt featuring a bird quilt block, lady bug quilt block and heart quilt blocks.

The Love Birds & Lady Bugs quilt pattern includes a list of fabric requirements, but if you are a more experienced quilter and have a stash of fabric at home, I think this pattern looks great with lots of scraps, and how cute is that bird quilt block!

13.12 Quilting Foundation Paper Pieced Templates

Speaking of Sampler Quilts Elena from Otter & Thyme has a collection of templates that make 12 different paper pieced quilt blocks including flying geese, and half square triangles among others. If you are someone who has mostly done traditionally pieced quilt blocks, then these templates might be a good place to start as they will hold an air of familiarity. Handy tip: Sign up to the Otter &Thyme newsletter and you could get them for free! Click here to get started.

14.Year of Scrappy Triangles

Another way to learn paper piecing is to practice it frequently, so what better way than making one block every week for a year and making a big scrappy quilt out of them? The Year of Scrappy Triangles is a free download from Leila Gardunia and there are 52 templates in the pattern file. I have no doubt that once you have made all of those, you will be a paper piecing pro!

Making a scrappy quilt with lots of foundation pieced quilt blocks is a great way to learn how to paper piece

Leila also has a blog post that shows how to paper piece step by step to help you on your way.

15.Dog Gone It and You've Got to Be Kitten Me

Aren't these cuties from Sarah's Softies adorable? They also have video tutorials and both are part of a larger quilt, if you wanted to make a quilt instead of a cushion or pillow cover.

Matching Dog and Cat Quilt Pattern Set

16.Stacked Pots

If you love gardening and would prefer to learn how to paper piece with the assistance of a video tutorial, then you might like to try the Stacked Pots Quilt Block Pattern.

Stacked Up Garden pots Quilt Pattern, there is a video tutprial which demonstrates how to paper piece that accompanies this quilt block.

I love how bright and colourful you can make this quilt block and its another one that is deceptively easy to make, especially with the video tutorial showing how to make this specific block.

17.Nuts About You

Here's something really different for you - How about Paper Pieced Hexagons! This is a clever FPP (paper piecing) design by Jennifer Wagner of Snapdragon Quilting that a beginner could try and easily succeed with.

A cross between EPP and FPP these paper pieced hexagons are bound to make any scrappy quilter happy.

I think you would agree these Hexies mix the best of both Foundation Piecing and English Paper Piecing and would make a stunning quilt project for any burgeoning paper piecer.

18.Pride Butterfly

If you love Rainbow then the Pride Butterfly by Sarah Ashford Studio is a fantastic quilt block to try if it is your first time paper piecing. If you are a beginner to paper piecing this quilt pattern would be a nice easy one to try, as each section is designed in a logical and easy-to-piece way. This also means the block would be relatively quick to make and of course fun to find all those striking colours to use together!

Pride Butterfly quilt block by Sarah Ashford Studio

Final Advice

Diving into the world of foundation paper pieced quilt patterns can be both exciting and rewarding, especially for beginners and those eager to learn foundation paper piecing. Even if you are a more experienced quilter paper piecing is a great skill to have in your back pocket because it offers endless possibilities for creativity and artistic expression in your quilting projects.

There are so many patterns to chose from, and you might be surprised at how easy some quilt blocks are to make, even when they look complex. Remember to start with simpler designs to build your confidence and skills, and don't hesitate to explore more complex patterns as you grow more comfortable with the technique. Take you time and remember that everyone makes mistakes. At the end of the day it's only fabric and thread, and it's only a mistake if you don't learn from it!

I hope this post has inspired you to gather your fabrics, prepare your paper templates, and embark on a journey of creativity and craftsmanship with paper pieced quilt patterns.

Happy Quilting, Rachel