Paper Piecing Tips, and “What is an Outhouse?”

After completing my Aerial quilt, which was all paper-piecing, I said, “never again.” But, then I got involved with the Shirt Swap hosted by MayChappell blog, and I made some paper-pieced shirts. The next round of the Shirt Swap includes the Outhouse pattern by Carolyn Friedlander (shown above).

I’ve learned a few things:


I purchased Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper, 100 sheets for $9.95. This paper is better than heavy copy paper:

paper piecing


name it


For those long tiny pieces I use a glue stick to attach the paper to the fabric.


A pin works well, too.

use a pin


I use an index card to crease the stitch line. It’s a guide for my Add-A-Quarter ruler (below on the right). I slide the ruler lip up to the card and cut the one-quarter inch. Look at that perfect one-quarter inch.



For this block there are four parts which are attached ultimately with three seams. I tear away the paper from the seams so that there is less bulk when I sew the last two sections together.

remove seam paper

The finished block looks great from the back:

press open

I love this little house with the bright red door.

outhouse block

According to wikipedia and my own experience, an “outhouse” is an outdoor toilet.   Here is what Carolyn Friedlander said about the pattern on her blog:

Outhouse is new to my paper piecing line, and honestly, it’s just a fun pattern. I had the idea of simple but quirky little houses that you could further personalize and flavor with fun fabric choices. At my new place, I actually have a funky little outhouse that the previous owners built themselves. There’s a great view of it from my office, and so I’m sure that looking at it everyday has played into the speed with which I’ve been able to add this source of inspiration into my pattern line.

I have no clue if Carolyn’s previous owners built an outdoor toilet or just a “quirky little house.” Oh well, these houses remind me of the cellar from my childhood home. It was nestled into the mountain and stored garden potatoes, jars of blackberry jelly, green beans and vegetable soup, and lots of other goodies — maybe a spider or two.

“Mountain Cellar” is my new name for this quilt block.  It just smells better.

Row by Row Experience: Sew a Season

The theme for the Row by Row Experience was “Sew a Season.” Each quilt shop chose a “season” and created a pattern which you could pick up for free at each of the shops. My intention was to make a project from each of the quilt shops I visited, so 8 shops 8 projects. So far I had made a tote bag using the pattern from Blue Crab Quilt Co., and a pillow cover from The New River Fiber Co. Next up on my list was Creative Quilting Connection, located in Roanoke, Virginia. Their block was called, “Autumn in the Star City”.

The fabrics reminded me of the quilt pattern, The Grove, by Carolyn Friedlander.  I purchased it some time ago:

The Grove

I made four trees with the batiks, and of course they look like “Autumn.” Now I needed the other seasons: Summer, Winter and Spring and maybe Football Season because it’s always Football Season at my house.

During my Row by Row by Experience, I traveled across almost all of Virginia from the city to the valley to the mountains and to the sea. We visited Chincoteague, Virginia, an island on the Atlantic Ocean, and I got the kit from Quilts by the Sea. The fabric was perfect for my “Summer” row of trees:

quilts by the sea fabric

After making a few “Summer” row trees, I didn’t like having to add a border in between the blocks so I flipped them. The blocks are mirror images left to right anyway, so up and down seemed like the perfect solution:

season in progres

I had “Spring” fabric from the kit I purchased at Sew Biz, located in Radford, Virginia:

sew biz fabric

I liked the idea of white trees for winter, and I made “football season” in school colors: black, blue and white. I plan to hand quilt it.

sew a season quilt

Just a quick note on our trip to Chincoteague Island. We ate the most heavenly ice cream at The Island Creamery.

island creamery

Raspberry — my favorite!

UPDATE: Here’s a photo of the finished quilt:

Day Eight 4-10-18 magnolia