The Paper Pieced Home jacket art 849x1024 The Paper Pieced Home Review + Giveaway

I recently received a review copy of Penny Layman’s The Paper-Pieced Home from Interweave/F+W. I’ve really enjoyed reading through the book (in between packing and moving), and chose to make the Layer Cake Block (block #4). I don’t have a lot of sewing time right now, and I’m also not great at decorating and celebrating holidays. I thought it would be fun to turn the Layer Cake Block into a mini-quilt or table topper for birthday celebrations! I picked fabrics, printed the pattern, and it is waiting for me as soon as I can unpack my sewing machine!

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The Paper-Pieced Home Details

Title: The Paper-Pieced Home: Quilting a Household One Block at a Time
Author: Penny Layman, author of Sew Take A Hike
Softcover, 135 pages, published by Interweave/F+W
List Price: $26.99

Why I Would Recommend a Friend Take a Look
If paper-piecing is your thing, or you want to learn to paper piece, this is a great book for you. The patterns (included on a CD that comes with the book!) range from fairly simple to quite complex. If you like a retro/modern vibe, you will love the quilt blocks in this book.

The book is well designed–the layout and font are easy to follow/read, and it is a beautiful book. I appreciate that there is a full color picture of each of the 40 blocks, as well as styled shots of the 10 additional projects.

The first (12 page) chapter is an introduction to paper-piecing–Penny suggests tools, walks you through a well illustrated lesson on how to paper piece, and offers a lot of hints, tips, and tricks, on everything from fabric selection to pressing your blocks. I have been meaning to buy a seam roller for years, and finally did thanks to this chapter.

The second (10 page) chapter covers things that are beyond the basics–fussy cutting, y-seams, embroidery, appliqué, etc. I thought this was a helpful inclusion.

Screen Shot 2015 03 12 at 10.40.28 PM The Paper Pieced Home Review + GiveawayThe remaining chapters are titled Kitchy Kitchen, Wear It!, Retro Home (don’t you love the couch!), Create & Organize, Playtime, and Get Outdoors! Each chapter has multiple projects using one or more of the blocks.

The last few pages include Resources and Selected Templates.

Clear Instructions and Illustrations
I made (started) the layer cake block, which is one of the more time intensive paper pieced blocks. I found the instructions to be clear and easy to follow, although I am an experienced paper piecer. If you are a beginner, I suggest trying a block like Watermelon Slice (#39) first.


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Each chapter includes a few projects that you can make with a block from that chapter (or any chapter, really). Sometimes it is difficult to decide what to do with a solo block–the book includes instructions for making hot pads, a grocery tote (shown here using the Fruit Bowl block), a trio of pillows,  and a baby quilt, among other things.

Attention to Detail
If you are familiar with Penny’s work, you will know she has a distinct style, and pays attention to details. I think what I liked most about this book was seeing the different fabrics she chose for each block. You can tell she really thinks about scale, pattern, directional prints, etc. I am not always a deliberate quilter–the complexity of many of these patterns means I wanted to be a bit more deliberate in my choices.

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I Wish the Book Included
The Paper-Pieced Home includes fabric requirements to make each block, for example, 6” of the yellow solid for the cake frosting (totally made up the specifics). The book does not include directions for what size to cut each piece (so it doesn’t say cut a 2″ x 2″ square for  A1). This isn’t a deal breaker–it isn’t that difficult to cut things to size based on looking at the pattern, especially since you aren’t typically making 30 identical blocks–but it would have been a nice inclusion. Having written a book, I know that often times these things are the publisher’s decision.

I make a lot of things for other people. This book made me want to sit down and make something for me! At some point in the near future, I’m definitely making the claw foot tub block–we have had one in our Portland house and we loved it.

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Giveaway/Are you interested in seeing more?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Paper-Pieced Home (in the US) or an electronic version (outside the US).
You can leave any comment for a chance to win, or if you want, leave a comment with your favorite home organization tip. With two big moves in less than 9 months, I can use the all the help I can get!

Visit one (or all!) of the stops on the blog tour for the Paper-Pieced Home below:

3/16       McCall’s Quilting / Sewing Machine Block
3/17       Love of Quilting / Review
3/17       Sandi Sawa Hazlewood  of Crafty Planner / Watering Can Block
3/18       Quilty Pleasure (Quiltmaker blog) / Review
3/18       Imagine Gnats / Rotary Phone Block
3/20       Verykerryberry / Lion Block
3/21       Artisania / Cast-Iron Skillet Block
3/23       Where the Orchids Grow / Lamp Block
3/24       Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt / Layer Cake Block
3/24       House on Hill Road / Oven Mitt Block
3/24       Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced / BBQ Grill Block
3/26       Pink Penguin / Allie-Gator Block
3/26       A Happy Stitch / Giraffe Block
3/27       Bijou Lovely / Jar Block
3/27       Two Little Banshees / Saucepan Bloc
3/27       Charise Creates / Espresso Mug Block
3/30       Karen Lewis Textiles / Couch Block
3/31       Poppyprint / Clawfoot Tub Block
3/31       One Shabby Chick / Stack of Books Block
3/31       During Quiet Time / Sleeveless Dress Block
4/06       Pat Sloan The Voice of Quilting / Author Podcast Interview

The Paper-Pieced Home: Quilting a Household One Block at a Time
By Penny Layman
Interweave/F+W; $26.99

Posted in Sewing + Friends, Sewn | Tagged , , , , | 96 Responses

Last year, I started a series called Vintage Quilt Sundays. I had such a fun time sharing almost a dozen vintage quilts, and wanted to start it up again mid-April. If you have a vintage quilt in your possession, or have photos of one owned by a friend or family member, or want to suggest someone for me to contact, would you send me a note? Vintage Quilts Pinterest Board Vintage Quilt Sundays: Do You Have A Vintage Quilt to Share?

 Image from my Vintage Quilts Pinterest Page

If you are interested in sharing a favorite vintage quilt (and a story behind it if you have one), please send me a quick email at swimbikequilt at gmail dot com and attach a picture of the quilt/sketch of the story. I would love to ask a few questions about the quilt, and of course, I won’t share any photos you send without your written permission. You can also send me an email through the contact me button/envelope. located on my sidebar to the right.

If you know of someone who has a great quilt they might be willing to share photos of, please send me an email as well and I can contact them. Quilts can be appliqued, pieced, embroidered, etc., and don’t have to be “family” quilts.


Posted in Favorite Things, Vintage Quilts | 2 Responses

archcape2 e1424917611614 1024x1024 Favorite Things: The Oregon Coast

Our impending move has been a little rough, so with Grandpa in town, we decided we had to make one more trip to the coast.

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We had lunch in the forest and then walked a few hundred yards and played at the beach.

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It was perfect weather, sunshine with not a cloud in the sky. Or at least, not very many.

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We realized that 55 degrees in February was much warmer than 55 degrees in August.

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We ended up at Arch Cape quite by accident. Happy, happy. If you ignore the baby crying for the final half hour of the trip, and the extreme grumpiness near the end of many involved, which I am choosing to do, it was a perfect day.


Posted in Favorite Things | 7 Responses

IMG 2773 1024x1024 On the Road to Salt Lake City

So, life is crazy and beautiful and unexpected

So sad to be leaving Portland

So happy for my husband and his new job (which we expected would come years from now, if at all)

So looking forward to being near so many family members and friends in Salt Lake City

We leave in a month

Life moves fast

We are definitely taking a piece of Portland with our (Alexandria) hearts to Salt Lake.

Now I just need everything to go well with the sale of our home here and find a new place to live…

Sewing might be minimal for the next few months. Much like the last 12 months…

That’s life, I guess!

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Responses
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