behind the scenes: Patchwork Petals quilt pattern (and sewing party!)

One of the fun parts about being a designer and quilter is collaborating.

Collaborating with other makers allows me to be inspired by their work, and also challenges me to think about my own work in new ways and stretch beyond my comfort zone.

I’m super excited about my new collaboration with Mathew Boudreaux (AKA Mister Domestic). I am in complete awe of his brand, personality and style. Mathew and I met in person a little over a year ago at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis. Recently, I was super excited for him when I found out he was launching his debut fabric collection, Loved to Pieces. Mathew and I reconnected about the same time he was looking for a Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) pattern that would work well with the collection. He asked if I would consider designing one that would complement it. I have so much respect for Mathew and was excited that he wanted to collaborate with me!

And then came the tricky part… how to design a paper piecing pattern that truly supported the design of the Loved to Pieces collection and was able to be translated into a FPP pattern that wouldn’t drive makers insane as they were making it. While I adore Mathew’s collection, anyone who is familiar with my work will tell you the style of his collection is not something I would normally work with. There were a few moments of sheer panic—a fairly typical reaction for most designers. Could I do this in a way that truly honored and supported the collection?!?!

It’s in these moments of panic as a designer that I need to remind myself that creativity thrives in boundries. Graphic designers typically don’t have the luxury of choosing their clients (in this case I did!). At the core of it, graphic designers create visual concepts that communicate ideas to inspire, inform and/or motivate others. I use my training and 20+ years of experience in the graphic design field when designing quilts, especially if I’m feeling unsure of what to do or if I feel stuck.

As I started to sketch, I really just kept thinking about Mathew’s inspiration for his collection:

“With the wind of his daughter Helena’s love at his back, Matthew created Loved To Pieces. Her love for flowers and his love for paper piecing fused into a world where florals and EPP [English Paper Piecing] geometrics play against an array of blue tones with touches of vibrant pinks and subtle greens.”

For the pattern, I ultimately decided I really wanted to explore what a mix between florals and geometrics with my bold graphic style would look like. Graphic floral quilt patterns have been something I have been playing with for a couple of years. I created my first series, Picnic Petals—a modern quilt pattern based on the traditional flowering snowball quilt block in 2014:

Picnic Petals is a modern quilt based on a traditional Flowering Snowball block. This tested pattern contains both detailed instructions and diagrams, making it easy to piece. Instructions are provided for three sizes: Throw, Twin and Queen. This version of the quilt was one of three winners out of 750 entries in the 2014 Modern Quilt Guild/Michael Miller Challenge

Picnic Petals quilt: a modern spin on the traditional flowering snowball quilt. This quilt features a nice gentle curve, making it easy for beginners (or those with anxiety about piecing curves) to piece! Pattern by Whole Circle Studio

A few years later, I started to dive deep into Hawaiian-inspired design and needle-turn applique and created by Big Island Blossoms Quilt Pattern:
Big Island Blossom: a hawaiian inspired needle turn applique quilt. Pattern by Whole Circle Studio. A modern spin on traditional Hawaiian Quilts. Inspired by her love of the Big Island, Sheri designed and needle turn appliqued most of this quick while on a vacation in Hawaii.

I decided it was time to challenge myself and design a floral, curved quilt that could be entirely constructed using Foundation Paper Piecing. The result is my Patchwork Petals Quilt Blocks pattern. Here is one of the initial mockups I sent to Mathew using the Loved to Pieces fabric:
initial mock up of Patchwork Petals show in Loved to Pieces fabric collection by Mathew Bourdeau, Mister Domestic.

Here is the layout of the final design of the blocks in the arrangement he’ll be making during his Patchwork Petals Sewing Party. It uses all 4 blocks, with duplicates, to make a mini quilt:
Patchwork Petals mini quilt featuring Loved to Pieces fabric by collection by Mathew Bourdeax (Mister Domestic) for Art Gallery fabrics. Pattern by Whole CIrcle Studio

I’ll be sewing along too, working in beautiful Art Gallery Pure Elements solids and denim. Here is a mockup of what I’m working on:
mockup of Patchwork Petals mini quilt. An easy foundation paper pieced patter by Whole Circle Studio. Made with Art Gallery Solids and denim.
It's summer! Time to think warm and make a quilt to commemorate the warm weather. Patchwork Petals mini quilt in progress. An easy foundation paper pieced patter by Whole Circle Studio. Made with Art Gallery Solids and denim.

Since the finished block size is 16½” x 16½”, I’m finding this pattern to be super versatile. I’m looking forward to making them into cute pillows, placemats and minis (can you say quilt swap?). I’m also thinking of putting blocks together to make table runners and larger quilts. During pattern testing, I made lots of blocks in different fabrics. Here are a few:
Patchwork Petals quilt blocks. An easy Foundation Paper Piecing pattern by Whole Circle Studio. These colorful samples were made from Sun Print 2018 by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics and are perfect for a quilt swap. Blocks finish to 16.5" square. Made additional blocks and piece them together to make a table runner, mini quilt, throw, twin, queen or king quilt!
Patchwork Petals quilt blocks. An easy Foundation Paper Piecing pattern by Whole Circle Studio. This Block 1 sample was made in Pixie Dots by QT Fabrics. Blocks finish to 16.5" square. Made additional blocks and piece them together to make a table runner, mini quilt, throw, twin, queen or king quilt!

I hope you’re inspired and that you’ll sew along with us!
Patchwork Petals are fun, modern quilt blocks that make cute pillows, placemats and minis for quilt swaps. Make additional blocks to make a table runner, wall hanging, throw or large quilt (layout ideas included in the pattern). Mix and match blocks! Need a handmade housewarming or hostess gift? This is the perfect pattern! You’ll enjoy making these fully-tested, foundation paper pieced blocks. This pattern is fabric stash friendly! Scraps, fat eighths and fat quarters work great for the petal portions of this pattern. Use prints, solids and/or fussy-cut your favorite fabric for the petals.

Get the Patchwork Petals pattern here, gather up your foundation paper piecing tools and head over to the Patchwork Petals Sewing Party Headquarters! Mathew will be giving all of his tips and tricks. You’ll be a foundation paper piecing pro by the end of the Sew Along!

Need some recommendations? Here are some of my favorite tools for sewing and paper piecing:
• plain copy paper
• 12″ Add-A-Quarter Ruler
• Fons and Porter Water Soluble Fabric Glue Marker (and refills)
• Aurifil 50wt cotton thread (in a neutral or color that matches your fabric)
• Rotary Cutter (I use both Olfa and Fiskars)
• Acrylic Ruler (I love my non slip Quilters Select ruler)
• Sewing Machine (I do all of my piecing and quilting on a Juki 2010q—it’s a workhorse!)
• Wafer Lightbox and Wafer Cutting Matt
• Iris Swiss Super Fine Pins
• Iron and pressing surface

Check out our tips and tricks:

Patchwork Petals Block 1
Patchwork Petals Block 2
Patchwork Petals Block 3
Patchwork Petals Block 4

Let’s make something awesome!

This post contains affiliate links. Links to specific products are selected by me and are only products that I use, love and endorse.  


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