How to Convert a Quilt Pattern to Paper Piecing- Easy Guide

Quilt pattern. Know How to Convert a Quilt Pattern to Paper PiecingThe more you engage in sewing and quilting crafts, the more creative you become. However, you need to be intentional and learn various techniques, and one skill that will increase your quilting capacity is converting quilt patterns to paper piercing. So, allow me to give you some instructions on How to Convert a Quilt Pattern to Paper Piecing. 

First, you need to get the right procedure on how you add the fabric items. Also, you need to assemble the correct equipment and quilt pattern designs. Next, carefully hem the quilt blocks along with the fabric’s Y-seams. In addition, if you have some knowledge of paper piecing, you will have a pretty hassle-free session.

Paper piecing equipment will enable you to obtain precise and accurate piecing of the quilt design. Additionally, it is among the most advanced tools to deliver extraordinary patchworks and unique shapes on your quilt tops. So, the craft is a useful technique to learn and apply.

This piece provides more details about quilt patterns and paper piecing. Please read on.

How Do You Make a Pieced Paper Quilt Pattern? 

Before we dive into the procedure, let me list the equipment you need for the job. Having the right accessories for the job is as essential as knowing the technique. Thus, ensure that you get everything prescribed below.

     1. Sewing Machine Needles

You cannot have an optimum quilting experience if you don’t use the correct needle sizes. So, consider getting 90/14 needles for perforating the paper and 80/12 size needles for stitching.

     2. Foundation Paper

This paper assists in stabilizing the fabric as you engage in quilting. You will find different foundation paper types in the market. However, you need to pick one that is lightweight and offers an excellent ink absorption rate.

You can choose to work with Carol Doak’s foundation paper or a simple foundation translucent vellum paper. Although the papers are costly, they are fancy and provide an easy-cut facility.

Besides the above options, you can also get freezer paper or plain old printer paper. They work excellently with digital quilt design. But if you want an outstanding quilting experience, consider spending some money and get the first two foundation papers.

     3. Rotary Cutter

You need a rotary cutter to make faster and accurate cuts on the fabric layers and edges. Also, ensure that it is a good quality accessory.

     4. Ruler and Tapes

You need to make accurate measurements as you work with the quilt patterns. Therefore, a ruler is essential equipment. You can also have scotch tape just in case.

Once you are ready with the above accessories, follow the following procedure to make a pieced paper quilt pattern.

  • Get a suitable plan for your units. Some quilt designs are easy to piece in one flow, while others require you to divide them into multiple units. The latter projects demand more attention as you have to arrange the fabric in the correct sequence and order.
  • If you can pierce the quilt design all in one go, ensure that you follow the lines. It is possible to stitch and flip fabric pieces to cover one section at a time. However, you may end up creating obstacles at the line’s intersecting points. So, consider moving the paper piecing in one direction without turning corners.
  • Break the pattern into smaller bits for easy sewing. It would be best if you consider the pattern like a grid. This exercise will help you determine where to form and cut the blocks. In addition, if you have a more complicated design, you may need sub-units. You will break them into diagonal lines and sew them together in diagonal rows.
  • Split the units for diagonal seams. Right-angles seams will cause problems as you add fabric pieces. Therefore, you have to split them and cut the blocks into diagonal rows. This move will split the Y-seams and allow you to sew back or add quilt fabric easily.
  • Ensure that you follow the template pattern on the foundation paper, as it will help if you split the block design into three diagonal rows. You can also attach the paper to a window using scotch tape.
  • Add a seam allowance to the quilt block units. Consider about ¼ seam allowance. Also, it will help cut about one or ½ inches from all sides for later trimming.
  • Consider a flying gees triangle design on the fabric. Add the fabric pieces into the middle and then to the other triangles on the side. In addition, if you begin with the center unit, you will avoid intersection seams. So, you will add pieces to other center sides without trouble.
  • Join the units and stitch back the quilt blocks. Then, stitch them back in diagonal rows. Also, ensure that the units have a ¼ inch trim. Then, align the ridges and edges to have them on the seam line. Finally, remove the block papers once you finish.
  • Please test the work and rework if necessary. Making the pattern may be a hassle at first, but you will start enjoying it after a few trials.

What Kind of Paper Is Used for Paper Piecing Quilts? 

There are a few options for you. We have copy paper, vellum, and newsprint.

Copy paper is easy to find and will deliver desirable results. However, it is thick and hard to tear through once you finish the project. Also, users complain that it is difficult to see through the paper. Therefore, you may not see the numbers on the pattern during sewing.

On the other hand, newsprint is also readily available. Moreover, it is a better option than copy paper as it tears well and allows you to see through more easily.

Finally, vellum also allows you to see through the other side. Therefore, you will access the numbers at the back with ease during sewing. However, although it is easier to tear than copy paper, newsprint carries the day. Also, it is harder to find in stores.

How Do You Make Foundation Paper Piecing Patterns? 

Foundation paper piecing patterns do not require special accessories, but we have a few items that will make your work easier. For example, you need water-based glue to help position the fabric.

Also, a ruler comes in handy to help you make accurate seam trims. You can opt for a standard quilt ruler or ‘add a quarter’ one with a quarter-inch lipped edge to help it sit on the pattern’s edge.

Additionally, you need a light source or white paper that makes the work visible. Also, a Hera marker will pre-crease the seam lines before you sew them. 

Since there are multiple patterns to make with the string block, I will discuss a string block. It is a perfect introduction to the technique and very easy to learn. Normally, you place the paper underneath and sew on the block’s fabric side. This exercise provides an ideal foundation and stabilizes the strips.

Below are some tips to assist you:

  • The block is 12 inches square and comprises four sting blocks. However, the finished size does not include the stitch allowance, and thus, the unfinished size is 12 ½ inch_the seam allowance has to be ½ inch throughout.
  • You need to work with rotary cut fabric strips with widths ranging from ¾ to two inches. Also, the lengths need to be up to 12 inches long. Then, get four sheets of foundation paper and water-based glue.
  • On each sheet, use a ruler to draw a 6 ½ inch square and cut it out. Then, on one side of each paper, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.
  • Take a long fabric strip and position it on the diagonal line. Ensure that the paper is on the wrong side of the fabric. Also, check whether the strip ends overhang the corners.
  • Use a second fabric and position it on the fabric’s right side with one of the previous strip’s long edges. Hold it or use some glue to stick the seam allowance in place.
  • Sew the strips together using a ¼ inch seam allowance. The stitch should be 1.5mm or less for better results. Also, ensure that the seam begins and ends at the paper’s outer edge.
  • Continue adding strips working towards one square corner until you get the desired pattern.

Can Freezer Paper Be Used for Paper Piecing? 

Yes. You can use freezer paper for paper piecing projects. It works well without any stitches to attach it to the block. Therefore, it is easy to pull it off once you finish and does not rip out from the block’s back. Besides that, the paper is easy to learn with no complex instructions. 

However, users complain that freezer paper consumes much prep time because you need to pre-cut it. Also, you may not get the exact sharp accuracy you will get if you use regular paper piecing.

Can Parchment Paper Be Used for Paper Piecing? 

Parchment paper is one way to get the paper piecing pattern. It is transparent, and therefore, you can track and transfer pattern markings easily. On top of that, parchment paper is flexible, thin, and strong enough to withstand handling and pinning.

How Do You Enlarge a Paper Piecing Pattern?

As long as you work with various patterns and projects, you will find the need to enlarge the paper piecing pattern. Your starting or original pattern size is always 100%. Therefore, if you want to enlarge it, you will work with numbers above 100%. On the other hand, if you intend to shrink the design, you need numbers below 100%.

For example, for a simple enlargement procedure, if you want the pattern to be two times the original size, multiply it by 2. Or, if you want to shrink it by half, consider multiplying the original size by half.

Also, you need to learn the calculation terms. For instance, the desired or finished size refers to the size that you want to achieve. Then, the original or starting size is the pattern size without any adjustments_it is the size that you want to enlarge or reduce.

Sometimes, you will get reductions or enlargements that are not straightforward. Simply Divide the desired size with the original size and multiply by 100. You’ll get % to change, which you will put into the copier.

If the percentage has multiple decimals, such as 66.6666%, round off to the nearest whole number. In this case, it will be 67%, which will make the pattern a bit larger and easier to work with as you sew.

Watch the video below for more:

What Is the Difference Between Paper Piecing and Foundation Piecing? 

In a nutshell, Foundation Paper Piecing uses a sewing machine. It is usually a whole block on foundation paper or muslin fabric. Also, you complete the block by sewing the fabric patches on the paper using the stitch and flip technique. Then, once you finish your work, you simply remove the paper by tearing it away.

On the flip side, English Paper Piecing is a hand sewing style that comes in handy in traditional quilting and patchwork. It requires you to stabilize the fabric patch by fixing it on a heavier paper template.

After that, you need to sew the stabilized paper patches by hand onto larger quilt blocks or patterns, and usually, an over-sew method will get you home with the results.

Finally, once you sew in the shapes on all sides, remove the paper pieces and stores them_you can reuse them for other projects.

Additionally, English Paper Piecing is a very low-tech method, and you need very few tools. Therefore, its projects are more portable than if you use the Foundation Paper Piecing strategy. Lastly, EPP is easy to learn, and you don’t need intense tuition before you begin.

Also, when contrasted to EPP, Foundation Paper Piecing is challenging to learn and complicated, especially for beginners. Therefore, you should learn it in a workshop under professional or expert tuition.

However, the two techniques benefit the sewing process as they help you create complicated designs with high precision and accuracy. You are at liberty to choose any method, as it will deliver.

What Is the EQ7 Quilt Program?

An EQ7 quilt program is a user-friendly software in quilting. It includes a comprehensive reference manual with easy and quick lessons. It also has ten videos to help you optimize its functions.

Additionally, you can use it to turn everyday images into exceptional quilt artwork. It crops and edits scanned fabrics in minutes and offers you unmatched editing options. 

What Is Quiltworx? 

Quiltworx designs are special quilt patterns that are a result of foundation paper piecing. This process is a quilt construction process that uses papers to guide your organization, cutting, and piecing process.

In addition, the designs are easy to make as the technique maximizes precision and simplicity.

What Is the Easiest Quilt to Make? 

Various quilters will have several answers to this question. However, the basic conclusion is the quilt is easy depending on the type of fabric, your quitting speed, and the project’s pattern. So, if you want to make your quilting much easier on the get-go, consider getting the correct fabric.

Please also factor in the fact that different quilt types depend on the quilter’s purpose and preferences. However, a cotton quilt is among the easiest fabrics, even for beginners. You will not struggle to cut or sew as it is easy to use and lightweight.

What Is the Easiest Quilt Pattern for a Beginner? 

Apart from getting the correct sewing and quilting accessories, the first task for a beginner is to choose a simple quilt pattern.

Also, if you want to be effective in quilting, an easy pattern will deliver the results faster than a complicated one. For example, a simple patchwork quilt is a suitable choice for an amateur. You simply need to join the patches together, and there you have it! There is nothing complex or intricate about the design and, thus, a perfect way to get started. 

Other simple quilt patterns include:

  • The brick quilt. This pattern keeps things easy all through as you do not need to match the seams. Therefore, it provides a fun way to deliver colorful quilts without going complex.
  • The block quilt. This design is the quintessential traditional design that you think of when you imagine quilts. It has equal-sized squares and offers an excellent starting point as you get used to matching and cutting seams.
  • The rail fence quilt. The pattern uses fabric strips. It also allows you to flip the squares and create multip-le effects.
  • The chevron quilt. While it seems complicated, the design is a combination of sewn and diagonally flipped strips.
  • The fast four-patch quilt. The quilt allows you to integrate variety and change it up without being complicated. Also, you can start getting innovative and creative with the size, colors, and arrangement once you get the cutting squares and begin to sew them.
  • The strip quilt. You can use small leftover scraps to make this pattern. It, therefore, helps you to reduce fabric wastage as you go about your quilting projects.

How Do You Start a Strip Quilt for Beginners? 

Quilting with strips is exciting as you can do so much with strips. For example, you can create a strip set, cut it, and use the parts in your quilt block.

Check the following procedure to show how you can start a strip quilt.

  • Position your fabric to give a straight edge and cut strips. Ensure that you follow your pattern.
  • Sew the strips in pairs and ensure that the right sides are in place. You can consider alternating the sewing direction of every stitch to help you deliver straight lines.
  • Set the seams and press them from the fabric’s wrong side.
  • Place the strip on the cutting mat, and use a quilting ruler to measure the seam lines. Then, with a rotary cutter, cut off the strip’s selvage edge. You can also flip the strip set in your preferred direction to make an accurate cut.

What Is the Best Quilt Design Software? 

The best quilt design software is one that allows you to create quilt and block patterns effortlessly. It provides endless possibilities of outcomes and permits you to get creative. Additionally, the software should provide built-in blocks in their programs to make quitting more fun.

Let us look at some of the software you will find in the market.

     1. Brother SAPVQ Preview Quilting Design Software

The Brother software is a respected product that will design complete quilt designs and patterns. It is suitable for amateurs and pros in the quilting craft. Additionally, it has a built-in library with 150 blocks and printable blocks to use for block piecing.

This product offers different fabric and color options. You can also upload your fabric stash to the already set-up fabric options. In addition, the pattern sizes range from blocks to king-sized quilts.

     2. Grace Quilter’s Creative Design Software

This design software is a versatile product that offers quilt design, block design, and pantograph design all-in-one.

Also, although it is among the most expensive software options, it is an excellent investment if you want to create customized and personal designs. For example, the pantograph quilt design helps you to work on quilts with stippling or overall spirals. Therefore, you can design the entire project with the software. 

Additionally, the product has 200 inbuilt and printable patterns. Also, it uploads images and tracks them to create your designs and outlays.

     3. EQ8 Mini by The Electric Quilt Company

EQ8 Mini has been in the market for a while now. However, it passes the time test by always being a go-to quilting software for beginners and advanced quilters.

In addition, the product has a copyright-free block compilation with 300 blocks, eight border options, and four layout styles. 

On top of that, you can easily access online tutorials on how to get the maximum benefit from the software. Also, ensure that you are ready to have a kick as you can print design layouts, templates, and yardage estimates.

     4. EQ8 by The Electric Quilt Company

This software is the latest edition of its category and is ideal for those who design their quit blocks. Moreover, it has multiple tutorials that help you navigate through its functions and settings. Therefore, you will get the maximum benefit from it.

EQ8 uploads images and imprints them on the quilt design. In addition, it allows you to upload your fabric into the design platform, where you can see the end-product before you start. You will also enjoy 6,000 plus copyright-free blocks. Whoa! That is impressive.

On top of that, you can export your images in five different file types and print out design layouts, templates, and yardage estimates. Finally, the product features 22 border options and ten layout styles. Thus, a perfect choice for your advanced projects.

     5. Prequilt App

Prequilt app is not software but a subscription-based website. Therefore, you do not have to download or apply it on your device. The product allows you to design online using your tablet or phone and provides unmatched convenience.

Additionally, since it is subscription-based, you can cancel your subscription once you get your project results. 

The app also gets quilt patterns from designers and allows you to color them as you like. Also, it has a fabric calculator that helps you determine the correct yardage amount you need for the project.

What Is the Difference Between EQ7 and EQ8? 

EQ7 and EQ8 have the same features and tools. They help quilters in designing their blocks and quilts. However, EQ8 has changed and new settings and features that make it easy to use.

Also, even if you upgrade from EQ7 to EQ8, the programs will run independently. But, you can still open your EQ7 projects on the EQ8. 

EQ8 also has larger and labeled tools to enhance user-friendliness. In addition, you will find helpful tips on the work tables that describe what different tools do.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • How Can I Turn A Photograph Into A Paper Piecing Pattern?

It is pretty easy to convert a picture into a paper piecing design. The first step is to get a photo with a simple generic composition and style. Then, draw the block outline on the image slides. You can use a ruler as you will also need to draw section lines from the block outline’s sides.

Finally, identify the picture’s contours using the section’s subdivisions.

  • What Is Hexagon Paper Piecing?

This process requires you to wrap the fabric around the desired paper shape. Then, attach it to a place using glue or a stitch. Hexagon paper piecing is an excellent technique to seam your fabric or quilt diagonally.

Apart from that, you can make your hexagons using the English paper piecing technique that we discussed earlier.

  • What Are The Basic Guidelines For Perfect Paper Piecing?

First, be cautious and patient with the process. So, work slowly and ensure that you check if you align the pieces and the pattern correctly. In addition, examine the seam allowance as it helps you to remove the stitches easily.

Then, ensure that you use fabric layers with extended lengths. This length helps you to have an easy time ripping the seams. In addition, if you have a short fabric, you may have to start over if it forms tiny stitches.


As we have discussed, paper piecing techniques are an excellent addition to your quilting skill set. They will help you achieve more technical and sophisticated patterns that you would have otherwise only imagined.

One primary technique quilters have their eye on is converting quilt patterns to paper piecing. And so, they keep asking for the best method on:

How to Convert a Quilt Pattern to Paper Piecing.

The first step is to have the right accessories for the project. Then, a simple and well laid-out procedure that shows you what to do in each step. In most cases, different patterns will have a prescribed tutorial, making it so easy to get results.

However, since the technique can be technical, do not get discouraged on the first attempt. Instead, practice as much as you can, and within no time, you will be a master!

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