Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Paper Patchwork Tumbling Blocks


This little quilt is made of paper.   

If you want to make your own, here’s what to do:  First, find a copy of the pattern in a quilt book (I found mine at the library) or you can use this one.  Print or photocopy the pattern pieces and then resize them on a copier—I did mine at 65%.  Glue the paper pieces to a sturdy piece of cardstock and then carefully cut them out with sharp craft scissors.  These are your templates. 

Figure out how many you need of each shape in each value, and trace the templates on the backs of an assortment of acid-free papers.  Cut out the shapes—accuracy is important here, so go slowly.  Listen to some chill music as you go—I went with Debussy.


Sort the shapes into piles of lights, mediums, and darks.  Be sure you get these values right or you won’t get the 3D effect, which is what makes Tumbling Blocks so exciting!  Squint at them to help you see the values.  Start laying the pieces out to see how they go together—don’t do this right on your final backing, or you’ll have to move them all in a minute.   When you have your design all set, find and mark the center of your backing board (I used a piece of clayboard) and glue on the pieces at the center.  Work out from the middle, fitting the shapes like a puzzle, until you’ve glued them all on.  Give it a few minutes to dry, then coat the whole thing with a couple layers of Mod Podge. 

Here’s my favorite Mod Podge tip: use an old magazine as a gluing surface, and turn the pages as they get gooey.  This way, you’ll have a clean surface for each shape, and no glue gets on the front of the paper.  When you’re done, just toss the whole thing out.  I know, right?  I can’t remember where I heard that, but it’s the cleverest thing in the world.

Tuck your finished collage into a thrifted frame, and hang it up! 


The day after I made this, a gorgeous book arrived in the mail from Hilde, and now I am up all night thinking creative thoughts and getting ready to learn to paper piece for real.   Another Big Project is coming, and I can’t wait!  Hilde, you are an angel.