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Paper Quilting

Paper piece quilting is just like paper piecing, except you machine or hand stitch the paper instead of using adhesive. Create your own design or try making a miniature quilt.


  • Variety of papers (coordinate colors with pattern)
  • Sharp scissors or craft knife
  • Saral transfer paper, disappearing ink pen or sewing chalk
  • Pencil
  • Purchased pattern or design or your own pattern or design
  • Sewing machine or hand sewing needle and thread

Step by Step

  1. Paper quilting is much like paper piecing except instead of adhesive to hold your pieces in place you will machine stitch or hand sew the project together.
  2. Review pattern and select colors and papers that are needed for each piece of the pattern.
  3. If your paper has a right side, you should trace the pattern onto the wrong side of the paper unless you are using the Saral transfer paper method. Saral’s transfer color is completely erasable. You can also ink or paint over it.
  4. Trace piece patterns onto paper using Saral transfer paper, disappearing ink, pencil or sewing chalk. Use a light color of transfer paper for dark colored papers and a dark color of transfer paper for light colored papers.
  5. Cut out all your pieces. Arrange pieces of the pattern and sew. Keep adding pieces and sewing until pattern is done.
  6. You can tack down pieces with dots of glue as long as the glue is not in an area or edge that will be sewn. Glue will make the needle tacky and the needle will be difficult to glide through the paper.
  7. Some artists like to use a small hole paper punch or piercing tool (also called a needle tool) to pre-hole the area to be sewn.


  • Use a color wheel to help you select the best coordinated colors for a paper quilt.
  • Explore your local library or the Internet for quilting techniques that can be adapted to paper.
  • Paper quilts make great wall decorations. Mini quilts are perfect for scrapbook pages, card fronts, and framed collage.
  • Experiment with patterned papers for unique looks.
  • Overlay vellum onto bright, bold, or patterned papers for the technique of shadow quilting.
  • Have fun with scraps and create a miniature quilt or two.

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