Creating Paper Quilts
September 6, 2023
Have you thought about the possibilities of making paper quilts? We had an article in the Online Quilt Magazine some time ago from Australian paper artist Michaela Laurie, and she does just that.
Michaela has pioneered a fun technique for sewing – yes, sewing – paper quilts, that she then uses on cards, or as framed artworks, and with the gorgeous ranges of crafting papers available today, it’s really just as tempting a thought as making a quilt from fabric.
As Michaela says:
“I create quilts from paper. Quilts from paper?
Really – it is possible? YES!
Paper Quilting, just like fabric quilting, is about putting together layers (but in this case of paper), then sewing them together to form quilts which you can then turn into greeting cards, scrapbook pages and pictures for framing and putting on the wall.
It is a decorative craft which came about through a life-long passion for paper. My love of creating collage and mixed media art pieces changed into a love of sewing my paper collection together and developing Paper Quilting more than 15 years ago.
Through many years of trial and error, I came up with a way that anyone who loves paper, quilting, sewing or all three, can create any of the Paper Quilts I design and create.
How to make paper quilts
A pattern and easy working template system are the answer. With the working template system, any sort of paper can be used – scrapbooking, gift wrap, catalogues, wallpaper, calendar pictures, old greeting cards, old damaged books and music – even a paper serviette. By recycling the papers you have, or combining them with new papers, you can create a unique and really beautiful piece of craft art.
The process is simple. If you are creating a Just Squares Paper Quilt, the papers are cut out using a square paper punch or by hand, attached to a working template grid with a glue stick and then the layers are sewn together using a zigzag stitch.
The results are quilted pictures or traditional blocks but made from paper. And just like a fabric quilt, everyone’s Paper Quilt is unique and different because of the papers they use from their own collection at home or the choices they make in the store.
You can also fussy cut small pictures or words from paper to include in your quilt to make it personal for the person you are creating it for. There are at least 12 different techniques you can use to create a Paper Quilt – but each relate back to this basic technique.
The pattern designs range from traditional quilt block designs to images of fashion items, nature and animals. There is inspiration everywhere.
When my students and customers take my patterns I encourage them to be brave. Be bold. Experiment. Combine paper with fabric and ribbon. Add paint or ink stamps. Sew on buttons or embellish with old odd pieces of costume jewellery.
Because making a Paper Quilt takes a fraction of the time and money that it takes to create of fabric one, if you do make a boo boo it won’t be the end of the world. Cut it up and use it in another Paper Quilt.
This is a craft about using all the products created for both paper and fabric crafts. It is about recycling what you have and creating something unique and wonderful from it.
And now there are easy ways of translating the patterns for Paper Quilting to combine paper with fabric or use purely fabric through the use of stabilizers and printable fabric sheets. It is an incredibly exciting craft and just when I think there are no more design or technique ideas, a new idea sneaks up, taps me on the head and takes me on another journey. It is really fantastic.
My Design Aims
I have two main aims as a designer. The first is to create a truly timeless image for each pattern. The designs are easily adapted to all today’s and tomorrows’ trends so they stay current.
Use papers or fabrics from your favourite design houses along with all the beautiful embellishments and creation tools to create your very own unique piece of craft art. Bring out your collections of papers, fabrics and embellishments saved from previous projects and use them in a totally new way.
From each pattern design you can get many different looks. Soft and pretty, dark and edgy, elegant and sophisticated or a warm country feel. It is all about the paper or fabric you choose, how you feel or who you are creating the quilt for.
My second aim is for anyone to be able to create a piece of craft art which they can be proud of and for them to enjoy the process along the way.
Just like Fabric Quilting, Paper Quilting is a gentle, peaceful craft. It is accessible to all age groups along with being affordable and time friendly and is a fabulous introduction to using a sewing machine.
I wish you Happy Paper Quilting!”
About the Author:
I live in country New South Wales, south of Canberra, Australia, with my husband and business partner Bill, and our two children. For more information please visit my web site at www.paperquiltcreations.com . I am always happy to answer your questions. I travel to craft and quilting stores to teach and take part in papercraft and quilting shows in Australia and Internationally.
I am very proud to be represented by The McCall Pattern Company with whom we have an agreement to print, distribute and market Paper Quilt Creations patterns worldwide.
Doesn’t this seem like fun???
I love this idea, and I’m off now to dig through my cupboards to see what pretty paper options I can find, so I can have a play with making my own paper quilts.
Enjoy your week!
One response to “Creating Paper Quilts”
Welcome to our
Online Quilt Magazine Blog
Read through to discover hints and tips, articles from magazine contributors, sneak peeks and more!
Please enter your email address in the box below to receive notification of
new posts by email.