Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Traffic Cone Block: A free paper piecing pattern

Have you ever dreamed up a project, going so far as to design a pattern and purchase the fabric, only never actually start it?

Maybe it was the fear of trying something new (anyone else out there afraid to try paper piecing?). Or maybe other, easier projects slipped ahead in line. Or, in my case, a little bit of both...

This past week I'd run out of excuses – and easy projects – and I could no longer ignore Master W.'s quilt. So I bit the bullet and bought my first roll of freezer paper so that I could begin sewing the first of 72 traffic cone blocks for Master W.'s bed quilt.

And you know what? Paper piecing isn't really all that bad when you start with freezer paper and a simple block. Freezer paper piecing is much simpler than you'd think:
  1. Trace your block to the dull side of the freezer paper. I taped mine to a window and used the sunshine for a light box effect.
  2. Cut out the traced block pieces.
  3. Use a dry iron to press the pieces to your fabric, lightly adhering the shiny side to the right side of your fabric.
  4. Rotary cut each piece, adding a quarter inch seam allowance along each side of the piece.
  5. Line up any points when stitching the pieces together, sewing each piece in numerical order.
  6. Press open your seams and enjoy a perfectly pieced block!
I'm having so much for working on this quilt. There are nine different prints set against Kona Steel. Each print will be used in eight traffic cone blocks (so far I've finished 22 blocks). This is going to finish as a twin-sized quilt, so when all 72 are assembled I'm going try out another new-to-me quilting technique: quilt as you go. 

Would you like to give my traffic cone pattern a try? I had a lot of fun designing it and would love to share it with you for your personal use. You can download it for free, then print it out at home. Since it's a 9 x 10" block, it will print in two pages (don't let your printer scale it down in size), which you'll have to cut out and tape together. I numbered each piece and those that need to be taped together have an "a" and "b" side to take out some of the guesswork.

I'd love to see any projects you make with this block (feel free to post your links in the comments of this post), and would appreciate it if you'd credit back to this post if you blog about it. Have fun!

You can find this project linked up at:

14 comments:

  1. That is such a cute block! So perfect for the transport prints!

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    1. Thank you Kristy! My little guy loves everything related to transportation - cars, trucks, construction vehicles - so I had a blast picking out the prints for this block. I'm glad you like it as much as I do!

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  2. These are adorable! So great for a baby boy.

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    1. Thank you! I think my little guy is going to love the finished quilt.

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  3. These are adorable! I am working on a newborn baby quilt this week! It is very nice to meet you. I am visiting from WIP Wednesday at Freshley pieced!
    xo jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan! It's nice to meet you too. Off to check out your baby quilt...

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  4. WOW! So simple yet so effective - and perfect for a fan of all things transport related. Your choice of fabrics is ideal too. Congrats on biting the bullet and giving paper piecing a try. You are going to be rewarded with an amazing quilt.

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    1. Thank you, Erin! I'm so glad I decided to finally give it a go. Paper piecing really is a skill every quilter should learn (and I still have a long way to go). You just can't do certain things without it.

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  5. Such a wonderful idea as quilt for a boy, thank you for pointing me towards the pattern. It's just lovely what you made from it.

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    1. Thanks, Julia! I'm so glad you like my pattern. I enjoyed the challenge of designing m first paper piecing pattern.

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  6. this is perfect for a little boys quilt :-)

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    1. Thank you, Deborah! I'm glad you like it. :)

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  7. Agree with everyone, great block with the fabric!

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