Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tips For Making Wee Houses…

If you read my blog then you know that I have set the goal for making TEN houses per month…every month until my quilt top is ‘big enough’.  This is going to take awhile as these houses are small…only 4 1/2” and will finish at 4” when set!  But that’s Ok because  making these wee paper pieced houses is addictive and even FUN!…They are easy to assembly (once you wrap your head around the paper piecing method) and the houses turn out perfect (or as near to perfect as they are ever going to get!)


They look wonky in the picture because they need a good pressing!

The other day I got an email from Lyn from Hemet. I met Lyn last year at the best Quilt Show EVER! Such a lovely and talented lady!!   Lyn wanted to make the houses along with me but the roof line was giving her grief!  It was taking her forever to get the angle just right…and I KNEW exactly what she was taking about!  SEW FRUSTRATING!

My first house gave me grief too…if you look at the template you will see the order that you add the pieces…you start with C1 and then add C2…which means you need a big piece of fabric for the roof to accommodate that awkward angle…and then if you want the roof to be a plaid or a stripe you have that to worry about!  I would pin and check, pin and check, pin and check and still the roof would not cover that space or the stripe would be wonky! (I changed fabrics to a print!)  I even thought I had it covered only to discover, AFTER stitching, that it had shifted slightly and had to be ripped!


Then I had an ‘light bulb moment’…what if we switched the order of placement!!  Pin the ROOF in place first, then the left sky piece!  EUREKA!!  It worked and the roof came together in a snap!  Something as easy as that!


So you lay the roof fabric down first, right side facing down.


Then the sky piece…right sides facing each other and PIN on the stitching line. (I forgot to take a picture of it pinned…pretend that the pin is on the line separating the C2 and C1 piece…;)  This tells you where to stitch…


And stitch…(using a smaller stitch than usual).


Fold back the paper and cut the seam to 1/4”


I do this with a shape pair of scissors but you can use a rotary cutter too.


Then fold back the blue sky piece and press.  This is a huge piece of blue so I will make sure to save the scrap!


Continue down the roof…adding the peak of the roof…and the right sky.  Make sure to cover the whole paper as you have to allow for the 1/4” outside seam allowance.IMG_3548

Done…well almost done!


Take your block to your cutting mat…and trim a quarter inch from the seam line.


Now she is done!!


And here she is…


Here’s another TIP…if you are going to make ONE roof, then you might as well make TEN or more and get an assembly line going!

Lay all of the roofs face down and place the paper on top….IMG_3558

Add the corner piece and PIN…see the pins (pinning is IMPORTANT as it tells you where to stitch…) 


And chain piece…cut, fold, press….


Add the next piece and do it all over again…


And before you know it…the roofs are done!


Make the chimneys in the same manner…(do you like my new slippers?)


I press the seams open….


And eleven very cute roofs are made in a very short time!


So Lyn, I hope this helps you with your problem.  By making this simple little placement change, made the world of difference for me! Creating these roofs is now a joy instead of a chore!  Try it…you will like it!

Please note…I am NOT a paper piecing expert…FAR from it!  But this is working for me and I am just passing on this wee tip!  There are tons of videos ‘out there’ made by the experts!!  Google ‘How to Paper Piece’ and enjoy!

Have a SUNNY Sunday and Happy Stitching!~P


  1. Every time I see your little houses, I keep thinking that I want to make some of them and make a quilt, too… but I have so many projects going, I would never get them done (even if it was a long term project). I'll just be content to admire yours as you go along :)

  2. I love your sweet little houses and your goal to make 10 a month. Soon you'll have a good size village. Thanks for the great tips too.


  3. Oh MY!!!! I think I got it. You are so wonderful to go to all of that for me. I will try to make some this afternoon during Super Bowl. I will let you know how I do. It looks so much easier! Thanks so much. You are a wonderful teacher ;-) Lyn

  4. Darn it!!! You're giving me the bug to jump into this project. I've been trying hard to resist as I have way too many things going (and NOT done), but you make it look soooo attractive. We'll see.......... Great tutorial, by the way!!

  5. Your little houses continue to be just adorable!! Though I do have to admit...I would just freestyle them...they'd be a little wonky, but probably cute!

  6. I was hoping you would teach us, your so good at it.!!
    Can we persuade you?

  7. Brilliant, P! Wonder why the patternmaker didn't think of that. If you dont mind, i will add this to my "tips" section of my blog - with a link to you, of course!

  8. Hi Paulette, I've been reading your blog for a long while now but rarely comment (Shame on me, trying to be better about that this year!) I have done quite a bit of paper piecing over the years, and often switch the sequence of pieces to be added, especially in this type of situation where you have a large piece with angles... it does make it so much easier. Many patterns can be "improved upon" by a better numbering sequence!!
    Really enjoy your blog. Thanks for all your postings!! Waving hello from Snowy COLD New Brunswick, Canada. Feeling very envious of your southerly location... lol We've had 3 feet of snow in last 8 days ( 3 storms with another on the way!!)

  9. Your little houses are lovely and thanks for the great tip. Have fun in the sun!

  10. What a great tip....thanks....I love your wee houses....

  11. Love how you chose to think "out of the box" to solve your problem. Love thwt Buggy Bsrn star fabric you used for the sky.

  12. I love these little houses. I have wanted to make some but I have never done paper piecing. It is outside my comfort zone. Maybe one day.

  13. Thank you for the update on your houses and the maker tips I've only done four so far and do something stupid every time! It looks like you are doing a bunch at once instead of one at a time, to I think that I will try one sheet (four) at a time and try to them correctly! I had to reteach myself how to paper piece!

  14. Sounds good in theory but my brain can not handle all that thinking, lol. I did make the BOM by Buttermilk today and even prepped my wall hanging to quilt tomorrow, so making progress.


  15. These are so cute, especially with your tip. Where can I get the pattern?