Paper Pieced Meet 'n Greet: Amy @ During Quiet Time

Today I get to chat with Amy of During Quiet Time fame. Also known in my house as "the queen of paper piecing". Am I weird? Lol. That's ok :) If you don't know Amy yet, you'll soon see why I say that!
13 Spools

We also have a giveaway today!

Just leave a comment to win THREE patterns of YOUR CHOICE from Amy's shop!
Enter before Wednesday at midnight, EST. Winner announced on Thursday, July 18. Personally, I'd go for this one - but that's just me :)
If you could give a short bio of yourself:

I am a married mother of three young children. I have a degree in Art/Art History and worked as a museum collections curator before deciding to stay home with our children.  I quickly realized that I had to continue to find time to be creative and artistic while I was at home in order to be a happy person.  Plus, I think it is great for my kids to see my exploring my own interests and using my talents.  I like to sew, quilt, design patterns and blog about them on my blog,  I sell my patterns on Etsy and Craftsy. 

When and what was your first paper piecing project? How was that experience? (What made you get into paper piecing in the first place?)

One day, Joanna of Shape Moth was looking for someone to test her upcoming fawn pattern.  I blogged about it here. This was about two years ago and I had never paper pieced.  She assured me that I could do it but I didn't have a clue where to start when I received the pattern.  After contacting a couple of paper piecers and watching an online video or two, I understood the concept and went for it. Not too long after that I was invited to join the Cocorico Bee and in order to keep up, I had to kick my paper piece designing into high gear and became completely addicted to it. 

When did you first start designing your own paper piecing patterns?

71My first pattern was made in July 2011.  I had made a screenprinted design of Cathrine Holm vintage enamelware and designed a simple tea kettle to coordinate.  I blogged about it here. Since then, I have designed many more patterns and they have become more complex.  I really love the challenges of paper pieced pattern design and love the organization and precision it requires.  It suits me well.

What does the design process look like for you? (computer, sketching with pen and paper, where do you find inspiration, etc.)

I use EQ7 when designing my patterns. I started out using Photoshop but enjoy the process  more in EQ.  I start with a sketch that could be inspired by just about anything--usually daily life, and scan that into EQ7.  I then start drawing my lines and sections on top of the scanned image.
You have designed a lot of paper piecing patterns! How does it make you feel to see others make projects with your patterns?

I just love spying a project using one of my patterns.  It's the ultimate compliment!  I would love to see more of them.  If you have made something using one of my patterns, please share it with me in my Flickr group.

Of all the paper piecing projects you have done/patterns you have designed, which is your favorite and why?


Gosh, that's a hard one. I like different patterns for different reasons. One of my favorites must be the Garden Boot (etsy link).  I just love the shape and the way the strap allows for fun fussy cuts. I used the block again for a bee.  We were supposed to make blocks that reminded us of England. I thought a Wellie was perfect and used fabrics from a swap with a friend in the UK too to make it even more British.


There's another block I designed for the Cocorico bee that I adore. It was inspired by a vintage advertisement.  It shows a woman wearing a dress and heels and vacuuming. I stamped the words "Christmas morning she'll be happier with a Hoover."  It was half planned and half improv pieced and I love it!  I think I love it because it was so challenging and yet turned out just the way that I had hoped.  It was hard to send it away. 

You are great at designing paper piecing patterns with curves! Do you find them difficult to design?

I love creating curves in my patterns using only straight lines.  And no, I don't find them difficult to design.  They come kind of naturally to me and it seems that I throw them into just about every pattern.  I like adding them because it allows me to create a less simplified image, a little more realistic, which I like.


What is your favorite aspect of designing patterns?

My favorite part comes after I have designed the pattern. I love selecting the fabrics!
You have quite a variety of patterns! What makes you think to yourself, "This would make a good paper piecing pattern?"

I try to think of single objects rather than a group of items.  Then I try to think how I could divide it up into sections; if there is a logical way to do that.  If there is, I give it a go.


Do you have any paper piecing tips?
I take a lot of care in selecting fabrics. I think that you really have to think about which fabrics you use when it comes to paper piecing and how the fabrics will look when they are chopped up with seams.  I also like using textured solids to give my block more depth and interest without using a print so that they don't become too busy.


I am not afraid to use my seam ripper and do so often. I really take care to make my lines match up.  I start by pinching hard along the seam allowance and opening it out to see if they are matched up.  Then I stitch just that critical area using a lengthened stitch to baste.  Once I have it right, I stitch the final seam.  It's just no fun to rip a seam of tiny stitches but the longer ones aren't bad.

Are there any links you would like to share with us?

My etsy shop My craftsy shop My blog You can also like my During Quiet Time page on Facebook and follow me on Instagram--I'm duringquiettime.

Thanks so much for your time Amy - especially amidst the craziness of organizing To Boston With Love. Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a pattern of your choice!
Prism QALAmy Garro