Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Paper-Pieced Pirate

It's Day 2 of the Something Wicked This Way Comes blog hopping paper-piecing spooky fun.  ARRR, matey!! I've got a scary pirate for you to sew.

I'd like to thank Soma and Ruthie for letting me know about this blog hop.  It's my first time hosting a hop and my first time publishing a paper-pieced pattern.  If something doesn't work or if you have questions, please be gentle. ;)  Leave me a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

If you are new to paper-piecing, you can try the method in my tutorial below or try this one Ruthie's post.  Let's get started!

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner with some experience This pattern makes a 10 ½ inch block that finishes at 10 inches. If you tend to sew blocks a little smaller or larger than it should be, this pattern makes allowance for that.

You will need: 
- FQ of fabric for the background
- FQ ash gray for the skull
- 10”x10” scrap for the bandana
- Light colored scraps for the teeth
- Black scraps for the eye patch, eye, nose and tooth
- Dark scrap for cutlass handle
- 10”x3” gray scrap for cutlass blade

1- Print off the .PDF pattern with your templates: Follow my method or any paper-piecing method should work!

2- Cut the template sections apart: There are different sections which are labeled alphabetically, A-G. Cut these seven sections apart.

3- Begin by piecing the pirate’s cutlass (sword): This is a good place to start because it will go fairly quickly! In Section G, start with the gray fabric for the cutlass. Add pieces by number, starting with #1. Repeat process for Section F. When complete, this section should measure 3”x10 ½ “. Lay this section aside for now.

 4- Piecing the pirate’s head: Begin with the top of his head which is Section A. Sew the pieces in order as numbered. The tiny A9 strip is last because it is so thin. When Section A is complete, set it aside and move on to Section B. Piece sections B-E just as you did Section A.

NOTE: when you come to section E, I have all of the teeth labeled E1. See picture with instructions below for an easy way to piece all of those teeth!

5- Finishing the Pirate: Sew section A to B and C to D. Then sew AB to CD. Press seams to flatten the fabric—take care not to stretch the fabric or stitches.

6- Adding the pieces on the sides of the head: Measure the size of the pirates head. It should be 6 inches. Don’t fret if it is not. The pattern can be adjusted. Simply continue on from here.

7- Cut two pieces of background fabric: one for each side of pirate’s head. Each one should be 4 inches wide and the height of the pirate’s head (6 inches or what you have measured). Sew them on to both sides now.

8- Square up the sides: Use your rotary cutter and ruler to square the sides up to be 10 ½ inches. DO NOT cut top or bottom of the center section at this time.

9- Sew the skull and cutlass together. 

10- Add the final top piece: Measure the sewn piece from top to bottom. It should 8 inches. If your measurement is different, simply add or subtract a little more fabric to compensate. To the 8 inch block, sew a strip that is 3 ½ inches wide.

11- Square the block. Use your ruler to square the block so it measure 10 ½”x10 ½”

Shiver me timbers, yer done!

EXTRAS: Follow the diagram so you can set the teeth in as though they are one unit

To make the 3-D knot on his kerchief, Cut a strip of red fabric 6”x2”. Fold sides, then the ends as in the diagram. Stitch edges up. Tie the strip in a knot and stitch to the side of his kerchief.

 If you want, you can stitch or write a piratey saying in his cutlass. I embroidered “ARRR!!”

 If you really want to get fancy, you could tack on a gold earring (made of wire), or maybe fuzzy or felt mustache.

That was fun!  Thanks for stopping by!  When you finish your block, you can post pictures of your pirate at this Flickr group! 

This blog hop was sponsored by Soma of Whims and Fancies.  Thanks Soma, for letting me join in!  Thanks Ruthie, for telling Soma about me.

Want to make more?  Ruthie's bat was yesterday and Gaya is tomorrow.

All info and graphics are property of Handiwerx, for personal use only.  


  1. This hop is off to a great start.

    Since I am brand new to paper piecing I really appreciate the tutorials so I can find the method that works for me. Thank you.

  2. I am going to make this block as soon as I can! Thank you!!

  3. This is what I need to kick off my Ship wreck ! I made a flag quilt this week and I know a little boy that will love this. I will add to flicker when I finish.

  4. Great pattern, Teri! Would never know it's your first. And your instructions are excellent!

  5. What a great pattern and tute, Teri! Love this and the 3D knot just makes it perfect. Thanks for all the trouble you went thru, I know it took a lot of time, but it was obviously worth it!

  6. Terrific pattern. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  7. He is fab! And I love your tute - really clear instructions :)

  8. great job. great tutorial too for those who are new to it.

  9. Great block! I am looking for a pirate/jolly roger block to incorporate into my son's pirate quilt -- thanks so much!