Bats are hairy, scary things….

Well, at least the foundation paper piecing ones appear to be, but I’ve found a great one!  LillyElla Stitchery has a new pattern called Midnight Bite that I was lucky enough to pattern test.  If you look on Instagram you can can see so many different  personalities and color interpretations of this cute bat.

Credit: LillyElla Boutique
Credit: LillyElla Boutique

Nicole’s directions are straightforward and easy to follow.  I have a few things I do when paper piecing that might come in handy for you.  The first is to read the entire pattern, print and cut it out.  Then I lay out the pattern and label the sections with the color names I intend to use.  This way when I’m sewing and in the groove, I don’t have to stop and consider which color belongs in the next section.  Plus, I learned the hard way.  I did a great rainbow color wheel once that ended up being randomly placed colors since I stitched them in the wrong order.  That was a head shaking, “dang, it” kind of day!!

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Another thing I do is to tack down the corners when there is a large piece of fabric.  I didn’t want the corner section of the background to fold over when I was sewing sections together.  I doubled the amount of stitches for this picture, but placing a few stitches in the seam allowance will help keep it in place. Plus you won’t have to unpick them later.

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The next thing I do is use a lot of pins.  Generally I don’t pin too much, but when I’m paper piecing it is my best friend.  I take a pin and poke it through the first seam line, through the fabric and into the seam line of the second piece- the one I will be stitching it to. (aqua pin)  Once I have the seams lined up, I securely pin- a lot. (yellow pins)  Then I stitch the two side together.

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Here is a picture of one of the bat wings, two sections were stitched together here.

Oh, and I just remembered another tip.  Horizontal patterns are tricky to maintain! I didn’t realize it until the end, but I have a couple of diagonal sections. (See the section by the wing tip.)  I love the effect the words have in this project.

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Once all the pieces are stitched together it will look something like this… IMG_7798

At this point you can trim it and turn it into whatever your heart desires.  Trick or Treat bags, table runners, banners, or in my case a pillow.  I quilted it with silver Gutermann thread, and then cut a piece of fabric the size of the bat.  With the right side of the bat facing the right side of the back fabric, I stitched almost around the entire bat.  Leaving several inches unstitched to turn it right side out.  Then filled it with batting and hand stitch the opening shut.

If you still feel a little uncertain about starting this project there are lots of tutorials and videos about foundation paper piecing. I really love how my bat turned out.  Psych yourself up, you can try paper piecing and succeed!

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