The Beautiful Garbage.

Okay, it happened.

I have falling in love with paper-piecing.

I swore I never would! I said it was too finicky, took too long! I said it was a waste of paper, that I didn’t need all those teeny tiny points! I said it was for the birds! Or the paper-piecers! And that it was fine and dandy and important to know how to do, but no thank you, ma’am, I’ll stick with plain old piecing-piecing.

Then I started making a Rocky Road to Kansas quilt and, well, that was that. I love it, guys. I’m so in love with this method. It’s FUN! It’s fun and tidy. I love that trimming moment, you know? When you turn the whole mess over and swish! swish! swish! swish! You’ve got this gorgeous block. From chaos, order. From a mess, a clean kitchen countertop. You feel me, here?

And I love the way the garbage looks.

Beautiful Quilty Garbage

Picture of quilt to come, I promise. All my paper-piecers in the house say “Heeeeeeey!”

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Mary Fons

About Mary Fons

Mary Fons hails from a prominent quilt mafia family. A professional writer and performer, Mary co-hosted the nationally-airing PBS program "Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting" along with her mom, famed quilter and educator Marianne Fons. In 2010, Mary began hosting Quilty, an online show offered weekly on In 2012, Mary became editor of Quilty magazine. She holds a Theater Arts BA from the University of Iowa.

16 thoughts on “The Beautiful Garbage.

  1. heeeeeey! I just finished a small but cute paper piecing pincushion. I posted it yesterday. From the new book Patchwork, Please! You would love this book! have fun!

  2. Heeyy!!! I swore I would never get into paper piecing, that it was too persnickity for me, but then my guild challenged us to make a paper pieced 2 1/2″ log cabin block. While I didn’t exactly love that pattern, I did enjoy the process, and have started working on a diamond quilt made entirely of paper pieced blocks…

  3. heeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Mary I fell in love with paper piecing working on the Pineapple Salsa quilt. First block…umm, not so much…but the end of the 3rd block…I was hooked!

  4. That’s a LOT of garbage, no? I can’t get into the idea of such a wasteful prcess no matter what the results are.
    But I’m a beginner who prefers wicked easy modular designs to as to use up every last scrap of fabric.

  5. Grace, it doesn’t have to be wasteful. Use old telephone book pages. They are lightweight and tear away easily… Consider it home recycling. LOL!

  6. Hey, I myself also just learned how to paper piece, and me too, I love it!. It is so messy, but you do not waste fabric and and I llov e the trimming. jan

  7. It takes a truly creative person to appreciate the artistry in the garbage a craft can create. I hope the paper pattern was that creative too!! Love your shows.