Afternoon Picnic Project Tour and a Paper Pieced Quilted Pillow

Afternoon Picnic is the latest collection by Nancy Zieman Productions - a company that was started as Nancy's Notions in 1979 by the late Nancy Zieman. I never met her although I feel like I know Nancy through her television series "Sewing With Nancy". Her first shows in the 1980s were broadcast throughout North America so even I could watch them here in Canada. Nancy's easy going style encouraged even the most novice of sewers (that was me!) to make something beautiful and purposeful. I'm so honored that many years later I am participating in a blog tour for her latest fabric collection.

When the beautiful package of fabric came from Riley Blake Designs, my mind was racing with ideas of what I could make. Afternoon Picnic is full of beautiful florals and some cute ginghams that remind me of a Spring garden picnic. This photo shows a sampling of some of the fabrics in the collection from Penny Rose Fabrics. Aren't they pretty?


Inspired by the Spring flowers in the main print, I designed a Foundation Paper Piecing Block - TULIP -  as my starting point and then auditioned some of the patterns from the Afternoon Picnic collection into the spaces. I used Adobe Illustrator to make the FPP pattern and Adobe Photoshop to mock up the fabric choices.

I cut my FPP template into 6 units (A,B,C,D,E,F) and paper pieced each unit.

It can be a little tricky to use a directional print for Foundation Paper Piecing, but I tried the gingham anyway. As you can see, the checks don't perfectly match up but I like it - it's perfectly imperfect and I know Nancy would encourage me to charge on : )

Everything looks better with a pom pom fringe don't you think? And binding - yes, I think every pillow cover should have a binding and the red really frames it nicely.


I chose only 4 of the fabrics from Afternoon Picnic for this pillow cover but there are so many more colorful prints in the line. You can see all the prints at: Riley Blake Designs

And if you haven't already seen the projects made by other designers on the Project Tour, make sure to visit the RBD BLOG to see all the beautiful ideas and inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by,