Friday, November 30, 2018

My New Book! English Paper Piece a Polyhedron!

I am having an out-of-body experience - after two years in the works, my new book just went live on Amazon! And on etsy, too! It's not about's about the joy of stitching polyhedra! 

What, I hear you asking? Polyhedra? You probably haven't given a dodecahedron or icosahedron much thought since high school (unless you play Dungeons and Dragons).  Neither did I, until last year. So how did I get from quilts to polyhedra? 

Through English Paper Piecing.

If you're a quilter who's tried English Paper Piecing, you know it's a fun, addictive way to make a quilt. It involves wrapping fabric around individual paper shapes, sewing the pieces together along the edges, then removing the papers.
 Voila, it makes tricky quilt blocks easy and accurate. 
English Paper Piecing a polyhedron is accomplished is almost exactly the same way - by machine or by hand. Individual papers - or for bowls, thick fusible interfacing - are wrapped with fabric, then stitched together.  The paper is then removed. But instead of laying flat like a quilt, polyhedra curl into the third dimension.
Results? Stuffed balls, which make fascinating toys, ornaments, and pincushions. And open forms, which can become bowls, baskets, toys, purses, and decor. 

I became completely obsessed with polyhedra, and once I started, I couldn't stop. Here are some of my favorite projects that are laid out in the book.

- A dodecahedron that includes Spock, Kirk....
...Little Red Riding Hood...

...and, of course, Franklin Roosevelt.

Another dodecahedron, but done in sophisticated necktie silks, with mother-of-pearl buttons:

I fell in love with the truncated octahedron - 14 sides, a fascinating combination of hexagons and squares. One of my pattern testers, the talented Andrea Shlasko of Venice, Florida came up with this awesome "Blah Blah Cats" polyhedron. Her squares are cat fabric, and the hexagons are "blah blah" fabric! 
Here's the same shape  - in an open form, with stiff fusible interfacing inside, turned into a  basket/bowl. It's a beaded planetarium for my husband's desk (he's an astrophysicist.) It's about 6" high. 
 Seated in the planetarium is a tiny baby in a rocking chair: 
Next, a truncated cuboctahedron, with hexagons, squares, and octagons - as a  pincushion....
...and another truncated cuboctahedron, using candy wrappers instead of fabrics (The book explains how to use upcycled materials.)
Here's an icosahedron zip-up purse/basket to wear or place on a table, or even hang from a bush?
Next, an icosidodecahedron - I call this one Jane's Dish, because it's made from Jane Austen text fabric. 

The most complex form in the book is the truncated icosahedron, aka soccer ball. 

  One of the many odd things I learned while making stellated dodecahdrons is that they stack nicely without any additional support.
One of the most fun aspects of writing this book was feedback from pattern testers. Along with the blah blah ball above, Andrea Shlasko made these, some of which she's selling at craft fairs,

And Glenise from Australia made these. 

This 71-page sewing book is available in paperback form from Amazon, or in PDF form for instant download, from my Etsy shop, here. The projects are fairly easy, but you should have some sewing experience. They can be entirely hand-sewn; or mostly machine sewn with just a little bit of hand sewing to finish. More photos of projects from the book are on this page.  Contact me if you have questions!


  1. Congratulations on your book being published! I love all of the projects, and look forward to enjoying your beautiful directions! Thank you for writing this!