Paper Pieced Hummingbird

I gave my mom her mother’s day present early because she was in town visiting and I probably won’t see her again until after mother’s day – good thing I got it made early!

Hummingbird Origami Paper Piecing on iPad Sleeve

I’ve been wanting to try paper piecing for ages, but it always seemed so intimidating and  while I’ve found tons of adorable patterns, they’ve never quite been something I was willing to pay for/put in the effort to learn how to paper-piece. Sew Mama Sew to the rescue! The recently did a whole series on paper piecing, including excellent tutorial videos here on how to make your own pattern. I found the videos very helpful and easy to follow. I would definitely suggest checking them it if you’re interested in trying paper piecing – whether from a pattern or from scratch. I followed the video’s lead and used this free font full of origami animals/shapes which are angular and great for paper piecing. I used a hummingbird because a) my mom loves hummingbirds and b) I think its one of the most complicated neatest looking origami animals included in the font package.

Paper Pieced Origami Hummingbird Pattern

Above is the pattern I made. I’m not at all familiar with paper piecing pattern convention. I’m sure in real patterns those numbers are in a meaningful order, but I just did them in a way that made sense to me. I’m just sharing my pattern layout here in case anyone wants to see how I split up the shapes. And to show you how tiny some of those pieces are – look at numbers 5 and 10!  Can you even see them on the finished product?

Hummingbird Origami Paper Piecing

I’m in love with how the fabrics turned out. They’re both ones I had in my stash – the blue was from a garage sale and the green is leftover from a quilt that is still in progress. I managed to keep most of the background fabric going the same direction (using those arrows you see on the paper pattern above), and turned the green print to face the direction I’d picture feathers going. The seams aren’t perfect and the lines between ‘origami pieces’ aren’t all the same width, but I’m still psyched with how it turned out as my first try at paper piecing.

iPad case

The sleeve fit an iPad very snuggly at first, so I sewed the zipper on so that the zipper tab is off to the side when the zipper is open. This keeps the zipper from being in the way of the iPad and lets it slip in perfectly.

iPad case for my Mom

I lined the whole sleeve with a blue fleece that I thought looked nice with the other fabrics. I lined my penguin iPad case with fleece when I made it last summer, and I love how it feels a little more cushioned and protected while having a soft surface against the easy-to-scratch screen and back of the iPad.

28 thoughts to “Paper Pieced Hummingbird”

  1. It’s lovely! I like the idea of the origami-looking designs, too. I imagine that there are so many that would look gorgeous this way!

  2. I love it! I have one PP’d once or twice and I always was amazed with how well things came out, but it seems like such slow going.. I love the single 2 color pattern you used. It looks so much simpler than it really is, especially those really thin pieces. I’m impressed. And to make it into an ipad cover is brilliant!

  3. So cool, and looks so hard! This is sewing right, like quilting? Sorry, I don’t know anything about quilting, but I do know your mom must love it!

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yep – just like quilting! Each of those lines (which you can see more clearly on the black & white pattern I showed) is a seam.

  4. It is beautiful! My parents love hummingbirds. I will have to make them something with this. I love paper piecing. Thank you for sharing!!

  5. I love this! Such a cute project for any gift…especially mother’s day! Thanks for linking up with Toot Your Horn Tuesday! Just lovely…hope you link up some of your lovely work again!


  6. In paperpieceing all lines are butted up against each other no open spaces with the background coming through. I like your design. but I would have less blue showing, the only place it should show would be between the two wings , the rest I would connect.
    BUT again, this style is nice and is much like a stencil. I cut my own stencils, so this is perfect for printing.
    I have one that I am working on , after seeing a video about doing curves in paper pieced designs.. I can’t wait to try it out on fabric.
    Good Luck with your designing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *