Susan’s Ultimate Guide to Pixel Piecing tutorial thing (with free bag pattern!)

, , ,
Susan’s Ultimate Guide to Pixel Piecing tutorial thing (with free bag pattern!)

I wrote a tutorial (ok, it is huge, maybe an EBOOK) on my process for designing, preparing, and piecing pixel quilts. You’ll get my suggestions for choosing a design, the name and link of my favorite software for laying out and counting pixels, an inexpensive pixel paper piecing process guaranteed to create perfect points, and a free bonus pattern for this 8-bit Luigi and Shy Guy quilt bag.



I won’t claim my way is the “best way ever”, but I will claim it is pretty darn good! I’ve pieced 15K – 20K pixels in all sizes with all sorts of techniques. Some have been OK, some barely passable, and some total disasters. Don’t believe me – check out all of the iterations of Shy Guy –

Crazy combination of hand piecing (yes, hand!) and machine chain stitching.


I don’t know why I thought hand piecing was the way to correct my issues with mismatch points. I guess inexperience – I had no idea HOW LONG hand work takes! Needless to say, I quickly figured out that hand piecing was not only slow, but not that much more accurate than the chain stitching by machine.

A popular, but expensive method with water soluble sticky stabilizer.


OMG. I so HATED this. It is a good idea until you actually try it. First, the stabilizer is really expensive. If I remember correctly, it was around $8/yard. Second, I found it nearly impossible to correct mistakes. Once I had missed a stitch or two, it was nearly impossible to remove the stitches and reset the pieces. In one case, the stickiness of the stabilizer hid my mistake from me until it was WAY too late. I don’t think this stuff is meant to be used at this size. I ended up with a big goopy mess of sticky ick and trying to help it wash out just ended up warping the pixels. I’d be willing to accept maybe I was the problem here, but I don’t think it is worth a re-try.

My way (a combination of everyone else’s way + a few new ideas).


Squee! Finally! Supplies are cheap and there’s a lot of room for imperfection. There is a bit of work and preparation on the front end of the project with setting up the paper, but totally worth it because it is both cheap and completely customizable for the size of the pixels you want to work with.

You can download the tutorial ebook thing here. This project was written as part of a year long series with the wonderful Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting. She’s added comments, suggestions and thoughts on the process. See it all by downloading the SYS version of the tutorial too!




  1. I have used the fusible interfacing that comes with a 1″ or a 2″ grid (my local chain store carries it, I think the brand is Pellon, and it is maybe $2 a yard but goes on sale often). The tiny irons are great for heat setting your squares to the interfacing, and then you sew the rows and columns, much like your paper technique. But I keep the interfacing in the final product.

    With using the interfacing, I find I can do 1/2 square triangles to help create some diagonals in the design, that helps with the picture not looking quite so pixelated.

  2. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! This process intrigues me and I appreciate the tips 🙂

  3. I really admire pixel quilts, but have pretty much no interest in ever making one. I did enjoy reading this little glimpse into your process, though!


What say you?