What is the “Paisley Challenge?”


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We Carry
by Sara Snuggerud in Sewing Tips

We all do it. We look at a pattern and only see the one color option or design use pictured on the front cover. If we don’t like the original color, we might not even buy the pattern or book in the first place. We get stuck in an instant rut and we pass by it without a second glance.

But, when two or more sewers get together, and are asked how they might put their own twist on a design, everyone will come up with a different idea. Guaranteed!

This is how the “Paisley Challenge” got started…

At the May 2017 Sewtopia Sewing Club we revealed the “Paisley” shape as the mystery theme. This simple, yet inspiring shape has been around for centuries.

“Resembling a twisted teardrop, the fig-shaped paisley is of Persian origin, but its western name derives from the town of Paisley, in West Scotland, a centre for textiles where paisley designs were produced … Some design scholars believe it is the convergence of a stylized floral spray and a cypress tree: a Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity.”
(Source: Wikipedia)

After looking at many different fabric, household items, decorations, color variations of Paisley shapes (thank you Pinterest), we talked about many ways one could incorporate the Paisley shape into a sewn item. The possibilities where endless.


  • Machine quilt the Paisley shape
  • Paisley appliques
  • Use Paisley fabric to make something
  • Print your own Paisley cotton, knit, lycra, twill or even faux suede over at!
  • Bandanas are full of paisley shapes!
  • Paisley shapes cut with the AccuQuilt GO! cutter (see feather dies)
  • Paisley embroidery designs – Check out these Paisley designs in the Embroidery Design Studio FREE section
  • Paisley designs sometimes look like feathers…quilted feathers, peacocks, bird feathers, etc.
  • Check out Sara’s Pinterest board for more paisley ideas.
  • Paisley decorated cupcakes and cookies!
  • Paisley / Feather Christmas tree by Sarah Vedeler

When is the Paisley Challenge?

We are encouraging all Sewtopia Sewing Club members and anyone else who wants a little summertime challenge to create something using the paisley shape. At the Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Sewtopia Sewing Club, we will be compiling a huge showing of everyone’s interpretation of the Paisley theme.

Anything goes!

There are no limits or restrictions to what can be created with the Paisley shape. It’s time to stretch your creative juices and see how clever you can be.

We can’t wait to see the amazing outcome!

If you are participating, please plan to bring your item in (if possible) prior to the September Sewtopia Sewing club so we can show it at all three Sewtopia sessions. If you can not bring it in early, just bring it with you to the session you are attending.

Join us Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at any of the three Sewtopia Sewing Club Paisley Parties at 10am, 2pm or 6:30pm.

If you are not a current Sewtopia Sewing Club member, a completed “Paisley Challenge” project item is your FREE ticket in to the September Sewtopia Sewing Club!

Let’s get Paisley-ing!

What is Sewtopia? Click here to find out more!

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