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Paper Piecing

When you hear a pattern calls for paper piecing, do you do a little happy dance or do you break out in a cold sweat?  It's been the latter for me until recently.  I wouldn't say I go about dancing at the idea of paper piecing, but at least I don't now panic at the thought.

MQG Webinar
As members of The Modern Quilt Guild, we have access to an amazing array of talented teachers.  The latest example is a free Paper Piecing webinar with Elizabeth Dackson.  You should have received an email from The Modern Quilt Guild with a link to register for the April 28th webinar.  Regardless of your paper piecing skills,  I am sure you will learn something useful from Elizabeth.

Recently, a bee mate of mine provided links to paper piecing tutorials and a list of tips that I thought you may find useful:

          You Tube Tutorials:
  1. Tips:
  • If you don’t have an Add-a-Quarter ruler, you might want to get one. You can do paper piecing with your regular ruler, but I find it really helpful to have the Add-a-Quarter ruler. 
  • Use the cheapest, flimsiest paper you can find for your paper templates. Really cheap printer paper works great. Some people like using vellum. Some like special paper like Carol Doak’s paper, which is more like newsprint. The flimsier the paper, the easier it will tear off when you are done. 
  • I like to keep a piece of cardstock (like a postcard or a book mark) handy. When I’m folding my paper back on the line, I line up the cardstock with the line and fold against it. This makes it easier to get a good, clean fold. It also gives a little more of a ridge to nudge your Add-a-Quarter ruler against, if you are using one. 
  • Lower your stitch length to 1.5 or so. That makes it easier to tear the paper off when done, and it provides stronger stitches when you are pulling against them to tear the paper off. 
  • Make sure when you trim the block section after you’ve pieced it you leave the seam allowance on! Sometimes the cutting line is solid, and sometimes it is dashed. Just look at it and make sure there is seam allowance. 
  • Some people find it helpful to use a little glue stick (fabric or just regular school glue stick) to glue the first piece onto the paper-piecing pattern instead of using a pin. Place a little glue on the wrong side of the fabric andstick it to the back side of the paper piecing pattern, behind the marking for Piece 1. Some people like to stick down each fabric as the open up each seam, just so they don't flop around. I don’t do that, but some people find it helpful.
  • I like to hold the stitches down with my fingers as I tear the paper off, just to avoid pulling on the stitches too hard. 
So, here's the question:  Where do you stand with paper piecing?  Love it; hate it: somewhere in between: a little of both?  Leave a comment by Tuesday, May 5th and the Random Number Generator will pick a winner.  Commenters are eligible for the latest goody bag ;-)




Comments

  1. I apologize; if you clicked on the links within a few minutes of this post going live, they did not work. Should be corrected now.

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  2. I just finished Elizabeth Dackson's paper piecing class on Craftsy and I'm hooked! I have previously taken Carol Doak's class as well and highly recommend the two together. The combination of Doak's formal style and Dackson's modern quilting sensibilities made me absolutely fall in love with paper piecing and feel ready for any project I want to take on.

    I found it interesting that Dackson doesn't actually use a ruler at all! She just eye balls the 1/4 seam and cuts with her scissors. I'm way too OCD for that, of course, but I like knowing the option is out there haha!

    And ya gotta love supporting Florida quilters like Elizabeth! Yay Tampa Modern Quilt Guild!

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  3. I love paper piecing for perfect points and small piecing.

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  4. Trying again...comment not showing

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  5. OK. works now. :) I dislike paper piecing because it's unforgiving (did you try ripping a seam?) and because you assemble the block from the back. However, since attending RaNae Merrill's class and her eye-opening technique, I will give it another chance.

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  6. Love paper piecing!! Sewing on the lines is a no-brainer!! Love the perfect points too. Those tips were excellent.

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  7. I have loved paper piecing from the beginning, (for small projects). Too tedious and time consuming for big ones.
    I have taught PP and find that if people learn very simple blocks until they are comfortable with the process, they don't have many problems with it.

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  8. Trying Again lol - I have no experience in paper piecing and was looking forward to being a part of presentation tonight but I guess I am too new of a member to sign in as I have no membership proof yet. Hoping it will be Available later as a video....

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  9. I love paper piecing! It's still challenging after seven years! LOL! I'm looking forward to the MQG webinar.

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  10. I love PP! Almost all of my quilting has involved PP. There are so many details you can add and I love when I am done, sitting and ripping out the paper! I also like to tear the paper off at the seam allowance once a section is together but leave the rest of the paper in until I have the whole top done.

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  11. never tried pp until RaNae's class. It is still a bit for me to wrap around my head but when I look at what I did I do get excited.....

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  12. I've got a few paper piecing projects in the works and absolutely love it! Such crisp points and accurate piecing makes putting a quilt together so much easier.

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  13. Just ordered a kit! After the Renae Merrill class, I am ready to give it a try! Joan Werla

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  14. I love paper piecing! I think it's much more forgiving when getting perfect points. And sometimes you just want something a bit more intricate that you can't achieve with regular piecing.

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  15. I love paper piecing! I think it's much more forgiving when getting perfect points. And sometimes you just want something a bit more intricate that you can't achieve with regular piecing.

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  16. I haven't like p in the past but I'll try it again.

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  17. Accomplishing paper piecing is one of my main quilting goals for 2015. It is great to have all this information and instruction becoming available.

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  18. Have not done any yet. But I might be working on one soon! I signed up for the MQG tutorial. Can't wait!!!!

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  19. I'm extra sorry I was too sick to make it to the ReNae Merrill class now. I would love to learn paper piecing. I have tried it in minimal ways -- a class years ago, out of a book. But I haven't done it enough to feel capable or comfortable. But I do like the idea of the precision it makes possible.

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  20. I'm newly learning PP and looking forward to the class tonight.

    By the way; if you miss this or any MQG class, you can watch it later. Look under Community then Resources (after you sign in) and see all the webinars and tutorials that are available.

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  21. I get frustrated with paper piecing because there is so much stopping and starting. However, you can't beat it for some intricate piecing or small projects. There was a great article in the AQS magazine a few years back that finally explained it in a way that made even the trickiest angles easy.

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  22. I love PP but it usually takes me an hour to start because I have to get my brain to recognize the front and back!

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