Thursday, 21 January 2010

Paper Piecing How To

I know a few months ago I gave a few pointers on paper piecing but I don’t think there is any harm in going over them again.
I generally use paper piecing for basic repetitive patterns but they can also be used for patchwork blocks. In particular if you have a block you want to copy but you don’t have the measurements, method etc. Paper piecing makes this easy because you don’t need to work out seam allowances.

You will need:
Cardboard for your template/s (for example old cereal boxes)
Scrap paper (magazines or newspapers work well)
A thick pen
Needle and thread
Scraps of fabric

First make your template:
The triangle I am using I made by using a rectangle of cardboard, placing it lengthways, find the middle then drawing to lines from the bottom two corners on the shortest sides to the opposite side dead centre.

If you are making a number of templates for a block, number them and then number the block you have to make it easier to work out how to place them.

Tape the edges of your template so that when you draw around it, you don’t soften the edges. Alternatively you could use template plastic, which is available at quilt stores – or use plastic from packaging. I am trying to use as much recycled materials as I can, plus I don’t have a quilting store here!

Next, use your scrap paper to make the paper pieces by drawing around your template with the thick pen and cut out. Make a stack so you don’t have to keep going back to make more.

Pin the paper pieces to the wrong side of your fabric, leaving about ¼ inch space. Cut out the piece a ¼ inch away from the edge of the piece – very important, do not cut flush with the piece!

Fold the excess fabric over your paper and sew with a large tacking stitch to the paper.

When you have enough for all the stages or patterns you want, you can start assembling.

Place the fabric covered pieces right side to right side with the edges lines up and sew together with a small slip stitch. Check carefully that you have your pieces lined up correctly.

Keep going until you have your quilt. Easy!

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