Sunday, November 18, 2012

Answer Me This - Paper Piecing Advice

Confession time. It is Sunday so I guess it is appropriate.
Big breath. Come on, summon up the courage. It may not be all that bad after all. Ok, well here goes...

I have never tried Paper Piecing.

There! It's out. I don't have to hide that fact any more. It isn't that I don't want to try it. Honest. I see so many great ideas and patterns all over the web that make me want to run upstairs to my studio to give it a go.
But over the past year, I've been so busy making all those full size quilts and participating in hops, the swap and the round robin that I truly haven't had time to make my first attempt. I do have one more commission quilt that has to be completed soon as it is a Christmas gift and another that I'd really like to also complete in time for it to be a Christmas gift but that one isn't critical time wise so it may wait and be a birthday present instead.

I found a paper piecing pattern that I really want need to make. Something really special for my sisters. We give each other special "sister" gifts for Christmas every year and this idea is absolutely perfect for this year. The one that I found isn't the simpliest of paper piecing patterns but I don't think it is impossible either. And I know that if I can pull off my idea, they will absolutely love it.

Yes I will start with a different, much simplier pattern first to get the hang of it. I'm not totally crazy! But what I could really use from you is the link to what you feel is the best step-by-step instructional place, whether text or video, to guide me along. With so many available on the web, I don't know which one to try.
So bring it on. Tell me PLEASE where I should go to learn the ropes.

A newbie has to start somewhere.

9 of you added your own colorful comments:

Sandy D said...

I will be watching the answers to this because I too have never paperpieced.There have been so many blocks I see that I like and as soon as I see they are paperpieced I keep going even though I would love to make them.

Rachel said...

This one is super close to how I do it (actually by Jennifer from Ellison Lane):

I do a few things slightly different, most of which came about by practice. However, the one thing I would change is If your machine can move layers well at a 1.0 straight stitch, that is where I do it.The smaller the stitch, the easier the paper is removed :-) I love paper piecing, SO worth a try!

Pippa Parsons said...

Wow, I love paper piecing, my first attempt was the SBS Medallion quilt for a round robin, hehe jump in at the deep end eh. I use tear away stabiliser where I can, makes it much easier to remove the paper. Main tip is always make sure you check what your cutting before you trim up the for the 1/4 allowance, I have once or twice cut through the piece i've just added DOH !!!

let us know how you get on :)

Anonymous said...

Here is quite a nice video you can watch for foundation piecing. :) Hope that helps!

Once you understand the basic principle of piecing, it really is simple!


Annie said...

You are going to get such a variety of answers to this. Everyone thinks their way is the best way. I found over a long period of time struggling with paper piecing that it takes lots of practice and while practicing, you will learn what works best for you. You might want to ask Samm. I know she struggled with finding a style to work for her and now she can't stop! LOL

Samantha said...

My one piece of advice is to make sure you have a really good bright light to hold things in front of to make sure the piece you are adding is big enough for the space where it is supposed to go. :D I love the result of paper piecing and have about 3 different projects in the works with some or all paper piecing in them.

Here's Leah Day's Tute for it.

beaquilter said...

look on youtube! one advise that I DIDN't know the first time I did it was to make your seam allowance teeny tiny! it makes it easier to rip out the paper afterwards. I still have my FIRST project on the shelf and I'm still ripping out the paper carefully, it's taking a long time. but the ones with tiny seam allowances, the paper just pulls off easily...
and cut your threads down as you keep going, or you'll have a NEST of a mess on the back.... AND invest in a 1/4" ruler thingy, it has a lip that goes over the paper/fabric edge, very easy to trim fabrics that way. have fun!

Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD said...

Don't be nervous! This is my favourite video - Paper Piecing Made Easy on YouTube by The Crafty Gemini. I found her video when I first attempted paper piecing for my New York Beauty Bee Blocks and she really explains everything very simply.

Rachell said...

Don't be nervous! It's highly addicting!
I have my setup on a U shape around me when I sit down to paper-piece: sitting at my machine, on my left is my serger table ( or other small table) with my 12 x 18 cutting mat and rotary cutter with ruler that has 1/4" straight edge. On my right is my ironing board and iron. I stitch my sections down my row, open them up and cut them apart with shears. Then I swivel a bit to the left, fold back the paper and fabric away from the seamline, trim the seam allowances, then toss each section onto the ironing board. Press and return to center to add the next patch/strip.
I use Peggy Martin's Quick Strip Paper Piecing method. It's an assembly line method, strip-piecing style, and works especially well for stars or compasses that have multiples of the same unit. No need to cut small patches, or figure out if a patch is big enough or going the right direction to cover the patch--you just measure the width of your patches and cut strips that wide.
I found her book on Amazon, and she also teaches a class to teach her method. She also has her own website.
I have pictures and links and more info on my blog for Sep 25, titled "Craft Book Month".