Friday, February 6, 2009

Paper Piecing Week 6

I am going to paper piece this block. I will post all about it when I get to it. Have any of you paper pieced before?

Edited to include:

This is my finished block, construction time 1 hour 34 minutes, including picking out fabric and taking photos.
Supplies needed: ruler, starch, business card, iron, rotary cutter, and (not necessary) add a quarter ruler.

Starting with the paper foundations printed from EQ6 onto regular copy paper.  If I were doing a whole quilt I would use special paper as it is easier to tear.  I marked where the colors went, and the sequence in which I would sew the pieces.  You could draw out the block full size and cut apart the units and then remember to leave a seam allowance on the outside edges of the block.  You don't need a computer program to make the foundation units.
You place the fabric on the back of the paper and sew on the front.  I pin the first pieces to the paper to keep them in place.  

Hold the paper up to the light to make sure the placement is right.  I am using scraps so that is why I have some triangles already.  If you use smaller pieces to begin with, you will have less waste.
Sew on the printed side of the paper, starting beyond the seam allowance and sewing past the intersection.  Sew right on the line using a small stitch, this will make the paper tear easier.  You sew on the line between the sequencial numbers such as between 1 and 2, or 2 and 3.
View from the front of the block, after sewing the first seam.  You will trim the seams so if it isn't straight to the edge of the fabric it is ok.
Fold the paper back at the seam and trim using a regular ruler, the add a quarter ruler or freehand.

Oops, this one was sewn too close to the edge of the fabric.  I just tore the two pieces of the fabric off the paper and resewed them, I didn't pick out the seam.  If you need to, you can place a piece of transparent tape over the place in the paper you tore.  Then resew the seam.
Iron the fabric open.
Place the next piece of fabric over where you just trimmed, making sure to use a large enough piece to cover the third patch.  Place the fabric over the printed side of the paper to check the size of the fabric and make sure there is enough for seam allowance.

View of the printed side after two seams.
Press the fabric.
Here is where the business card comes into play.  Crease the paper on the next seam. 
Trim using a ruler to a quarter of an inch from the paper.
Front of the block after trimming.  
Use this edge to place the next piece of fabric, after measuring of course.  If the fabric piece ends up too small, sew another piece of the same fabric to cover the area, or pick the seam and try again with another larger piece.
Front of block after all the half square triangles are in place.
You are now ready for the large corner piece.  Fold back the seam with the card, tearing the paper a little where the thread crosses the sewing line.  Trim the excess.
Use this trimmed edge to add the corner piece of fabric.

Use the regular ruler to trim at the seam line, not the sewing line.  Been there, done that.
Trimmed unit.
This piece came up a little short, but that is ok.  The shortage is in the seam allowance and the piece covers the sewing line.
The eight units laid out.
These are the first two units to sew together.  
After sewing the two units together, I picked out the paper.  I ironed the seam open as there was some bulk that needed to be distributed.  This is the time for starch.  Because of the way you place your fabric, you will have bias edges.  Some people leave the paper in and just take it off the seam allowances after the seams are sewn.  I see the benefits of both ways.  But don't starch if you keep the paper in, it will just disinegrate!
The front of the two units.
To tear off the paper, hold close to the seam line and gently tear the paper toward you.  It should tear easily as the stitches were small. Don't be yanking on the paper as it will weaken the stitches and stretch the bias.
All four units together.  
I don't pin much but this is a good time.  Line up the seams.  
The back of the block.  You can see some paper still on the blocks, I don't stress over this.  It won't cause any problems.

This is my pile of waste.  The pile on the left is big enough pieces to use in another block, the pile on the right is waste.


Quilt Pixie said...

makes a heck of a lot of sense!

hetty said...

I think that may be a good idea. I love paper piecing! Why didn't I think of this?

Living on the Spit said...

I don't ven know what that is!!! LOL, I really don't so I guess my answer would be no.

Vicki said...

Now that sounds like the best solution for this block. I have yet learn this technique, but from what I've seen done by a few friends they can get the most amazing and complex patterns done through paper piecing.

Carol E. said...

I do know how to paper piece, but I don't know how to just decide to do it. I need it already printed out.

Carol E. said...

P.S. The black/purple/green/orange block that is my profile photo is a paper pieced block. That's why it's perfect. :-)

Vicki said...

Thanks Rebecca for the detailed instructions which are very easy to follow. This is very much appreciated!

hetty said...

Wow! Great tutorial. Thanks! You used that EQ6 program to print the paper template? I guess that would make things a lot easier. I really must look into getting myself one of those programs!

Carol E. said...

Nice block. When it's done scrappy it looks like a whole different block!

em's scrapbag said...

Thanks for sharing this great method/idea!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the walk through the steps in paper piecing. I haven't tried this yet, as I hear it's tough getting the paper off without tearing out the stitches. However, the method certainly gives a very well made block.