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Thread: Foundation piecing is too hard for me

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Bountiful, Utah
    Learning to foundation/paper piece on the machine is a bit like getting used to a new sewing machine. With a bit of practice and persistence you open up a whole new world of quilt making. Since I mostly do smaller projects like wall hangings etc. it doesn't seem like a chore. I love the sharp points and accurate looking finished quilt. I learned from Carol Doak and she is the master but there are many other patterns out there. When I am interested in a specific pattern I try to find out if there is a PP pattern or could be done as one. Happy Paper Piecing

  2. #32
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Southeast Georgia
    I've never tried foundation piecing, but I agree with you about the waste when I paper piece. If I cut the pieces close to the size I need, I always manage to get it sewed on wonky and then it's too small. I love the end result, though, as well as the precision it provides.

  3. #33
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Southern California & New Mexico
    Quote Originally Posted by saf View Post
    I hate wasting fabric expecially since I am now on a limited income. When I am doing paper piecing I always print out an extra copy of the block. I cut this into the individual shapes and use these to measure and cut the pieces for sewing onto the pattern paper. Paper piecing gives me lovely sharp points and makes sewing smaller pieces much easier and I don't feel that I am being wasteful.
    Ah! Great idea! Thank you!

    And I have to echo the comments about Carol Doaks and her video. I purchased the video at JoAnn with a coupon a couple of years ago and it's great -- as are the "add a quarter" and "add an eighth" rulers.

  4. #34
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    West New York, New Jersey
    I'm not sure if foundation piecing and paper piecing are the same thing, but after two pp classes and a guild challenge block I can firmly state that pp and I are not going to be friends. Ever. I just don't get it. I love how it looks and admire anyone that can do it and enjoys it. Maybe someday I'll try it again. BIG maybe.

  5. #35
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I had to take a class to learn PP. The class served me well. I can go a year or more without doing it and it comes right back to me immediately. My knowledge in PP allowed me to teach myself the freezer paper method from a book that a previous poster mentioned, which is another great variation on the technique and allowed me to make mariner's compass blocks. I would not attempt MC, nor NYB nor any countless other blocks where precision is necessary without PP, be it the foundation PP method or the freezer paper method where you fold the paper back and sew next to it.

    There is much to be said for a real live person in the flesh showing you how to do it and working through the mental blocks with you until it clicks. JCrow, I recommend you find a class in your area and take it. I think you will save yourself untold amounts of frustration by taking a class with a real live person who you can ask for assistance more than any book, dvd, you-tube video etc.


  6. #36
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    When one sews fabric pieces on to a design printed on paper (paper-piecing), that is just one type of foundation piecing.

  7. #37
    Junior Member QuilterMomOf3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Tulare, CA
    Try http://www.fandominstitches.com

    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    This month's Craftsy's free BOM is foundation piecing and I'm finding it very frustrating. I'm seeming to be wasting a lot of fabric. She says to cut the fabric 1/2" bigger than the piece calls for, but when I go to cut the extra, I cut 2" or more off. And yesterday, it took me all day to make one block. One 12 1/2" block. Foundation piecing is hard! Am I doing something wrong? Now I have to make the second foundation block and it is twice as hard as the first one and I'm not looking forward to doing it. Are there any short cuts? Any tips? I'm not having fun paper piecing and I want to enjoy it. It's my first attempt and maybe my last.

  8. #38
    Senior Member rural01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Arkansas Ozarks
    Blog Entries
    Jeanne, I'm getting ready to do that block too. This will be my 3rd attempt at paper piecing. I had the same reaction as you the first time. The second time gets easier. Third time I didn't even have to use my seam ripper. The part that threw me the most was pre-cutting the pieces. Whenever there are triangles, forget it. I have a mental block when it comes to triangles. It does seem to be a waste of fabric at first, but the better you get at it, the less a waste it will be. I generally go to my scraps for these blocks. They generally use itsy bits of fabric. These pieces are a little bigger though. I am somewhere between I hate it and I can't wait to do it again. I can almost see where paper piecing does have a distinct purpose, in that it is an easier way to make precision blocks that look really complicated. Good luck to you--in fact, to both of us. :-)

  9. #39
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    You are doing nothing wrong. It is a hard method at first but stick with it. It took me 2 years of "hit and miss" before I spent a whole weekend doing nothing else until I got my head around it and pretty much mastered it.

    There are some excellent you-tube videos on the method. Have a google.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I have NOT done the class yet. I have not done PP or foundation piecing, but I did recently purchase a set of PP butterfly patterns at a recent sewing expo (a lot of fun if you can go to one, btw). I looked at the itty bitty pieces and decided, know what?! Find a pattern with large pieces to play with first.

    A lot of the ladies in these parts have gotten enthralled with the fairy quilting godmother patterns on the web. I'm not overly enthused, but perhaps one day when I run out of things I really want to do. Someone wanted to have a class to make one of them as a first experience in paper piecing. No way, Jose! At least not for me. It's like learning to crochet -- get the fattest yarn (without all the fru fru on it) & biggest hook to start off -- not the teeny sewing thread size crochet thread and a miniscule hook. That is an exercise in frustration and futility.

    I agree that Marci Baker is wonderful and Carol Doak seems like the way to go. Try a block with large pieces and fewer of them, then progress. JMHO and remember I'm totally unexperienced in PP.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, either. First time rarely ever turns out great, regardless of what it is.

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