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Thread: Paper piecing easy!

  1. #1
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Well thats what I've read. I tried it, the pattern I tried had 4 sections PP and then you sewed those 4 PP blocks together. Out of the 4 I got one right. Frustrated I threw them in the trash. All I wanted was a cute little mug rug out of the deal, it was practice for a quilt that I want to make. Anyone have any tips or links that might be helpful? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Can you be more specific on what problems you experienced? Were your patches coming up short, incorrect color placement, PP blocks not lining up, what?

  3. #3
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    My first PP I cut the pattern in sections and cut the fabric larger than the sections.
    The I used an uncut copy of the pattern and sewn the sections and then trimmed the fabric. Once you get the hang of it you will not have to cut and measure, you will be able to just look at the fabric and tell that it will be big enough.
    The first piece of fabric is laid down right side up, all of the others are sewn on right side down and flipped over.

  4. #4
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    carol Doak has some free patterns you could try.

  5. #5
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Can you be more specific on what problems you experienced? Were your patches coming up short, incorrect color placement, PP blocks not lining up, what?
    D. All of the above.

    Some how on one of them the fabric was ascew and had a pucker, I put the fabric in the wrong direction, fabric was wrong side out. I know it just takes practice. I've read on this forum how easy and perfect the blocks come out, it just didnt happen for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Can you be more specific on what problems you experienced? Were your patches coming up short, incorrect color placement, PP blocks not lining up, what?
    D. All of the above.

    Some how on one of them the fabric was ascew and had a pucker, I put the fabric in the wrong direction, fabric was wrong side out. I know it just takes practice. I've read on this forum how easy and perfect the blocks come out, it just didnt happen for me.
    Please try again! It really is a wonderful system. Check Carol Doak.com for instructions.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Carol Doak has the only PP directions I do well with.

  8. #8
    Super Member jdiane318's Avatar
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    When I first took my paper-piecing class, the teacher placed the tape dispenser right by me. I felt like the slow one in the class. As the class progressed and I had the 'I got it" moment, I was pressing my 3 blocks when the others were still piecing. I do still paper piece but only when it is something special and then it is for special blocks in a quilt. I am glad I learned and once I get started, things move along fairly quick. It takes patience and persistance.

  9. #9
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    Also if you know your fabric is large enough you can put just a little fabric glue on the next piece when you get ready to sew and that will keep it from slipping. I always use a little bit more fabric for each piece because it is not the easiest thing to take out.

    mltquilt

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    D. All of the above.

    Some how on one of them the fabric was ascew and had a pucker, I put the fabric in the wrong direction, fabric was wrong side out. I know it just takes practice. I've read on this forum how easy and perfect the blocks come out, it just didnt happen for me.
    Here are some tricks that worked for me.

    1. Make some extra copies of your pattern for cutting apart and for reference. So if your pattern has 7 units, I would make 8 extra copies. Add a generous 1/2" to 3/4" around every side of each different piece in the pattern. I think Carol Doak tells you add 1" but I don't. Cut that out to make templates for your fabric pieces. Cut your fabrics using the templates. They don't have to be exact just the same basic shape and as big, if not bigger then your template.

    2. Take an extra pattern and glue a small swatch of your intended fabric onto each piece you need.

    3. Dont be afraid to pin your fabric in place on the paper pattern. This helps from keeping the fabric going askew on you. After a while you won't need to do this. When I place my unit under the presser foot, before I start sewing I lift up the paper to ensure my fabric is laying straight and hasn't bunched up or shifted in the process of placing it under the foot. It happens more often then you think!

    4. Write yourself a note until you are comfortable with the process to remind you: "Fabric piece #1 is always right side up but all other fabric pieces after that are wrong side up". OR use batiks! then you don't have to worry about right side or wrong side! I actually prefer batiks for PP for exactly this reason! BTW, I have been PP for years and still manage to get pieces facing wrong side out!

    5. Until you get at an expert level with PP I would avoid directional fabrics. I am still not comfortable with them and will not use them unless I don't care if my stripe, that I thought was going to be vertical ended up being diagonal.

    6. I press (finger pressing is fine but if my unit is large I use the iron) and cut down my seam allowance after every unit. This is just the way I was taught and works best for me. I fold my pattern back using a postcard lined up with the seam line that will be sewn next then take my ruler and add 1/4" and cut. That way I can take my next piece and line it right up the raw edge of the first piece.

    I hope these hints and the others that people have posted will help you. I love to PP and it has opened up so many pattern possiblities for me that I would not attempt otherwise. Once you have that "AHA!" moment you will enjoy it and won't be so frustrated.

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