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Thread: Paper piecing question - fabric waster?

  1. #1
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    Paper piecing question - fabric waster?

    I have finally figured out how to paper piece, and did a few blocks that came out pretty well. However, I seem to waste quite a bit of fabric, because if I don't cut each piece bigger than it needs to be I end up with edges not covering. Do you have hints on how to limit the waste or is this just one of the things you accept about this? Any other advice about paper piecing welcome!
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I think that is just what happens with paper piecing - If it truly bothers you then save the scraps and use them as stuffing for a pillow. I don't have any suggestions - haven't done a lot of it myself but do have a Judy Niemeyer pattern to do - just have to find it again!!

  3. #3
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    A lot of patterns come with instructions that tell you what to cut for each block. As you get more used to it, you will waste less fabric. I also use pieces from my scrap pile to do paper piecing. These are pieces that are too small or odd shaped to do traditional blocks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    In my experience, there is a large amount of waste with paper piecing. I have found that I can minimize the waste by not cutting my fabric pieces smaller than about 3-4" wide by 6-8" long at the beginning. This way you sort of "nibble" away at each fabric piece without pre-cutting it into shapes that are inevitably almost-but-not-quite the right size. The downside to this approach is that it makes assembly-line piecing of multiple similar blocks awkward, because you have large and floppy bits of fabric hanging off your foundation until you finally trim the last edges.

    I like the idea of the confetti quilt/fusible foundation block use for all of the little cut off scraps (here).

    Alison

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Paper piecing does use more fabric than regular piecing, but some patterns will tell you what size to cut for each piece to keep the waste more manageable.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    That used to bother me ... til I accepted that it was a small price to pay for the precision pointy-points and straight seams and square corners and ............. Do I need to go on?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Carol Doak's books with CD will have what size to cut each piece. I love that feature. I also have this ruler and it solves the weird angle sizes: http://www.addaquarter.com/pdfs/adde...structions.pdf

    I bought it here: http://www.addaquarter.com/products.php
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
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    Yes, waste is a definite by product of the process. But some blocks/quilts just need to be done that way. And as others have mentioned, the more proficient you become with the process, the less waste eventually.

  9. #9
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Since I mostly use smaller pieces of fabric from my scraps boxes I don't worry much about the waste. At least I'm using up those smaller pieces and they aren't going to waste. Well, they won't go to WASTE, but some of them sit for years before they get used up. I have boxes for most colors and anything smaller than a FQ goes in them. Really small scraps go into bags that I plan to use for a crumb quilt when I get a few more UFOs finished.

    I love PP for the great points, etc. like others have said but I like them because they work for so many things, .......sailboats for a little boy's quilt, elephants on a baby quilt, etc. They are fun to do.

  10. #10
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    You can reduce waste by measuring the widest piece you will need and then cut strips a little bigger. Strips are handier to work with than chunks. Occasionally you will need to re-cut if you have a weird angle triangle but the strips work best for me. Waste is just the "nature of the beast".

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