I agree with Tartan...start with a basic pp pattern off the net (quilterscache.com) and then attempt the more complex patterns. I had a hard time understanding the basic concept at all with only book/online references and took a pp'ing class at my LQS. Piece of cake and it was a NY Beauty pattern with many curved pieces. Not a problem. Granted, I come from a garment/home dec sewing background so I think that helped with the curves, but still not a problem. Start small on inexpensive fabric and work up to it. You'll do great.
I don't understand what you mean by trim then piece. Trim what?
I am currenctly working on Judy Niemeyer's double wedding ring that has a lot of paper pieced curves. When you actually sew the pieces together, you take the foundation piecing off one of the parts that you are sewing together. I have done a couple of the curves, and I did not have a problem. I do have to say with this pattern I probably have at least fifty more to do, but so far it has not been a problem.
I promised to post some pictures of how I am sewing the curves on my JN quilt. Keep in mind this is the very first time I've ever sewed curves, so there may be better ways to do it, but this seems to be working for me.
First picture - the two pieces that need to be sewn together. The top piece has a curved seam that has already been sewn, but not pressed. It will lay flat when pressed, but wanted to show that it isn't flat when first sewn.
Second picture - I match the center and the two ends of the two pieces and pin. The inner piece still has its paper, but I removed the paper from the outer curve. If the curve is longer I match more points on the curve by folding both parts into 1/4's to see where they should match up.
Third picture - stitching the two together along the line on the inner curve. You can see all the additional pins I put in before start to sew. They're about 1/2 inch apart. You may not need as many pins as I do.
Fourth picture - the end result of a different block after pressing.
Dunster--thank you so much for your comments and pictures! Would love to put you and Gracielet on speed dial! My youngest son is getting married in August (our first wedding, finally...) and I have my heart set on JN's "A Garden for My Wedding Ring" to mark the occasion. I have absolutely ZERO experience in fdn paper piecing. Crazy, right? Thought I would start off with JN's "Indian Summer" pattern, the description for which suggests it's a learning project designed to be completed in a couple of days. Not likely, in my case, but I will soon know.
What is the resolution, if any, of the trimming, then piecing versus piecing, then trimming issue?
Thanks again and keep us posted on your progress. I will try to do the same with questions about /results of my Indian Summer project once I clear the decks of a couple of UFOs.