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Thread: Tip for paper piecing multiple blocks of the same design

  1. #1
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    Tip for paper piecing multiple blocks of the same design

    Hello...well, as I have just jumped into a Judy Niemeyer paper pieced quilt top, I came up with a little tip that may be helpful to some folks on here. Background: I've done paper piecing before, but not ever a bunch of the same design blocks. I'm doing the "Briar Patch" quilt that you can see on the Quiltworx website.

    So...I have to make 80 of the same paper pieced block (they are going to be about 6" finished). But, since I am pretty much going with the cover photo and using various fabrics demonstrating the color spectrum throughout the background of the quilt, it is a fairly daunting task. Also, I am not exactly sure how many of each color I really, really need, because I might need to move a few colors around. This being the case, I think it is best that I make a few blocks of each color first, and then fill in the gaps. So I don't want to cut all of the (approx. 25-27 different fabrics!) background pieces at once and end up mixing them up.

    Which leads to the dilemma....if I am only making 2-4 of each color at a time, by the time I finish one set, and then cut fabric for the next set, I will have forgotten the best way to line up the pieces for each seam. So I came up with this!
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    What I did was to leave one block with just the first two pieces in place (top of photo). Then make the next one up to 3 pieces (left side of photo), then the next has 4 pieces, then 5, and so on. I'll come back and finish them all up later, but in the meantime, they are a visual guide of how each step will look and how the fabric lines up. Nice to have a handy reference right in front of me as I go! Hopefully, this will keep me from having to stop and completely figure it out again every single day!

    So....hope that is helpful to anyone. and if sounded like nonsense, sorry...I could try to clarify.

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Great idea!!! thanks.

  3. #3
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    Nicely done tutorial and so clearly portrayed in visual steps. Clever method. Thanks; this method should be useful on any multi-step construction.

  4. #4
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    Great tip! Good thinkin'! Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    If the background fabric in the block is going to show the different colors, you can plan it out by showing just the background color in blocks. That way you will know how many of each block you need.

  6. #6
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    Good idea - I'll have the file that away for when I do my JN piece.

  7. #7
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. Every time I start a new paper piecing project I have totally forgotten how to do it. I'll use your idea and make a few partially-pieced blocks just to keep and remind me of the process. If I can remember how.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by charsuewilson View Post
    If the background fabric in the block is going to show the different colors, you can plan it out by showing just the background color in blocks. That way you will know how many of each block you need.
    Well, I thought I knew how many of which one, until I discovered that some of my fabric strips were not big enough for a few colors, so I had to rearrange a little. I don't have a fancy program or anything to do it, but I have a pretty good rough idea what I will do, but want to see it in fabric and not just on a little chart. (haha...no fancy program...no fancy machine, either! That's my Mom's Kenmore in the photo...It's about 40+ years old. )

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    Thanks for posting this. Every time I start a new paper piecing project I have totally forgotten how to do it. I'll use your idea and make a few partially-pieced blocks just to keep and remind me of the process. If I can remember how.
    I know!! It's like I've got this short attention span and if I go away for a few hours, I have to get re-oriented. I am quite sure by the time I've done 79 blocks, I'll have it down pat.

  10. #10
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    Excellent idea! I like visuals :-)

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