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Thread: My first attempts at paper piecing.....don't laugh!!!!

  1. #1
    bearpaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I decided to give pp a whirl since I'm going to be sewing along with the Dear Jane sew along in January. I printed a couple of patterns off the internet.

    The square in a square turned out ok. The sailboat......well......I reversed the background fabric and the sail fabric. And one of the pieces was too small.

    A couple of questions:
    How do you cut the right amount of fabric for each piece, do you just wing it, or is there some way to figure it out.

    Also, when you cut your 1/4" seams, do you use a ruler and rotary cut, or just eyeball it and cut with a scissor?

    I think I like paper piecing if I don't think about it too much. If I think too much, I confuse myself. :roll:
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  2. #2
    Senior Member estherblair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    your so brave and you did good good.

  3. #3
    Junior Member swimmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I love to paper piece - I cut much better points that way. Carol Doak has many patterns and hers usually tell you the size of fabric to cut. I also use a ruler that has a lip to give you 1/4 seam. You are right it is best just to do it and not to think too much - perhaps that is why I like it so much.

  4. #4
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Central Illinois
    I haven't gotten the nerve up to try PP yet, but I'm going to have to give it whirl sometime. These look good for a first effort. I've seen the cutting ruler with the lip mentioned above available online at several sites, but of course, not doing PP, I've never tried one.

  5. #5
    Super Member nanabirdmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    sw mo
    paper piecing in a lot of fun. i think you definitely have the hang of it. as far as getting the right size pieces i am famous for using too small a piece because i think i should try to conserve fabric. i end up with a too small piece and boy is it hard to unsew those tiny little stitches. lol

  6. #6
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW Iowa
    I haven't tried it yet. Too intimidated. I think you did great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Sleepy Hollow, NY

    you're over the PP hump and are fast on your way to being a pro!

    cutting the shapes for the square in square is easy just cut it 0.5 inches larger then what you need and trim it down - that gives you plenty of room on each side.

    the boat thing is a different story because all the shapes are different sizes and all the angles are different too.

    in this case i would do strip paper piecing.

    you figure out the size strip you need to cover the large sections and go to work. it might be something like 5 inches high by the width of the fabric.

    sew the strip on to the paper, fold it over to cover the section, and trim the 1/4 seam for the next section.

    then when you need that color again just use the strip.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Alturas, CA
    I think you did fine. When I started pp I had troubles also, but I really enjoy it now. I just eyeball the fabric needed, and I use my ruler for cutting the 1/4" seam. I'm working on one now, only need 135 more blocks. Needs to be done for Christmas.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Blog Entries
    I think you did an excellent job!!! :D :D :D

    I use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim the 1/4 in seam allowance.
    I take one of the patterns and cut out each section...I use these as a template and just add a half an inch all around to give myself some wiggle room :wink:

  10. #10
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Torrox, Andalucia, Southern Spain
    Hi great job for a first time. If you want to get the right size for your pieces, copy another pattern out on paper and then use that as your shape sizes. Cut each one 1/2" bigger all round and you canīt go wrong and you wont use excess fabric.

    I also mark the shapes in the colours I am going to use, that way you cut down picking up the wrong fabric which i used to do.

    Hope that helps


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