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Thread: Advice needed re paper piecing

  1. #1
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    After looking at lots of great paper piecing pics on this board I decided to have a go.

    I am happy with how my little project turned out but I have some questions.

    1. I used foundation paper that I purchased in a pack (translucent vellum paper) but wonder if there is something else that is easier to remove. (I did shorten my stitches.)

    2. After sewing the seam and then trimming to 1/4" I am finding my thread is unravelling slightly and then when I remove the paper it unravels more. In the instructions I followed it said to sew a few stitches beyond each end of the line, which is what I did. Have I stitched too far - should I stop and secure the thread within the seam allowance before trimming.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Don't have any advice, but would love to see what you made.

  3. #3
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    I backtack at beginning and end of each segment . This way your thread won't unravel . Annie

  4. #4
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    I am going to attempt this type of piecing soon and I read that a smaller stitch length should be used. I would think this would help. Is your tension correct on your stitches?

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I love paper piecing. I use a very short stitch length. So short that the paper almost falls off when I'm finished sewing. I use an old Singer to paper piece and the stitch length can be set at 30 per inch! I have no idea what that length was used for. You started with the best paper. Everyone loves vellum paper for piecing, if you haven't tried other papers then you will probably go back to vellum. Just be sure it's the thin vellum, like tracing paper.

    I stitch about 1/4 inch past the end sewing line and have no problem with the stitches raveling but once again the tiny stitch length is the key.

  6. #6
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    i just counted a piece and i stitch 25 stitches per inch and i too sew about 1/4 or so past the lines.

    the vellum paper i use is 17 weight and like bellaboo it just comes right off with zero effort.

  7. #7
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I have done several PP projects. I am, however very cheap. I use regular printer paper for the foundations. When I sew them I do a quick reverse at the start and end to stop the unraveling when removing the paper and I shorten the stitch. Just before I go to remove the paper, I "fold" the paper on the stitch line and I rub a Q-tip dipped in water along the seam (let it sit for a minute or so). The paper comes off perfectly (usually) :-)

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice already...

    I shorten the stitch, and backtack the seams.
    Another trick I learned was to fold the paper along the seam line before trying to tear it away. (I haven't tried vellum yet; will have to do that.) The fold has helped. Also you can lightly run the tip of a seam ripper along the seam (careful not to catch the thread :oops: ) to help cut the paper. Even with regular printer paper this works wonders. Oh, and I keep tweezers handy for the little pieces that do not release.

    We'd love to see your blocks :thumbup:

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Here is a link to a great price on vellum paper. I don't know the shipping cost but it's sent UPS ground. Even with shipping the price is great for vellum. I also use the thin deli paper sold at Sam's Club. It's dirt cheap but mostly I use that for foundation piecing as it won't go through my printer.

    http://www.paperplus.com/productdeta...p?bvn=10016356

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    On my machine I set my stitches to 1.8 and I stitch 3 stitches in the seam line at the beginning and ending of each seam. I fold the paper over to crease it also, and pull it off, tugging it towards the outside of the block. I use copy paper and never have trouble with it pulling the stitches while removing it.

  11. #11
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your advice. I will do another block and use all your tips - I'm sure it will make it much easier.

    I had decreased my stitch down to 2 but will take it down to 1.8 and backstitch within the seam allowance.

    Here's a pic of my first attempt.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Very nice. I like the pink fabric with the dark fabric. PPing is very addictive. Carol Doak has some great books with patterns. Also Quilt Pro website has free patterns and a new one everyday.

  13. #13
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    That looks awesome, well done! It's very addictive once you get the hang of it. :-)

    I use normal printer paper too, we don't get vellum here. I use a tiny stitch as well, and backstitch a couple at the beginning and end. I have tried folding the paper before removing it, and it definitely helps, but I find it just as easy to not fold.

  14. #14
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    Had a second go - just did the same heart.

    Used all the tips - smaller stitches, backstitching, folded paper and ran a pin down beside the stitching. ALL WORKED GREAT! SO MUCH EASIER!

    Thanks for the help. Will also check out Quilt Pro website.

  15. #15
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Deecee its lovely. Am yet to try this...maybe later this year...You can't stop now...I think there's a quilt "in there"

  16. #16
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    What I actually have earmarked to try is a Judy Niemeyer New York Beauty type pattern.

    I may work up to it but more likely just jump in. A few other things I am committed to finish first though.

  17. #17
    Super Member Janstar's Avatar
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    Looks great and everyone has already given you the best tips available!

  18. #18
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    Next question:

    I thought I would be able to use up small pieces of fabric but find I need to give myself a reasonable amount of lee-way so that when I flip I have everything covered plus seam allowance.

    Is there a tip to judging size and placement of fabric or does this just come with practice.

  19. #19

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    I used Carol Doaks book 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks when I first started paper piecing. It came with a CD to download onto the computer, as well as an easy way to remove a page if one wanted to take it to a photocopier. In that book she provides cutting sizes for a four inch block,but if you want to make the block larger, which the software allows, you have to figure out the sizes to cut on your own. She recommends placing a thin piece of cardboard, like a postcard , on the stitching line and folding it over that for accuracy. crease and remove cardboard off course. Also cuts a 1/4" when another fabric is added.
    When I first began, I was just gleefully cutting fabric on a wild guess. That was fun. But the project I am doing now, I decided to try my best to get a cutting measurement. I placed my ruler over the piece and added slightly more than the 1/4" and wrote it down and did the same for all the rest. So I had all the little pieces cut out . I placed them in small plastic boxes which I labeled with it's number on the pattern. I must say, it does take a little more attention to accuracy when doing it this way, and I need to struggle for the patience as I am a "ride the galloping horse" type, but I think I will continue on like this because if I am going to do several blocks, each one then becomes familiar to my brain. Did I make sense?
    She also provided a hint as to how to deal with mistakes. Small tiny stitches are a pain in the wazoo to rip out. Her solution--place a piece of Magic Tape, made by Scotch, over the paper line on the front, turn over and gently lift the fabric and then lightly place your cutter on the exposed thread while pulling up. worked for me using a 28mm and the tape on the front was no problem when removing the paper.
    I use a very small stitch, #14 needle, usually do a stay stitch or two at the end , and tracing paper, which I bought on the web from a school supply store 500 sheets ought to last a long time. It removes easily and I can also see through it.

  20. #20
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    In recent months I have been trying PP using very light weight interfacing. (In the Uk they sell this under the Vilene trademark, I think that it may be Pellon in the US, but not sure about Australia.) You dont remove it at all so you dont have any of the fiddle. It does add a fraction of weight to your work, but that doesnt seem to be a disadvantage. The teacher who taught me to do this has been using this method for years without any problems. I dont know if anyone else has a thought about this? Happy New Year Everyone by the way1

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher
    In recent months I have been trying PP using very light weight interfacing. (In the Uk they sell this under the Vilene trademark, I think that it may be Pellon in the US, but not sure about Australia.) You dont remove it at all so you dont have any of the fiddle. It does add a fraction of weight to your work, but that doesnt seem to be a disadvantage. The teacher who taught me to do this has been using this method for years without any problems. I dont know if anyone else has a thought about this? Happy New Year Everyone by the way1
    the method is well known in the States many people on this forum use Dryer Machine Static Sheets after they been used in the dryer.

    the only time i find this method is an issue is with small blocks that have tiny pieces - Dear Jane blocks for example.

    these blocks just don't do well with the added bulk.

    like all methods - they have their best use and worst use situations.

  22. #22
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    What a great idea! I hadnt thought of those, but I surely have lots of those! I have only used this method of cushions so it may be too heavy for a quilt. I have one planned so when I get it finished some time next century Ill let you know how it worked out!

  23. #23
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    Your block is beautiful. I have only done a little paper piecing, but it is addictive. Everyone tells me the more I do, the easier it is. Thanks, everybody, for all of the hints. You have given me the incentive to try another soon. Don't stop now.

  24. #24
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    You do need to shorten your stitches to about 15 to the inch. Sew past the stitching line about 1/8'. Your cross stitching is supposed to lock the previous ones. I had this problem too at first till I shortened my stitches. It's harder if you have to unstitch tho.

    If your stitches are pulling out when you remove the paper, try running a pin down the seam first. Then gently pull the piece on the diagonal.

    I use the cheapest paper I can buy for my copier and it works fine.

  25. #25

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    I learned a lot from the question about paper piecing. I didn't know about folding on the stitching line, using the cotton swab dipped in water, ect, then remove the paper. Great idea!
    I use the copy paper also; cheap and comes off easily.
    Also I wasn't familiar with Quilt Pro, but am going to go to that site.
    It would really be best if I just finished what I have started, but guess quilters are always looking for something different!!
    Marta.

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