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English paper piecing question

English paper piecing question

Old 07-26-2013, 07:34 PM
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I am hoping to start a queen or king sized EPP quilt using diamonds. I am thinking about using 3.5 or 4 inch diamonds from Paperpieces.com. Has anyone used pieces as large as that? Would they stay flat or curl up?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:49 AM
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what is it you are worried about curling? the papers? they stay flat- the fabric? it stays flat too...you cut your fabric with a seam allowance- fold the fabric over the papers, baste around the shape --for pieces that large I run a running stitch all the way around the fabric- then pull tight around the shape and tie a knot to hold it. or use running stitch along a side, fold the point, take a (holding stitch) turn the corner- continue with running stitch to next point, fold, stitch, turn continue- works well. I have used 3 1/2" diamonds, and am currently working on 3" triangles- I will take a picture later of one of my triangles to show you what I mean. I have a friend who uses the starch method for pieces that large- which seems to work well too- I just prefer the stitching over all the time at the ironing board. * she sprays starch into a dish (plastic container lid works well) then places the paper piece in the center of the fabric 'paints' the edges of the fabric around the paper with starch and using her iron folds and presses the edges in place- then joins them as normal right sides together, whip stitch - removing papers as she goes- it does seem to work well- some people do this with glue too- although that seems like it would be hard on your papers.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:11 AM
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I used 3" Hexies for a purse - the pieces came with the pattern - they were on light card stock. Worked fine and did not curl
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:47 AM
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Thank you. I was concerned about the paper curling or bending during basting. Maybe it is a question of holding the piece gently...I have noticed that the very tips of the narrower points tend to fold back. Sometimes even before they are out of the bag when they arrive.

I had never heard of using starch in that way. It sounds interesting but i prefer to spend less time standing at the ironing board (if I wanted to iron, I would start with my clothes). Also, I like hand basting, it's so relaxing and can be done while talking or watching the tv.

Do you press or starch the pieces after sewing them together? Do you use whip stitch or ladder stitch? Do you sew the pieces together and make sections or just work on the whole project at once? I was thinking of starting in the center and going out so that I could audition colors as I go along.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:02 AM
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When I did my hexies, I starched them pretty darn well and didn't need to baste at all. They stayed folded over by themselves. I was amazed. It really cut down on my sewing time! I've never basted since I've used starch and they stay folded just fine! It's the truth!!
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:50 AM
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If you are printing your own patterns - use card stock. Almost every printer that I know of has a way to print heavy card stock. I have two printers and both have a small door front and back so that the card stock doesn't have to bend. Works great some printers you can only feed one at a time - but if you are quick - you can feed them as fast as the printer will take them.

I basted my fabric to my shapes and when I got to the corner I folded the fabric carefully and basted that in place as well. I did a whip stitch combining the pieces and when done I pressed it from the front with either Best Press or diluted Starch before removing the basting and paper.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:17 AM
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I use English Paper piecing almost exclusively since I like being able to quilt without being separated from the family watching TV at night. Granted, I am a fairly new quilter, but so far, so good. I like knowing I have accuracy, even as a new quilter.

I make sections, then after they are all done, arrange them and then stitch them together. So for Grandmothers Flowers, I would make all my hexie flowers first, then put all the flowers together into the top. However, I am working on a diamond table topper now, and I am piecing all of the sections together as I go since it is a managable size and still is portable to fold up and take in my project case on the road.

Never had a problem with curling. I use both thread basting and glue pens. I use Paperpieces.com for my templates and papers and never had a problem. Like someone said above, make sure you are using cardstock, NOT copy paper. Copy paper isn't strong enough to hold against the fabric and as you baste, you will pull it too tight, making it curl.

Others have also used freezer paper, cut out the shapes and fused it to the fabric, cutting their 1/4 allowance around and then ironing the edges (like applique). Havent used that method yet, so not sure how well it works. But I guess if so many others are using it, it must be OK.

Happy EPPing!

Last edited by Bethshaya; 08-02-2013 at 07:21 AM.
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