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Thread: Foundation piecing is too hard for me

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Foundation piecing is too hard for me

    This month's Craftsy's free BOM is foundation piecing and I'm finding it very frustrating. I'm seeming to be wasting a lot of fabric. She says to cut the fabric 1/2" bigger than the piece calls for, but when I go to cut the extra, I cut 2" or more off. And yesterday, it took me all day to make one block. One 12 1/2" block. Foundation piecing is hard! Am I doing something wrong? Now I have to make the second foundation block and it is twice as hard as the first one and I'm not looking forward to doing it. Are there any short cuts? Any tips? I'm not having fun paper piecing and I want to enjoy it. It's my first attempt and maybe my last.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    visit Carol Doak's web site- she is kind of the queen of paper piecing and there are lots of hints, tips and help available on the site.
    if you check out the pictures from here of the 50 stars in 50 weeks- we are doing them from one of Carol's books- all paper pieced. the first time i tried it on my own i wasted lots of fabric-hated the technique & swore to never do it again- fast forward 2 years & i tried again- with one of Carol's patterns and i've never looked back- it's one of my favorite techniques & very little waste. good luck
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    great advice.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  4. #4
    Super Member Floralfab's Avatar
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    I learned to paper piece two winters ago and it took me all winter to really figure out what I was doing. It took me more than a day to make my first block. DOn't give up. Get out Carol Doaks book on learning to PP. It will really help you. I now love to PP and you will to. It's fun to do and your points will come out perfect. I am well into my 70's so if I can do it YOU CAN TOO!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Carol Doak all the way! I can do it her way and no other way. You can make some awesome blocks if you take the time to learn. Once you do a couple of Carol's free patterns you can go back to the block you are trying to make and use her method.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    So far I haven't had a desire to do PP, but, who knows???
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I do most of my quilts with PP. I love the precision it gives. I encourage you to try, try again. It does take a while to get the hang of it. I am hoping that you fall in love with it!

  8. #8
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    I, too am having trouble with the Craftsy paper piecing. Once I get the first two pieces sewn, the rest is OK; but I have made so many mistakes with the first two pieces. I feel like I use the seam ripper more than the machine. Also, though I cut the fabric 1/2" larger on each side, I'm having trouble getting every thing to fit. I don't have enough cloth to cut the pieces over. Thank goodness, I haven't cut out the pieces for the second block. I'll make the pieces much larger. I also had trouble sewing the paper without thread. My Bernina would not sew without thread. My Singer Featherweight really saved the day. I'm still working on the first block. Maybe I'll soon know what I'm doing, then I think it will be fun. Thanks for the suggestion of checking out Carol Doak's website. In the meantime I am going over the Craftsy class yet another time.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I've done a lot of paper piecing. The best method bar none that I've found so far is Marci Bakers. The pieces fit every single time. Even really odd angles. Every. Single. Time.

    She has instructional cards called "know before you sew". I got the basic paper piecing one.

    http://shop.online-quilting.com/shop.html

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have not foundation pieced, but have tried paper piecing. it is, indeed, difficult at first. once you have a little success, you will be glad you learned. hang in there. please show us how you are doing.
    Nancy in western NY
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  11. #11
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I think pre-perforating the paper (per the Craftsy instructions) is a complete waste of time!! You do the exact same thing when you lower your stitch length and sew the darn pieces together. The paper comes off fine.

  12. #12
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I saw Marci Baker the other evening. loved her quilts and books and rulers, etc.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Foundation piecing is no pattern needed on paper, paper piecing is pattern printed on paper. Carol Doak's dvd was the only way I could learn how to paper piece. She goes step by step, no short cuts and you see every cut and stitch. I don't know how anyone learns paper piecing by a book, the pictures doesn't show enough.
    Got fabric?

  14. #14
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    This is paper piecing because the pattern is printed on the paper. She called it foundation piecing but I knew it was paper piecing. I am going to check out Carol Doak's and see if I can get encouraged by her. I've done 19 blocks so far, (19th being the paper pieced one) and have one last one to go. Seem to can't find the encouragement to try it again. So, I will look into her. Thank you all so much. Especially saying how much you enjoy it now. Makes me think there is hope. I've always wanted to try it! Thanks again!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  15. #15
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Sent you a PM. I have a Carol Doak video on CD that I will send to you!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member madamepurl's Avatar
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    Don't give up... just take a break and come back to it. You may see it with fresh eyes after a break.
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  17. #17
    Member quiltbea's Avatar
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    I've done paper-piecing off and on for years and each time I try another block, its time consuming. For me its the backwards thing that throws me off. I persevere and after a few pieces I'm in the swing again.
    Cut your fabric pieces about an inch larger all around to be sure you don't get short on an outside edge. A little waste is better than doing it over.
    Just remember, its a given. It takes longer than a regular pieced block but its usually very beautiful when finished so worth the extra effort.

  18. #18
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    Don't give up! Once you get the hang of it, you will love it!!!

  19. #19
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    You will have beautiful points!!! I can't do a log cabin block or courthouse steps without paper piecing them. Otherwise, they become WONKY log cabin blocks!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  20. #20
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    I never got the hang of paper piecing. I took a class on using frezzer paper for paperles paper piecing that I love. I think they have a book out on it now. You iron the wrong side of the piece of fabric to the paper pattern and fold back the extra paper along the line and use the 1/4 trim ruler to give you the seam allowance for the next piece. Hard to explain but boy it was a lightbulb moment for me. I loved it. Keep trying until you find a method that works for you.

  21. #21
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    There are some great videos on paper piecing on you tube. I just had to brush up on mine and they really helped.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

  22. #22
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    while learning be prepared to waste some fabric --when the 'penny drops' and you know what you are doing then you can conserve fabric more--it took me a while but has been worth the effort

  23. #23
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    Paper piecing does waste alot of fabric. I guess you just get used to it for the incredible results, perfect points and blocks!!!
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  24. #24
    saf
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    I hate wasting fabric expecially since I am now on a limited income. When I am doing paper piecing I always print out an extra copy of the block. I cut this into the individual shapes and use these to measure and cut the pieces for sewing onto the pattern paper. Paper piecing gives me lovely sharp points and makes sewing smaller pieces much easier and I don't feel that I am being wasteful.

  25. #25
    Super Member Happy Tails's Avatar
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    Saf....that sound like an awesome idea!! Thanks for that hint

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