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Thread: How hard is paper piecing?

  1. #1
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    How hard is paper piecing?

    One of the local quilt shops is offering a 2 session class to make a Mariner's Compass quilt. It says it's paper piecing and I wondered how hard that would be for someone who has never done it. Would this class be too advanced for a beginner? A Mariner's Compass is one of the quilts I would love to make.
    Heather

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Paper piecing is not hard. I learned to paper piece from a magazine pattern not long after I had started quilting. You'll get very precise results and the Mariner's Compass will come out beautiful.

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    This reminds me of my grandmother, who never learned to swim because her mother said to stay out of the water if you don't know how to swim. I'm 99% sure the class will teach you everything you need to know about paper piecing, and it's not that hard. Just to be sure, you could ask at the shop whether the instructions will be geared toward someone who already knows how to PP. If so, look for a beginning class, but by all means go for it. Once you understand the concept, it's lots of fun. Some people also like Carol Doak's books, but I learned in a class, so I haven't read her books.

  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I find paper piecing very easy, and the results are amazing! It's also one of those skills that's probably much easier to learn in a hands on class. I would go for it!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
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    I am a self taught paper piecer, and with the help of YouTube I have accomplished great things! It's fun and rewarding, so go for it.

  6. #6
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    I absolutely Love paper piecing! First time I tried it I thought "this is not for me!" then......light bulb moment on the second try! Now it's my favorite, and carol Doak has wonderful books and cd's.

  7. #7
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    Go for it. Paper piecing is an easy way to make perfect points on your work. The class will make it easier than doing it by yourself.

  8. #8
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Many newbie quilters start with paper piecing. For a reason: your finished product comes out wonderful!

    Start with whatever size interests you. Know that you will finish something small quicker but if you have your heart set on something bigger then go for it. Larger will take longer but is well worth it.

    Enjoy the process.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  9. #9
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Go for it, the class should teach you everything you need to know, I'm sure you will be hooked
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  10. #10
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    Thanks! I think I'll call the quilt shop this week and sign up for the class. It's not until February, so I have a little time
    Heather

  11. #11
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Take the class. You will never regret learning something, but for sure regret not learning.

    PPing can be very easy and it can also be very complicated depending on the pattern you want to work on. A class will help to learn the basics and then you can fly as high as you want to go

    have fun with it and please let us know what you think and how you like it. I love to PP.

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  12. #12
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Paper piecing is hard for some people. I've had several demonstrations, taken a class, watched some videos and had some coaching form a quilt buddy and I still can't paper piece. It just doesn't make sense to me. My quilt buddy helped me every step of the way to get my BOM done and it was a simple one. I got it done when I worked with her but could not repeat the steps a few days later. I am definitely LD when it comes to paper piecing.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  13. #13
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I don't have time for a class so if I want to learn something new I tackle it, how ever I was stuck the first time and went to the lqs and they showed me how to do it I went to carol doak's website and started with one of her patterns that was free and loved the clean lines i just had to remember to work with my fabric upside down and making sure my fabric was cut big enough.for the space. I wish you luck and have no fear
    Warm Regards,
    Sandra

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i would call the shop & ask if they are (assuming) you are already a paper piecer or if the class is geared to beginners-i am an avid paper piecer- love the technique and find it to be (easy)
    that being said- the first time i tried it was in a class that was---way over my head- and very frustrating- i decided i would never paper piece again- and didn't for about 3 years- then came across something i really wanted to make & tried it again- with much better instuction--and much better outcome-then i was hooked---but that first experience was not a positive one- i would make sure the shop is gearing the class toward all skill levels before spending money on a class that may not go well.
    or since the class is not til February- you could visit the Carol Doak website & do some learning on your own before class- she offers great tutorials-beginner patterns- lots of help- that would easily have you ready for any class that came along.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  15. #15
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I agree with the others ... call ahead and ask if it's OK if you've never done PP before. If they say it's geared toward an experienced PP person - then go find an easy item and teach yourself so you have 'experience'!!

    I'll give you another hint that will make PP MUCH easier ... use solids or batiks (ie fabric that does not have a right or wrong side!).
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  16. #16
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    In 1992 I took a beginner's quilting class and then my second class was a "New York Beauties" paper piecing class. Similar to Mariner's Compass block. I loved it. I didn't know any better, so it wasn't hard and it went so fast (putting the blocks together). Be sure to go to Youtube and watch someone paper piece a Mariner's compass. The best thing would be a class. Carol Doak has a Youtube video that is wonderful. She is the queen of pping. But it doesn't explain Mariner's compass.

    I haven't paper pieced but once since that time and I want to learn to paper piece so my dear mentor here on The Quilting Board sent me Carol's DVD and my good friend here, Fran, just sent me a huge supply of Carol's foundation paper (which would be nice for you to have) and as soon as the mountain pass is drivable, I'll take my machine over to get her running again and maybe then I'll try my hand at paper piecing. Oh, I just received in the mail "Foundation Factory, 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars by Carol Doak". I can change the size of the stars and print them right onto my foundation paper. So Cool!!!

    I'm 99% sure the class will be geared for people who have never paper pieced before. I took a paper piecing class 2 years ago and everyone had never pp before. I feigned a migraine because I just couldn't get it and left. Now I realize it was the teacher, not me.
    Last edited by jcrow; 12-09-2012 at 02:40 PM.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  17. #17
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    I would say go for it you won't be sorry

  18. #18
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    Definitely take the class if it doesn't assume you already know pp'ing. If it does assume you already know, see if you can take a beginners class before hand or find someone to show you the basics. I think it's a skill better learned when taught hands on. The class I took was for beginners and was for NY Beauty blocks. Just a 4-5 hour class but well worth my time as I just couldn't 'get' it looking at books and reading. I don't know if I can say I love pp'ing but I'm glad I know how to do it and am reasonably comfortable with it. And I love the results.

  19. #19
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Personally I think a mariner's compass is not a bad choice if you've never paper pieced, because the pieces are the same shape whether it's right or wrong side up. Seems like a lot of beginners get confused when you are trying to use a directional shape, such as an L.

  20. #20
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I was like Shelbie and everytime I learned a bit about PPing, it made no sense to me at all.
    Alas! there was something I wanted to do that "made" me give it another try.
    There's some good basic instructions on QuiltersCache.com ... and that's exactly how I got started and then just continued on.

    Initially, I wasn't anymore impressed or thrilled, and then the more I did it, the more I liked it.
    The precision results were enough to make me want to keep at it ... and man-oh-man ... the results are well worth the persistance.

    You'll find there's a lot of how to variations out there. The more you do it, the more you'll get your own style figured out taking a bit from each person as to how to do it.

    After you get started ... you'll be hooked ... and after that it's a matter of time and you'll feel right at home doing PPing!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  21. #21
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Not hard just tedious
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  22. #22
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    paper piecing isn't hard, the hardest part is remembering to sew from the back, but after a few blocks you will get the hang of it. My third quilt is a Mariner's Compass. It came out beautiful. I didn't take any classes and it came out great. Give it a try.

  23. #23
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    Check out the thread here on QB, "50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars", and you can see what you'll be able to do with PP. I think the hardest part is the first couple of times, when you have the material on one side of a piece of paper, turn it over and sew on a line. Your mind sort of says that's not right. Take the class, you'll be glad you did.

  24. #24
    Super Member ppquilter's Avatar
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    LOVE LOVE LOVE to paperpiece, i love to make minis and you get such great results.
    Born to Quilt, Forced to work.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Once you get the "gist" of it, it is easy-peasy! You can make blocks that you would never tackle by the conventional method. My only gripe about it is that is is messy, paper gets everywhere and you have to tear off all that paper...but I have made some beautiful blocks using that method. Carol Doak has many blocks and a DVD you can purchase that will print up paper pieced blocks in any size. It will be an adventure for you...always keep learning new things, it keeps your brain young!
    Michelle Guadarrama

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