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Thread: A No Waste Foundation Paper Piecing Method?

  1. #1
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    A No Waste Foundation Paper Piecing Method?

    I tried my first real foundation paper pieced block over the weekend, (https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/pat...luebird/113899) and I found that I had a lot of waste fabric while doing it. If I tried to limit any waste, I generally ended up with pieces too small. Then I had a lot of ripping. I'm wondering if there is a method of foundation paper piecing that helps with the waste? If anyone has any tips and tricks, please share!

    I've been watching Craftsy classes, but so far I'm only seeing the instructors over cutting their pieces, then trimming them down.
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I had purchased a book from a quilt designer years ago that had exact measurements with no waste. i never used it and later gave it away. there may be other books out there with help. but for the most of us, paper piecing has a bit of waste built in.

  3. #3
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Agree with nativetexan...it's the nature of PP. You could try printing
    an extra copy of the pattern...colour it...cut it up...then place it on
    your fabric (right side of fabric should be up). Give yourself a good
    half inch allowance. I still get a bit more waste that traditional piecing
    but that's the way it is. With practice you might be able to reduce
    the seam allowance...on squares and rectangles. Triangles not so much.
    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    when a bunch of us here did the 50 state stars from the Carol Doak book, she gave cutting sizes.
    So she might in her other books too.
    I found it didn't help me, I was still too short
    Far better for us to be using up fabric, than not using it because we might waste some.

  5. #5
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    when a bunch of us here did the 50 state stars from the Carol Doak book, she gave cutting sizes.
    So she might in her other books too.
    I found it didn't help me, I was still too short
    Far better for us to be using up fabric, than not using it because we might waste some.
    That's the way I think about it. I just don't worry about the waste. I'm getting fabric used up.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    That's the way I think about it. I just don't worry about the waste. I'm getting fabric used up.
    Good way to look at this process!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    Painless Paper Piecing https://www.amazon.com/Painless-Pape.../dp/0971450110 uses less fabric, because you cut strips, and then cut the strips with templates that you trace from the book. I did the Fruit Salad pattern from that book, and the method did use less fabric. However, after completing this quilt, a swore I'd never paper piece 40 something blocks that were all the same, ever again! The tedium about killed me off.
    Annette in Utah

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    I used to be short of fabric, especially when the piece was angled, until I realized I needed to fold the paper back over the fabric, instead of holding it up to the light and trying to fold back the fabric in mid air! Geesh! Try folding the paper back over the fabric instead, laying flat on the table surface. Sooo much easier and ​accurate!

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    I agree, just be glad you are using up your scraps!

  10. #10
    Super Member givio's Avatar
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    You can use a template of the pattern to cut the size piece you need, then carefully place it in the proper place before sewing, which would be no wasted fabric. But if you are going to use templates, it probably defeats the paper piecing method. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    That's the way I think about it. I just don't worry about the waste. I'm getting fabric used up.
    That's the great thing about paper piecing, getting to use up a lot of fabric, and no guilt about what is trimmed off and tossed into the trash can

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    Check out the methods used by Judy Mathison, JUdy Niemeyer and Karen Stone Hardly any waste and an easy method for placing fabrics so you don't come up short.

  13. #13
    Senior Member AlvaStitcher's Avatar
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    I used to really stress about the wasted fabric but now I am happy to put some in the trash can. Just so much I can do with all the fabric and scraps I have. Trimmings no longer a problem. LOL

  14. #14
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I just can't wrap my head around paper piecing but I'm still trying! Wasting fabric is the least of my worries haha

  15. #15
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Well, at least now I know I'm not doing anything wrong by wasting fabric. I thought there was some deep secret for paper piecing I couldn't find! Thanks, ladies!

    Paper piecing is one thing I really want to get good at. I love the look of Judy Niemeyer's work!
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

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    I so agree with you, SQ! I am left-handed and dyslexic, so I learned long ago to give up that process.

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    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolynjo View Post
    I so agree with you, SQ! I am left-handed and dyslexic, so I learned long ago to give up that process.
    Iím the same way, itís such a challenge that it hurts my brain! I have that left-handed, directional confusion all the time!

  18. #18
    Super Member QuiltingNinaSue's Avatar
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    In the Farmer's Wife series of quilt books, I learned to use the templates to cut out the pp blocks, then there was no waste involved.

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    most of the patterns I've used have you cut your fabric so that you do not have a bias edge for the top fabric. then they "square" it off so you can have a non-bias edge for the next cut.

    If you have no problem sewing bias, then you can modify so you don't have all those cut off "squares". So when I have a triangle shape piece, I cut a triangle shape. I still cut oversize so it's easier to get in the right spot. I am often sewing from my stash, and so may not have the amount of yardage specified so want to have as little waste as possible.

    This is what I was dealing with.



    And this is what my "waste" looked like.

    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  20. #20
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    my trimmings look like yours Macy, certainly nothing big enough to use on anything else.

  21. #21
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyncat View Post
    I’m the same way, it’s such a challenge that it hurts my brain! I have that left-handed, directional confusion all the time!
    Well I'm right-handed so what's MY problem?

  22. #22
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't have any desire to try it. Who knows one day I might change my mind.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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