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Thread: Paper piecing easy!

  1. #1
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Well thats what I've read. I tried it, the pattern I tried had 4 sections PP and then you sewed those 4 PP blocks together. Out of the 4 I got one right. Frustrated I threw them in the trash. All I wanted was a cute little mug rug out of the deal, it was practice for a quilt that I want to make. Anyone have any tips or links that might be helpful? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Can you be more specific on what problems you experienced? Were your patches coming up short, incorrect color placement, PP blocks not lining up, what?

  3. #3
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    My first PP I cut the pattern in sections and cut the fabric larger than the sections.
    The I used an uncut copy of the pattern and sewn the sections and then trimmed the fabric. Once you get the hang of it you will not have to cut and measure, you will be able to just look at the fabric and tell that it will be big enough.
    The first piece of fabric is laid down right side up, all of the others are sewn on right side down and flipped over.

  4. #4
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    carol Doak has some free patterns you could try.

  5. #5
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Can you be more specific on what problems you experienced? Were your patches coming up short, incorrect color placement, PP blocks not lining up, what?
    D. All of the above.

    Some how on one of them the fabric was ascew and had a pucker, I put the fabric in the wrong direction, fabric was wrong side out. I know it just takes practice. I've read on this forum how easy and perfect the blocks come out, it just didnt happen for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Can you be more specific on what problems you experienced? Were your patches coming up short, incorrect color placement, PP blocks not lining up, what?
    D. All of the above.

    Some how on one of them the fabric was ascew and had a pucker, I put the fabric in the wrong direction, fabric was wrong side out. I know it just takes practice. I've read on this forum how easy and perfect the blocks come out, it just didnt happen for me.
    Please try again! It really is a wonderful system. Check Carol Doak.com for instructions.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Carol Doak has the only PP directions I do well with.

  8. #8
    Super Member jdiane318's Avatar
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    When I first took my paper-piecing class, the teacher placed the tape dispenser right by me. I felt like the slow one in the class. As the class progressed and I had the 'I got it" moment, I was pressing my 3 blocks when the others were still piecing. I do still paper piece but only when it is something special and then it is for special blocks in a quilt. I am glad I learned and once I get started, things move along fairly quick. It takes patience and persistance.

  9. #9
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    Also if you know your fabric is large enough you can put just a little fabric glue on the next piece when you get ready to sew and that will keep it from slipping. I always use a little bit more fabric for each piece because it is not the easiest thing to take out.

    mltquilt

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    D. All of the above.

    Some how on one of them the fabric was ascew and had a pucker, I put the fabric in the wrong direction, fabric was wrong side out. I know it just takes practice. I've read on this forum how easy and perfect the blocks come out, it just didnt happen for me.
    Here are some tricks that worked for me.

    1. Make some extra copies of your pattern for cutting apart and for reference. So if your pattern has 7 units, I would make 8 extra copies. Add a generous 1/2" to 3/4" around every side of each different piece in the pattern. I think Carol Doak tells you add 1" but I don't. Cut that out to make templates for your fabric pieces. Cut your fabrics using the templates. They don't have to be exact just the same basic shape and as big, if not bigger then your template.

    2. Take an extra pattern and glue a small swatch of your intended fabric onto each piece you need.

    3. Dont be afraid to pin your fabric in place on the paper pattern. This helps from keeping the fabric going askew on you. After a while you won't need to do this. When I place my unit under the presser foot, before I start sewing I lift up the paper to ensure my fabric is laying straight and hasn't bunched up or shifted in the process of placing it under the foot. It happens more often then you think!

    4. Write yourself a note until you are comfortable with the process to remind you: "Fabric piece #1 is always right side up but all other fabric pieces after that are wrong side up". OR use batiks! then you don't have to worry about right side or wrong side! I actually prefer batiks for PP for exactly this reason! BTW, I have been PP for years and still manage to get pieces facing wrong side out!

    5. Until you get at an expert level with PP I would avoid directional fabrics. I am still not comfortable with them and will not use them unless I don't care if my stripe, that I thought was going to be vertical ended up being diagonal.

    6. I press (finger pressing is fine but if my unit is large I use the iron) and cut down my seam allowance after every unit. This is just the way I was taught and works best for me. I fold my pattern back using a postcard lined up with the seam line that will be sewn next then take my ruler and add 1/4" and cut. That way I can take my next piece and line it right up the raw edge of the first piece.

    I hope these hints and the others that people have posted will help you. I love to PP and it has opened up so many pattern possiblities for me that I would not attempt otherwise. Once you have that "AHA!" moment you will enjoy it and won't be so frustrated.

  11. #11
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I'm about to start my first pp project so this thread is SO helpful! I think I'm going to print off a copy and put it with the pattern right now.

  12. #12
    Super Member AgapeStitches's Avatar
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    The 2011 BOM -Houses the link for January's block has a great practice pattern for pp...it helped me get the hang of what to do and made doing that church block alot easier.
    Here's the link: http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-86667-1.htm

  13. #13
    Super Member mommamac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgapeStitches
    The 2011 BOM -Houses the link for January's block has a great practice pattern for pp...it helped me get the hang of what to do and made doing that church block alot easier.
    Here's the link: http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-86667-1.htm
    It's only easy if you can get the 3 sheets to print out at exact size. Many had problems (myself included) with one or another pattern piece being a scant 1/16th" off which distorted things a bit. I would suggest a one piece pattern to get the hang of it & Carol Doak has some good ones for beginners.

  14. #14
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Well it took over an hour but i did it!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Good for you!!!!!! The next one wont take as long lol

  16. #16
    Super Member AgapeStitches's Avatar
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    looks great!

  17. #17
    Member patriciaponder's Avatar
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    One thing that really helped me learn was watching Carol Doak's dvd. It's in her 50 Stars book and my library had a copy. Checked it out and my, oh my, the things I learned. I moved my iron and ironing board closer to my machine which saved a tremendous amount of time and formed a triangle with the cutting mat on one side, machine on another. I sit in a secretary chair (without arms) and spin to my work areas. Practice makes the blocks go faster, even if unsewing a seam in necessary. lol Also, check out quilterscache.com for a wealth of free patterns, sorted by size and name. Don't give up. Another trick is to starch your fabric ... easier to work with and doesn't get caught in throat plate, etc.

  18. #18
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    I use freezer paper for the patterns. Then it's easy to keep your fabric pieces from slipping, just press down ligtly with iron after you've sewn on a piece. Press your first piece onto the paper right side up to keep in place when you start your block. I paper piece everything I can, love it!

  19. #19
    Member Bren49's Avatar
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    See, we all knew you could do it! Keep doing it and you will have a runner, no then a quilt. Happy quilting!

  20. #20
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help and the inpiration to keep trying. With every quilt I try to learn something new. I have a quilt that I want to make for someone but its paper piecing. I need to learn this technique and get the quilt finished hopefully by june. You all are great.

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