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Thread: paper piecing questions

  1. #1
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    I've never tried paper piecing, never thought I'd be interested in learning, but I really fell in love with the pattern in the picture. It's the flag of the German state of Lower Saxony and really is a paper piecing pattern done by a German quilter (she's done all the German states as well as some truly awesome designs http://www.lenzula.de/pattern/free/index.php).

    Is it hard to do? Can I learn it on my own? Relatively speaking, is this a difficult pattern? Am I totally crazy to think I can do something like this so early on? Is it easier if it's bigger? Any hints or good sources of instruction you care to share?

    My daughter breeds German Warmbloods and Lower Saxony is where many of them originated. She recently returned from a two week breeding stable tour of the area with eighteen of her students and I thought this would be a great addition to her office.

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  2. #2
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    My sister LOVES paper piecing and she's good at it, but I have never seen her do one this complicated. How big is it? You're right... the bigger the pieces the easier it is to get it all lined up.

    I'd say from looking at your picture there would be several foundation pieces that would be joined after they are pp.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    It does have a lot of pieces, but it's beautiful! I know that it was easier for me after I saw someone demonstrate pp. Check out Elle's tutorial here: http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/8578.page
    and then you could decide if you want to start with some less complex ones for practice. It will definitely be a wonderful addition to your daughter's office! :D

  4. #4
    HMK
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    Having done a bit of paper piecing, I wouldn't recommend this particular pattern for a first try at it. Maybe make something simpler for a start and progress to this one. Check out Quilter's Cache for patterns & tutorial.

    This one would be a neat one to work towards and you'd have such a feeling of accomplishment.

  5. #5
    Izy
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    I have just check out the PDF file and as others have suggested it would be best if you got some practice first as there are lots of small areas, which would be difficult at the 100% size. I think it would be best to enlarge the pattern to maybe 150 - 200% that way the pieces wouldn't be so small and your wall hanging would be much bigger :D

    I would make a great wall hanging by the way :lol:

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltwoman's Avatar
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    You can do it!

  7. #7
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    I love paper piecing and took a class from Carol Doak. My suggestion is to get one of her books which would give you pictures on how to do it. Try something easy at first. Because otherwise you might get frustrated. It is a lovely pattern but would take some practice to before hand to get it. Good luck. Marge PS> www.caroldoak.com might be of some help

  8. #8

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    You will love paper piecing. And, once you understand it and can sew on the line straight you will be off and running:))It is like looking in a mirror and fixing your hair...you will be thinking a bit opposite:))Here is a good pattern to start out on...go to: http://www.geocities.com/pcpiecers/babyfoodjar.html you could put sewing notions fabric in the jar or bugs or just use scraps till you 'get it'. The horse is amazing and will be very do-able once you mastered a few skills. I do agree w/the others that you need to make some smaller pieces first. So, set that horse aside and go practice:))Need any help-just post...we'll help:))You will love paper piecing! Skeat (also, search previous posts for this subject too-much info right here on this board)

  9. #9
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    Oh, I wasn't thinking of doing this one first!! :shock: Or even second or third for that matter. I'd work up to it and maybe aim for her birthday in July. Good to hear that bigger is easier because I was thinking quite a bit larger than it prints out...something that would make a statement as a wall hanging and be seen over the clutter in a professor's office! :wink:

    I think it really might be easier if I took a class (my first!) and will see what's coming up at the local quilt shops. Quilt University has a beginner class starting in February that would work if I find nothing local. I'm also going to ask my library to get a couple books for me. I've always had trouble with points and avoid them as a result, so learning this technique could have huge added benefits for me!! I'm pretty good at 'backwards thinking', or so I've been told... :lol:

    Thank you all for your help and encouragement. What a great place this is!! :D

  10. #10

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    Just don't be intimidated. People think that PP is hard and difficult and I refer to it personally as 'cheating':)). I learned how to quilt starting out PP!:))It snagged me in good...and, I'm hooked on it!:0)

    Remember the most important part of paper piecing....move your stitch length to a smaller stitch. My normal on my machine is 2.5 and I bump it to 1.5 sometimes 1. This helps punch the paper in your piecing. (It will tear apart when done so much easier!)I use reg. computer paper and print off blocks from my block library. I learned by listening 1 time to someone on how they did it..and, they told me very brief...went home, did it and could not understand why you would sew w/the lines where you couldn't see them....okay...duh!!:))I figured it out after that:))Yes, I can sew them now w/my lines on top for me to see-funny now to think about that!!:))
    Classes are always good...but, most of us aren't patient enough to wait...I say go for it and go play and see what you come out with and then let us know:))Skeat

  11. #11
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    Thanks, Skeat. Sounds cheaper that way, too!! I have a ton of tracing paper...wouldn't that be easier than computer paper?

  12. #12
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Yes, tracing paper would be easier to tear off than regular paper! One thing that I've found that not only makes it easier to tear off the paper, but also makes it easier to place your fabric on the "wrong" side - I fold my papers on all the lines first. :D

  13. #13
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    You want something that will tear off easily after you are done sewing.

    Is tracing paper tear-resistant? If so, don't use it.

    Newsprint type paper works well. Did you know that it is directional? One way tears nice and straight. The other way- very tear resistant. Try it when you want to get grocery coupons without a scissors.

    The horse does appear to be done in sections. Very striking.

  14. #14
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    A what NOT to do:

    I was doing some paper-based piecing - and I thought I would be SO smart and sewed about an eighth of an inch from the edge of the foundation so nothing would come apart.

    I used recycled copier paper. Which is kind of hard to pry off, also.

    And then I sewed my blocks together.

    Things were great until I tried to get the paper off. So - if you feel compelled to sew around the edges, either hand baste or machine baste - and then remove the stitching before trying to get the paper off.





  15. #15
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    i've only done one pp project and that was on pre-printed fabric...and I've wanted to do some pp from my computer blocks, so this is useful to me too! One question that i have had was what paper to use, lightweight copier paper, tracing paper, store-bought pp paper, foundation paper? I believe I am gathering that light weight copier/printer paper will work just as well as store-bought PP paper?

    That horse is stunning - DO IT!

  16. #16

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    I went paper shopping at a big paper supplier to find the lightest weight in paper, etc. I've tried them all. Even purchased foundation paper. I found for me and my printer tracing paper too thin. I've been known to make a mistake, yes, even paper piecing and if you have to snip away a thread or two and you are on too light of a paper...you might as well start over. From what I am reading, some have certain preferences, and all is still good and you just have to do what works for you.
    For me personally...regular computer paper........works just fine for me. If you keep your stitch length smaller...there is no problem ripping the paper off. It rips just fine. I am at the present PP a pattern my dad wants for Christmas. I am using both reg. computer paper and recycled computer paper, keeping my stitch length at a 1.5 on my Janome...and, all is ripping just fine. I baste nothig, no extra stitches, etc. I do sew across the 1/4" seam allowance on the paper-that is it. So, don't go to a bunch of trouble or expense...keep it simple and try it out first. Just my HO:0)Skeat

  17. #17
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    Well, your HO is good enough for me! For my printmaking, I have papers ranging from mulberry paper to mat board, so I should be able to find something on hand that works for me and my trusty Viking! I may try parchment paper, which I also have already, as I have heard some like that best.

    Do you think the simple stars on the German site I posted would be an okay place to start? I could increase the difficulty and still have related blocks that way.

  18. #18
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Hi there, just saw your post. PP isnīt that difficult. if you also go to the quilterscache.com they have lessons on paper piecing. Try an easy one first, the patterns on quilterscache are marked with pins to show the easiest patterns.

    Go for (its like marmite) you will either love it or hate it. Ooops think that might be an English joke. Do you get Marmite in America LOL

    Elle

  19. #19

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    Elle is right...start simple like a square in a square. You are like me...my first learning how to quilt was a Dear Jane:))LOL You can print off the pattern I posted, then try something like this log cabin at: http://www.geocities.com/pcpiecers/log4offcenter.html if all goes well, then do a simple star...etc. You will really enjoy this!:0)

    Another thing...after I sew my line...I flip back over and 'then' trim my fabrics to a 1/4" seam...not before. That is why PP is so great for scraps:))You do not have to have straight pieces, etc. We want to see pictures of progress !:))Skeat

  20. #20
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    LOL I've never really looked for it here, Elle, but I do know what it is. I hang out with a vegetarian crowd and the love or hate thing is very true for them!

    I haven't had a chance to go see Elle's tutorial yet, but I will this evening for sure. I'm going to look around for some fairly basic patterns that I like, though I tend to set the bar high when I start something new. It usually works out pretty well for me, but I know the coat of arms is not the place to start with this! It is, however, a great goal!! :D

    Skeat, I've done that heart in the regular way. Funny you should post it. How about Storm at Sea? Where would that fall on the difficulty scale? I've wanted to do a Storm at Sea heart quilt ever since I saw one on the cover of the very first issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (April 1993). I could actually cross something off that's been on my 'to do' list for 15 years!! :shock:

  21. #21
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I use tissue paper. If I am doing something relatively easy or simple I just trace it. I find regular printer paper too thick and I'm too cheap to buy special paper.

  22. #22

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    There is no hard pattern in numbers:))Once you 'get it'...you will totally go crazy!!:))Storms at a sea...no problem:))LOL

    Here's the posts from previous questions that you also might find very helpful...and, we snagged more PP junkies over it:))LOL Go to: http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/5907.page

    Elle---I've never heard of a Marmite! We have Vermits..which can be any lower to the ground critter:))The name would make me think it is an animal and one that I wouldn't want to bite:))Skeat

  23. #23
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    teehee. It's made from yeast, Skeat, so I guess it qualifies as a critter of sorts. :shock: Thanks for the link to the older thread!!

  24. #24

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    LOL!:))

  25. #25
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Oh Skeat you make me laugh. Marmite it black stuff (yuk) made from yeast which loads of people spread on toast etc. (double yuk) Its very high in vitamin B so they tell me, good for keeping the mosquitos at bay. Guess who gets bitten cause I hate the stuff.

    Good luck with the Paper Piecing. Your like me I never try anything easy, I have got to challenge myself all the time.

    Elle

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