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Thread: question for paper piecers!

  1. #1
    xray_a's Avatar
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    I am currently working on a Christmas tree skirt that is almost entirely paper pieced. This is really my first project paper piecing, but I do have the basics down. My question is this. Is there any way to use my time a little more efficiently? Right now this is how I'm working. I put the next fabric piece into place, sew, press, fold and trim the excess. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to have a lot of units ready, sew them all, then press them all, then trim them all, instead of doing each one at a time. Or does it not make a difference in the long run?

    Angela

  2. #2
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    Some paper piecing patterns call for pre-cutting fabric. It does save on fabric waste. But all the pre-cutting is a little time consuming.

  3. #3
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i do strip paper piecing to save time.

    i just cut strips the width of the fabric in a height that will cover the area its supposed to be in.

    then i just have a bunch of strips ready to go and i'm not cutting out each individual shape until its sewn in place.

  4. #4
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xray_a
    I am currently working on a Christmas tree skirt that is almost entirely paper pieced. This is really my first project paper piecing, but I do have the basics down. My question is this. Is there any way to use my time a little more efficiently? Right now this is how I'm working. I put the next fabric piece into place, sew, press, fold and trim the excess. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to have a lot of units ready, sew them all, then press them all, then trim them all, instead of doing each one at a time. Or does it not make a difference in the long run?

    Angela
    I do the "mass production" method wherever I can. If it's something particularly fussy I'll do one at a time, but otherwise...no.

  5. #5
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Are you talking about chain piecing multiples of the same unit? It is much faster!

  6. #6
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    Angela; I wish there was a quicker method but I haven't found it unless it's in the cutting. Which tree skirt are you using? I found one in LQS but didn't buy it; now I wish that I had. I want to make some for kids for Christmas. Each one to be different. The tree skirt patterns are hard to find. The one I saw was gorgeous and huge! Wonder if it's the same PP one.
    Sandy

  7. #7
    Super Member BrendaY's Avatar
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    I always have to be very careful with the first couple of pieces that I sew... double check it before I do any strip piecing.. but I'm fairly new to all this.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I cut all the fabrics , I do not cut them exact I allow for generous "flip flubs".
    Then I sew all the number ones , flip , press , trim , then the number 2 and so on .
    I do chain piece all the of the same number rather than stop and cut thread and start again. This may not be best if its really large units.

  9. #9
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I like to press each piece as I go to make it lie flat and ready for the next piece. Matter of choice really.

  10. #10
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    When I teach paper piecing I have the people precut the fabric into the sizes needed for each sections of the block. When they get to the class I tell them that they have already done the bulk of the work and now we can start creating the design. I hate wasting time in classes just doing repetitive cutting. Precise pre cutting will produce amazing results and reduce the frustration level of having to rip out, cut again then sew again! I follow Carol Doaks method and all her patterns give generous pre cutting instructions. You may want to check out her website and then join her Yahoo group. www.caroldoak.com

  11. #11
    xray_a's Avatar
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    I have precut all of my fabric pieces, but there always seems like there's a little excess that needs to be trimmed. And yes I guess I am asking about chain piecing a bunch of units at once. Although, I'm not sure it would work since some of the seams on the units start or end in the middle of the piece.

    The pattern is the Christmas Celebration tree skirt from Quiltworx. It's a gorgeous pattern and I'm really pleased with it so far. The tediousness of the process is what's getting to me right now, haha.

  12. #12
    xray_a's Avatar
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    here's a link to my post in the Pictures forum.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-144266-1.htm

  13. #13
    Super Member mmonohon's Avatar
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    I always measure all the pieces before I cut anything. Then divide into color groups. Then fold all the lines. Then cut and package for different blocks. Then I can just sit and sew.

    The first 3 steps I do while watching tv.

  14. #14
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    I do a fair amounnt of pp'ing and I will do all of the step 1's and then all of the step 2's. If you are doing a quiltworx pattern then you dont have to worry about what size piece of fabric to cut. Her patterns are quite intricate so they take time.

  15. #15
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    You most certainly can chain piece when PP. Get all the first peices ready, then sew them, snip apart, fold, flip, cut, iron.
    Repeat with second piece. You have to be very organized 'cause you have to have all your fabric pre-cut and in the right order, but it can be done.

    I prefer to make one block at a time. It just feels like more more is accomplished to me and I can put the blocks on the design board and see what I've done. This drives me to do the next block.
    peace

  16. #16
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    I paper piece like Lori S, but one thing I do differently than all the "rules" say, is I cut the seam allowance OFF on the paper and just add it to the fabric, this way you're not fighting to get the paper off in the seam allowances.

  17. #17
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xray_a
    I am currently working on a Christmas tree skirt that is almost entirely paper pieced. This is really my first project paper piecing, but I do have the basics down. My question is this. Is there any way to use my time a little more efficiently? Right now this is how I'm working. I put the next fabric piece into place, sew, press, fold and trim the excess. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to have a lot of units ready, sew them all, then press them all, then trim them all, instead of doing each one at a time. Or does it not make a difference in the long run?

    Angela
    I do several units at a time I have found that it is easier to do the same pieceseveral times and get it all done and go on to the next Chain piecing is what I do I guess

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I cut out all of my pieces at one time. I sew all of the #1 and 2's together, trim, press and then move on to number 3. Chain piecing is the best way to go for me :D

    I do make a practice block first to make sure my pieces are cut the right size first, and then I cut them all out :D:D:D

  19. #19
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I cut out all of my pieces at one time. I sew all of the #1 and 2's together, trim, press and then move on to number 3. Chain piecing is the best way to go for me :D

    I do make a practice block first to make sure my pieces are cut the right size first, and then I cut them all out :D:D:D
    Exactly the way I do it Having taught myself its nice to know I am doing it right

  20. #20
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    I cut all the fabrics , I do not cut them exact I allow for generous "flip flubs".
    Then I sew all the number ones , flip , press , trim , then the number 2 and so on .
    I do chain piece all the of the same number rather than stop and cut thread and start again. This may not be best if its really large units.
    This is how I do it too.

  21. #21
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    really need to SEE the project to better understand what you are doing and what might be the best way to save some time!

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