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Thread: What is the best way to remove the paper from a paper pieced block?

  1. #1
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I used photocopy paper to make the paper pieced blocks. Now I am have some difficulty removing the paper without ripping all the stitches out. I have pp'ed 8 blocks and I have 8 more to go. Should I shorten my stitch? It is at 2.5 (the preset) right now. Thanks for the info.

    BTW, I love paper piecing. The seams look so perfect and it comes together quickly. No sweating perfect accuracy with cutting. I am using the Feeling Crabby pattern right now but can't wait to make a storm at sea with pp'ing.

  2. #2
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I would shorten the stitch and maybe mist with water the pieces you can't get out. I'm a novice when it comes to PP so will be watching this thread. :D

  3. #3
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/virtual...jsp?vsnum=1005

    This is a great section to review too for hints and pictures.

    You can subscribe to it so you get news all the time too.


    I stitch at 1.5 for paper piecing and it rips pretty easy.

    I tried wetting the paper a little as someone suggested but it really made a mess for me...wouldn't suggest that.

  4. #4
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    Yes, you should use a shorter stitch whenever you paper piece. Try pulling the block from the corners. (pull the fabric,, not the paper)This should cause the paper to crack along the stitching lines. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Super Member tuesy's Avatar
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    I use the tweezers that came with my serger to get into the small areas. I also will score a line with a pin close to the sewing edge if it's a small area.

  6. #6
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    defintely shorten your stitch and it will help i use about 18 on my fw

  7. #7
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I use copy paper also for patterns. I use a slightly shorter stitch. When it's time to take the paper off, I run the back of my seam ripper along the stitching line to perforate it, gently pull the large pieces of paper off & use tweezers to get the tiny pieces of paper from underneath the stitches. I rarely have a problem with disturbing or tearing the stitches.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Folding the paper on the seam now will weaken the paper a little more and that will make it somewhat easier to take off.

    Copy paper dulls your sewing machine needles, so you might want to check yours before doing much more sewing on it.

    Velum paper can be put through your home printer and is thinner than copy paper, so that might be easier to use for PP.

  9. #9
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    use 60wt thread in the bobbin, use a microtex 70 needle, use a 1.5 stitch length...and then to remove use a Orangewood(manicure) stick and use the blade edge to run across the paper next to the stitching...

    then grab opposite corners of the block and snap/pull, now do the other corners...happy ripping to you!

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Everyone has opinions...you have to find what works best for you.

    Here's my 2 cents :)
    Sew with a short stitch. Sometimes I moisten the paper with water...it depends. I always have tweezers handy too.
    When it's time to remove the papers, I find a relaxing time and place where I can work mindlessly on this task. Take your time, enjoy someone's company, watch or listen to something nice, and maybe even enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or glass of wine. One time I even took some PP to a meeting and had them done well before the meeting was over. Afterall all I had to do at the meeting was listen.

    Remember to enjoy every step of the quilting process...otherwise why do it?

  11. #11
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I wouldn't wet the entire piece of paper. Just wet the seams. This works pretty good and next time be sure to decrease your stitch length.

  12. #12
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Yes, you will need to shorten your stitch...1.5 is what I use for a setting. Tweezers can help to get the paper off...you can use them to help get under the paper to get it loosened. Once you get it loosened on one side, I usually fold the paper back along other stitch lines and crease, then tear along crease. You can use the tweezers to help get off any paper that doesn't tear away.

  13. #13
    Junior Member beaniekins's Avatar
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    Get your 6 year old daughter and 4 year old son to rip out the paper for you. They think it's a treat! ;)

    But yes, definitely shorten your stitch lenth to 1.5. It makes a huge difference.

  14. #14
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I've been sewing at 1.0. By the time I fold the pieces back to trim the excess fabric to 1/4" at the seam, it's a little work, but not too bad.

    When I'm joining sections together, I'll take off some of the extra paper. Particularly where many seams line up. Otherwise I leave most on til I'm done the whole block ... and then test my patience when it comes to getting it off. It's getting easier, probably because I am getting more of the knack of the how to!

  15. #15
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I've made quite a few quilts w/ paper piecing. I always sew w/ a 1.5 stitch length. Tweezers help with the removal of the paper. Listening to TV or music helps it go faster. You probably don't need to remove every last little bit of paper. When I've hand drawn my blocks I used tracing paper and that tears away easier than reg. copy paper - just a hint for next time.

  16. #16
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I think its supposed to be at 1.6

  17. #17
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    I use that yellow legal paper with lines on it. I think it comes off easier. It also runs through my computer better.

  18. #18
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I use paper specifically for PP. I feel it is worth the extra expense to have a paper that remains stable yet comes out easily without leaving bits of paper

  19. #19
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    You definitely want to shorten your stitches. When I PP, I shorten from 2.8 to 1.5, I don't have a problem getting the paper off.

  20. #20
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x
    Folding the paper on the seam now will weaken the paper a little more and that will make it somewhat easier to take off.

    Copy paper dulls your sewing machine needles, so you might want to check yours before doing much more sewing on it.

    Velum paper can be put through your home printer and is thinner than copy paper, so that might be easier to use for PP.
    Is there a trick with getting the velum to print? It's like my printer doesn't recognize there's a paper there. I bought a package that says it's for the printer, but haven't had any luck. Printing on an HP All in one printer/scanner/fax/copier machine. I gave up and started drawing, but that is very time consuming when you've got a lot to do.

  21. #21
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    I made 8 paper pieced tulips last weekend. I drew the tulip out on graph paper. I sewed the graph paper to a stack of phone book pages, all the way around, using a large stitch. Then I stitched all the sewing lines, including the border, without thread. Take the pages apart, used those pages for pp. As they were pre-perfed, paper tore out very easily. Next time, I will use a longer stitch on the perfing (I used 12, so will try 8-old machine, that is stitches per inch), as they became fragile too quickly. Also, I will preperf stitch past the pattern lines, so when I flip it over to stitch, I can see where to stop & start better.

    I made first one, then the other 7 assembly line, stitching the same section over & over.

    If the paper isn't coming out, I use a q tip dipped in water on the stitching lines only. I use my serger tweezers, as it has a long grabbing tip, so I lay that along the stitching, and have about 3/8" paper to pull on at once.

  22. #22
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Definitely use smaller stitches.
    What I have done in the past when something is persnickety, is to hold a ruler ON the seamline and run the back of a seam ripper (the dull side) along the ruler to score the seam line a little more. If possible, rip the paper along the ruler.
    I also find that spritzing the stubborn bits with a little water (small spray bottle) helps. It makes the removal a little bit messier but still better than leaving the paper on.

    There is no right or wrong way. Just see what works for you.

  23. #23
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Setting the stitch length at 1.5 was all I needed to do. Thanks for all the advice. Once I made the correction, everything went beautifully. Just finished the 60x60" quilt for my son.

    I really enjoyed doing the paper piecing. it was so nice not to have to worry about exact measurements.

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