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Thread: Why is paper piecing so hard for me?

  1. #26
    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
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    The very first pieced quilt I made was PP, just followed the directions and that was that. Started a PP the other night years later than the 1st one, one little section is angled, sewed wouldn't go, sewed again still not right, sewed again strill not right, got out the books to read up, burned dinner. Still didn't get it, 2 days later OH OKAY you know light bulb flashing. Will get back to it tonight, I hoping that the bulb is still flashing. lol and good luck

  2. #27
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Please try this way: http://www.twiddletails.com/store/in...age=page&id=21 So easy and very accurate! (I sew a few big stitches to help hold the paper for the first piece)
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  3. #28
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    I use copy paper, although I have the proper foundation paper, purely because it's so much cheaper and as I love to PP every penny saved etc. One of the ladies here mentioned a light box but I found a much easier solution, PINS I pin along the line that I have to sew next and position my fabric to those, I also don't worry about larger pieces of fabrics as I do a lot of PP and Crumb quilting, and the tiny scraps makes Fur-baby beds so nothing's wasted. There is no way IMO that any other type of quilting will give you as pretty a cushion design as this one. One of my earlier quilting projects and although there are errors it's still my favourite cushion.
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  4. #29
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    carol doak with her add 1/4 ruler+post card fixed my problem also do not skimp on pieces save a bit waste a bigger bit

  5. #30
    Senior Member Johanna Fritz's Avatar
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    Answer:Paper Piecing Frustration - Tips, PP Block & 2 Layouts

    Quote Originally Posted by pollyjvan9 View Post
    I have read all the tutes, watch videos on utube, and made at least two pp'd projects, and it is still hard for me! I am working on a very simple pp'd chicken, only 6 pieces, and I still have to baste each piece to make sure it is going to be correct. Does anyone else have these problems?
    Make sure that you sew directly on the line and trim carefully. My guess is that you are not cutting your pieces big enough. An easy tip is to cut out the shape that you will be piecing with scissors, on the sewing line. Stack your scraps or strips in a pile. Use a piece of double stick tape (or scotch tape rolled in a tube, so it is sticky on both sides). Stick down this shape to the top of your strip/scrap pile. using a rotary ruler and rotary cutter, line up your ruler and cut 1/2" to 1" BIGGER than the cut (finished) size of the shape you taped on the pile. Work your way around the shape. Leave the piece taped on the top one, so you know which piece of the unit that pile is for. In the beginning, you can add 1" - later, 1/2". Remember, if you have "odd shape" - skinny triangles, etc, it is WAY easier to just cut a slightly larger rectangle than having to line up all of those skinny triangles, and make sure that they are flipping the right way.

    Last few tips, use the "Add a quarter" or "add a half" rulers...and if you "pre score" your lines with a credit card etc, while sitting in front of the TV, (you can do this for all the lines that make up a block-enough for a quilt), in a very short time. The advantage is that is becomes much easier to line up your next piece, as the scored line is the "sewing line." June Tailor also makes a PP very thin paper that you can leave in the quilt, and one that disappears in water. I love them both.

    Her is a larger paper pieced unit and 2 layouts for you to try. Both quilts are made with the same block, just turned a little differently. I posted this last night, but made a mistake in not posting the paper pieced foundation directly with the quilts. Sorry.
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  6. #31
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    because we have to think "up-side down"

  7. #32
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Personally, I think that to be successful PPing, you need to be able to "see" and "think" backwards from the way we usually see and think when we piece a quilt. Rather like cutting and sewing by only looking in a mirror!!

  8. #33
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Kitsie, the link you provided is the best one that I have ever seen and I think that I've seen them all! Thanks for sharing this and thank-you to everyone else who has tried to make the mastery of paper piecing a little less intimidating. Maybe one of these days I will "get it".
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  9. #34
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsie View Post
    Please try this way: http://www.twiddletails.com/store/in...age=page&id=21 So easy and very accurate! (I sew a few big stitches to help hold the paper for the first piece)
    This is basically the way I do paper piecing too. I learned the technique from Judy Mathieson on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson years ago. I never had freezer paper in my house until I started PPing.

    The thing Judy M. did different though is she used the sewing machine to perforate the paper which eliminates that "crease the paper on the lines" step. To do that I just print my pattern using my printer. Then I use that printer paper as my pattern and machine "sew" along the pattern lines with a non threaded needle to pierce the paper. (I staple together 8 correctly sized freezer paper sheets under the paper pattern so that don't get any shifting.) If the waxy side of the paper is against the machine bed and is causing problems you can just add a blank piece of printer paper on the bottom to help it glide easier. Set a fairly short stitch but not so close that your paper falls apart at the perforated lines! Once it is all "sewn" release the printer paper sheet on the top from the staples by pulling it off carefully to be used again. I can use it 3 to 4 times before it needs re-printed. Next, on the stack of freezer paper, I cut out on the outside line of the block shape still leaving the staples in to prevent shifting. Finally, remove the staples and you have 8 blocks done with no need to pre-crease the paper. The perforated lines make it easy to fold as you go along. Hint: if your foot is sticking to the waxy side of the FP while doing the construction of the block, just slip a narrow strip of paper between the FP and your foot so that the foot will glide smoothly.

    A few days ago I posted a quilt that I paper pieced using the Night and Day block. That has 4 PP sheets per block. So, each time I stapled and sewed I was completing two full blocks for that quilt. If you would like to see it, it is in the Pictures section.

  10. #35
    Junior Member just janet's Avatar
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    I've tried paper piecing several times and don't like it at all. Hate the fabric and the time that I'm wasting trying to do it.
    I like the idea of cutting each section individually and adding 1/4" I never thought of doing that, might try it the next time our Quilt Guild offers a paper piecing project.

  11. #36
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    No, I love paper piecing. Pre-folding the papers really helps me. There are lots of tricks of the trade.

  12. #37
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Never tried it! Maybe someday!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  13. #38
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    My problem when I was beginning, was that I wanted to cut the scraps like they were pattern pieces----NOT! After I figured out that, even if it wasted fabric, I'd just have to bite the bullet and waste it. Now I justify the waste with the beautiful points I make! You can do it. Just keep trying.

  14. #39
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    PP doesn't come naturally for me either. I have to work at it because my brain just doesn't think that way.

  15. #40
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    It must be the way our minds are wired because I aways get mixed up as well so you're not alone.

  16. #41
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    Totally agree with Kitsie. I use the freezer paper method and love it. Don't have to tear out paper and the freezer paper stablilizes small pieces. You use a lot more fabric with paper piecing, especially if you fussy cut. I have learned that you will tear your hair out if you try to skimp on fabric. Good luck! Once you get it, you get it.

  17. #42
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsie View Post
    Please try this way: http://www.twiddletails.com/store/in...age=page&id=21 So easy and very accurate! (I sew a few big stitches to help hold the paper for the first piece)
    This is the only way I do mine, and when you trace your pattern on Freezer paper you need no basting, just a quick touch with hot iron will do the trick. I usually attach my first piece well and the rest as needed.

  18. #43
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    I also find that if you work with a big piece of fabric it's easier to do the pp ing.......i've done quite as few projects but will never do a big quilt in pping.....too much paper to tear off.
    I've even done several charity kids quilts in pping.......actually it's sort of fun to sit and do it some times.....i tell people it's like painting by number but sewing instead..
    dsews2

  19. #44
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    I used PP with a Dear Jane quilt and was able to print the pattern right onto the freezer paper from my printer. It was a huge timesaver. You can buy pre-cut freezer paper but I just cut 8.5x11 sheets out of my huge roll and they worked fine.

  20. #45
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    Buy the tool to trim 1/8 inch and it really helps too. I make sure to soma couple paper pieces items each year to keep refreshing my mind ...good luck and keep alAlzheimer's at bay with paper piecing....
    The best kind of sleep from Heaven above...
    is under a quilt homemade with LOVE!

  21. #46
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    For those who are comfortable and skilled in doing it, I feel you are exceptionally skilled. For me, it is a waste of my time and particularly wasteful of fabric. In other words, some have it and some don't. I can't worry if I am one of the don't have its. I don't have to conquer everything; just try to be exceptional at at least one thing and more, if your skill sets allow. If not, don't beat yourself up over not getting it, just be the best at what you can do and be who you are. I have never read or heard that we must excel at everything.

  22. #47
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    I must be dyslexic, I can turn a yard of fabric into confetti in just a couple hours pping. I just can't see things reversed.

  23. #48
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    I've tried it and can't do it either. I do see a lot of beautiful patterns I would like to try. Just keep at.

  24. #49
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    Ditto, Lynnie! I am left-handed AND dyslexic and I cannot learn to paper piece. It just doesn't work for me. I have done all the usual stuff; classes, videos, etc., but paper piecing just defies me. I figure there is enough good stuff out there that doesn't require PP so I just move on to something else.

  25. #50
    Member grandmaof3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollyjvan9 View Post
    I have read all the tutes, watch videos on utube, and made at least two pp'd projects, and it is still hard for me! I am working on a very simple pp'd chicken, only 6 pieces, and I still have to baste each piece to make sure it is going to be correct. Does anyone else have these problems?
    Would you share the pattern? I am looking for a pp'd chicken pattern. I haveent tried it but would like to learn

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