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Thread: Why is paper piecing so hard for me?

  1. #1
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Why is paper piecing so hard for me?

    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?

  2. #2
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    Have you googled Carol Doak - I think she has the best paper piecing info out there. she also has a video that you can purchase. I had paper pieced quite a bit before I got that and it still really helped me. I believe that there are also some free tutes from her

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I don't pp a lot but it's not that problematic AS LONG AS the fabric pieces are cut big enough to cover the paper spot. I usually hold the pattern up to the light to gauge if I have enough. That way I can sew it down, press the heck out of it and then trim the rest. It does get a little wasteful at times but then again, you do get those perfect points.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  4. #4
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I am currently working on a paper pieced quilt that Alex Anderson has on the back cover of her updated Paper Piecing Book. It is the Sampler. So far so good. Watching a few videos on how to do it helped.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I vote with Quiltstringz. Carol Doak is the only one I've been able to follow.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    This is a link to a u-tube ad for Peggy Martin's pp class. It says there is a link to get it 50% off. I just finished the class, and she made it amazingly easy. I feel like I could conquer anything now.

  7. #7
    Super Member busy fingers'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?
    You are not alone. PP "messes" with your brain It takes a lot of training to learn to do everything backwards. Please do not give up I was in your boat for about 2 years then I devoted one whole weekend to the technique and I just love doing p/p now.

  8. #8
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Ive been quilting since i was 7 or so, now 53, i think my prob is that im dyslexic( seriously,i,am), i can't pp to save my life

  9. #9
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    I have found that I need to be very generous with my fabric to trim after I sew. Some patterns are easier than others for sure.

    I like vellum paper too so you can see through it. Helps a lot!
    Linda

  10. #10
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    Have you googled Carol Doak - I think she has the best paper piecing info out there. she also has a video that you can purchase. I had paper pieced quite a bit before I got that and it still really helped me. I believe that there are also some free tutes from her
    She is the Queen of PP and I agree on her freebie section she has some super lessons: http://www.caroldoak.com/free-quilt-patterns.php

  11. #11
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    my biggest problem with PP is getting past the "wasting fabric" issues... once I got over that, I had much better success. One thing I have noticed with some of my guild friends, is they do one block first, and make a "pattern" to cut the pieces, then they mass cut those shapes to expedite the process...

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I started out with a very simple and NON-DIRECTIONAL pattern, completely by accident. I think this is where a lot of people get messed up when they first start pp-ing. It really helps if you choose a pattern where the patches are not irregularly shaped. I made 2 Hunter's Star quilts before moving on to more difficult patterns. And I agree with using vellum; since it's somewhat translucent, you can hold the fabric patches up behind it to see how well it covers the seam lines.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Carol Doak's books have the pieces listed in sizes to cut if you like pre cutting first. I always just cut a hunk, sew and trim. Once you get Carol's method learned then it's easy to learn the other methods. Her DVD is a must have if you want to paper piece.
    Got fabric?

  14. #14
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, I am dyslexic with angles! Must be why I just had to learn to quilt!!
    Patski
    always learning

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Yep I do but the results are so worth it.
    Anna Quilts

  16. #16
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    The first paper piecing I did was my Craftsy class with Peggy Martin. Her quick strip paper piecing is easy tO follow with her great teaching. Because of that and watching Carol Doak on the Quilt show I got her DVD and one of her books and am making a wall hanging this wkend. I've watched the DVD twice and thanks to Peggy Martin Carol Doaks methods are very clear and easy to follow. This has worked for me,I love the results of paper piecing!!
    Last edited by Cybrarian; 08-24-2012 at 04:06 PM.
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  17. #17
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Don't be stingy with the size of your fabric pieces. remember that PP does use up extra fabric. It all gets cut away so don't worry about that issue. I also sue PP paper, not copy paper. Everyone has their own opinions about the paper you use so try different paper and use the one you like best.

    Do you use a light to see through the paper and help you align the fabric?

    I had trouble with angled pieces untill i started using larger pieces of fabric.

    Hope this helps some. Keep trying a few more times and if you find it to fustrating, don't torcher yourself with it and try something else. Go back to it after some time away from it.

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  18. #18
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    what do you mean baste

  19. #19
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrappingfaye58 View Post
    my biggest problem with PP is getting past the "wasting fabric" issues... once I got over that, I had much better success. One thing I have noticed with some of my guild friends, is they do one block first, and make a "pattern" to cut the pieces, then they mass cut those shapes to expedite the process...
    This is a great idea!

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  20. #20
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    Every time I start a new pp project, I have to talk myself through it and watch the videos. It's so counter-intuitive and confusing sometimes. Once I get back in the groove, I really enjoy it - especially because those squares are so perfect! I have Carol Doak's introductory book and I think Alex Anderson's also. Deciding how big to cut the pieces is the worst part for me - and if I use a directional fabric, well it's not always so pretty....
    -Chris-
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    It does not do well, Harry, to dwell on the dreams....and forget to live. - Albus Dumbledore

  21. #21
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    At first it really does confuse your brain. Stick with it. All if a sudden you will realize it has become totally na th ural.

  22. #22
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patd View Post
    At first it really does confuse your brain. Stick with it. All if a sudden you will realize it has become totally na th ural.
    I agree. I had trouble, then tried one more time, and finally got it. It's a learning curve.

  23. #23
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I don't "get" paper piecing either. I've read the books, watched the videos, had expert instructions and still can't paper piece even a simple pattern. When I complained on Carol Doak's blog about how difficult it was after trying out her beginner's tutorial, I got a phone call from her offering to talk me through it. I loved the phone call but still can't paper piece. My last BOM at my LQS was supposed to be paper pieced so I cut the pattern apart, added seam allowances and pieced it the regular way. I can use Thangles but that's as close to paper piecing as I can get.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  24. #24
    Super Member Becky Crafts'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?
    I use those $1.00 store see through chopping mats to trace around the various pieces then using the add 1/4" ruler to make sure I have that. When cutting them out, if I'm just a little generous, I have no trouble whatever to get them all right with very little waste. Plus I have the templates in case I want to make them again. I never have to baste first. Just do the placement up to a light source and sew. I love paper piecing!! Hope this helps.
    Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to GOD

  25. #25
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I was up early this morning and read all your helpful suggestions and after thinking about all that you said I came to the conclusion that I really am skimping on the fabric. So, I got up went to the cutting table and cut each piece and added a generous inch all the way around...and guess what? Not one corner cut off! I am so used to using the least amount of fabric because I make so many scrap quilts and I always think that I will need some of whatever I am cutting. Since I am working with scrap fabrics for this project and I going to bite the bullet and cut generously! I have already made four blocks this morning, only need the two basket blocks then on to the sashings. Will post a photo later under topic "My French Hens". Again, thanks for your help and encouragement.

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