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Let's Talk about Paper Piecing

Let's Talk about Paper Piecing

Old 04-19-2019, 04:45 AM
  #1  
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Default Let's Talk about Paper Piecing

I spent yesterday making 3 smallish blocks. This is my take on PP:

It's messy! I had a table full of tiny scraps at the end of the day.
A million little seams!
Great precision!
It's wasteful!
After spending the whole day playing with them I started making mistakes- then
realized I was tired and that was why.So I quit while I was ahead.

I don't know if I like this technique or not.

What say you?
Thanks
Susie
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:50 AM
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I occasionally do a small bit of precision paper piecing. It is too time consuming for me to do a lot of it.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:52 AM
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I think it depends on what project you’re doing. I like it in small doses in order to get a few difficult blocks just right. Not sure I want to tackle a large quilt that’s all PP but a small wall quilt would be just right. The more you do it the easier it gets.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:06 AM
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We all think and process things differently. I'm one of those who just doesn't get paper piecing... but I admire the precision and ability to do very complicated things. I have friends who are fiends at paper piecing but despite them showing me, I still just don't get it. I also don't like the waste but I've learned if I am not generous with the fabric I don't have quite enough so then I have to take out stitches or start over. With my vision issues I can't take out stitches very well anyway and besides, those friends told me to make tiny stitches.

In my list of planned current projects I'm doing a contemporary quilt of a farm scene, there will be a few paper pieced blocks -- maybe 8-10, and most of it will be largish pieces of large-scale prints. Down at the bottom will be crops grown in Washington, so yes to potatoes and apples, but no to pineapples. There will be some roads, and after the quilt is quilted in an all-over chicken wire pattern using a lightly metallic thread, I will be putting in a number of embellishments like purchased tractor appliques, little bunny buttons hiding in the cabbage fabric. Stuff like that.

The middle will be farm animals, mostly fabrics but with a paper pieced pig face, a mother hen with chicks, a horse face, etc. I've already made a large original barn block. There will be a morning glory print alongside the silo and then two tiny paper pieced hummingbirds. I think my big mistake was starting with the hummingbirds, I've made two failed attempts so far (four blocks total). I knew I'd be making these blocks multiple times and that this is something I really want to do but is also a learning project.

Top part will be the horses, complete with a pieced rail fence (or at least the fence posts and grass will be pieced, the cross bars will be ribbon), a lake with waterfowl, and I think some other farms off in the distance, or maybe just mountains and trees.

I think when I'm ready to start up with this again I should go with the larger pieces, like the pig and horse. I need some successes or at least "almost there" or "good enoughs".
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:12 AM
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It’s not my favorite. There’s no way I’d do it for a whole quilt. But I will do it for a few blocks in a quilt.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:21 AM
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I've tried a few blocks and believe that I have paper piecing dyslexia. For whatever reason, I get the fabric backwards. So after I sew the seam, I flip the fabric back aaannndd..... the fabric doesn't cover the area it needs to cover, but will have way too much in the seam allowance. Picking it out is a pain right in the neck bc I have, of course, shortened the stitch length so the paper will tear more easily when it's time to remove. In taking out the seam, the paper shreds, so i have to tape it back together to redo the seam. Which more than once, I do wrong again. Yeah. I pretty much gave up on that...
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
We all think and process things differently. I'm one of those who just doesn't get paper piecing... but I admire the precision and ability to do very complicated things. I have friends who are fiends at paper piecing but despite them showing me, I still just don't get it. I also don't like the waste but I've learned if I am not generous with the fabric I don't have quite enough so then I have to take out stitches or start over. With my vision issues I can't take out stitches very well anyway and besides, those friends told me to make tiny stitches.

In my list of planned current projects I'm doing a contemporary quilt of a farm scene, there will be a few paper pieced blocks -- maybe 8-10, and most of it will be largish pieces of large-scale prints. Down at the bottom will be crops grown in Washington, so yes to potatoes and apples, but no to pineapples. There will be some roads, and after the quilt is quilted in an all-over chicken wire pattern using a lightly metallic thread, I will be putting in a number of embellishments like purchased tractor appliques, little bunny buttons hiding in the cabbage fabric. Stuff like that.

The middle will be farm animals, mostly fabrics but with a paper pieced pig face, a mother hen with chicks, a horse face, etc. I've already made a large original barn block. There will be a morning glory print alongside the silo and then two tiny paper pieced hummingbirds. I think my big mistake was starting with the hummingbirds, I've made two failed attempts so far (four blocks total). I knew I'd be making these blocks multiple times and that this is something I really want to do but is also a learning project.

Top part will be the horses, complete with a pieced rail fence (or at least the fence posts and grass will be pieced, the cross bars will be ribbon), a lake with waterfowl, and I think some other farms off in the distance, or maybe just mountains and trees.

I think when I'm ready to start up with this again I should go with the larger pieces, like the pig and horse. I need some successes or at least "almost there" or "good enoughs".
Wow Iceblossom, this sounds like quite an undertaking! I hope you post photos of the work in progress, and the finished quilt. Sounds lovely. A labor of love!
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:43 AM
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I don't mind PP and for some blocks/patterns I would not attempt without PP. But I never PP simple blocks. I save PP mostly for blocks that have odd angles or require precision like Mariners compass, NYB, curved flying geese, etc. And I have to admit there are some amazing PP patterns out there for animals and flowers (check out http://www.silverliningsoriginals.com/b.html ). These types of designs/blocks would be darn near impossible to do without PP. I have also found I do best with PP when I stick with batiks where it is very difficult to tell the right side or wrong side of the fabric so if you have that mirror image problem as peaceandjoy mentions it isn't an issue.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:54 AM
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I've gotten much more fond of PP after coming up with a different method. I don't have near the waste and it takes a lot less time. I don't use my "add a quarter" ruler at all.

I still don't like removing the papers that much, but I like it much better than removing stabilizer from machine embroidery projects!
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:05 AM
  #10  
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I have my own technique and don't mind doing it. I can understand why some people just can't wrap their head around it.
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