Skills and Techniques

Basic Paper Piecing

I am writing a step-by-step to paper piecing for one of my quilt guilds and thought I’d share it with all of you as well!

In this sample, I used Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. This paper is thinner and easier to tear away after the blocks are joined. Regular copy paper can easily be used as well. In either case I use a 1.6 length stitch (in other words, very small straight stitch).

When starting a paper pieced block, measure each piece and add 1″ to the length and width. This will be the size you will cut each piece. Be sure to label them!

The pattern you choose should have each piece labeled. This tells us which order to sew the pieces in.

The basic concept is to place the pieces of fabric with the wrong side of the fabric facing the wrong side of the paper and that each piece of fabric will cover it’s coordinating place on the paper with at least 1/4″ seam allowance extending past it’s line. In other words, the lines on the sheet are the sewing lines. The seam allowance needs to be added.

1. Take your first piece of fabric and cover the outline of A1. I use stick glue to adhere the fabric piece in place.
Place piece A2 on top of piece A1 with right sides facing each other. Make sure that when these pieces are stitched on the line, A2 will cover it’s spot when folded to right side up.
2. Stitch on the line between A1 & A2. Start at one end of the line and sew to the end of the line. Do not sew past or before the line.
3. Fold paper on line that was sewn and cut to 1/4″ from the fold (which is that seam allowance), and press A2 to lay on it’s spot.

4. Fold A2 back in it’s place and press seam. I like to put a dab of glue in the spot again to hold it in place.
5. Fold the paper pattern on the A2/A3 line and trim fabric to 1/4″ from the fold.
6. Lay A3 fabric piece, right sides together (on A2 piece) on the wrong side of the paper pattern. Line up the edge to be sewn, and stitch on the A2/A3 line.
7. Continue doing steps 5-6 until all the pieces are sewn onto the paper.
8. When all the blocks are complete, cut on the dotted line of the block which will leave 1/4″ seam allowance so the blocks can be sewn together WITHOUT REMOVING FABRIC at this point.

When all the blocks are sewn together then you can remove the paper. This is a great task for a TV night!!

Thank you for reading my blog! Please tell me how you liked it, and please share with your quilting friends!

Have a wonderful Day!

Pam

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