What do you do if you want to make intricate
quilt blocks with points that match every time? Try paper piecing, of course!
Hi, I’m Angela Walters. I’m going to show you how paper piecing can help guarantee perfection
when it comes to complex, and not-so-complex, quilt blocks. Let’s start with a few tips
for getting started. First, you need paper! For this project, I’m
using thin foundation paper. Any type of paper will work, but a thinner
paper will be easier to rip out later. You’ll also need to print out your paper-pieced quilt
pattern. You’ll need a copy for each block or portion
of the block, depending on the pattern. It will have numbers depicting the order the
fabrics should be sewn on. The lines are your sewing lines. You will be sewing directly
onto the paper. Place fabric 1 so that the wrong side of the
fabric touches the underside of the pattern. The fabric should overlap the section marked
as #1 by about an inch. Holding the paper and the fabric up to a light
will help ensure that it is placed correctly. Pin the fabric to the paper to keep it from
moving. Pick a scrap of fabric for section number
2. Make sure that it covers the section and extends past the sewing lines.
Place fabric for section 2 on top of fabric 1 so that the right sides are touching, re-pin
on the paper side, holding both pieces in place. This will keep them from shifting during
sewing. Remember shorten the stitch length on your
sewing machine, 1.0 will make it easier to rip out the paper later on.
With the paper on top, sew carefully along the line between section 1 and 2, beginning
and ending a few stitches beyond the line. On your cutting area, carefully fold the paper
back along the line you just stitched Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim the
fabric 1/4″ from the paper This is an important step, I left this out
the first time I paper pieced and it was a mess!
Flip the block over so that the fabric is on top. Using a dry, hot iron press the second
fabric into place. Rotate the block again so that the numbers
are showing. Crease the line between #2 and #3. Trim the excess fabric, adding the ¼”
seam allowance. Take your third fabric and align the raw edge
with this cut edge, making sure it overlaps into the next section.
Sew on the line between the 2nd and 3rd section Repeat the previous step of folding the paper
back and trimming the fabric away 1/4″ from the seam. Press as before.
Continue sewing the fabrics onto the block in the order shown in the pattern.
When all the sections are filled in, it’s time to press and trim the block.
I like to spray the block with starch and iron it with a dry, hot iron. This helps prevent
distortion when removing the paper. If you decide to use starch, be sure to let the block
dry before trimming Once dry, it’s time to trim the block – including
the 1/4″ seam allowance. Before you start cutting, check to see if the 1/4″ seam allowance
is on the pattern or not. Trust me, it’s heart-breaking to piece the whole block, only to trim it
incorrectly! To sew the blocks together line them up, pin
and sew. Once you’re sure the block will not be sewn to another unit or paper pieced block,
it’s time to remove the paper. This is the perfect chore to do while watching your favorite
tv show. Once you’re sure the block will not be sewn
to another unit or paper pieced block, it’s time to remove the paper. This is the perfect
chore to do while watching your favorite tv show.
If the paper is tough to remove, you can lightly spritz it with water. Or use a seam ripper
to get the paper out of tight corners. Whether it’s a simple quilt block or a more
complex one, knowing how to paper piece will help ensure perfect points every time.
Thanks for watching! Get expert quilting instruction, free resources, and supplies for your next
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