paper peicing question

vacuumfreakJune 17, 2012

Hey everyone... I just had my first experience with paper peicing, and I think I'm hooked. I didn't "get" it at first, and the first 3 tries were a mess, but it finally clicked and I ended up with something intelligible...

I have just found another one that I want to try, but there are red dots in it, and I don't know what they mean. There is no explanation with the pattern, so any help would be appreciated.

I'll include a link... I tried to ask Google, but he didn't know :o)

And this is my tiny first paper pieced bird house.... the white at the top is the selvage... I forgot to trim it off before I started sewing and it ended up in the finished product!

Here is a link that might be useful: what are the silly red dots for? :o)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe the dotted red lines indicate each section that is to be paper pieced individually and then sewn together upon completion to make the complete block.
If you follow the letters and the numbers, you will see Section A 1, A2 A3 etc, then B1, B2, B3 and so forth.
I think this is a difficult block.
I really love to paper piece. The points are always so perfect. You did a great job on your house! Bravo! watch out for those selvages and make sure your fabric pieces are generous when sewing on the angles as they flip opposite.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I agree with magothyrivergirl, the red dots indicate the different sections.

You will want to cut the paper along the red lines, and make each section and then join them together. Pay attention to the warning at the top - you will need seam allounces beyond the red dots, so when you are sewing/cutting your fabric you will need 1/4 inch beyond that "red dot" line.

VERY nice job on your bird house. That is tiny! I really like paper piecing too. I learned using Carol Doak's techniques and on her web site there are lots of inspiring patterns including some free patterns that I like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carol Doak website

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOVE Carol Doak!!

Your birdhouse is great! A rather industrious 1st try! The Mayflower block would be considered an advanced paper piecing block...But the others have it right. The red dots indicate the separate sections.

Can't wait to see what you do!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks guys (ladies)... It makes sense now! Thanks also for the subtle hint that the Mayflower might be beyond my experience level... I do think I need a bit more practice before attempting something like that.

I just finished doing this heart.... it was trying... I had to rip it out and start all over about 5 times... and I can't tell you how many times I had to use the seam ripper (not fun with small stitches). I kept putting the bulk of fabric on the wrong side of the seam and not having enough to flip over. I don't have an add a quarter ruler yet, and just because I'm practicing and not trying to make something real, I've been just eyeballing the seam allowance and cutting it with the sewing shears rather than the rotary cutter and ruler.

It is really fun to see it all come together. My granny who also quilts said this is cheating, but she also thinks that using a machine for quilting is cheating and real quilts are hand sewn, so we will just have to agree to disagree about that. I actually thought it was cheaing at first, but you wouldn't call a cook who followed a recipe cheating, so this isn't either :o) I'm just glad that I'm actually making something that looks like what it is supposed to and not just sewing squares together.... and the no measuring thing is amazing.

To take the paper off, I just stab it with the seam ripper and pull and it comes right off. My only problem is that it wastes so much fabric (I annhialated 3 fat quarters just to get this silly heart!).... of course messing up and having to start over doesn't help with that!

I read somewhere that a lady said she needle punches the pattern first, and I think that would be really helpful to do.

So exciting to see it come together... when I start, I think, "how in the world is this mess going to end up looking like the picture?".... but it has so far :o)

Can you see my boo boo? I accidentally sewed on the wrong side of the fabric on one of the pieces and didn't realize it until it was too late.... the thing with the white swirls is the back of the fabric showing :o)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hear ya! My mom oohs and ahs over my quilts but I think she secretly thinks I'm cheating by doing them on the machine. LOL

When you get some more practice you'll find you aren't wasting so much fabric. And there are times when the back of the fabric is just the right color. :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bobby~You did a great job!!!! You don't need an Add a Quarter ruler! I finally bought one and rarely use it. You will cut easier using small, very sharp scissors. I would use a 50% off Coupon at Joann's and buy a pair of Gingher embroidery (or other short) scissors - use them for cutting threads and trimming the seam allowance (and do not use them to cut anything but fabric!!). I always use scissors to trim when paper piecing small blocks.
Save all your scraps - some people feel PPing uses too much fabric~I feel the opposite....I feel like it empowers me because I am using small pieces too little to make anything else.
Google paper piecing and watch some You tubes on how to measure & pre cut your pieces. Also go to the library and check out a few books on PPing. Now that you have made a few blocks, you will understand the books and different techniques.
I think you have found the technique / area of quilting that is perfect for you~and you have all those vacs to clean up the mess :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have an add a quarter ruler and love it! A lot of my Dear Jane blocks are pp and it sure does come in handy and for me is a time saver, especially for the very narrow pieces. I was like you when I first started and kept turning my fabrics the wrong way (still do at times!!) and try to get by with too small a piece and end up ripping it out. BTDT!! I think once you've done a few blocks, you will find it goes a lot easier and you will use less fabric.

BTW, my 91 year old grandmother also thinks the only way to make a quilt is by hand. So she loves that I do a lot of hand applique.

Have fun, you're doing an awesome job!!


    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also have the add a quarter ruler, but for tiny blocks like these add and eighth would probably work better.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love my add a 1/4 inch ruler. I use the Carol Doak method of paper piecing and it is a great way to go. Not a lot of wasted fabric. ColleenNY

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have an add a 1/4 ruler. I just use my smallest ruler (6.5" square) and trim my blocks with that.

Maybe this goes without saying, but when you are piecing a block that has multiple sections in it (like your Mayflower ship) I find it is important to trim my fabric at an exact distance (1/4 inch) away from the edge of my section. That way when you are joining sections you can line up the fabric edges of both of your sections and sew an exact 1/4 inch seam. This is necessary because when you are sewing sections together you don't have a paper line to sew on.

I agree with all of the advice above, you will get better as you go along, and there are techniques for determining the smallest piece you can use and still cover your necessary area. I think the hardest part about learning to pp is understanding the concept. Now that you have that down, you will quickly learn all of the little tricks that make it easier.

You are well on your way to great success!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks :o) It is just so much fun to do this... I'm actually excited about it... last night after work, I couldn't wait to sit down at the machine and work on this.... I came home and threw a kiss at the cat and went straight to the machine.... didn't even have a snack or change clothes :o) Guess I caught the bug.

I do have some small scissors... 2 pairs of orange handled Fiskars snippers that I use in conjunction with the "big" pair (also orange handled Fiskars.... they still have the writing on them from when I was 17 and wrote "cloth only" on the blades with a white out pen because my little brother would always sneak in my sewing drawer and take my good scissors to cut carpet for snake cages, ugh! I keep them sharp with a Fiskars scissors sharpener, but I've never had high end shears)....

I told my granny that the reason she doesn't like to machine quilt is because she has such an awful machine (a cheap Brother from Wal-mart from the early 90s... the bobbin winder doesn't work and the hand wheel is stuck and doesn't de-clutch)... I brought mine over to show her one time and her eyes kind of glazed over.... she said it had too many buttons and she wouldn't know how to run it.

Youtube is an amazing tool.... that is where I learned to paper piece! I watched a video that Carol Doak had on there, though not the paper piecing one (they want you to pay for that one), but I was able to get a feel for her personality and teaching style, she seems great.

Thanks for the encouragement :o)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the look of PP, but whenever it's been a while it takes me a few tries as well! I learned with an Add A Quarter ruler, so that's my method. A few things to remember,

The first piece of fabric is right side out on the underside of the paper, all the others are like regular sewing, right sides together.

If you want to test the fabric piece to see if it's big enough/positioned right, use a pin to pin it 1/4" from the sewing line and flip it. It's usually pretty accurate to see if it's on right and you can adjust without having to rip out anything.

When I have a block that is supposed to finish at 6.5", I use my 6.5" square to cut it rather than cutting on the lines. Different printers/copiers can print out smaller, so this helps give it the right size and usually it's pretty close so you can just nudge the pattern a bit.

Keep the papers on until you sew it together. That helps keep all the wonky bits attached and keep from stretching. If the pattern has a 1/4" included, I'll often just use my 1/4" foot since I'm used to that rather than sewing on the pattern line.

Make sure not to cut on the pattern finished line! Yep, done that! Make sure you are cutting on the 1/4" unfinished line, which sometimes doesn't print that dark.

Here's the block I did tonight for a LQS BOM. It was 8 triangle pieces that go together on an angle. I'm an "over fabric user". I think I waste less fabric and aggravation by having extra and not having to do over!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:11AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
how large is your design wall?
I was just wondering how large everyones design wall...
Wahoo and Thank You
Thank you so much to all that submitted blocks from...
2015 March Block Lotto
Welcome to the March Block Lotto! The lotto is open...
Spider Web
And I still have lots of scraps!!! The first border...
March 2015 Quilting/Sewing Goals
Our March came in like a lamb. How about where you...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™