paper piecing: needle changing?

K8OrlandoJuly 18, 2011

I haven't done a lot of paper piecing but I'm working on a quilt that requires 48 six inch blocks. I know all that paper is dulling the needle but I don't want to change it until I have all of the 6" blocks done. Then I'll remove the paper, change the needle and put those little blocks together into 12" blocks. Is that how you all would do it or would you change your needle more often?

It's kind of a moot question for this project since I have all but 12 of the small blocks done, but I am curious to know if I should have done it differently. My paper piecing has been mostly learned by trial and error!


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I like the colours. I have not done PP yet... someday.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 6:47AM
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That's about how I would do it too.

Can't wait to see what those blocks work out to look like.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:44AM
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Ooh those fabrics. I have all the blocks for a combination paper pieced/applique quilt almost done and hanging on my design wall and had the same question. I love and do a lot of paper piecing (thank you GW quilt forum for introducing me to this) and as my Mama used to say the needles get so dull you could ride to Texas on them. It was a long project I worked on a little at a crack over a long time and I also hated to keep switching out needles, even though I suspect it would have been the right thing to do until I was done with it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:46AM
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I'd wait till they are all done, too. Love your fabrics. I had some of the cream in the middle. It was one of my favorite neutrals. Alas, I have used it all up.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:00AM
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I'm a "change the needle when it breaks" person...never could tell any difference when PP over traditional piecing, and I've done a lot of PP.

You should leave the paper on until the blocks are assembled. The printed edge lines on the paper help make sure they are lined up right, and you won't risk distorting them by pulling off the paper before they are sewn together.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:16AM
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Very, very pretty. I like to change needles often in general, and It is just my opinion, but you need the needle to be sharp to puncture thru the paper and than the fabric and a dull needle is going to perhaps bend those fibers rather than pierce them cleanly. I actually use a little larger needle when I PP. I am in no way an expert!!!!
I also find using a single hole needle plate makes it all easier to get clean stitches.
Try a test, and change the needle and see if it makes a difference.
Donna is right about leaving the paper on until the blocks are assembled. I took a PP class (a hard one- remember my crab?) and all the paper was left on & used to match up the intersections -stick a very fine straight pin thru the paper points, not at an angle- where you want to match-also at the seam allowances. Do not stretch the edges or the block will not lay flat.
Are you using these on your Tavern sign fabric?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:42AM
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I am PP challenged but have to do it with the Bridal Quilt. I change my needle when "it" tells me to. I listen to how it sounds going thru the fabric. It is difficult for me to set schedules for changing needles and blades as I think function is the key.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Marsha! You clever little quilter! Yes, I am using them on the tavern signs quilt. Here's a picture of the assembled PP block. I don't usually work in these colors but they match the tavern signs fabric; I have to admit I'm loving them.

I appreciate the advice about leaving the paper on until I get the block assembled; I removed it on the first three blocks I've done and it worked out OK, but I'll try the next couple leaving it on.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:27PM
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Nice star!!! I love those colors and fabrics! Can't wait to see what you do. Odd how certain fabrics stick in my head.

What is a funny coincidence is~last year you posted a pic of the Tavern sign fabric asking for suggestions (as I recall anyway)& I suggested making a Nine patch Pizazz - as a stranger had suggested it to me for a fabric I wanted to buy at a local quilt show - June 2010. I bought my fabric--looked at many pics of Pizazz quilts, but did not buy the book until a few weeks ago - over a year later. I started cutting the very same day you mentioned on the July goals thread how happy you were that you waited a year ---I thought "Me too!" Too funny! I am ready to add the borders & can't decide what exactly I want to do, but I will do something soon!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:58PM
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I loved that nine patch pizazz and saved the website! Now I'm eager to see how you are going to use it! It didn't seem right for this project but I will definitely be using it for something. For this one, I've left the original fabric as just a big panel in the center because I couldn't bear to cut up the signs! But then I had to do something more elaborate for the border so I came up with this star pattern. I've run out of the mahogany leaf print so I'll be doing something a little different for the 4 corner blocks.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 2:23PM
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