Sunday, January 26, 2014

Paper Piecing

It was right about here in my journey that I learned how to do Paper Piecing, also called Foundation Piecing.  It is not hard, and once you catch on, it allows you to piece a block or shape with amazing precision.  You can piece tiny, little pieces that would otherwise be impossible.  You can look at a good video tutorial on Foundation Piecing if you don't know what I am talking about.  You can start with some simple practice blocks such as the triangle sashing blocks in this quilt.  The sashing is 2 inches wide so they really don't have to be paper pieced, but I found that the bias edges of the triangles were much easier to control with paper piecing.  I loved the way everything lined up straight and measured correctly when I put the quilt together.

Here you see again that I have a penchant for fussy cutting and kaleidoscope design.  The feature fabric is a symmetrical, border fabric that screamed for action.  The large blocks also have bias edges to work with, and they must be sewn carefully without stretching.  It may help to pin if the edges are long.  If you find that you must sew a bias edge to a straight edge it works best to keep the bias edge on the bottom as you sew and again, you probably would do well to pin first, but please do not sew over the pins.

If you look carefully you can see that I branched out to some easy free motion quilting on this quilt.  My first attempt was so awful that I ripped it all out and did it over again.  Yes, ALL the quilting!  This is frustrating, time consuming and discouraging, but I urge you to rip if you don't like the results.  You will never learn to like that quilt if you aren't happy with the job you did.  You can save yourself a lot of grief by making some 12 inch quilt sandwiches out of your chosen fabric and batting on which to practice your design.  Either way you will have practiced and learned to machine quilt a little better.

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