Monday, July 24, 2017

Point Problem

I can plan and plan and plan.  I make patterns three or four times to get the kinks out.   It looks like I am ready to roll so I start making blocks.  After 5 blocks I discovered some things that needed attention.

Problem #1.  I have some critical points that should meet at the seamline.  They meet OK, but can't be sewn.  One in particular has four points coming together (that is 16 layers of fabric at the point) and the piece to which it is seamed is the same so now there are 32 layers of fabric.  Oh Boy!  My machine took one look at that and decided to fudge the seam allowance.  So now the points don't match and the fabric buckles slightly, but too much for my taste.  A rosette on the back won't work because the seams on both big triangles all go the same way because of the order of stitching.

Too many points together at the seam

I consider this a design flaw so back to the drawing board.  There is still a point now (below), but it doesn't come all the way to the seam.  It sews nicely and the design is not affected by the minor change.
See how the point is moved over a little bit? Problem vaporized.
Problem #2.  My pattern involves sewing two pieced triangles together to make a square block.  There is a piece of fabric at one point of the triangle.  When sewn together these two end pieces look like a half square triangle.  No problem with that, except my pattern does not have that line on a 45º angle.  Thank goodness I noticed it this early in the game, because in my adaptation that is a critical design flaw.  I can fix the few completed blocks pretty easily and redraw the pattern, but what a nuisance.

PS.  I just looked at the pattern in the book.  I drew it wrong.  Book is right.  Oops!  Now I pay for that seemingly minor mistake.

Red line is the way I drew it.  
Blue line is 45º angle.  Have to redo the pattern slightly.
Two blocks not sewn together yet.  See the light and dark triangles in the middle at the bottom?
Together they should be a half square triangle with STRAIGHT lines.
Those are my personal negatives, but are related to the pattern not the process.  I would never have seen it without my design wall to stare at.

I must say, that so far the paperless paper piecing is going beautifully.  I now have a system.  I love the fact that I can see the block all together before sewing it.  I am finding that the paperless method is more precise than paper piecing.  I haven't had to redo any points except as related above.  Sewing it is easy, but does take some mental gymnastics to get it right at first so there have been a few stitches to pick out here and there.  It is a new way of thinking.  Another thing I really like is cutting the pieces to the exact size, plus seam allowance of course.  Almost no waste and each piece fits right in place with no guessing.  With paper piecing I almost always had a few pieces that ended up too skimpy and had to be done over in spite of lots of experience with that process.

Does it take longer?  I don't really know and I am getting speedier the more I do.  A major plus is that once the block is together it is done.  No picking out paper.

This process is a keeper!

Sew some happy seams this week.  I wish you straight seams always, except when they are supposed to curve.


  1. Hi Mardi,
    I am not a fan of paper piecing, and have never heard of paperless piecing. How interesting! I certainly can appreciate your struggles. These blocks look great though! I never would have noticed the crooked line if you hadn't pointed it out. It wish you much success with this project and look forward to seeing it complete. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. I've only used paperless paper piecing once, in a class with Christie Fincher. It does lend itself to perfect points, plus it's also best to design a block that lends itself to the proper sewing order. Personally, I'm a big fan of freezer paper piecing, though I haven't done it enough to test the precision that you need on this block. But isn't wonderful there are so many ways to get the block sewn? Thanks for sharing this week on Midweek Makers