85F3CE96-2B73-4819-B350-FD64F4FBC6D4 .Quiltscapes.: FooTStePS to Successful Paper Piecing

Monday, October 8, 2012

FooTStePS to Successful Paper Piecing

Guest posting at Riley Blake Designs' CUTTING CORNERS today, all about Paper-Piecing. 

Featuring Avignon by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs
 Cutting Corners with Riley Blake Designs

I love this terrific "piece-by-number" method of quilting to get precision shapes in quilt blocks.  Check out my daughter's prize-winning paper-pieced Unicorn quilt that she recently entered in the State Fair!  So cool - especially considering that they only award one blue ribbon per category.  In her category of Wall Hangings, "Sparky" won first place!  Awesome, Chelsea!!   

Today's Cutting Corners tutorial takes you step-by-step to get started on this fun method of patchwork. 

If you have never tried paper-piecing before, be sure to check out today's TUTORIAL with a free pattern for the Hot Air Balloon to try it out!  As a BONUS, here are some additional ideas and helpful hints!!

A Helpful Hint...
If the pattern is not symmetrical, I like to PRINT an extra copy IN REVERSE to use as templates for planning and cutting out out fabric. Here's how I do it - completely optional, of course, but this helps me keep a straight grainline on the outer edges of my block AND removes the guesswork!

1)   MARK edges of outer segments to indicate grainline

2)   CUT out individual pattern segments using your paper scissors, working backwards from the highest number down to #1.

3)   TRANSFER any marking on plain side of pattern segment such as segment number, how many pieces to cut of each, where you would like the grainline to be, color of segment, etc

4)   LAY OUT patterns for segments on the RIGHT side of your fabrics, and CUT OUT with generous (1/2”) seam allowance around each edge, and you're ready to go.

Another Idea... PAPERLESS Paper-Piecing??
What if you didn't actually STITCH on the line?  Instead of stitching through the paper, keep the paper FOLDED and STITCH NEXT to the line?   See my Tutorial then continue the steps as usual, using a dab of glue stick to lightly adhere the fabric to the paper after pressing each segment.  When you're done, just peel off the paper, no stitches to worry about. Glue stick will wash out of the fabric. No paper to pick out of the stitches, no mess, no fuss, still accurate, and a whole sight simpler... I've also tried this method tracing the pattern on freezer paper.  My friend Madame Samm loves this method - works like a charm!

Enlarging and Reducing...
Here's the formula if you have a pattern and you need it larger or smaller than what is printed. I keep this and other quilter's math formulas in my little purse-size Quilter's Bible. (<< found here)
Formula for enlarging and reducing quilting patterns to fit:
FS ÷ OS = %
Desired or FINISHED SIZE divided by actual or ORIGINAL SIZE = PERCENTAGE for change.
Percentage answer larger than 1.0 means ENLARGEMENT, so program a 3-digit number into the enlargement program for photocopier. Percentage smaller than 1.0 means REDUCTION, so program a 2-digit number into the reduction program for photocopier.
Example: a 4" quilt block pattern (measured from side to side at widest dimensions of design) needs to be expanded to a 7" pattern. Using the formula: 7" divided by 4" = 1.75, therefore program 175% into the photocopier program.
Example: a 12" quilt block pattern needs to be scaled to a 10" block size. Using formula, 10" divided by 12" = .83333 or .84 rounded. Therefore, program 84% into the photocopier program.
WHEW!!  I hope you have found something fun, interesting or useful today. I'm a little whipped right now, just too much information for one little post, so it's spread out here, there and Flickr, too!  
It's been a fantastic, maybe too-busy weekend that began by hanging out in the Riley Blake studio with Cindy continuing our videos for the "How to Quilt" Series, getting Make & Take projects ready for Market (see you there?), an invitation to Sewing Summit coming up, (yeah!!) and topped off with a fun visit with none other than Eleanor Burns, at the RBD warehouse!  Got her autograph on my favorite Triangle Square-Up ruler. :)
Then I sang my little heart out at church conference all weekend, listening to encouraging, profound and inspirational talks and messages that have bouyed up my spirit and made my soul sing.  A reminder that life "isn't a race, it's a journey"!  So now, I'm off to relax and enjoy some moments with my family.  Quilting can wait for a bit.



  1. wow zee..thanks for a great video Deonn..great pics and your daughters wowwwwww and yes you and that lady....lol off to relax that voice and mind we will be here ...

  2. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Quilting Community? Our members will love it!
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    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
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So glad you stopped by for a visit!

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