When someone mentions paper piecing, do you shiver like you've just been chilled by a cold wind or do you just shake your head or pretend not to hear? If so, you may have paper piecing phobia. I'm going to do a tutorial on paper piecing and show you some of the quilts where I've used paper piecing. I really enjoy making blocks by this method, and I hope you will, too.
These are the materials that I use. I prefer That Patchwork Place foundation paper, but I have also use Scribble Pads that I buy from the dollar store. I use an Add A Quarter ruler that is available from most quilt shops. A regular ruler can also be used for trimming, but the Add A Quarter ruler has a lip that catches on the paper when you trim so that the fabric doesn't slip when you are trimming the quarter inch seam. Of course, you will need a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and paper scissors. I keep the Magic tape on hand in case the paper foundation perforates and tears before I've had a chance to sew. You will also need a post card or an index card.
Paper piecing is just like a lot of things: Getting started is the hardest part. Set your sewing machine to a short stitch. I set my Bernina at about 1.5. Your objective is to perforate the paper so that it is easy to remove after you finish the block.
Experienced quilters measure the spaces and add the seam allowance and then cut their pieces, but for this tutorial we’re just going to cut the fabric large enough so that we're sure it fits and sew.
First, fold the foundation paper on the line between spaces 1 and 2. Place fabric piece on the back side of the paper right side up so that it covers space 1. Fabric #1 is the only piece that goes face up. I put a pin in far away from the sewing line to hold the fabric in place.
Cut a piece of fabric to cover space 2 and put it on top of piece 1 right sides together. If you hold the paper/fabric up to a light source, it will help you get the first two pieces in the correct place. Sew on the line between spaces 1 and 2 starting a few stitches before the line and continuing afterwards.
Now flip your work over to the fabric side and press the two pieces open.
Now you are ready for piece 3. Take your post card or index card and fold the paper over the post card on the line between spaces 2 and 3.
Use the add a quarter ruler or regular ruler and trim the fabric leaving a quarter inch. This is your sewing guideline and seam allowance for piece number 3.