Welcome to the second week of our Summer Reading Quilt Along! This week we’re going to offer some tips for those of you new to paper piecing. Pam has described it as quilting backwards and in heels, but honestly only the backwards part is true; the heels are optional.
Here are a couple good videos to get you started on the basics of paper piecing. Fortunately, most of the pieces in the bookshelf quilt are perpendicular lines which are easy to stitch. This one from Crafty Gemini works well for bigger pieces and talks about selecting fabric sizes for various pieces:
For more precise cutting with the Add a Quarter ruler, here’s another good one from Jennifer Mathis:
If you are blowing up the blocks to make them bigger, you’ll want to take special note at the end of the process for piecing each section that you are trimming at 1/4″ for your seam allowance, instead of on the dotted line marking the edge of the pattern.
Mathematically, that’s because blowing up a 1/4″ original seam allowance by 129% (in Pam’s case), leaves a seam allowance greater than 1/4″. This picture shows that; note that with the 1/4″ line on the ruler on the finished edge of the block, the seam allowance (marked by the dotted line), is well beyond the 1/4″. Moral of the story: trim at the 1/4″, not on the dotted line.
If you want to read even more about paper piecing before getting started, check out these other links:
- SewHooked.com “2012 STITCHED Workshop, Paper Piecing Art: Beginner & Beyond” free workshop!
- More on paper piecing from Carol Doak.