Friday, February 26, 2016

Paper Piecing Recap

NHMQG Member's Guide to Paper Piecing

At the February meeting member's created think groups to come up with tips and tricks for paper piecers. Here is what our brains collectively have to say ...


  • No Steam, it causes warping and distortion
  • Very small stitch length, 1.5mm 
  • When sewing a piece start 1/4" before the line being sewn
  • Instead of seam ripping, cut fabric close to seam and pull away, sew the next seam a smidge over from the original seam
  • Go for chain piecing if possible
  • Print 100%, make sure to check "Actual Size" in the printer's settings and always print from the same printer to ensure consistency  

  • Don't skimp on fabric pieces, or use templates for more involved patterns and don't be afraid to waste
  • Keep small cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, and iron near the machine
  • A light box is helpful when tracing patterns, or place a light under a glass top table
  • Cut all fabric ahead of time and label

  • Use tweezers to remove small bits of paper stuck in the stitches
  • Remove paper in the opposite order the pieces were sewn
  • When using regular copy paper, the cheaper the better also pre-score the paper before sewing to make it easier to remove

TOOLS (nice but not necessary): 

  • Carol Doak Foundation Paper - paper designed especially for paper piecing, can be printed on, no shrinkage, and rips away easily
  • Newsprint - a cheaper alternative that also can be printed on and also rips away nicely, some newsprints shrink be sure to test first


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