Recently I have run across several tutorials on the web explaining how to paper piece. Athough they are well meaning, gosh, they often make it more difficult than it is. So, I was always taught, don’t complain, make it better. Therefore, I decided to create my only online tutorial and here it is. Enjoy, Carol
Carol Doak Foundation Paper-Perfect for paper piecing because it is easy to use, will not loosen the stitches when removed, eases when joining blocks and easy to remove.
Flat Headed Pins
Add-A-Quarter Ruler attached to a postcard with the 1/4″ edge over the edge of the postcard. Place the ruler on the right side for right-handed cutting and left side for left-handed cutting.
Binder Flag Clips labeled #1-7 to number your fabric pieces
Styrofoam meat/fruit tray to transport your pre-cut fabric pieces
Size 90/14 needle
Iron set on cotton setting, no steam.
Rotary Cutter and rotary mat
1. Select your foundation and print on Carol Doak Foundation Paper. I am going to use “Introduction to Paper Piecing” offered in the Free Patterns section of my web page. Please note that for the purpose of showing how this is done, I will use vellum in the photos below so you can see through the foundation.
2. Print one of page 1 for your cutting list on copy paper.
3. Print two of page 2 on Carol Doak Foundation paper to make four foundations. I will demonstrate making one block.
4. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, trim the foundations 1/2″ from the outside solid line.
1. Using the cutting list provided on page 1, cut and label your fabric pieces. It is easiest to cut a strip the smaller measurement and then cut the lengths. For instance, the first item on the list is 8 pieces, each 2 1/2″ x 5″ and they are used for location number 6 and 7.
Cut a strip 2 1/2″ wide and then cut the 8 pieces each 5″ long from the strip.
2. Clip your #6 and #7 Binder Flag to this group of fabric.
3. Cut the remaining pieces in the list in the same way and place them on a Styrofoam meat/fruit tray.
Set up your sewing machine with a neutral color thread, a 90/14 needle and 18 to 20 stitches to the inch. That is about a 1.5 on a sewing machine that has a range of 0-5.
Step-By-Step Paper Piecing — Trim, Sew, Press
1. Select the #1 fabric piece and position it RIGHT SIDE UP on the BLANK side of the paper over the #1 area. Be sure that it covers the area completely with at least 1/4″ all around the #1 area.
2. Place the postcard on the line between #1 and #2. Fold the paper over the edge of the postcard exposing the excess fabric beyond the #1 seam line.
3. Place the Add-A-Quarter ruler along the edge of the fold and trim away the excess fabric.
4. Place the #2 fabric right side up over the area it needs to fill to ball park placement, then right side together with the previous piece along the just trimmed line.
5. Confirm that the ends of the #2 piece will cover the #2 area.
6. Pin in place.
7. Place with the lined side up under the presser foot and sew on the line, extending the stitches 1/2″ on each end. Remove and press the #2 piece open.
8. Now, using the #3 line, follow the same sequence of trimming, sewing and pressing as described in steps 2 through 7. Remember when you extended the stitching on each end of the line? Well, when you place the postcard along the #3 line, you will need to pull away the stitching from the paper at the pointed end to fold over the card. That is fine. However, the fabric pieces will still be stitched in the seam allowance area and that cuts down on bulk in these areas.
9. Once the #7 piece has been sewn the block is trimmed 1/4″ from the outside sewing line.
And here is your awesome block all finished with those perfect points. To make the 8″ block featuring a 4-block rotation, simply make three more blocks assembly-line fashion and join them.
For lots of tips and tricks about paper foundation piecing (measuring your fabric pieces, joining blocks, speed methods etc.), I would suggest any of my paper piecing books and/or DVD, Carol Doak Teaches You to Paper Piece.
I hope these instructions will encourage you to give paper piecing a go and if you are already paper piecing, I hope they add to your enjoyment of this fun method.
©Carol Doak 2012