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Topic: *Tutorial* on Paper Piecing *2 Extra patterns + tut added!*  (Read 5088 times)
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angelbum
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« on: March 28, 2008 10:39:20 PM »

Okay, for those of you who want to learn paper piecing, but are as stumped as I was when I first tried to learn, here is a step by step tutorial to help you figure it out.

This is what we're making:

It's a fancy mushroom, to go with the patterns I'll be posting in a bit.



Here is your pattern:



print out 3 - One to cut your pieces from, one to sew, one to follow as your guide.

First, cut out your pieces. Make sure your fabric is right side down, as the finished block will be the opposite of the pattern (doesn't matter for this particular pattern though)

ALSO - add at least 1/4" seam allowance around every piece. Better still make it a 1/2" just to be on the safe side. (I'm lazy when cutting, I often just eyeball it so having the extra wiggle room saves my butt from having to cut another piece. This is where all of those beautiful scrap pieces of fabric that are too small to do any substantial project come into play Yippie! Cheesy



oh yeah, a little side note: I really wanted to use that dark brown fabric, but only had itty bits of it. So I sewed them together to make a piece large enough for the stem of the mushroom. This stuff never gets noticed in pieced pieces.

Alright, now take your pattern and lay it face down on the table:



Take piece #1 and lay it on top of the pattern, right side up:



Right, ok so how the heck can I tell if it's in the right spot?

The dang pattern's upside down....



Ah ha!

So, now we tack that first piece down. You can either pin it to the paper, or sew it on. For this first piece ONLY, sew a line a little ways into the section for piece #2, but still catching the fabric. Oh, you need to flip the whole thing over, so your fabric is laying under the pattern, which is now right side up and in your sewing machine.

BIG NOTE: set your stitch length a bit shorter than usual to help perforate the paper so it tears out easily. Except when working a complex pattern with a bunch of small pieces. You really don't want those bits of paper falling out before you're ready.

ok, sew:



Here's how this step looks when you're done:



Now, take piece #2, and lay it right side down on top of piece #1, and line up the seam allowance above the stitching line on the pattern... Um..what??

Ok, take a look see:



Hold it up to the light if you need to. For complex patterns with small pieces I usually pin my pieces down so they don't shift when I flip the pattern over to sew.

Now sew the line between piece #1 and piece #2:



NOTE: Be really accurate, sew exactly on the line, start and stop exactly where the line does. This will help keep the finished block looking like it supposed to. Trust me, I learned the exceedingly frustrating way.

Flip and press your seam. Now I switched the iron over to my left hand so I could take the pic with my right. THIS IRON PLACEMENT IS WRONG. Always start on the base fabric, and slide the iron over onto the new piece. This keeps the seams ironed nicely and your pieces fitting properly over the pattern.



OK SO NOW..oh darn caps...

Ok, so now where are we... ah right, place piece number 3 face down on top of piece number two lining up the edges. Hmm, need to check the placement?



Flip 'er over and sew the line between #2 and #3:

Then flip it over again, and press your seam..the proper way not this weird way:



Okay, getting the idea? So now line up piece #4:



Don't forget to put that sucker FACE DOWN. I've mucked that part up sooo many times. The seam ripper is my friend.

Stitching piece #4 here:



Hey, were nearly done!



Ok, so I hope you can do piece #5 on your own cause I have no pics of that entire step. Here's piece #6 going down:



....and getting sewn:



Press that puppy and look! The sewings all done Cheesy



So, while you have those lovely straight edges of your pattern still attached, trim your seams to keep a good 1/4" seam allowance.



Now comes the fun part, tearing out the paper! Now it sometimes helps to crease the paper first and tear slowly. You really don't want to tear out your stitching as well.



And whaddaya know, you're all done. Easy as pie!

« Last Edit: May 03, 2008 09:09:01 PM by angelbum » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Fruitloops
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008 11:01:46 PM »

Oh wow! Thank you thank you!!! This is great, I've been having a hard time with this lantern block and this would make it sooo much easier.
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angelbum
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2008 02:37:27 AM »

Okay!  Grin The first of 2 patterns....* includes a tutorial for the extra steps*

Introducing the Little Gnomeling, the companion piece for the fancy mushroom.



Isn't she cute?

This is the perfect next step into a little more complex paper pieced block.

Here's your pattern:



Cut along the dotted lines to make 4 separate pieces. Be sure to print the extra copies, so you can keep your pattern pieces pinned to the fabric so everything stays organized. Remember to cut your fabric with the right side down.

Start with pattern piece A, and begin as you did with the mushroom, tacking down piece #1.

Here's a couple of shots of the bottom piece going on:





Piece A completed. Note how the corners are pinned to the pattern to keep things nicely aligned for the next step:



It really helps to have perfect 1/4" seam allowances on all your pieces.

Complete pattern piece B and pin it to A, right sides together...paper to the outside:





Take your time to carefully line up the corners at either end:



Here's another shot showing the corners and top edges lining up (I've tucked the seam allowance in  just to help show the paper. Leave them out when you sew)



TIP: This is the WRONG WAY to insert your pins. Going straight at the fabric like this will cause the piece in behind to scootch down as you then move the pin to insert it:



This is the RIGHT WAY to insert the pins. Come in from the top at an angle. This way everything stays nicely aligned:



Sew pieces A and B together, and then flip to iron the seam. This is the RIGHT WAY to iron. Start at the base fabric, and then come sideways to press the seam all in the same direction. Flip and repeat on the front side:





Adding piece C:



Once you've sewn on C and D, this is what you've got:

A finished Little Gnomeling:



Let's add a border to the top and bottom of our mushroom, 2  and 1/2" wide strips ought to do:





Trim your edges nice and straight, then add the gnomeling:



I actually think I'll go back and replace the ground piece with something darker. I won't bother with stitch ripping, I'll just sew the seam for the new ground just inside(a hair towards the bottom of the shroom) of the previous seam line. Then i'll trim away what I don't want.

Cute eh? Stay tuned for one more pattern! Maybe in a couple of days?


Introducing Gnomlette, (Gnomelings big sister)



here are your pattern pieces: (the pattern pieces should be enlarged to fit your 8.5 x 11" paper)

Piece D goes on top of piece C:



Piece B is the very bottom of the mushroom:



Attach gnomlette to the mushroom at the slanted edge.

Have fun, and please post if you make one! 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008 06:03:05 PM by angelbum » THIS ROCKS   Logged

ajitprop
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2008 05:51:32 AM »

Wow! What wonderful tutorials! Thank you so much for taking the time to help those of us with less than half a clue where to even begin! Roll Eyes
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angelbum
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2008 11:37:14 PM »

Oh wow! Thank you thank you!!! This is great, I've been having a hard time with this lantern block and this would make it sooo much easier.

You're welcome!  Grin I remember being ridiculously confused when I tried to figure it out, so I'm happy to help everyone get past that hump and have fun. There are just so many neat paper piecing patterns out there.
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pertelot
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2008 08:44:15 AM »

thanks for the tute! i defiantly have to try this sometime over the summer when i can get back to my sewing machine
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2008 09:25:31 AM »

I made a paper pieced pillow a while back, and I remember it being very tricky, at first. I never thought to cut out the pieces first! I was just using random scraps...and sometimes they didn't lay right after I stitched them on. Cutting the pieces out first would probably help with that.

Thanks for such a clear tutorial!
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angelbum
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2008 03:33:16 PM »

Wow! What wonderful tutorials! Thank you so much for taking the time to help those of us with less than half a clue where to even begin! Roll Eyes

 Grin you're so welcome!

I made a paper pieced pillow a while back, and I remember it being very tricky, at first. I never thought to cut out the pieces first! I was just using random scraps...and sometimes they didn't lay right after I stitched them on. Cutting the pieces out first would probably help with that.

Thanks for such a clear tutorial!

Well if I'm being completely honest, I usually just cut the approx shape out of scraps as well, but if the pattern pieces are really weird shapes, I'll go to the trouble of cutting them out properly. Definitely makes things go smoother.
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angelbum
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008 07:20:35 PM »

Oh, If you ever makes a mushroom or gnomeling, please post it. I have another little pattern to post if anyone's interested.
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008 05:41:54 AM »

post it!
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