Learning to Paper Piece

Many people have strong opinions about paper piecing – seems like they either love it or they don’t. Right now, I am kind of in the middle.

I haven’t done much paper piecing, but I am learning. Mostly because I am forced to. Not that that is a bad thing – it’s actually good to stretch yourself to learn new skills.

As part of the Bee Hive quilt bee this year I have had to do a few paper pieced blocks, and the block for August was no exception. Queen Betsy asked us to do the Busy block in red and green, with a ‘quiet’ background. I love the way she asked for a quiet background – it just sounds so calm, doesn’t it?

Here is my finished block:

Busy block

I always have difficulty remembering how to get started when  working on a new block. Thank goodness Alyce has a great tutorial on her blog – Blossom Heart Quilts – that is very helpful to me.

Everything went pretty well. I only had one booboo and that was when I was making the third quadrant. I thought I would get smart and do two at a time to speed up the process a bit. I should have known better….

Paper piecing error

See how I trimmed right on the sewing line instead of leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance? Ha! Next time, I’ll just stick to making one quadrant at a time.

I love this little block. Not enough to make a quilt-load of them, but I do like how happy it looks. I can’t wait to see Betsy’s quilt put together.

The fabric I used for the background looks like a solid white in these pics, but it’s actually one of the grunge look prints from Riley Blake. I love it so much – I can see yardage in my future!

So, paper-piecing lesson: Be sure to leave a seam allowance when you trim your pieces!!!

Do you have a paper piecing lesson you have learned and would like to share? I would love if you shared any tips you have!

FYI: Craftsy just released a new class aimed at taking better photographs with your smartphone. When I first started blogging I used my phone to take all the pics for my blog – a class like this would have been so helpful to me. The class, “Mobile Photography: Perfect Photos in Your Pocket” was released today and I can’t wait to check it out! You can click on the title to get more info.

Did you have a chance to check out all the great tutorials in the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop yesterday? I hope so – there are some really cool blocks.

Today there are more tutorials being posted. Just visit Meadow Mist Designs to find the list and the links to all the tutorials. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway on Cheryl’s blog for a chance to win a half yard bundle of the fabrics used.

Have fun!

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
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6 Responses to Learning to Paper Piece

  1. Kate says:

    I always have a hard time getting started if I haven’t paper pieced in a while. I have a book (can’t remember which one at the moment), that has the paper piecing chapter marked so I can reference that when I need to.

  2. I like your block! I am with you that I do not love nor hate paper piecing. It allows for some cool blocks to be made but I find it very tedious (because usually my designs require 80 of the same exact block)

  3. Tish says:

    Slow and steady wins the race. I find when I try to speed things along, I slow them down even more…when will we learn?? I’m in the middle with you on paper piecing. If my choices are paper piece or applique…paper piece usually wins.

  4. Anne Beier says:

    Great job. I love the fabrics you chose.

  5. The lesson I try to remember is to triple check how a fabric will lay when working with prints. 🙂

  6. Jasmine says:

    Beautiful block! I have yet to try paper piecing. Maybe someday.

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