Paper piecing

There are pros and cons to paper piecing. Some of the pros are precise seams and stable fabric that doesn't distort. I have been resistant to doing a lot of paper piecing because of one major con: fabric waste. I didn't like using big chunks of fabric to cover a section only to trim so much of it off. 

Then I found a great hint on a show/article/email list. I really cannot remember where I got the idea to cut the pieces to the size needed so there is less waste.

From my EQ7 program, I print off the pattern for foundation piecing and instructions for rotary cutting. When I cut my fabric, though, I give myself a little bigger than a quarter inch just to make sure I have plenty of fabric for the seam allowance. I trim any extra after I sew the seam. I don't mind cutting off a sliver of fabric if it prevents a need for ripping my seam and trying it a second time...or third...or more. 

I create little cheaters to make my cutting easier. I use Post-it Notes to mark my cutting lines. I like to place them on the bottom of the ruler so they don't block my view. If you use a stack of 2 or more post its, it becomes a guide that fits snugly against the fabric. 

I put a cut out of the shape of my piece on the top of the ruler to guide my cuts and reduce mistakes from brain fog. That way, I don't need a special shaped ruler in various sizes for each and every project. 

With paper piecing, the image is backwards, which doesn't matter when the design is symmetrical and uses the same colors in the same areas. For example, in the above image, the triangles nearest the center square (D3 & D5 and two others not in the photo) use the same color. 

Sometimes, I print out one original pattern from my program, then I write hints on the patters such as the color of fabric or value of fabric I want at a particular spot. Then use our printer to make copies of the marked pattern. 

Usually, for my projects, I use plastic zip top bags to keep my pieces organized. I cut out both bottom corners to prevent moisture build up.  

I label the bag with a permanent marker placing the name of the quilt and the foundation piece number where I can readily see them. Then I can grab the bags I need for a particular section. 

This is great if your cat comes along to test gravity by knocking your pieces off your work station. You don't have to pick up the individual pieces... You do have a cat that supervises your work, right? 

Storm at Sea blocks

I have a started a scrappy Storm at Sea quilt. I'm making it for a young man and I hope the colors appeal to him. The blocks are six inches square and I will need 120 of them to complete the quilt. 

This is the first block. There are six of these. I'm using up the rest of one of my fat quarter bundle. 

This is the second block. There are three of these. 

This is the third block. There are two of these. 

I'm using the paper piecing method to make these blocks. I printed out the blocks on my printer, cut them apart, and sewed the pieces together. 

Pet Quilt-Bow Tie

Here is a pet quilt made from the extra blocks of the Bow Tie Quilt. 

Rainbow Trellis Quilt Top

I have completed the Rainbow Trellis Quilt top. This is a UFO (un-finished object). Now, I need to add batting, the back, and quilt it. 

 It is a lap quilt made up of 30 blocks. 

Here is the pattern. 

This is a block close up. 

Here is the pattern and the quit top side by side. 

Interlocking Bow Tie Pattern

This is the Interlocking Bow Tie Quilt. This was done by one block in different colors. If you look at the blue and yellow squares, you will see the four blue bows sitting horizontally. Then you will notice the one yellow bow in the center sitting vertically. That blue-yellow square is made from 16 squares that are 3 inches by 3 inches. 

This is my main pattern. Use the color for the bow as the large square (3 inches square). Pull the top edge down to meet the edges of the bottom to determine the center for the horizontal line. Press. Then pull the right edge to the left edge to determine the center for the vertical line. Press. Draw a line from the right line to the bottom line. That is the stitching line. Use a small square/triangle for the square of the other bow tie. Stitch along the line. 

Above, the yellow is the bow of one tie and the blue is the square of another tie. Alternate for the blue bow. Make the large square blue and the corner piece yellow. 

These are four blocks to make one blue bow. 

 Here are 16 blocks to make 4 blue bows. In my quilt, I used the Quilt as You Go method (QAYG). I used sashing between the blocks to connect them. You don't need to use the QAYG method. You can make one complete quilt with these blocks. 

Bow Tie Quilt

Here is my bow tie quilt. The front side has 12 inch blocks of dimensional bow ties. 

 The fabric is Benartex Fossil Fern

The back of the bow tie quilt has interlocking bow ties making 12 inch blocks. 

I used the Quilt-As-You-Go method. 

I echo quilted around the dimensional square of the bow tie and then I echoed the seams.