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? 

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