I figured if I was going to share some paper pieced patterns during the One Block Wonders BOM I should do a tutorial for paper piecing for anyone who maybe unfamiliar with the technique.
For the purposes of this tutorial we will be using the December Shattered block pattern, but the rules apply for any paper pieced pattern you sew.
Print Your Pattern
Glue Stick (washable)
Bookmark (...personal preference)
Your regular supplies, thread, sewing machine and the pattern of course!!
Let's start with the basics, the pattern you will be working with is a mirror image of what you will have when you are done. (the pattern in on the front of the paper, these are your sewing lines, but you are sewing the fabric on the reverse side) That is why for letters and numbers etc, the designer prints the pattern in a mirrored image to begin with, so it will be facing the correct way after you have finished piecing it.
Also, when you print your pattern you need to make sure that you are printing with the scale at 100% or fit to page should be unchecked.
These are my preferences: I drop my stitch length to about 1, and I over stitch the end of each sewing line by 1 or 2 stitches and I backstitch 1 or 2 stitches. I don't want my threads to come apart...
Steps:1.) Print your pattern
2.) Cut out your pattern on the outside 1/4" seam lighter line. I use to leave extra paper, (you will notice this in the tutorial pictures) kind of building in a buffer so I didn't come up short, but the paper is hard on the life of the rotary cutter blade. So cut your pattern out and make sure your fabric extends past for trimming later.
3.) For this pattern it is very easy to cut pieces of fabric ahead of time, by measuring the length of each section plus seam allowance, and the width of each section plus seam allowance. For the ends which are triangular, I took the measurements and added 3/4" for a square which will then cover two of your triangles.
2 Different sets of 5 fabrics
4.)Starting with the first section, depending on if the block you are working on has multiple sections to join (this one has 2), your pattern will either just have a number or a letter and a number. Our first section is A1.
Glue or pin the wrong side of your first fabric to the none printed side of your pattern, making sure the fabric is overhanging all side, especially sewing line one by at least 1/4". The first piece is the only one that is right side up when looking at it from the backside. All the rest will be placed right side together (wrong side will be facing up)
5.) Flip the paper so the print side is facing you and I use a bookmark to help fold the paper back on that line. With the bookmark still under the folded back paper, using your add a quarter ruler with its lip held against the folded back edge trim the extra fabric away from the first piece of fabric with your rotary cutter.
6) Flip back to the fabric side and place your next fabric right sides facing, lining up the seam edges flush and overhanging the outside edges, and if needed pin your fabric in place . Then flip to the pattern side of the paper and stitch along the first stitch line between A1 and A2. Take this to your ironing area and press back piece A2. So now both pieces should have right sides facing you ....
7.) Flip the paper over again to the pattern side and fold the paper back along the second stitch line, between A2 and A3. Again using the add a quarter ruler, remove the extra fabric. Take your 3rd fabric right sides together and line up the seam edges flush again and pin if necessary, and make sure it overhangs on both ends. Flip the paper and fabric over so the print side is facing and sew along the second stitch line. (between A2 and A3)
Press back your 3rd fabric.
8.) Pattern side up, fold the paper back along the 3rd stitching line, and trim. Flip over to the fabric side and add your fourth fabric right sides together lining up the seam edge flush again and overhanging the ends, pin in place. Flip over and stitch along the 3rd sewing line. Press fabric back.
9.) Again fold the paper back on the final stitch line and trim of excess fabric with the add a quarter ruler. Turn back to fabric side line up your last piece of fabric, pin in place, flip back to pattern side and stitch along the final sewing line.
Sometimes its a good idea to lift the paper just to see that your fabric didn't shift when you were flipping it over, especially when dealing with longer pieces.
Repeat for second triangle section B
10.) Using an appropriate length quilting ruler, trim the excess away from your block. I tend to put the 1/4" line of my ruler on the dark inside line of my block pattern and ignore the 1/4" lighter line on the pattern, so I know that I am cutting a true 1/4" seam.
11.) I prefer to remove the paper before I sew my paper pieced projects together, mainly because I use regular paper, and if I sew the pieces together and then remove the paper I think the threads will then be loose....just my thoughts....but because this pattern is being sewn together on a bias edge, I trimmed off just enough of the paper to sew the seam but left the rest so it would reduce possible stretching.....
Sew A to B, matching notched ends and having biased edges aligned. No other seams match so no worries about that!!!!
Press Seam open
You've just completed one block!!!!
For this block I actually chain pieced it, I had all the patterns and fabrics cut and it went extremely fast!!