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Paper Piecing Fun!

One of my most favorite ways to piece a quilt is to paper piece. I first got hooked on it when I took a class years ago from paper piecing maven, Carol Doak. Loved to learn the technique from her and she is just full of energy. Now I love to sometimes draft my own, but I am also a total Judy Niemeyer fan too. Having recently taken yet another class from her, I am reinvigorated to piece!!

Some of the things that I love about paper piecing is the accuracy that you get. There is really no wiggle room for error. If you can sew on the line you will have a perfect piece every time! How cool is that? The only drawback to paper piecing is ripping the paper off when you are done.

When drafting my own, I use a newspaper weight paper or the paper that comes on the roll that you can find at the big box hardware stores. It is brown and comes in widths of 12” or 18” for a low price of around $4.00 or so for an unlimited supply!! There are also newspaper weight paper sheets that you can feed into any printer that are available through your local quilt shop too. This way you can make multiple copies. Judy Niemeyer patterns have all the papers that you need pre-printed.

Once you get going there is a definite rhythm to it and you get spectacular results. My advice about paper piecing, if you haven’t tried it definitely do so, but begin with something easy.

Have you ever tried to paper piece? What is your favorite type of piecing?

Jackie Kunkel

Canton Village Quilt Works

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  • Darla says:

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I’ve been making 6 inch Mariner’s Compass blocks lately. I use cheap copier paper and set the stitch length at 1.8. The paper comes off easy with tweezers, but is still firm enough to resew a mistake. On the corners and where the pieces meet, I have to stay exactly on the lines. If one piece is sewn one needle width to the left and the adjoining piece is sewn one needle width to the right, the corners will not be sharp. On a small block it is very easy to see.

  • Nancy Lee says:

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I love to paper piece. Like you I love the accuracy..

    I have a Judy pattern in my future…just need to find the time and the fabric…

  • Jean Kritenbrink says:

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I like paperpiecing but haven’t ever done a large project using it. I recently did app block for a round robin I will be doing with friends. I have been following your progress on this project, it is gorgeous!

  • quiltmom anna says:

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I really enjoy paper piecing- its so accurate and a really good way to make a quilt if you have a group making a quilt because it means that each block will be accurate.
    Very nice piece in the magazine.

  • Rita Goshorn says:

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    i made one paper-pieced quilt that was a breeze; then i started dear jane with it’s mini blocks …… argh! am going to start over [sigh] using carol d’s flimsy. i made the first one with typing paper, but it doesn’t work with little bitty pieces!

  • Barb says:

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 6:53 am

    I have done paper piecing but did not really enjoy it…..maybe I need different paper….and I certainly know to achieve this kind of points and circles that paper piecing is the way to go. Maybe I will try it again one day. Thanks.

  • Pat in Washington says:

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I usually have at least one paper piecing project in the pipeline at all times. One of my sewing friends is a nurse, and her doctor’s office contributes to our sewing retreat rolls of the paper that go on the examining tables. It’s the perfect weight for paper piecing, and it’s FREE!

  • Shirley says:

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I LOVE paper piecing, too. I recently finished Judy Niemeyer’s Sunflower Illusions top and am still working on one of her expanded tablerunners. It’s going to be a beauty in lavender, purple, and green batiks. I need to get back to working on that one.

  • paulette doyle says:

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Well you certainly made that look easy! I have only made two quilts this way (very easy ones) and loved it!! Thanks for sharing!

  • wendiq says:

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    LOVE pping. Have only done small projects. Have no need of larger just now. But it is fun. My challenge now is doing very small projects……the accuracy required to put it all together is somewhat taxing with the smaller pieces. Still…………it’s fun. I read all the hints I can find and enjoy reading about your work. I have just started using a foundation that doesn’t need to be removed……anyone ever tried it?

  • Carrie P. says:

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I love the look of paper piecing but I sure don’t like doing it. Yours is fabulous.

  • Cindy W. says:

    Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Have not started paper piecing yet. Will try it soon.

  • deb says:

    Posted July 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve paper pieced a few times. One of the members of the local quilt guild is going to be teaching us how to do a curved spikey border! I’m way excited. She does awesome work, and often designs her own quilts.

    Mostly I do regular chain or strip piecing projects.

  • Denny says:

    Posted August 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    What do you consider to be an easy beginner foundation piecing pattern? I can’t really tell which are easier ones. Thanks!

  • QUILT Magazine says:

    Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Simple paper piecing would consist of only a few parts to each pattern. Some people catch on quickly and some take a bit more practice.

    Keep Quilting!

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