Paper and Paper Piecing

I started a new quilt yesterday. Well I sort of started the quilt yesterday, I think that you could really say that I started it over a week ago. Yesterday is the day that I did my first cut and stitch.

I really enjoy paper piecing. It’s sort of like a coloring book that you do with sewing. You just sew by number.

The preparation of the paper can be no fun, but I think that I found a way to make it simpler and less time consuming.

Why did it take me over a week to get started? Let me take a step back and explain how paper piecing works.

  • Pick a pattern that you like.
  • Print it out and cut it to size.
  • Pre-sew the paper to make it easier to remove from the quilt when you are done piecing.
  • Cut the fabric.
  • Sew on the paper by number.
  • Join the pieces together to make blocks.
  • Join the blocks together to make your quilt top.

Sounds pretty straight forward, right? My problem was that the papers for piecing that I chose to make were too big for my printer. It took me over a week to get them printed up.

Each block for the quilt that I started needs 4 pieces and there are 12 blocks in the quilt. That means that there are 48 pieces to make. For a regular quilt, that really not bad. The problem with this type of quilt is that it means a whole lot of cutting out. After the pattern is printed on A3 paper, I had to then cut out the  paper squares. I think that some people leave them, but the A3 paper is way to big to be able to use in a normal fashion.

I’ve come up with a better plan for next time I do a paper piecing project. Instead of printing it at Tzamtzem (the photo shop that could print on A3 size paper). I am going to take it to a printer, like Graphos Print. They will print and cut each paper to the size that I want.

Besides getting the size correct, they also have different weights of paper. The regular printer paper is too think. In order to allow easy removal after you’ve sewn through that paper, you need to prepare the paper before hand. This is also very time consuming. Newspaper print is the perfect weight to get your papers printed on. It rips easily enough that there is no need to do the pre-sewing. I’ve used it before for strip piecing, and it works wonderfully.

I think that even if my next paper piecing project can be printed on my home printer, I’m still going to do it this way. I felt a bit like a second grader needing to cut on the line through  48 sheets. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very time consuming. I quilt because I love sewing. Cutting paper is not my thing.

Although time consuming, in the end, the way that I did it worked. Do as I say, not as I do, if you want to make the project more enjoyable. I know that I’m going to do it the next time around.

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