Perfect Your Paper Piecing

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Twirly-Whirly Mini Quilt by Elizabeth Dackson

If you’ve never tried foundation paper piecing projects, you may find that they should come attached with a warning: Try it! You’ll Like It! For many quilters this technique has become an addiction.

If you’re just learning, keep in mind it is far easier to do than it is to explain.

Author and educator Elizabeth Dackson stands side-by-side with quilters obsessed with paper piecing. She has shared her love of this classic technique with thousands of quilters and has just published The Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook.

Even if you’ve struggled with paper piecing in the past, Elizabeth swears it will all start to click with the right instruction and a lot of practice. To get you started on the path to paper piecing paradise here are some helpful hints from Elizabeth:

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Fall Lanterns Runner by Elizabeth Dackson

The Golden Rules of Paper Piecing

1. Fabric goes on the unprinted side of the paper at all times. If you place your fabric on the printed side of the paper, you won’t be able to see the seam lines.

2. The very first piece of fabric is the only piece of fabric you’ll place right side up on the unprinted side of the paper (i.e.  the wrong side of the fabric is against the unprinted side of the paper). Every subsequent piece of fabric is placed right sides together with that first piece of fabric.

3. Only sew on the printed side of the paper. Turn the fabric/paper set over so that the printing is on top. Then sew along the dotted line.

4. Shorten your stitch length to perforate the paper. Use a stitch length of between 1.2 and 1.5 mm (16 to 18 stitches per inch). You don’t want the paper to fall apart as you’re sewing, but you want to be able to remove the foundation paper easily.

5. Don’t fret about positioning your raw edges a perfect ¼” (6 mm) from the seam line. Trim any excess after you sew the fabric in place.

6. When you line up your fabric, place your fabric on top of the fabrics you’ve just sewn into place, not over the part of the template you want your fabric to cover. Remember that the fabric will be flipped into position after it’s sewn.

Ready to dive deeper into foundation paper piecing? Chock full of 18 projects that range from rookie to adventurous to daring, there is a project for everyone within the pages of The Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook–order your copy today! If you’re ready to get started right away download the eBook today.

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P.S. Do you paper piece? Do you have a favorite block or a technique tip? Leave a comment below to share your paper-piecing thoughts.

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