Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Paper Piecing - Part 1 - New Mexico Star

Part 1 in a series of Paper Pieced Star Blocks

Paper piecing (or foundation piecing) is a technique that ensures high accuracy and is especially useful for piecing more complicated patchwork blocks.  I love paper piecing and it has been too long since my last paper piecing project.  I am in need of a paper piecing fix!


Carol Doak is a paper piecing master.  Carol's books including Simply Sensational 9-Patch Stars have been on my book shelf for (quite) a while.  The great thing about Carol's paper piecing books is that they come complete with a CD (and CD's are also separately availabe) which allows you to print the foundation papers directly from you computer to your printer in whatever block size you choose.  No need to trace the designs, no photocopying, and no complicated maths to enlarge your block.


This block is called New Mexico Star and is block #31 in the above mentioned book.  The block consists of just three different foundation designs, all printed effortlessly.  


Once you've got your paper piecing rhythm the block comes together quickly and accurately.  Paper piecing is repetitive and I tend to oversize my fabric pieces - larger than the area it needs to fill - and trim back the seam allowance after stitching each seam.  It is a slow process, but well worth the sharp points and accurate results.


I thought I'd show you some of my favorite paper piecing tools:
  1. Glue Stick:  I use this instead of pins (which I find distorts the papers).  The smallest touch of glue will temporarily adhere your first fabric piece to your foundation paper.  You can adjust the fabric until it is in just the right spot and from there stitch your additional pieces with confidence.  
  2. Sticky Tape:  To tape together any foundation papers that are accidentally cut into - Oops!
  3. Tweezers:  Very handy tool when it comes to removing the foundation papers, especially from the sharp points and seam lines.
  4. Seam Ripper:  self-explanatory.


Watch this space for more paper pieced star blocks!

Rita

32 comments:

  1. I love the fabrics you used in these!!!

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  2. This is such a cool block, and I love your fabric choices! Thanks for recommending the book!

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  3. Love the block and your choice of fabrics...TFS :o)

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  4. Beautiful. Love your fabric choices.

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  6. Hi Rita
    Is the background spot a Moda fabric ?
    Carey

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  7. I can't wait to see your finish quilt with these blocks! As always awesome! You inspire me to want to try paper piecing!

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  8. wow. this is beautiful and perfectly executed as usual. your understanding of color and placement is a gift that i wish i had. it seems effortless, but i am sure a lot of thought was put into it. great job, i can't wait to see more.

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  9. Your fabric choices for this block are perfection Rita! You have such an eye for colour and value etc. can't wait to see more.

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  10. Gorgeous block and so precise!

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  11. I too love paper piecing. I love your color choices. If I could have one wish it would be for you to pick fabric for me.

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  12. I am completely addicted to paper piecing! Wonderful blocks, and your fabrics are perfection!

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  13. Beautiful fabric combination such stunning colours. I love paper piecing, will have to look into this block:)

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  14. That star is 100% lovely!! The colors, the text, it just all falls together! Great work!

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  15. Beautiful! Paper piecing is my favorite. I love just cutting a random size chunk of fabric and not having to cut it to exactly the right size. I will definitely be looking into this book!

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  16. I really love this block! Well done indeed!

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  17. I like your block so much that I went and bought the book ~ I love paper piecing!

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  18. I love paper piecing too :) and this is a gorgeous block! Lovely fabrics too!
    Karen x

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  19. Love to use a dab of glue on piece #1. Love the sharp points you get with paper piecing. Love how you used the word fabric on this block! Wow...that's a lot of love.

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  20. Pretty, pretty. I have that book and I LOVE it!

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  21. Lovely work on the block and thanks for sharing about your tools. I started like fpp a lot better once I discovered fabric glue stick. I liked it even more once I started using an Add a Quarter Ruler.

    Carol Doak has a group on Yahoo Groups, right? Until Nov. 30, she's having a challenge called "It's in the Bag." You go to the Photo Album of that name on her Yahoo group and upload pics of any bags you make that include at least one Carol Doak block. Then she'll randomly choose one person, who will win 5 yards of fabric. The more pics you enter, the greater your chance to win.

    Kind of fun, especially if people are keen to try the blocks in this book or any of Carol's other blocks!

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  22. i like to paper piece, I have a w.i.p. ongoing, with paper pieced trees.
    Makes lovely points and if you hate picking out the paper, you can purchase water soluable sheets. When your top is complete (but I think before you make your quilt sandwich, you can damp the fabric and the "paper dissolves". One trick my p.p. teacher told me is to make your stitches smaller; that way the paper tears away easier.
    I purchase the packages of p.p.paper from Patchwork Place (through half.com) others tell me they use regular copy paper. I like the p.p.paper as it's easy to see the lines through to the other side.

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  23. Rita,

    Thanks so much for showing us your pp tools. I am currently working on pp pillows for the girls. I will using the glue stick today. Awesome tips... Also lovely block and look forward to seeing the quilt done.

    Have a great day.

    Linda

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  24. Love that block! Might inspire me to take a chance on paper piecing! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  25. You really rock at this. Thanks for showing this it's gorgeous!

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  26. Fascinating star and I love the fabrics you have chosen, especially the newsprint. I am toiling a little with a foundation pieced New York Beauty quilt and this has spurred me on to finish so that I can try something new.

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  27. You make Carol Doak's Simply Sensational 9-patch Stars ROCK! I have always loved the ability to resize and rescale with her easy software. If I can use it, anyone can. Love what you are doing with paper piecing and am excited to see more.

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  28. Rta, can you share the fabric line that you're using...the white with the lettering. In the block you posted today, it's in the 4 corners :)
    Peggy

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