Tuesday, November 22, 2011

W.I.P. Wednesday (+ paper piecing tips)

First off, make sure to head on over to Pings and Needles ~ she is having an Accuquilt Go! Baby giveaway!! I have entered many of these giveaways and am still hoping that one day I'll win!!

I am totally copying Megan's non-Christmas Christmas mini quilt! A project that gives the Christmas feel without the use of overtly Christmas fabrics. The fabrics I used were all from my scrap bag, some from past projects of mine, and a few that I received in a bag of scraps from Debbie of 'A Quilter's Table'.....recognize any, Debbie? ;) I am in the process of hand quilting this, and will also be trying a new method to hang the quilt on the wall, which I feel like I'm inventing but maybe someone else has already done it! Stay tuned for that.

I had been wanting to try the Circle of Geese block for a while, just because it looks so interesting and fun! I'd tried paper piecing once before (well, twice, but on the same project, my summer sampler quilt) and while it was fun and paper piecing really does help you to achieve amazing and precise results, I was put off by the amount of wasted fabric. This circle of geese block was enough to draw me back in though, and give it another try! Again, I feel like I wasted quite a bit of fabric but everything was from my scrap bag this time so it didn't feel quite as bad as with the summer sampler where I was cutting into yardage specifically for that project. So with that said, a few paper piecing tidbits, from my limited experience...
  • the tutorial I linked above has you pre-punch the lines on the paper using your sewing machine with no thread. I highly recommend this! It makes the process of folding the paper back so much easier, and also helps later on with tearing the paper away.
  • set your machine to a very short stitch length ~ VERY important, if you want to be able to easily remove the paper, which I do!
  • next time I will print an extra paper template, cut out each piece and lay them out on my fabric, cutting each with about a 1/2" allowance on all sides, to make the most of my fabric (ie. less waste!). This, as opposed to using approximately 3"x5" pieces of fabric, as the tutorial suggests, which clearly works but if you're all about conserving supplies like I am, I would recommend the former (which the tutorial also does mention).
  • mark the piece numbers on the unprinted side of your paper as well as the printed side. Not crucial, but helps things go more smoothly in my opinion.
  • after each step of adding a new fabric and pressing it, trim the excess fabric that extends beyond your paper template (only do this AFTER pressing) - the above tutorial doesn't suggest this, but I did it as I found it made things a lot neater and less unwieldy to work with.
  • the entire circle of geese block is made up of 4 smaller blocks. I did not remove the paper until after I had sewn the top row together, and the bottom row together. Therefore the only seam I sewed without paper was the final seam.

I hope someone finds this helpful. I mainly followed the above tutorial but also referenced a few others as not everyone does it the same way and it was good to have options and figure out what worked best for me.

The only other project I am currently working on is the Little Apples wonky log cabin mini quilt. I have finished adding "logs" to it, so now what's left is basting, quilting & binding!



WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

15 comments:

Live a Colorful Life said...

Little Apples is so cute. And I have always wanted to try Circle of Geese. I posted a freezer paper tutorial a while back on how to not waste so much fabric when you paper piece. I can give you the link if you are ever interested. Your Circle of Geese looks awesome!

Tanya said...

Thanks for the tips! I just barely made my first circle of geese using scraps, too, and I agree that it feels much better than cutting out fabric. That will be one beautiful quilt!

Dolores said...

Thanks for those tips, I will certainly come back to it when I try paper piecing. You two projects looks great btw.

Cille said...

Thanks for the tips. I really need to try paper piecing osoon so it's much appreciated :)

Erin @ Missy Mac Creations said...

Ditto what they said re: tips. ;) Love how you used non-Christmas fabrics - great modern take. I need to start raiding my scraps bin.

Debbie said...

YES I recognize fabric! ;-)
And thanks for all the tips - this is VERY helpful! Can't wait to see the finish!

Kristen said...

Pretty! Bookmarking this! I want to make this flying geese pattern too.

Melissa said...

That geese block looks great :) Thanks for putting up paper piecing tips, I haven't gotten around to trying that technique out yet!

Alli said...

Your circle of geese looks fantastic! That's a really neat angle you took the picture at... I was scouring your post to see if you linked to the supercool pattern you used until I realized that it was the same pattern I have, just from a more interesting viewpoint. :D

Anyhoo, the Christmassy colors you chose are perfect! :)

Marsha C said...

That first square looks very difficult.
Neat idea on the tracing of paper with no thread in your machine. I wouldn't have ever thought of that.

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

And I'm comment 11 - yayayay!!!

Poppyprint said...

lovely job on that block and a great list of suggestions, too. I am using the same method as Cindy (freezer paper) now for all foundation piecing projects. I love not having to peel paper off the back!

Kate said...

Cutting out the template is a good idea! I measure, and measure some more, and finally take notes as I cut my paper piecing squares. Just cutting the templates is probably easier.

Scrap,Quilt, Preach said...

I like your idea of using fabrics that are not Christmas but still leave you with an impression of it. Good job on the PPing

Leanne said...

Your circle of geese block has lovely fabrics, and thanks for the ideas!