It's my turn! All month long there's been loads of quilty inspiration for how to turn those paper pieced blocks you just had to do into useable projects, now it's my turn to show you how to create a piece of art out of your paper piecing.
I have had this project on my wanna-do list for quite some time now, and thanks to Kristy's
But now, I feel like I can paper piece anything. Anything! So pushing myself was totally worth it. And I can show this to my non-quilty friends and they pretend to be even more impresed than usually. Yes, I love this project enough that I am actually torturing my non-quilty friends with it!
Miss Phoebe, who is 10, is a massive fan of The Hunger Games. She totally sucked me in and I lost a couple of weeks of my life to reading the books back to back. We love love love these books. So to find that there's a free paper piecing pattern for all the book covers here made me very happy! I knew immediately I had to make a quilt for her. Liljabs is working on blocks representing all the Districts, but I couldn't wait that long, so this is what I came up with.
Here are the three blocks, and let me tell you, there are 100 pieces in each 10 inch square if there are 10! I didn't actually count the pieces, but there were plenty.
She is very, very excited to have this ready to hang, though she doesn't look it here.
And some embroidery details...
Before you start
- check the seam allowances on your papers are 1/4inch, if they are then everything else will be okay. Trust me, printer settings can do silly things and when you've pieced an entire block for a swap to find it comes up 1/2 an inch short, tears seem like a very good option.
- break out the coloring pencils and color in all the pieces. These blocks were simple in that they were either black or colored, but coloring in the colored sections made it soooo much easier to make sure I was putting the right fabric in place.
- prefold all your seam line on the paper. It's just easier.
While you're piecing
- After you stitch a piece, fold back the next seam you're going to sew and trim your seam allowance on the piece you've just secured. Then you can just line up the next piece on the seam allowance. I know this seems like you might be double handling your seam trimming at times but once I figured this out I found it so much easier to place my pieces. Totally worth it.
- Use your smallest rotary cutting blade and ruler possible. Yeah, the ones you bought when you couldn't afford a big guy. They are perfect for little cuts like this.
- If you're not sure whether or not a scrap of fabric will cover the piece sufficiently, don't use it. You always need more than it looks like you will. And unpicking those tiny seams is a bitch.
After you've pieced
- Press all your sections before you trim them back to the paper. And repeat after me: Starch Is Your Friend. Use it, love it. It does tend to discolor your ironing board but it's totally worth it for how smooth you get you pieces.
- Try new things - for these blocks I decided to stitch the blocks together with the paper on. With about 15 units in each block it was totally worth it to do it this way.
Hopefully one or two of these tips will you help you with your paper piecing. And if you need more help, I might need to refer you to the Queen of Paper Piecing herself - Carol Doak! Carol has kindly donated one copy of her book, Show Me How to Paper Piece for me to giveaway! To enter, follow my blog and then leave me a comment telling me which of the blocks above is your favorite. I'll keep the competition open until Monday 20th August.
Happy Hunger Games - and may the odds be ever in your favor.