Monday, February 20, 2012

Adventures in Paper Piecing

I finally finished my first paper piecing project! (Ok, I actually finished like a week ago, but the weather was crummy all last week and I wanted a nice picture of it all finished up)

I have been wanting to try paper piecing alot lately, but I'm not the type to just make a "practice" block just for the heck of seems like a waste to make something I don't have any intentions on using, so I was about to jump right in to a (probably difficult) full blown paper piecing block that I really want to make.  Then it's as if Sew, Mama, Sew! read my mind (isn't it funny how blogs do that?) because soon popped up this tutorial for a paper-pieced mini quilt that was super cute and looked like a good way to try out paper piecing. 

I was a little nervous at first, trying to read the directions without doing it seemd overwhelming and confusing, but as soon as I started it was really quite simple and nothing to be scared of!

Colors all picked out..

Paper Piecing start...

Not so difficult!

I did have a few close calls where the fabric just barely covered the seam lines once I flipped it, the whole- not having to line up edges thing -was really throwing me off, and something about sewing backwards on something that was already backwards was kind of blowing my mind, but as long as I took my time thinking it through and double checking the position of the fabric against the light before sewing it, it went together quite well.


I had SO much fun making this, and I am now in love with paper piecing. I finished all of these in one evening and it didn't take long to get it quilted and bound!
All finished!

Close up of some quilting

Close up of more quilting...

The binding is actually where I hit a snag...I was using Rachel at Stitched in Color's zig-zag binding tutorial again, and had confidence that I remembered the directions from the last time I did it and didn't need to re-read them.  WRONG! I accidentally did a 1/2" seam when I sewed it to the front (it's supposed to be 1/4") meaning I had no room to flip it over to cover the back...I almost unstitched the whole thing, when I had a genius idea to trim it off in the seam allowance to make it 1/4". This worked pretty well except I didn't consider the corners, so my nicely mitered corners got messed up...oops! Oh well, I made do..  I am proud to say though that I finally joined the ends of the binding together correctly! Every time I've done binding the part where you join the ends at a 45 degree angle gets me and I give up and just fold one end over the over. This time I was determined to get it right, and after 6 tries (no kidding...6...I was so close to giving up again...) I got it!  I was so proud (one of the main reasons I didn't want to unstitch the binding when I found my mistake, hah!)

Anyway, binding mishaps aside, I am super excited about this finish. It was one of the most fun things I've made in a while and can't wait to try some more paper piecing.  I'm actually considering finding templates for the whole alphabet, sizing them down and making a baby blanket with them. Hmm...right now I have about 10 ideas for baby blankets, so we'll see which make the cut! 

Today I'm linking up with {sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations AND with Little Quilt Monday at Pieceful Life, make sure to stop by and see all the gorgeous stuff people have been up to, and maybe show something of your own off! 


  1. I really need to make one of these Love minis - yours is so cute!!!!

  2. I'm gearing up to try paper piecing too. I think drafting a paper pieced pattern for my last project would have allowed me to get sharper points, so I guess it's something I should have in my sewing repertoire. You did a great job!

  3. This is on my to-do list, but I am not a big fan of paper piecing ....I think this is a must try though, and yours is darling! I agree having the whole alphabet would be fun, and useful!

  4. cuteness! paper piecing is super fun. funny about the binding, we all hit these kinds of snares once in a while. you made it work and it's awesome :D