Adventures in Paper Piecing:

Pattern for Tulips

This is the pattern for the tulip block.



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Adventures in Paper Piecing:



I promised a friend of mine I would make a couple of paper pieced blocks for a class sample she wants to make for her January adult education classes. I warned her I am a self-taught paper piecer. I learned from a one day workshop, and watching Carol Doaks and Peggy Martin DVDs. Anyway I guess she was desperate because she had me make the blocks, anyways. (Maybe she will use it as an example of what NOT TO DO.)


Since I rarely paper piece I was wondering how fast I could make the blocks so I have been timing myself as I sew. So far I have sewn for two hours on four blocks. ( see the pictures) The blocks are a little more than half finished. I only had to rip out one patch as I accidentally cut off one of my patches when I was trimming the block.

I found piecing the triangular units a bit more difficult as I kept getting the fabric shifted so that it did not line up as nicely as they should have. I was able to get the complete coverage of the p.p. template but a couple of the patches seemed to buckle when I pressed. I have not figured out why yet. If anyone knows, please, clue me in.

Wrong cuts to right hand tulip block




While making the blocks I realized I have acquired several bad habits. I am pretty good about pinning and lining up my fabric so that it covers the paper pattern correctly. (After a lot of trial and error the patches got better.) I press religiously as I sew. I even began trimming my fabrics as I go along as shown by Carol Doaks. I, however, find I cannot break the habit of back stitching when I start and stop my blocks…. TOO MANY YEARS spent making clothing and drapes. I have a psychological need to make sure my seam stays sewn and does not come apart. So I find myself back stitching. When I do this in my regular piecing I sew off the seam allowance so it does not seem to affect the block. But if you back stitch in paper piecing you end up with a lumpy seam that can affect how the fabric lays down. ( I tried to take a picture so you could visualize what I was talking about but it would not show up on my pictures.) No amount of foundation can cure the situation of a lumpy seam. I did talk to one of the guild members tonight who said she always back stitches at the beginning and end of her piecing because that was the way she was taught. What do YOU ALL think? Are you a back stitcher or not?


THINGS I LEARNED:


Carol Doaks said teaspoon… tsp by that she meant ….
TRIM after each section to get a quarter inch seam so you could ….I fold the paper pattern back on itself to keep it out of the way. Believe me cutting it the pattern or worse the block off a couple of times teaches you to be a LITTLE MORE CAREFUL.


SEW your next patch on to your block accurately. The trimmed seams allow your patches to line up nicely. I use the ADD A QUARTER RULER popular for paper piecing projects. I also have an ADD AN EIGHTH RULER for a project I started in miniature. Both work great.

ADD A QUARTER RULER

PRESS your block before you go to the next patch. Pressing keeps your block flat and pristine. It set up the block for the next patch. I use to try finger pressing using my finger nail but I was never happy with the results and I tended to get puckers. I also had a wood iron but it tended to disappear in the sewing area… an ironing board and iron are harder to misplace. I got the small clover iron and the small flat craft iron as a Christmas gifts so I am going to try using them.


Links I LIKE:

Quilt Study . ORG

MSU QUILT MUSEUM on line newsletter and list of MICHIGAN QUILT SHOWS

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4 thoughts on “Adventures in Paper Piecing:

    1. THANK YOU for the comments on my blog ….

      Yes, I have all of Carol Doak’s dvds and books on paper piecing … I think I was being lazy and did not take the time to review them just before making my block. I did remake the block correctly and have since done several pp projects successfully.

      Love Carol Doaks but all my classes on Craftsy are for FREE MOTION QUILTING …. I am a technique person in that I love learning new techniques and want to try everything…. my current passion is FMQ. I take all the technique classes I can find on Craftsy, iQuilt, etc.

      Nonnie

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      .

  1. Found your page in a long journey from Facebook to Pinterest and now finally to WordPress. Your links were shared through a group called QUILTING on facebook, where someone had shown a photo and was looking for pattern info. The picture she showed was 4 of these lovely tulips. Not sure if they were actually yours (here is the link so you can see: https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=777777738899592&set=gm.10152428748070815&type=1&theater )
    I love that you took the time to explain in your post the ups and down’s of paper piecing. I have only done 1 block using the “add a quarter” ruler, and intend to do more. This block might just send me out to the sewing room. Thanks.

    1. That is not my pattern … I have seen several blocks similar to it … and have made the pattern when paper piecing for a friend of mine as a pattern tester…. She got the pattern from ELECTRIC QUILT BLOCK BASE… I think it was called tulip and is in the log cabin section… but it has been several years and I am not sure… When I see her next I will ask….. Nonnie

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