New to paper piecing? Our five top tips!

At Patterns to Print, we have a great selection of paper piecing patterns, and they create intricate and impressive designs when patchworked. However, if it’s your first try at the technique it can be a little daunting.

Patterns such as the Wallander quilt or the Sunburst Clutch are a good place to start as they are simple designs without hundreds of pieces in a block, and they come with full instructions on the technique, however here are some other tips you may wish to consider which will make it easier!

1. Small stitches are your friend!
DSCF4452Set your machine on a shorter stitch length than usual (if your length is usually 2.5, try 1.0) – this perforates the paper closer together which will make removing it at the end much easier.

2. Sewline glue pens may save a lot of unpicking

Picture from http://www.sewline-product.com

If your piece of fabric when folded back is only just grazing a line, ease it on the bias a little and stick in place with a dab of glue pen to make sure the next patch catches the edge securely. You may also find it useful to hold down large patches so they don’t flip over when stitching, unpicking little stitches is no fun!

3. Use the thinnest copier paper you can find

Thin copy paper makes it easier to audition fabric pieces and line up where they need to be as you can see the line clearer through the paper.

4. And if I still can’t see the line?
Try tracing the design through the the back of the paper with a pencil, holding up to a window if you need to. Then you know exactly where everything needs to be.

5. Trim as you go
DSCF5702

If you are using dark and light fabrics together, you may find it useful after stitching a line, to fold it on the line and trim down the seam allowance so dark colours can’t be seen so obviously through light ones.

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