Ever dream of perfect points?

Creating intricate designs without frustration?

Ever wanted to just be able to sew on a straight line?

Well, if so, paper piecing is for you! We've outlined the basic techniques of paper piecing. Once you've learned how,  you'll be able to create your own masterpiece!

Caution: Paper piecing is definitely addictive!

Get started by transferring your pattern onto foundation piecing paper.

We also used a rotary cutter, ruler, mat, and an Add-A-Quarter™ Ruler.

Once you have your supplies and pattern copied onto foundation paper, you're ready to begin!

Keep in mind the fabric will be placed RIGHT SIDE UP on the WRONG SIDE of the pattern.  You will stitch on the RIGHT SIDE of the pattern along the marked lines. The numbers in each shape indicate the order in which the pieces are sewn.

With the printed side of the foundation paper down, place the fabric with wrong side to the paper over the #1 section. Flip the piece over to make sure that the edges of the fabric extend beyond the sewing lines as shown below and place on a rotary cutting mat.  

This is the RIGHT SIDE of the paper--the side you will stitch on. The fabric is on the WRONG SIDE of the paper with the wrong side of the fabric meeting the wrong side of the paper.

The first sewing line is the line between sections
 #1 and #2. To trim the fabric, place a straight edge along that line.

Fold the paper, only, back along the straight edge exposing the fabric.

Next, place the Add-A-Quarter™ Ruler along the folded edge with the 1/4" lip of the ruler
on the fabric.

Trim the excess fabric. You will now have a straight 1/4" seam allowance.

Fold the paper back.

Cut a piece of fabric for section #2 making sure it covers the area and extends beyond the sewing lines. Position the fabrics, right sides together, raw edges meeting along the trimmed edge and pin to hold in place.


Pinned and ready to go!

At the sewing machine, set the stitch length to 1.5mm. Use an open-toe foot to make it easy to see the stitching line. Begin sewing a few stitches BEFORE the beginning of the line, continue to the end and sew a few stitches PAST the end of the line.

Remove the pin before you get to it! It's really there just to hold the pieces in place when bringing your work to the sewing machine.

When completed stitching, remove the work from the machine. Clip the thread ends (let's keep it neat!). Turn your work over, flip the piece into place and finger press or lightly iron  with a dry iron.

Repeat the above steps following the order of the pattern. The next stitching line will be the line between sections #2 and #3. Place the straight edge along that line, fold the paper back and use the Add-A-Quarter Ruler™ to trim the fabric.  Cut a piece of fabric for section #3, position the fabrics, pin and stitch. Trim the threads, finger press in place and continue with the following sections until all are complete.

All the sections are stitched and you're almost there! Lightly press the entire piece with a dry iron.
 The last step is to trim around the entire piece being sure to leave the 1/4" SEAM ALLOWANCE! Most patterns will show a dashed line for the outside edge of the piece.

Sit back and admire! Wasn't that easy?
A few tips...
We like to keep the paper backing on until the project is sewn together.
Using the smaller stitch length (1.5mm) and a size 90/14 machine needle makes paper removal easier.
For a quick rip, grasp the piece by opposite corners and tug sharply in opposite directions. This will rip the paper right at the stitching lines.
 If you use an iron to press, be sure to use little or no steam.