Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paper Piecing: Tips for Funny Angles

By Kaelyn Angelfoot

My newest project is paper-piecing. I love the space quilt I'm working on so much I decided to experiment with the fabric a little further. I choose a pattern from "101 Log Cabin Blocks" published by DRG. The pattern I selected was named "Vertigo" and can be found on page 26.

First of all, I had to make copies of the pattern. Because the pattern was in a bound book, I decided to cut the pattern page out of the book so that it would lay flat in my copier. The next thing I noticed is that the copier was feeding paper at an angle, so my blocks were printing slightly crooked. I was eventually able to compensate for this. It is very important to check your printed patterns against a square before you begin sewing.

The first thing I learned was that it is nearly impossible, due to the unusual angles of this block, to line up your fabric strips by sight. I ended up developing an easy system to compensate, which greatly reduced both fabric waste and time needed.

As you can see from the picture, once I got to a certain point, it was very difficult to determine where to lay the next strip.

To help me line up your fabric strips, I flipped the pattern over so the back was showing and placed a pin at either end of the pattern line that will be stitched.

Then I flipped the pattern over to the front and placed two pins in the top of the pattern where the pins from the back were showing through and removed the back pins.

Finally, I laid fabric strip so that it lined up with where the pins enter the fabric, then shifted it up to cover the pins by approximately 1/4", pinned in place and stitched!

The final block is 7" x 7", with a half inch seam allowance. I will trim the seam allowance down to 1/4" before I stitch it to other blocks.


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