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• • • • •
Time
30 mins

How To Paper Piece A Multiple Piece Pattern
I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can learn to paper piece. It's my absolute favorite craft and I've made loads of projects.

I also design my own patterns and have lot of free ones available on my website. There's a link in the sidebar!

Look for my other projects using this technique - Harry Potter quilts, fantasy wall hangings and messenger bags!

Posted by ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) from Austin, Texas, United States • Published See ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)'s 74 projects »
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  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 1
    Step 1

    Supplies

  • Step 2

    Start by making a copy of the pattern you want to make. Use lightweight paper for your patterns, as it tears off easier. Recycled printer paper works well, as does tracing paper and some drawing papers. There are also a number of commercially available products just for paper piecing.

    Choose fabrics you think will compliment the pattern. Always use good quality 100% cotton quilting fabric.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 3
    Step 3

    Use paper scissors to trim outside the gray seam allowance of individual pieces of the pattern.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 4
    Step 4

    Starting with pattern piece "A," use the post card as a straight edge, fold the pattern piece on the line between 1 and 2. This is your stitching line.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 5
    Step 5

    Repeat for the line between 1 and 3.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 6
    Step 6

    Place fabric 1 right side up on back of the paper opposite piece 1 (use a light source behind the pattern if you need it to make sure the fabric is big enough). Make sure you have a generous seam allowance (approximately 1/2") all around.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 7
    Step 7

    Flip the pattern over

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 8
    Step 8

    Place fabric 2 wrong side up on fabric 1. Make sure to slide both pieces of fabric 1/4” past the stitching line.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 9
    Step 9

    Using a small stitch (10-12 stitches per inch), start two stitches before the stitching line, stitch along the line and take two stitches after the end. By stitching slightly pass the line, it is less likely that the ends the stitches will pull out when the paper is removed.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 10
    Step 10

    Trim thread to paper.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 11
    Step 11

    Fold fabric two out. Gently dry press with an iron OR use the wall paper seam roller (shown) to press out the seam. Be careful not to pull or tug on the fabric.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 12
    Step 12

    Fold on the 1 > 3 line. Keep the paper folded then flip the pattern over. Trim a generous 1/4" from piece 1.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 13
    Step 13

    Unfold the paper. Place fabric 3 wrong side up on fabric 1. Make sure to slide both pieces of fabric 1/4” past the stitching line.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 14
    Step 14

    Repeat stitching as for line 1 > 2.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 15
    Step 15

    Press as before.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 16
    Step 16

    Trim fabric around pattern piece, leaving a generous amount for squaring up later.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 17
    Step 17

    Press pattern piece "A" with a gentle up and down motion usiing a dry iron. Do not pull or tug the fabric.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 18
    Step 18

    Now for pattern piece "B."

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 19
    Step 19

    Using the postcard or straight edge, fold down the lines between section 1 > 2 and 1 > 3.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 20
    Step 20

    Trim a generous 1/4" seam allowance for piece 1 >2. Repeat for 1 > 3.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 21
    Step 21

    Just as for pattern piece "A," place fabric 1 right side up on back of the paper opposite piece 1. Make sure you have a generous seam allowance (approximately 1/2") all around.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 22
    Step 22

    Stitch on the line between piece 1 > 2 as in previous steps. Repeat for pieces 1 > 3.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 23
    Step 23

    Press out seams as before.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 24
    Step 24

    Trim fabric, leaving a generous seam allowance for squaring up later.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 25
    Step 25

    Press as before.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 26
    Step 26

    This is what you should have so far.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 27
    Step 27

    On your cutting mat and with your ruler, find the blue line on piece "B."

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 28
    Step 28

    Cut 1/4" from blue line.

    (note: Not all paper pieced patterns include seam allowance. All of my patterns do, but if you're ever working on a pattern without seam allowance, it's important to not forget that and accidentally trim off too much!)

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 29
    Step 29

    Find the blue line on piece "A" and repeat the process.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 30
    Step 30

    Now the "A" pattern piece is ready to join to the "B" pattern piece.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 31
    Step 31

    Use a pin to find the outside corner at the end of a blue line. Push the pin through this point.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 32
    Step 32

    Find the corresponding point on the other pattern piece. Push the pin through.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 33
    Step 33

    Push the pin all the way through to line up the pattern pieces.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 34
    Step 34

    Using the pin keep the pattern aligned, stitch along the blue line.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 35
    Step 35

    This is what you have now.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 36
    Step 36

    Remove the paper seam allowance that was just stitched on the "A" piece.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 37
    Step 37

    Repeat for the "B" piece.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 38
    Step 38

    Open the block and press as before.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 39
    Step 39

    Now you have this from the front.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 40
    Step 40

    And you have this from the back.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 41
    Step 41

    Time to square up the block! Find the blue line on one side (for more complicated patterns, find the straightest line).

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 42
    Step 42

    Cut 1/4" from the blue line.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 43
    Step 43

    Using the first cut, square up the block to 5 1/2". If the pattern is a little off, go with the ruler's measurement and not the seam allowance on the pattern.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 44
    Step 44

    Now you have this...all squared up! Leave the paper attached until the block is in it's final location. That will keep the bias seams from stretching.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 45
    Step 45

    From the front.

  • How to make a patterns. Paper Piecing - Step 46
    Step 46

    Finished block, 5" (shown without seam allowance). Use this block for quilts, pillows, bags, pot holders, wall hangings or anywhere else you'd use a square of fabric or a quilt block!

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Comments

April
April · Las Vegas, Nevada, US · 10 projects
I'm a quilter as well and have wanted to try paper piecing. That actually looks like an easy project to do. Love the buttons in the jar look. Thanks for the tutorial.
Reply
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) · Austin, Texas, US · 75 projects
That's fantastic! I'd love to see what you do when you give it a try.
Reply
KMOM14
KMOM14 · Fort Wayne, Indiana, US · 373 projects
I had never heard of paper piecing before, but as the things that you have made have turned out so amazing I am going to put this on my list of new things to try in 2009.

Thanks for the tutorial!
Reply
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) · Austin, Texas, US · 75 projects
Paper piecing is a quilting technique in which you sew fabric directly to the paper. It gives you a great deal of flexibility and the ability to create shapes and patterns that are hard (if not impossible) with traditional machine piecing.

Hope that helps!
Reply
Shivi
Shivi · Perth, Western Australia, AU · 14 projects
I don't really understand what paper piercing is? Could you explain?
Reply
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) · Austin, Texas, US · 75 projects
You're very welcome! I'm a serious paper piecing addict and I love to spread the quilty love.
Reply
KattyRa
KattyRa · Iași, Iași County, RO · 4 projects
Thanx a lot for the how-to....you seems like you put a lot of work!Good job!
Reply