Welcome to my stop on the tutorial blog hop organized by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter! She has a new book out called, “Fabulously Fast Quilts”, and had the great idea of collecting tutorials from quilters on their own little tricks to make quilting easier or faster.
My trick has to do with paper piecing. Now, most are probably thinking, “how can you possibly make paper piecing anything close to ‘fast’?” If you dislike wasting a lot of fabric with paper piecing, unpicking seams, or just find it confusing to place the fabric correctly, Read on.
If you are new to paper piecing, visit my Tutorial on Basic PP to get started.
For the tutorial, I designed this simple star block. I chose to use lots of triangles, because they demonstrate why this trick works so well. You can download the template, along with a block layout diagram for a whole quilt by visiting my Craftsy pattern shop
If you are using my Rocky Road Star template, you will need to make two copies of the template page (for total of four templates) on your preferred foundation paper (I use a june taylor product called “perfect piecing”, available at Joann’s. It goes nicely through my printer, is see-through, and easy to tear away).
Plus, make one extra copy on regular paper.
Cut out your piecing templates (that’s mine above on the left). Cut out the extra template you copied on regular paper, but cut out all the pieces, right on the lines (shown above, right).
These pieces are going to work like templates for cutting your fabric.
This is very important: ALWAYS cut on the back (wrong side) of your fabric but keep the template (paper shape) RIGHT side up (so you can see the number).
Place the template face up on the back of the fabric and use your rotary cutter to cut out the shape, adding 1/2″ on all sides.
Make sure that you cut the angles the same, making your fabric shape
the same as the template only larger.
Once you have all the shapes cut for one block, you are ready to sew! (for my block, you need four of each numbered shape, #1 is the color square, #2, 3, 4 are white, #5 is gray)
Now you need your piecing templates: turn the template over so you are looking at the back of it (this is when it is nice to use paper you can see through).
Place your colored square over the space on the template with the 1 as shown:
Remember: at this point you are looking at the front of the fabric, and the back of the template.
Next, place a #2 white triangle, right sides facing with the #1 square. Orient the triangle as you would in normal piecing: edge to edge, with the angle set up so that when opened and pressed, it will cover the 2 space on the template:
Once the #1 and #2 fabrics are ready, turn the template over, holding (or pinning) the fabrics to keep them in place:
Now you are looking at the right side of the template and the wrong side of the colored square (#1) fabric.
Sew on the line between shapes 1 and 2 like this:
Turn the template back over to the fabric side, open the white triangle, and press the seam:
Keep adding the pieces in order until you have the template covered and it looks like this:
I promise, I didn’t do any extra trimming or anything to pretty up these photos. My cutting trick makes even difficult shapes like these long triangles come together with less wasted fabric, less seam ripping and less standing on your head!
Trim your template on the dotted outer lines. Make four of these (I made pink, yellow, blue, and green). When you sew them together, you get this star:
Four of these stars makes the image shown at the top of this post. Here is an illustration of what a whole quilt might look like:
Thanks for tuning in! I hope you found this helpful, maybe even convinced you to take another look at paper piecing.
Be sure and visit the other stops on the tour
for more tips and tricks, and congratulate Amy on her new book!