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How to Paper Piece (video)

I really love this technique!! Paper piecing is truly addicting! There are some really cute patterns out on the market like this butterfly charm block. The pattern was created by Nicole and you can download it from her website The best part about this butterfly pattern is that it is free! Click here for a link to all of her patterns. The first time I ever attempted paper piecing, I used her feather pattern. That is why I thought it would be fitting to interview her about paper piecing. I wanted to show some progress photos, so I made her butterfly block; and then I thought, why stop there, so I made a video of the steps so you can actually see, step-by-step, how to paper piece.

Please excuse my lack of experience, as this is my very first video. It was fun (and a little frustrating) to create. I will add them to the mix. The video will show you an in-depth look at paper piecing. There are a few things to keep in mind when paper piecing.

Five important things to keep in mind when Paper Piecing

1. Adjust the stitch to a smaller length, somewhere between 15-20. A stitch length that is smaller will perforate the paper more, making it easier to rip the paper out.

How to Paper Piece - make your stitch length smaller

2. Use a quarter inch ruler. When you use a .25” ruler to trim off excess fabric, you will be left with the perfect seam allowance. It will be the guide that shows you where your next fabric should go.

Use a add Quarter inch ruler when you paper piece

3. Stitch on the paper and its lines. Use paper piecing paper; it is thinner and rips out easier. Each line shows you where you need to sew. Stop and start where those lines stop and start. (The only exception to this rule is the border line* see below). If you start the seam before the line, you will cause a pucker. If you stop your seam before the end of the line, you will have an unsewn gap.

How to Paper Piece - sew directly on the lines of the paper

4. *Extend your stitch beyond the outer border to the dotted line. The border is the guide for the finished block. The dotted line is the seam allowance which needs to be sewn also.

Make sure you stitch the whole length of the line

5. Rip the paper out before the sections are sewn together. You are going to have many layers of fabric to sew over, you don’t need to add the paper, too.

Remove the paper

I hope you now have a greater understanding of paper piecing. You are going to love it, too. I have been playing with of my own paper piecing patterns and I am excited because I will be releasing one in a few weeks. What will the pattern look like? Here is a hint: it is going to be prickly. Stay tuned and Sew On!

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