Welcome back yet again! It’s Week #4 of our Feelin’ Groovy QuiltAlong and it’s time to learn our last technique – Paper Piecing! This week we’ll be constructing the spikey outer border.
But first — If you’re just joining us this week or looking to catch up, be sure to catch last week’s blog post and video – it’s all about appliquéing the swirls to the background blocks.
Make Copies of the Spikey Outer Border Pattern —
First, you’ll need to make some copies of the spikey paper pieced pattern included in the Feelin’ Groovy pattern.
You can use a cheap thin copy paper to do so and your home printer.
Or you can use Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper sold at most quilt shops. This is a paper specifically made for paper piecing and can also be sent through your printer to make copies.
TAKE NOTE!! Make sure when you make a copy that you have your printer set to “print at 100%” or “actual size”. Make a test copy and refer to the 1″ scale in the bottom left hand corner of the pattern. If this scale doesn’t measure 1″ EXACTLY as it says you know something is off. Additionally measure around the dotted lines of the spikey paper pieced pattern…it should measure 6-1/2″ x 9-1/2″.
For the Lap Quilt size on the pattern cover, you’ll need to make a total (18) copies and for the Baby Size, you’ll need a total of (12) copies. Make yourself a few extra copies just in case!
Cutting Your Strips —
I found that for this particular pattern that if I cut all of my black and white scrap fabric into 3” X 8” strips, I could easily and speedily paper piece the spikey border pattern in no time. So cut a variety of black and white fabrics into 3″ x 8″ strips.
What is Paper Piecing?–
“Paper Piecing”, or also referred to as “Foundation Piecing”, simply means to assemble a unit piece by piece using a paper-printed pattern or muslin fabric pattern as the foundation for the fabric strips. Paper piecing is super fun, super easy and super accurate – you’ll never cut off another point that’s for sure.
First, you need to just wrap your brain around the fact that you are sewing backwards or somewhat in reverse. Before begininng let’s start off with some handy tips to help you along the way – these are also in the pattern on pages 3-4!
• Reduce your stitch length on your machine to 2 or a little smaller – this will help perforate the paper and make it easier to remove later;
• The printed side of the paper (with all of the patterns, marking and numbers) will be the side you sew on and therefore it will become the WRONG side of the unit when complete;
• The solid lines on the pattern denote the lines you sew on. Sew directly on all solid lines starting with “Sew 1”, – starting and ending your stitching several stitches before after the sew line;
• Note that each part of the unit has a number and a color – piece the unit together in the numerical order indicated starting with 1, then 2, 3, 4 and so on. Do not deviate from the numerical order listed;
• Cut a separate piece of fabric for each numbered section of the pattern. The fabric piece should completely cover the numbered section and extend at our over all the dashed lines of the section;
• For paper piecing, place fabric pieces on the unprinted side of the pattern over the appropriate numbered pattern section. For this step, you may need to hold the pattern up to the light to see the section lines or place pins along the lines to guide you in placing your fabric strip over the correct section.
For exact paper piecing instructions, I always think a visual example is better – so here is my companion video for the week. You can also follow along in the pattern on pages 4-6 for detailed paper piecing instructions, more descriptions and diagrams.
Once your first unit is complete, trim the unit to 6-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ on the dashed lines. DO NOT REMOVE THE PAPER ! We will do that next week when we put the quilt top together.
That’s it for Week #4!! Next week – Week #5 – our final week – we’ll be putting it all together – woohoo!
Until then, please be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.
Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~ happy and bright quilting always! L&C xxoo