Mini Machine Paper Piecing for Quilt Festival Kent!

...Machine Paper Piecing for Quilt Festival Kent!

Hello Crafters! 

I really have been true to my word and been busy this week creating blogs for you to read, I've almost finished the whole month! It's lovely not having to quickly get something done because I don't want to miss a week and disappoint any avid readers!

So as you may have seen on our Facebook, this week is the Quilt Festival Kent, so we're celebrating all things Quilting! You also may have read Sarah's blog post on her Harry Potter Project of Doom which uses paper piecing to make an amazing Harry Potter Quilt. I've never tried paper piecing but definitely wanted to give it a go, so what better time to try?! So with a little guidance from Sarah I got to work, and wanted to show you how I got on. 

This project is a fab scrap buster, so should you have a few favourite fabric scraps you just don't want to let go of like I did, this could be the one to use them up!

So, you'll need some scraps, a piece of wadding and a pattern. They're easy enough to find, just search 'simple paper piecing patterns free' into your web browser and you're sure to find one you love. I also used a few pins, but if your wadding isn't fusible, you'll be fine without these. 

So to start with, you'll need to cut your scraps to the shape of the pattern pieces like I have in the image above. They should be bigger than the pattern, and you'll see why in a bit. 

Your stitch width and length will need to be quite small/short so as to perforate the paper adequately enough to make it easy to remove at the end, these were the settings I had my machine on.

Start off with your pattern, wadding and the piece for shape number one. In my example this is the centre square but it could be anything so have a look at your pattern. Lay the pattern on one side of the wadding, and the square on the other, right side up. If you have fusible wadding, the fabric will need to be on the adhesive side. To line it up properly, you may need to hold it up to a light to make sure it's in the right place. 

Pin it in place and put your fabric under your machine foot with the paper up. This is so you can sew the pattern (funnily enough), otherwise you wouldn't be able to see it!

Sew around shape one, so once it's done, it should be secured on the fabric side, as below. 

Next, move on to shape two. I'm using a grey contrasting fabric and this time, instead of laying the fabric shape directly over the top, you're going to line up the edge of the fabric shape along the shared line between shapes one and two. I know I've not explained this well, see the image below for a better idea!

Stitch along the straight line you've just placed the fabric on, this way once you turn it over and press the seam flat, the stitches are hidden - clever huh!

I've pinned mine out of the way, just because it's difficult for me to iron a small section like this due to the adhesive on my wadding, but if your wadding isn't fusible, you'll be fine to press your seams flat and they should stay out of the way. You're going to continue this, for all the first lot of triangles, so it should look like this (if you're using the same pattern as mine).

I'm now able to control the iron enough to press the seams all at once, so I removed my pins. Moving on to the next section of triangles, I'm using the patterned fabric again and it's exactly the same process as before, Line it up, upside-down, sew along the shared line and flip it back, then press. 

Now you've sewn all your shape, it's time to remove the paper pattern from the back. It's quite satisfying and as long as your thread is strong enough, and you've used the proper stitch settings, the stitches should be totally fine. 


After removing the paper, trim around the edges to neaten it up and get rid of the excess, as we're now going to put a back on.

You could always attach a backing fabric, then bind it, but this is much easier and as a smaller practice piece, not necessary at all - but could be a good bit of practice for a larger quilt, should you wish to. 

Take a square of fabric, I'm using the grey again, and cut it to size. Place it right sides facing onto the pattern side and sew around the edge, making sure to leave a gap for turning. 

Press the seam and add a topstitch around the edge to secure the turning hole as well. Then that's it finished! You can just keep this as a practice piece then start on a more adventurous project, but mine is the perfect size to use as a coaster for my desk! I'm proud of this and surprised at how quick and easy it was! On the face of it, it appears hard, but definitely not, I'd even say it's a good beginner's sewing project for sure. 

Thank you for reading, send us a pic if you give this a go, or even show us your completed quilting projects, I'm definitely going to give a larger version a go in the future!

See you next week,

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