Monday, March 19, 2012

Win the traveling box... what I'm working on... and a paper piecing toot!

Hello Friends,
Here's block one done! I'm making this quilt - easy paper piecing - for the Hands 2 Help Quilt Challenge .  There is still time to sign up... Please use the link above to check it out, especially if you would like to win the traveling box that is ready now to send off. (You will need to leave an encouraging comment for Sarah, (you might even like to sign up for the challenge but that won't give you any extra points). Then come back here to let me know you've left a message for her. I'll put your name in a hat, and hubby will pick a winner, say on Saturday the 24th. (You may want to know that the box costs $15.45 to ship in the U.S., and you will be responsible to ship it on to the next recipient.) Sorry, but because of the exorbitant shipping price to foreign lands - only U.S. persons can play. Make sure I can get your e-mail address, so I can let you know you've won, and get your snail mail address. (Boy there are a lot of technicalities.)
This contest is now closed, as of March 24, 2012.

Paper Piecing Tutorial
Okay, back to the  quilt I'm making.  This is an easy paper piecing block I found in one of the magazines in the traveling box. It's 3 pieces that make a square that is on point within a square. 7 pieces in each block.

This is the pattern. (It's a 7", so bigger than I usually work on.) If you already know how to paper piece you might like to quit now.  You probably do it better than I do - I'm not real picky about the size of the seam allowances, which makes my way a lot easier.

First make a few patterns (keeping one as a master). Next cut a piece of fabric that you want to have in the #1 position... The fabric piece must be bigger than the #1 pattern piece by at least 1/4 inch all the way around. Put the fabric piece on the plain side of the pattern with the "pretty" side away from the paper and plenty of seam allowance on all sides of the #1 pattern piece. (Check it by looking through the paper to the fabric... hold it up against the light of window or lamp.) Pin it in place. (Check it again so it didn't move during pinning.) Here is the first piece in position and pinned.

Below it's pinned on the numbered side (where you are going to sew after you add the second piece.)

Add the second piece of fabric, "pretty" side  to pretty side on the plain side of the pattern.
Check to make sure that it goes over the line between #1 and #2 and is enough seam allowance. Holding both ends, turn to the numbered side and place under the needle. (Make sure you have the stitch length on about 15 stitches to the inch. Later you will need to have a secure stitch to allow removal of the paper.)  Back up stitch a couple of stitches, then stitch on the line between 1 and 2, back stitch a couple of stitches at the end of the line, too.
Here is a good time to turn on your machine!

Trim your threads.
Trim the seam allowances so there is enough. This is more important on smaller pieces, and when the newest piece is white. If you don't want shadows showing through white, trim the darker fabric to a smaller seam allowance than the white. - No kidding you will thank yourself for taking this one  more step.
Next - press the seam open.
Next add the 3rd piece.
Check to see that there is enough seam allowance, then sew as before. Trim your threads.
You don't want to cut the paper pattern, so sometimes it is easier to fold back the paper to trim the seam allowances. (See above and below.)

(Above the center 3 pieces are sewn on. Next the triangles.)
Line up the pieces so there is enough seam allowance, and the fabric is pretty to pretty. Sew on the lined side. Trim threads and seam allowances and press.
I use a strip of fabric, so I need to trim off the excess in order to sew the next triangle. See below.
Cut the fabric (above) so it leaves at lease a 1/4 inch seam allowance all around. I just eyeball it. You can trim to 1/4 inch later, but I don't sew paper pieces that way... I'll show that secret tomorrow.
Add the next numbered piece. (Should be #5.) Make sure there is enough seam allowance. Sew, trim, press. Add the next piece.

Below I have sewn the last pieces on and pressed.  Another block done.
The pic below was supposed to show the pattern side after the fabric (above) is all sewn on, but you can't see anything different than the original pattern. Trust me all the central lines have stitches.
Sew - now you start another block. I'll blog some hints and the secret I use to attach one block to another without relying on the old 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now I know you are probably tired of hearing about this, Heaven knows we are all tired of cancer. My Chrissy (daughter) is undergoing major surgery on her liver tomorrow... (breast cancer metastasized to her liver) Tuesday early morning PST.  I sure would appreciate any prayers or good thoughts you could send her way. 

Ask for a Miracle!