Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Paper piecing triangle strips

What have I been doing?  Golden Week is finished and I don't know where the days went.

I spent quite a lot of time making more triangle strips...  But such a long way to go.  Frog Quilter wanted to know how I made the strips.  This is probably basic paper piecing but I took pictures of the process (with one hand!) so I'll post them here.  I don't know how helpful they will be.


First I drew out exactly how I want the strip's triangles to turn out.  That took some measuring.  And then I stitched through the penciled marks with an unthreaded needle on the sewing machine.  I can not see DRAWING the same pattern over and over 98 times.  With the sewing machine I can sew through about 10 sheets of paper at a time to make my patterns and then reuse one of them to sew through 10 more sheets of paper.  One thing I've learned is to make the stitch VERY small!  It makes for easier tearing away of paper later on.


So... The first step is always the hardest.  Place a piece of fabric, in this case white, facing DOWN with the paper triangle piece folded back and completely on top of the fabric.  The next fabric triangle is going to be that orange piece in the background and let me tell you, it is SOOO much easier to have the triangles pre-cut (roughly... on the large side...) because then you don't have to wrestle with a strange shaped piece of fabric and figure out which way is going to get sewn.


When I've aligned my orange fabric, right side up, to what the white fabric's seam allowance will be, then I carefully slip it all under the sewing machine foot, making sure not to shift the fabrics.


I unfold the paper and get ready to sew along that folded line slipping the whole caboodle farther under the needle.  I do not back stitch.


This is where a sewing machine with a thread cutter is marvelous.  Sew, cut and turn the triangle back creasing with a thumb nail.  Yeah, that looks like a triangle!


If the seam allowance is wide then I'll trim the orange fabric at this point...  And I do the same thing now with the next white triangle there in the background.  This time the triangle point is facing the other way, so I line up my pre-cut triangle in that direction.


Slip under the needle...


...fold back the paper and sew.


Oops.  That seam allowance went wide.  That's why it is a good thing to roughly cut those triangle pieces wide.


And on down the line until all the pieces are sewn into a strip...


And once the strip is made then I trim it all back with a roller cutter leaving enough fabric at the triangle tips to sew onto a block or a different strip of fabric.

Whew!  I know that paper piecing results in a bunch of trimmings that seem like a waste of fabric.  And I know that removing all that paper at a later date is going to be a real project on its own.  But realistically...  with 98 of these things facing me, paper piecing these strips is the only way for me to go.

10 comments:

Rebecca said...

sweet little pieces... One of the things I discovered was to use the pages from a old yellow page phone book. Lighter paper and teas eaiser... I have also gone to the local newspaper and boutht end of the roll papper for real cheep to use for paper piecint... A lot lighter weight them most paper...no ink to second guess and I have discovered any number of uses for that big roll of paper

Frog Quilter said...

Thanks, perfect!!!!!

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Julie Fukuda said...

I have only tried paper piecing once in a class. The best part was that you don't have to think about the grain of the fabric and that means you can use scraps that might not work for other uses. The trimmings are so small that you don't mind throwing them out.
I don't really like using someone else's patterns but for what you are doing, that is the perfect solution.

June Sayas said...

I love your instructions. Thanks, June from Junie moon quilting

JEWELS said...

Thank you for your time in photograpHing each of the steps...a project in itself! Very helpful and clearly demonstrated.

JEWELS said...

Thank you for taking the time to
photograph this! Very helpful and
clearly demonstrated! Now I
can use my scraps! Julie

conny's quilts said...

Great way to do it, thank you for this tutorial! Good luck with the other 97 strips to go...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your method of paper piecing. I have yet to try it, but you made it look easy and it was understandable.
cindy

Cassandra said...

Wow! That looks like a lot of work!