Sunday, March 30, 2008

Faux Paper Piecing...

I already made one skimpy tutorial on how to FAUX paper piece in August 2007, but several people have asked and emailed for more instructions. This is something I learned from Judy Mathieson, but I dropped a few steps, like sewing with a bare needle on the lines.

SO this is a very LONG post. I used a simple block this morning that didn't actually need paper piecing but hey, all for the cause! The pictures will be small, but will enlarge with just a click. Remember, the words precede the picture. Read the instructions...look down at the picture. Let's begin....

After taping my freezer paper to the book page, I start by laying my ruler down and copying the 6 inch outer edge of the block with pencil. Make sure to leave enough room with the ruler so that your pencil line is truly on the line. After drawing all the lines, I add the outer seam allowance to the block to make it 6.5" total.

My finished pattern on freezer paper. I always leave a bit of paper past the seam allowance lines and cut later since the freezer paper can shrink a tiny bit. I lay down the ruler a bit before the pencil line and then slide my fingers up under the paper and fold up the paper creasing with my fingernail against the ruler edge. Careful to get right on or before the line. Remember, the line is where you want your seam to run, so be accurate. *I recently learned a new trick that works fabulously to get precise fold lines...Place down the ruler and lightly score the paper on the line with your seam ripper. VERY lightly please! But it makes folding so precise and super straight!

My pattern with all the fold lines done! Every pencil line that will be a seam needs to be folded and creased. Put you first piece of fabric down on the pressing board, wrong side up, and center your pattern over the piece making sure you have evenly placed the extra fabric around all edges. See the fabric? Now, fold back the paper on either side, use you 1/4" inch ruler or the Add A Quarter ruler and trim the extra fabric away for a neat 1/4" seam allowance. Put right sides together, all lines up evenly, ready to sew. Carefully lay down your sandwich to sew. Good idea to place a strip of notebook paper onto the sticky freezer paper because the foot doesn't like to slide well on the tacky surface. Begin sewing right along the fold line. It's okay if you ride the fold, as tightly to it as possible. See I'm sewing the seam next to the fold...papers folded over out of the way! No sewing through the paper. Very important: when you finish your seam, put up the presser foot and carefully grab the whole unit, making sure to keep the freezer paper and fabric together tightly between your fingers and then pull away from the foot and clip your threads. It's easy in the very beginning for the freezer paper to come loose from the fabric and while you can get it lined back up again...it's a major pain!

Carefully lay down the piece, still holding it firmly together with the freezer paper, and carefully open up your seam. Press open with your fingers and here's the tricky part... If you iron this side of the freezer paper...yuck! It sticks. I carefully turn my iron or hold it over the paper and use the tip to press just the seam open as best you can. Now holding both together, flip it over, fabric against the board, and lay the paper down for pressing. If you feel like the seam didn't get pressed well enough, pull gently on the piece to make sure the seam is opened fully. Lay down the paper, holding everything in place and press with the hot iron. I take this opportunity to press everything back down nicely. This is how the piece looks all pressed from the fabric side of the freezer paper template. Two sections done, I've trimmed the other side of the center section for the 3rd piece and I'm ready to place right sides together again. Here's the finished center, pressed to the freezer paper. Now, I'm ready to start making the triangles. Pick any one and fold back the paper and using the ruler again, trim the seam.Once cut, lay the next piece, right sides together and center it...ready to sew the next seam. I do this by laying my whole freezer paper piece onto the piece laying on the table with the right side up. Some like to put the piece down while looking at the fabric pieces. I usually peek at both sides just to check I've got right sides together. If you hold the piece up to the light, you can peek and see that the dark triangle is going to easily cover the area inside that marked triangle. Can you see the fold lines? Now I have 2 triangles added, and I'm ready to do the other two.Keep going around adding all the pieces until you are done! The finished block, untrimmed.Lay out the ruler on the paper side and center it carefully, then trim 2 sides, and the other 2 sides.Gently pull off the paper, careful of the seam edges, they can stick and frey.A finished block...
Cool thing about NOT sewing to the paper...I get to use it again and again...see all these blocks I can make using the same pattern and just adding a few more pencil lines and folds!

8 comments:

Carin said...

That is cool! Thanks for the info.

Kim West said...

Thanks for the great tutorial - I will have to try it out sometime.

Cascade Lily said...

What a great idea Judy!

Veronica said...

Great tutorial. I learned this technique from Judy Mathieson during a class at the Houston show. I was able to do a Mariner's Compass with no trouble. It's a great technique. Thanks for refreshing my memory!

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Loved the tutorial.I was just about to start the civil war blocks...and dreaded making copies...or drawing off all those blocks.Love this.

be*mused jan said...

Thanks for the tutorial, Judy. I think I'll give this a try!

Luv 2 Kreate said...

Great tutorial I am saving this one. Can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

This is great!!! Thank you for taking the time to show us. Amie :o)