Time to dig in!
This week we’re going to set the goal to sew the majority of the templates from Panel 1 (templates 1 through 22). For some of you, this pace will be tedious and for others it will be grueling. Some of you will be able to work on it in large chunks of time and others will only be able to do a couple of pieces a day.
Bottom line—go at the speed that works best for you!
If you’ve found your mojo for the day, go ahead and work on a few more pieces. And, if you haven’t done a lot of paper piecing, remember that you’ll get faster with more experience.
If you look closely at the this first set of templates, there are 13 with multiple pieces and the rest are just one piece of fabric. Until you get into a groove, you may want to dig through the stack of templates and start with the ones that only have two or three pieces.
You absolutely, definitely, 100% DO NOT have to work on the templates in order!
Where I Create
If your space allows, try to set it up in the most efficient layout that works for your personal style. My space is set up similar to a kitchen work triangle. The cutting area (shown above, and, yes it was clean when I started!) is opposite the ironing station and my sewing machine has easy access to both of these zones. I know some quilters set up an iron and cutting mat near their sewing machine and if that works for you, that's great. I intentionally don’t have those at my fingertips because some days getting up to cut and iron is the only exercise I get!
Tips to Get Started
- The most important tip I can share is to use a generous amount of fabric and make certain it extends far enough to cover the seam allowances on all sides. There's nothing worse than flipping the template over and seeing a gap in the fabric!
- Use an open-front presser foot which allows you to clearly see your stitching and set your stitch length to 14 to 18 stitches per inch. On my machine the 1.6 setting seems to work best. It's short enough to create a tight seam yet long enough that the foundation paper doesn't fall out with minimal handling.
- For large single piece templates, baste the fabric to the foundation paper along the length. It may sound weird, but I like to align these as normal and then flip them over to sew so the paper is on the bottom. By sewing them this way, it reduces puckering and gathering for me. (And, if you'd rather not baste at all, you can dab some water soluble fabric glue between the two layers).
- If you’re having difficulty catching the fabric on the feed dogs as you slide it in place to stitch, slip a scrap of paper under the unit being sewn before sliding it under the needle. You can then tear away the scrap paper after stitching.
- Additional tips can be found on the Basic Paper Piecing Instructions tutorial.
There's no day like today, so roll up your sleeves and get sewing. In the blink of an eye, you'll have the week one templates stacked and/or ready for the design wall!
Share your favorite foundation paper piecing tip with the official hashtag #trophybuckquiltalong.
See you back here next Monday!
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