I'm working on a baby quilt and I wanted to add some big block letters to the back -- you know, go a little bit above and beyond the usual. After thinking about different ways to get the letters on the back, I decided to go with paper piecing. If you've never paper pieced before, here's what you need to know:
- It's easy with great results. I think it's very beginner friendly. You just sew right on the line.
- But it can be physically demanding -- a constant rotation of sewing machine to cutting table to iron and back to sewing machine. (I threw out my back doing this little dance, btw.)
- There are a million free paper piecing tutorials online if you'd like to give it a try. I thought this one was pretty good:
- My first experiment with self-drafting paper piecing blocks was this quilt:
- Soon after, I took a class in drafting paper pieced improv blocks:
- After those experiences and my recent foray into the alphabet blocks, here are two paper piecing hints from me: (1) An "add a quarter" ruler makes paper piecing so quick and easy, (2) Shorten your stitch length to make removing the paper a breeze.
My little text project is still in process, but I thought I'd tell you about the basic process thus far:
I sketched out the basic idea of how I was going to put my blocks together.
Then, since I had several letters (3 "B's") that were the same, I decided to draft my blocks in Illustrator so that I could just print out the templates. (Notice that the template is "backwards" -- this ensures the letter will be facing the correct way when finished.)
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