Heather Thomas

Designing and Paper Piecing Quilt Blocks

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   10  mins

Paper piecing can be an easier way to piece quilt block designs with small pieces or long tricky angles. Heather Thomas explains how to recognize quilt blocks that can be paper pieced and shows you how to create your own paper piecing pattern.

Block Makeup and Design

Before you can design a paper piecing pattern for a specific block you have to first understand how that block is constructed. Heather shows several example blocks that are four patches and explains what that means. She then breaks down how to determine what size of pattern needs to be made in order to achieve the correct finished block size once the patches are pieced together. She then shows how you can use graph paper to draw your paper piecing pattern. Heather first draws a square that is the size that the finished pattern needs to be and then draws in the seam allowance.

Since a paper pieced pattern is generally trimmed once it is stitched it is important to do this step when designing the paper piecing pattern so the seam allowance is not forgotten. Heather then shows how simple it is to draw a line and create the angle of the paper pieced pattern. Once the lines have been drawn to create the paper pieced pattern Heather then explains how to determine the order that the pieces should be sewn in. She explains that in general it is easiest to start with your largest piece first and then add on any smaller pieces.

She then shows how you can make a simple paper pieced block more complicated and still figure out what order the pieces need to be sewn in. Once you understand the basics of paper piecing and creating patterns you can move on and learn more paper piecing techniques.

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