Monday, February 25, 2013

Paper Piecing Monday

Do NOT roll your eyes! It's not becoming. It's true: you either LOVE or HATE paper piecing. Yes, my new book is finally in and it's all about paper piecing. Large blocks. Pretty blocks. Blocks with very, very sharpy-sharp points. How else do you think you can get them SHARP except by paper piecing? (More about my book in a few days; I certainly will have a giveaway!) Check out the interview on Martingale's blog - they share a lot of info about my book: Paper Piecing Perfect Points.

Today I have an extensive tutorial using one of the blocks in my book (Paper Piecing Perfect Points) called Spinning Waterwheels. I am remaking the blocks in a new collection by Blank Quilting called Tanglewood. If you stick with me, you can have a chance to win a bundle of 11 fat quarters! Contest is over.

Aren't these just lovely?!
The Tanglewood Collection by Blank Quilting - 11 fat quarters can be yours!
First, we cut out the pattern very close to (but not exactly on) the outer seam line. You cannot leave the pattern in the 8-1/2" x 11" size. It will cause you to place your patches incorrectly and then you may have to unsew!

Cut pattern out.
Fold along EVERY printed line.
This is better than trying to hold the pattern and the fabric up to a light source. The printed side is the sewing side; the unprinted side is the side the fabric gets placed on. How else will you get an idea of the position for the fabric? Of all the tips I give in my classes, this one is in the top 3!

I combined the Tanglewood fabrics with some 2-1/2" strips from the Red Hot Collection by Blank.
Pre-cut fabrics (rectangles); sizes are given in pattern. Now you can go for "mindless" sewing.
By folding back along the lines, you can expose the excess fabric of Patches #1 & 2. Using a ruler (I like the Add-a-Quarter), trim leaving 1/4" seam allowance.
Trimming the first two patches; leave 1/4" seam for Patch #3 easy alignment
The first two fabric patches are the hardest to get. Just remember: you are sewing as your normally do with the wrong sides of fabric toward you. It's that you have a piece of paper between you and the fabrics you are trying to sew. My book has details on how to line up the first two patches. The fabrics are cut over-sized so that you have plenty of wiggle room. Once you sew on the line between Patch #1 and Patch #2, you press them as shown and then trim using the Add-a-Quarter ruler. When you leave a 1/4" seam allowance (as shown here), it is SO easy to then add the next patch without guessing.
First 2 patches sewn.
Add Patch #3, using the cut edge as shown above for your alignment. You don't need to hold it up to a light source. You can be confident that placing the red patch (as shown) will be large enough to cover the space.
Adding Patch #3 along the cut edge of Patches 1-2

Press Patch #3 after sewing; trim to 1/4" seam
Continue sewing, trimming, pressing until you reach the end. What do you get?

The wrong side of the block. Circles & arrows show how the seams have to criss-cross.
And then the trimming gets you what?
A finished & trimmed block; can you see those awesome 1/4" seams above the points?
OK. Show me what it looks like without the paper. Wow! No messy ##*@## like in traditional paper piecing, with wads and globs of fabric. This has been trimmed along the way so that when the paper is removed, it looks as though I used templates. Our secret is that I didn't!

After the paper is removed - Wow! that looks very neat, huh?
Time to add the background piece. Oh, no! Don't get the cold sweats. These are biggish blocks and the curves are gentle. I'm going to share my special secret on how to make these really fit.

These WILL fit together; but they won't if you leave the paper on. TAKE OFF THE PAPER BEFORE DOING THIS!
I have always. Always. Always removed the paper from my foundations before joining them to their neighbors. And in the case of joining a convex to a concave unit (a little math/trash talk here), you must, must, must remove papers. Or else they won't have any give. We are working with  bias edges and easing things in. Do you think you could have put in a sleeve in a dress if it had some sort of non-stretching hindrance to it? Of course not!

My secret: double pin as shown here.
You do not want those straight edges of the background piece to "wander" when being sewn. I keep the pins in until I'm finished with the seam. How does it all look?
Unit A and Unit B, ready to get the bottom triangles sewn on.
To see all the pictures in my book and to hear several more tips (and get the back story about how I learned to love paper piecing), go read the Martingale blog's interview about me. You have until midnight Monday Feb. 25 to win a copy of the book.

As always, I am so pleased that you came for a visit today. I don't take you for granted. And if you haven't had an email from me in a long time, that means you are a no-reply blogging commenter and you need to make sure I have your email in order to be entered in the contest.

100 comments:

  1. I haven't done much paper piecing, but I'm really impressed how sharp the angles and points turn out. It's a completely different method to me, though.
    The fabrics are wonderful, thanks for the chance!

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  2. I have not tried yet folding the paper foundation before sewing on it, as in your photo. I might give that a try.
    Is the folding rather helpful for curved blocks or does it help with perpendicular blocks, too?

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  3. I have never used the method of folding all the pattern lines - so that is new to me. Lovely fabrics with lots of POP.

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  4. I like paper piecing, but like other commentators said, I've never folded on the lines before sewing. I'm going to try that. The combination of your Spinning Watersheels pattern and this fabric is just awesome! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  5. wonderful tutorial and i cna't wait for the book. I recently started paper piecing and my first project turned out way larger than I expected (http://karmawillowdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/02/best-of-luck-or-worst-luck-ever.html) but in reading this tutorial I did learn about prefolding all the lines. In the class that I took we folded the lines as we went and I kinda thought this made it a more tedious project but prefolding looks like a better method.

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  6. How gorgeous this will be! I think you're the first I've seen to recommend folding the paper back. Now I think I might be able to do it. You've lowered the intimidation factor! Thanks Debby.

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  7. I've only done 1 paper piecing pattern before and it was so much fun once I got the hang of it. My blocks were sashed and sewn together. I did take the paper off each block before adding sashing but didn't realize I needed to do it when combing sections of the same block. It makes sense though. I used a large postcard to help fold the lines and trimmed with the add a quarter ruler so I guess I learned the same method you use. Looking forward to your new book!

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  8. The color choices are outstanding! The folding is an excellent idea. I will do that from now on. Removing the paper before sewing the circle is new. Another teacher teaches just the opposite. She leaves it on. I guess there is no right or wrong.

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  9. I never need to go wrong again. You have set it all out so clearly. I never used to remove the paper before sewing together, I will now. Thank you Debby

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  10. I'm brand new to paper-piecing, as I've only started this year and I kind of like it. Of course I have to learn a lot and this pattern is beautiful. So are the choices of fabrics. Black, white and red always go perfect with each other, so thank you for the chance to win this beautiful bundle! :)

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  11. I've done lots of paper piecing but always use the "hold it up to the light" method for fabric placement. I will give this folding method a try as it looks like a good way to go. Thanks!

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  12. I love black, red, and white together. Everything always just seems to blend. I also will try your trick on folding the paper first. Seems like a great idea.

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  13. First of all, the fabric is wonderful! I have not tried the folding yet, although I read about it last week...somewhere....not sure where. I used to "sew" on the lines first without thread and thought that was too hard on my needle. I always kept a special needle, just like having a paper scissors, to use when I PP. The folding is much better! Thanks for the tips!

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  14. Thanks for this tutorial today. I've definitely shied away from trying paper pieceing this intricate and with a curve no less! The folding tip seems like the tip I need to give this a try. I love the resulting block you made. I going to make one for a scrappy block sampler quilt I'm designing for my bed.

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  15. Thanks for the paper folding tip. I am almost ready to start on a paper pieced wall hanging, and this is just the tip I need to give me some added confidence. Thanks.

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  16. I've done a little paper piecing, but I've never folded the paper before starting. I will definitely give it a try next time. Thanks!

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  17. thanks for this post, I have just done once paper piecing. I learned the folding tip before sewing and that it is better to remove the paper for circles. I would like to try a new project : New york beauty !

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  18. I fold all the lines ahead of time like you do. A few years back a well known PP instructor told me never to do it that way. it wasn't "her way". well, I find folding all the lines first the best way for me.
    And I think that's the most important part.
    Joan in GA

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  19. I learned TWO things! Take the paper out before joining blocks to neighbors especially concave/convex, and crease the sewing lines on the foundation before applying the fabrics. Thanks for the chance!And the tips!

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  20. I usually fold one line at a time. I'll try your way. But what I never have done is remove the paper before joining. Of course, I'm a wuss and avoid curves. Guess I'll now have to try some!

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  21. Love your choices of fabrics. And I have learned a ton. I am new to paper pieceing. And I sew want to learn how to do it coorectly . What I have attempted so far has ended up in the trash. No kidding it did...Gott ago check out the book This block is so awesome. And I love the points. Thanks for a chance to enter. conn_and_vans_mom(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  22. well, after all these years of using the light bulb method, you have shown the light. Fold the paper on the lines...what a concept! Guess I will get back to paper piecing those ufo's..

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  23. I am fairly new to paper piecing and fine holding things up to the light difficult....folded lines seems to make a lot of sense! The fabric is gorgeous ...thanks for the chance to win!

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  24. Thanks for the tutorial it should me me a lot.

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  25. I've never done paper piecing because the instructions have always been totally confusing to my spatially dyslexic brain. Your photos in this post make it seem actually possible to do. I'm off to check the Martingale info on your book.

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  27. Beautiful block, fabric & I'll have to have your newest book!! The folding the paper before sewing is new to me so that is what I learned today - thank you teacher! Best, Ani in NC Click on my name for the email link, or: playdoll2 AT gmail.com & close the gaps.

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  28. I learned to take the paper off before piecing curves...totally makes sense, just never thought about it! Thank you for pointing it out!!

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  29. Deb, I did learn something, I like the folding. I wish you the best on the book and will give your block a try. Thank you

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  30. I have only tried paper piecing twice - I was a bit more successful the second time. I think your tip about making the fabric blocks a good bit oversized is key - at least when getting started. A too-small piece of fabric ended my first attempt :-( Thanks for the great tips and the chance to win this beautiful bundle!

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  31. Of course I learned something new! I have never tried paper piecing at all, so I'm a clean slate (so to speak). Love the way your points turned out and the curve just sets it off. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  32. I have done a lot paper-piecing... an interesting idea of folding the papers along the seam line... I shall have to try that. I did like the tip about taking the papers off before sewing the top corner triangle to the pieced points. I am going to try that tip. Thanks for the tip and the giveaway.

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  33. I've been paper piecing a while but I did learn something new...your folding technique! I have a block to make in the next couple of days...guess what I'm going to try? Thanks! pbstrand@msn.com

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  34. Honestly I get hives when I try to paper piece! Yet I don't want paper piecing to 'win' over me....What I did learn and I am going to try to see if it makes a difference is to Fold along the lines...this is one of those 'duh this makes so much sense' moments for me! :) Thanks for sharing the tutorial...hopefully I won't be getting any more hives!!

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  35. Beautiful!!!!
    Wow never thought to fold the paper before starting! I bet it is easier to see where to place the fabric:) Thanks!

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  36. Love your points (and the fabric. Gorgeous block). I have never tried folding the paper on the lines. This looks like a neat trick. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity on the draw.
    bonnielarson58@gmail.com

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  37. Thank you for the tip about folding all the lines. This sounds like a real time saver to make sure your fabric fits perfectly.

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  38. I love the color choices you made and that block is beautiful. I think I need to find a class with you, a very basic beginning paper piecing one to start.

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  39. Very timely post as I have a couple of paper piecing patterns waiting for me on my sewing table.

    I learned from you to fold all the lines first. I am going to give that a try this time. =)

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  40. I was ingroducex to paper piecing a few weeks ago by a friend who gave me some scraps and template to see if i liked it. After quilting by hand for forty years, i had never tried paper piecing. But this old dog learnsd some new tricks and i love paper piecing!! Your tutorial was perfect timing! Thank you for a wonderful blog babscorbitt@gmail.com

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  41. Wow what a wonderful tutorial. Thanks so much. I am a newbie and am finding that I really love paper peicing. It is such a challenge yet so rewarding. I learned a lot from your post. Especially about taking the paper off when done wiht that section. Makes more sence now. Thanks. Would love to win this gorgeous fabric. Thanks for a chance to win.
    quilting[dash]lady[at]comcast[dot]net

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  42. I never knew to fold all the lines before starting. I also didn't know about removing the papers before joining to a neighboring block. Thanks.

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  43. Fantastic tip about the folding; thanks! I LOVE paper-piecing (the precision)! :)

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  44. Honest I didn't roll my eyes until you said not too. Wonder what that means. LOL. I have always wanted to make a black/white/red lap quilt. Thanks for the chance to make one.

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  45. 2. I had always thought you leave the paper in until the block is complete. Interesting.

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  46. Your blocks are beautiful. I have been thinking of making a red, black and white quilt for a new baby. i think those colors are supposed to be best for a newborn. i usually leave the paper on when joining my blocks but they are usually squares so don't need much easing. Good idea to take the paper off, i will try this next time,even with the squares. i think it will be easier.

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  47. Thank you. The paper folding was a new idea for me. Still not sure it will take the crankiness out of papar piecing. :) Thanks for the chance to win.

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  48. What did I learn? I learned that I want to buy your book for my quilting daughters to teach them how to paper piece and of course ill browse thru the book before I give it to them.

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  49. I can see that folding the paper on the lines before would make it easier to see where the next piece should go plus it is already folded and easier to fold on each given line to trim to the 1/4 inch. I see that sewing in the curved pieces would be easier without the paper still in the back. Thanks so much for the chance to win the beautiful fat quarters.

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  50. Beautiful! The fabric is just gorgeous! I love the way you fold the paper first.

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  51. Love this fabric and LOVE to paper piece!!! Congrats on your new book, I'm really looking forward to adding it to my library. Thanks sew much for this chance to win. :-D

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  52. I have been collecting B&W fabrics and now I know what I will use them for! I have PPd before; now I know to fold the paper first...what a great tip. I have ordered your new book and can't wait to try this very pattern. Thank you.

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  53. Is your book available for pre order? I love paper piecing. How else can I get such wonderful points without tediously using templates. I didn't know to remove the paper before adding the curved pieces as I have always had straights to connect v

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  54. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this new pattern. Thanks 4 the great tip about folding the foundation on the stitching lines. Dah is right. Wish i'd thought of that before. also, taking the paper off before joining pieces makes so much more sense and less bulk to clean up after stitching. thanks Debbie. Once again YOU RULE PAPER PIECING!!!

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  55. I love paper piecing. I learned to fold along the sewing lines. I never thought of this. I'm going to try this out! You have the greatest designs.

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  56. Even though I have been PPing for 20+ years, I learned something new! Thank you for the great tutorial.

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  57. I love paper piecing! I can create crazy stuff while satisfying my total need for control - straight lines are grrrrrreat! I haven't tried curved piecing yet, but will try the double pining when I do - it looks like it makes the ends more stable and not so wiley!

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  58. Keep posting! You will get me to try this soon... lol. I love the folding the paper info, and your little circles marking how much to cross the seams. Thanks!

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  59. I love your method. I love having cutting instructions that are specific and that tell me what size I will need - I can't tell you how much of a difference this makes. I love NOT having to hold anything up to the light. That makes me crazy. I love having a perfect block. Makes me happy and proud to display my work (without apologies for mistakes). Did I learn something new? I think I learned that I want your new book! margo in Victoria BC Canada

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  60. I've done a little PP and I was taught to fold the paper but I hate picking out the scraps that get caught in the stitches! Somewhere I saw someone using vilene/interfacing instead of paper - what do you think??
    Thanks!

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  61. Gorgeous fabrics! I learned to fold the paper on ALL the lines first. Thanks!

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  62. I am new to paper piecing, so yes I learned a lot! Thanks for all of it, the giveaway and your "secrets". I am so going to get your book. vickise at gmail dot com

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  63. I still am afraid of paper piecing, but I need to learn. I have a quilt to make that my Mom bought the fabric for. (Can't ask her, she doesn't remember me )I looked back at you Hosana block and am still afraid. I did learn to crease all lines.

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  64. I have done a few simple paper- piecing items but I like your trick of folding the paper.
    Thanks for tips and your giveaway.

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  65. I learned a lot from this tutorial. I had no idea points could be so perfect. I didn't know how people could make them just so...now I know. I must admit tho, I am too intimidated to try this pattern just yet...But I want to. I will keep practicing and save this pattern until I feel more confident with paper piecing. I love love love the colors of these gorgeous fabrics. And the patterns, well, they are fantastic. I can't wait to find them and do something not quite as spectacular as your square...I enjoy your tutorials. I learn something new each time I read one. Thank you for teaching me!

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  66. Folding the paper on every line before sewing is new for me, along with removing the paper before you join it to the next big piece, especially curves. This block is beautiful and so is the fabric!

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  67. I love paper piecing, but even more, I love learning something new. I like the idea of folding the sewing lines. What a great visual. Thanks for the photos and sharing your expertise! I also love the white, black, and red fabric combo!

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  68. kes so much sense. I feel silly that I didn't know it before. Thanks for sharing. Your block is going to be beautiful.

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  69. I enjoy paper piecing. As a matter of fact, my first quilt was a Debbie Mumm paper pieced tulips quilt! Not the smartest choice, but I did fine and since no one had told me how "scary" paper piecing is, I'm not afraid of it. Love red and black and white together.

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  70. thanx! paperpiecing is my hardest technique to do ... but your folding and placing tips just may make it easier for me!

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  71. Beautiful fabrics! Thank you for the giveaway.--I learned about folding the paper on the line.Haven't seen this done before. Thank you for sharing this. Your work is awesome!

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  72. beautiful ...I never thought about taking off the paper when doing curves. It makes perfect sense the paper won't let you ease, so get rid of it :) That is what I learned. I love the perfection of PP. Thanks for the chance to win the book ..
    Vickie.vanathotmail.com

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  73. Well, I'm so new to sewing/quilting that most things are new to me and I feel like my head is going to explode from all this learning! lol I did however, just a couple of weeks ago, take an intro to paper piecing class and LOVED it! The instructor taught the same method you just demonstrated (folding the paper, trimming with the "add a 1/4" ruler, etc.). I obviously would love to win some fabric but am really interested in your new book...gonna have to keep an eye out for it in my local quilt shops! Thanks.

    karen(dot)patriquin(at)gmail(dot)com

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  74. Debby,

    I love paper piecing and learned something NEW - folding on the lines!! What a shortcut. Thanks for tips and the contest too!

    Linda

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  75. I've learnt to take the paper off before sewing the curvy bits etc! Sew much easier! Thanks for the chance to win some gorgeous fabrics. Dianne (dianbob@internode.on.net)

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  76. I have done some paper piecing and yours is beautiful....

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  77. I didn't know about folding on the lines. I will have to try that.

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  78. I love the ease of attaching the curve piece. I've tried it with the paper attached and it didn't work. Thank you for simple explanation. After reading it I go - duh!!! haha

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  79. I learned that I need to take the paper off before sewing the blocks together. I had learned to leave the paper on until the blocks were all sewn together. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  80. I have paper pieced before but never large blocks. Couldn't understand how someone would make a large quilt with the fiddly small blocks and the same pattern over and over! The large block size, the folding method and cutting the material for the right size were the new things I learned. Thank you

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  81. I really like the idea of larger pp blocks; generally it seems pp blocks are so small. What I did learn was to fold the paper before starting to sew. That is something I've never done but will try the next time. Wow! It's hard to believe that March is almost here. To me that means spring is just around the corner. :)

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  82. I am a new quilter and very anxious to try paper piecing. I did not know that I should remove the paper before joining sections together. I also like the folding on the lines tip. Thank you!

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  83. Thank you so much for this tutorial - the tip about folding along the lines is new to me but one I will definitely use in future. Thank you so much for sharing your skills.

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  84. I am really enjoying your tips! Folding all the lines is brilliant and so is removing the paper as you go.

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  85. I have never tried paper piecing but you explain it very well. Thanks for the instructions. I might just have to give this a try.

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  86. The tip about removing the paper before joining the two curved pieces is new to me. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  87. I hadn't thought to crease all the lines before starting. that makes a lot of sense! Thanks!

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  88. I don't know how to paper piece, so pretty much everything is new to me. I've been following for a couple months, so I understand the concept, I just need to sit down and do it! So far, your explanation has been the easiest (I'm hands on and a visual learner)and the step by step pics help a lot, plus the tips on what to do with the paper. Thanks for all your work!

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  89. Hello i enjoy paper piecing ,but i learned 2 new things ,to fold my paper and to take off the paper before joining curves

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  90. That's an interesting idea to fold the papers on the lines first. Gotta try that next time. Such a wonderful collection of fat quarters. Worked very well in this block.

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  91. removing the paper before joining neighboring pieces is a new concept to me. I'll have to give that a try.

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  92. Two for the price of one, actually. I always trimmed that way when I paper pieced and I always thought it was wrong and I was cheating. I almost never paper-piece, but I held my eyes down with both hands and didn't let them roll. =) The extra pins on the curved piecing part is worth it's weight in gold and you gave it away free! Thank you! dezertsuz at gmail

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  93. I almost missed the deadline on this great give-away. I have always been drawn to black and white quilts and the bit of red in the fabric is lovely! I recently learned needleturn applique. Not sure if I am a fan...machine applique is so much faster! At the same time, I learned how to make a quilter's knot (Wrapping the thread around the needle) I wish my mother would have taught me this YEARS ago!

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  94. Thank you. I learned about your double pinning technique and will try that.

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  95. I learned that you remove the paper from your pieces before attaching them to their neighbors. I always thought you were supposed to keep them in place until the block was finished, but your explanation makes sense and that is the way I think I'll do it. Thank you.

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  96. I learned thay you trim as you go along. I think this would make my PP expeeience better.

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  97. Sorry I missed the giveaway, but OMG, thanks for this wonderful tute.

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  98. Love to paper piece. You made it sound so smile and easy. Learned something new. That is to fold the paper on the lines so it will be easier to line up the fabric. Love it. Wil try it when I get home this spring

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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com