Paper Piecing Perfect Points - the Back Story

Katie's Points of View
The "Stitch This!" blog for Martingale is featuring an interview with me today about my new book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points and they give some of my back story comments and tips for paper piecing which have helped me along the way. You can leave a comment for a chance to WIN a copy of my new book. You can also see all the quilts on the "Books" tab at the top of this page.

One special that Martingale is offering is if you buy the book you can download the eBook for free! This way you can print the foundations right from your computer! It's a limited time special and as an eBook (I have it), you don't have to struggle with photocopying or tracing the foundations. Now, that's a real bargain (it's normally $19.99).

Here are a few of the quilts featured:

One block from "Seeing Red"

Toile Garden (I've made several of these center blocks)

Four blocks from "Spinning Waterwheels"
I offer a little historic perspective from my 14+ years designing for Quilt Magazine, how I learned to love paper piecing ( used to hate it), and I share 7 tips, 3 of which are repeated here:

From the interview, which you can read at the Martingale blog:

I’ve taught hundreds of students in the classroom and thousands more via my patterns. I’ve learned many things along the way, and my students have given me great feedback. Here are some of my best paper-piecing tips!

Fern Fancy by Kathryn Wright
1. Always paper piece a sample block before you cut out an entire quilt. You may find the patches don’t work, you don’t like the block, or that your colors aren’t pleasing to you. It’s not a waste to “test drive” a block before committing to an entire quilt.

2. Choose your foundation paper carefully. The type of paper you use DOES make a difference. I like thin paper (newsprint or tracing paper). Martingale makes awesome papers for foundation piecing and it’s all I use. I introduce my students to it in every class—I give them one or two printed patterns so they can see the difference. Computer paper is a bit too heavy; if you use it, you can tear out your stitches when you remove the paper.

3. Shorten your stitches, but not so small that you can’t unsew them. When I need to unsew, my method is to save the seam and sacrifice what I call the “Patch of Shame.” What? That’s the fabric patch that doesn’t quite cover the space it’s supposed to cover. You have to sacrifice it for the good of the project. To unsew it, trim the Patch of Shame away with a pair of sharp scissors, as close as you can to the seam. Then grab the remaining seam allowance and peel it away. Everything’s removed except for the seam stitches.

So, for a chance to win a copy of the book from Martingale, visit their blog this week and leave a comment. I will be giving away copies once I get my supply of books!


  1. thanks for this handy tip -- I love that blue and green quilt. I recently was bitten by the paper piecing bug and can't wait to get started on my next project but this time I will defiantly be using thinner paper because even with the shorter stitch length I did have to resew a few spots on my blocks when I ripped the paper out.

  2. I love paper piecing when it all goes well. Yesterday I was struggling with a pattern, so I had to put it away for another day. =) I'll go back to it, eventually. =)

  3. Such a good tip to trim the "Patch of Shame" back to the seam line!

  4. Yep, the Patch of Shame is a pretty bright idea ;-)

    If you don't mind, I'll use it in my next PFP class!

  5. I've done paper piecing but have never really "loved " it. Perhaps the time has come to give it another go. Seeing what you have done encourages me.

  6. I've already put the book and ebook on my wishlist at Martingale. Love all the tips and have saved them for future reference. Such beautiful quilts!

  7. I love "Seeing Red"! thanks for the chance to win your book!

  8. wish I could be perfect points. love to win your book thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com


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