May 31 2022 – Lindsey Neill
It's Month 2 of the quilt along and this month I made my first set of letter blocks! I am paper piecing my letters (FPP Letter Block pattern can be found HERE) and I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've learned about FPP with you all! I hope you guys find them helpful!
The most important step of paper piecing, in my opinion, is the very first one - Correctly printing your patterns. It is so, so important that your patterns are printed at 100%, "Actual Size", or "Do Not Scale". And sometimes, you can have the correct printer settings and your pattern STILL doesn't print at the right size. Recently I had an issue with my printer and, even though my settings were correct, my pattern pieces were still measuring too small. Because of this I recommend measuring the 1" test square on the pattern no matter what. If the dashed lines on the test square are measuring even a hair too big or small, reprint your pattern. That difference will add up later!
My next tip - Starch your fabric and then starch it again! I say this often, but starching your fabric before you cut or sew is so important. I know, it's annoying. What quilter wants to iron more than they already have to? 😩😆 But, it really makes a difference! The more body and structure your fabric has the less distortion you'll experience with your block later. Also, it just makes the fabric easier to piece with. It results in an all-around less frustrating experience. My favorite starch spray, pictured below, is Magic's Quilting & Crafting Spray!
My last and final tip - Cut your fabric pieces bigger than you think you need to. I've been paper piecing for about 10 years now and I still give myself a lot of wiggle room when I'm cutting my fabric. For example, if a section on the pattern is 1" square, I'm cutting my fabric 2" square. My least favorite part when it comes to FPP is having to seam rip those teeny tiny stitches. Anything I can do to avoid that is worth it in my opinion 😅
I lied, one more tip! Which is, if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Profound, right? 😂 This applies to sewing in general I think (Or life?? 😂) Usually when I proceed with the next step, even when my gut is telling me something is off, I have regrets later. So, especially listen to your gut when paper piecing. Because, again, no one wants to seam rip those microscopic stitches 🙅🏻♀️🚫😅
Hope those tips helped! And I hope you all have fun making your blocks this month! Thanks to Pretty Little Hedgehog for sponsoring this month's prize, a $50 gift card to their shop!
To enter, post a photo of June's blocks to your public Instagram account by June 30th and use the hashtag #JustMyTypeQAL in your caption. A winner will be randomly selected on July 1st!
Tagged: block of the month, bom, fpp, how to, just my type, letter pattern, paper piecing, QAL, quilt, quiltalong, SAL, sewalong, sewing, tips, Tutorial, typewriter