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Paper piecing – a new love !!

sewnbyleanne_paperpiecing_giraffe

Paper Piecing has definitely become a new love of mine.  I have just completed this Giraffe.  This Pattern is made by Tartan Kiwi, and it is a big project – but look at the results !!

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Tartan Kiwi’s Pattern has a completely black background – and I just love how you can change the fabric – and therefore change the personality of the Quilt.  This Quilt is now hanging from my bedroom door, until I decide how to Quilt it.  I’m thinking something to distinguish the character of the sky and the grass !  Tartan Kiwi has also made a Zebra – Paper piecing pattern which I think is next on my to do list !! The size of this Mini Quilt is 25×34″ so it is not small !!

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This is an example of my planning stage.  I have my colouring pencils (which I borrow from my daughter) and the perfect giraffe fabric I found at work !

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Gradually the features and personality of the giraffe come together.  I have my scraps colour coded so I often have by blue box just sitting there and dig deep to find the right size piece.  So the piecing is very much trial and error.  When you start paper piecing it is quite difficult sometimes to determine how much fabric you need, so it is a bit of trial and error.  I read in a pattern recently that you should cut your pieces an inch larger than the shape on your paper – but that is quite large and you will waste a lot of fabric this way.  I’m not sure what the answer is, but I will give you a guide as I learn also…….  Paper pieced Patterns don’t often include the amount of fabric needed, which I find interesting.

Two other paper pieced projects I have completed lately are the beach scene which I have created for my #beachboundswap partner and another is the owl by Elizabeth Hartman.  The owl pattern is not an original paper pieced pattern.  I have reduced it’s size substantially (~60%) so that it fits on the side of an one hour (and the rest….) basket.

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Once the Owl was significantly smaller there were a lot of very small pieces to work with, and I find paper piecing allows me to manage the pieces and even seams better!

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This Australian Beach Scene I have created for a swap, and this Mini Quilt will be sent overseas.  Hence the little bits of Australia in it – the golden beach, seagulls, starfish in rock pools, yellow/ red to represent our lifeguards and a touch of Terra Australis – representing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  My mission this weekend is to Quilt this Mini so it is ready to send in September.  To create this scene I have used the “Spring Fling Pattern” by JMZBlond on Craftsy, and the Turtle is by SewHooked  .

Definitely give paper piecing a go -you can find patterns for any animal, Frozen characters that would make great pillows – it is really like sewing a picture !!  I love it !!

Have a great weekend !!

Leanne 🙂

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Owls and Paper piecing

sewnbyleanne_allietheowl_paperpiecing

Paper piecing is a new skill I wanted to work on this year……..  and although it is not my favourite way to quilt, it certainly allows you to work with those very little pieces of fabric easily.  Or should I say easier than without the paper backing, rather than easy !!

My swap partner in the #quiltblockbootcamp One hour Basket swap – is a lover of Owls.  So over the weekend I sat on pinterest – which isn’t that rare 😉 – and made a secret board of Owls…..  Quilted, Appliqued and FMQ.   WOW !  Owls are popular little animals….  So this morning I started practising on some techniques, colours and arrangements…….  have to be careful what I say and show, as I’m sure she will read this post !  Maybe just read between the lines a little.

Anyway while I was searching and the minutes on Pinterest turned into hours (as usual!) ,  I found a technique of turning regular patterns into paper piecing when you want smaller blocks !!  I have to say I like!!

One of my favourite Quilt Pattern Designers – Elizabeth Hartman – has an Owl Pattern I purchased a while ago – and has been on my LONG to do list.  However the Owl block is 16″x28″ – this is a BIG block……

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Using my photocopier tis morning I reduced the pattern by 60%, and decided to paper piece it – as you can imagine how small 2 1/2″ blocks become when reduced by 60%.  I tried the Owl’s eye first to see if I was going to pull this off – and guess what – it looks like an Owl’s eye !! Yay !!  Im not sure whether the navy Cotton and Steel Tanagrams works for her eyebrows – looks a bit fierce, but I was just sooooo excited that it looked like an eye !!

So I decided to continue !!  What do you think ??

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There are a few things I would do differently next time round !!  Here are my tips !

1.  Have all your pieces/ chosen first before you start, as the little pieces I was using started to get lost amongst the pile of scraps and fabric piling up !

2.  Cut your seams as you go, as the seams can get bulky when working with little pieces – you can see the stitches pulling a little bit at the nose.  it is because I wasn’t careful enough at snipping my seams with each fabric addition.  So there were a lot of layers to sew through when joining the nose 🙁

3.  Make sure you have a small stitch length so the paper rips easily, without destroying your work! I used the 1.8 setting on my Janome.  (I only remembered this half way through creating my Owl).

4.  Have fun !!

My Allie isn’t perfect but I think she looks rather good – frowning – but the cotton and steel aqua and gray border, almost gives the impression She is looking through the window !

My advice – just give it a go – it works sometimes !! <3

Enjoy your week!

Leanne

 

 

 

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