I love Paper Piecing, especially complex blocks. Currently, I am making two Sizzle quilts, so I am getting lots of practice. I have written about paper piecing before--if you want lots of tips for this technique, Read this Tutorial.
The paper I use for piecing has to have certain qualities:
It has to be easy to print on a home printer
The ink cannot smear once dry
It has to be easy to sew on
It has to be easy to press the sewn fabrics flat
It has to be easy to remove
I am testing 3 different "vellum" papers on a Sizzle block:
Here are my results:
1. C&T Simple Foundations Translucent Vellum Paper--this is the product Becky Goldsmith recommends and it is included in the Accessory Kit for the Sizzle quilt, the 2019 Block of the Month for The Quilt Show.
This is the medium weight of the 3 papers I am testing. It works well, is easy to run through my printer, the ink doesn't smear, and tears off pretty easily. It curls just a bit but not enough to be a problem.
2. Master's Touch Tracing Pad, 25 lb., 9" x 12"--bought at Hobby Lobby.
This is the thinnest of the 3 papers I am testing. I had to trim to 8.5" for the printer. Even though I separated each of the 8 sheets from the stack to "un-stick" them, each time I printed 8 copies, one page stuck to another and I had to re-print that one--and had one page printed on regular paper. The ink also smeared a bit even days after printing. It curled the most of the 3. It was easy to remove.
3. Vellum Paper Value Pack, bought from Amazon online. Amazon
This the thickest of the 3 papers I am testing. It printed easily, the ink did not smear but the thickness of the paper made it difficult to press the fabrics as they were added. It took a hard press to get the fabrics as flat as possible, without having a pleat at the seam. It was more difficult to remove than the other two papers, I really had to pull the paper away from the stitches.
I know a couple people who like to use lightweight tracing paper. They have to print one page at a time since the thin paper does not feed easily in their printers. This would be inconvenient for me--the printer is on the other side of the house from my studio where my computer is.
So, for now, I am sticking with the C&T vellum paper. It does what I need it to do and is dependable.
If you search online for "vellum" be aware there are many weights and levels of transparency. Much of the vellum I saw online was being marketed for Wedding Invitations--the little page that goes between the fancy papers. Those are most likely too thick and not transparent enough for paper piecing quilt blocks, especially complex designs like these.
This is half of a Sizzle Block, showing where a lot of seams come together. You can see it is important that the paper work well with this kind of project:
If you have a paper you love, please let me know about it.