I have been a fan of "paper piecing" for years--where you sew through paper patterns, using a tiny stitch, then remove the paper when done and sew the units together to make a block. In teaching this, I find that quilters either love it or hate it.
|Center of a gift for a sailor
The plus side of paper piecing is ACCURACY. With complex patterns like Mariner's Compass, you can get sharp points fairly easily.
The down side to paper piecing is REMOVING THE PAPER, and those tiny stitches are challenging to remove when we make a mistake--and we ALL make a mistake, from time to time.
I am learning to Foundation Piece on Freezer Paper patterns. The exact same method as regular paper piecing, except the pattern is printed on the matte side of Freezer paper and you DO NOT sew through the paper.
I have known about this method for years but never tried it--I was perfectly content with "regular" paper piecing.
Here are the basics--I will have a detailed Tutorial when time permits. I am enjoying learning this so thought you might like to see it too.
As usual, the fabrics are cut into over-sized pieces or chunks.
The first fabric is pressed to the waxy side of the freezer paper, securely. The second fabric is placed on top of the first fabric, right sides together, using the standard 1/4" seam allowance:
Sewing with a regular length stitch, just beside the fold of freezer paper:
See how the stitches are just along the paper, not through it:
As pieces are added, they are pressed over, onto the freezer paper--the waxy side. The excess is trimmed 1/4" away from the line--using one of my favorite tools, the Add-A-Quarter ruler:
Each fabric is added in turn until the paper is covered with all the fabrics needed. When the pattern is completely stitched, you carefully remove the unit from the Freezer Paper--and the paper is ready to be used again! A real bonus if doing a block with many of the same units. I used the two paper patterns to make the 8 units needed, 4 of each. So I only had to print 1 sheet of Freezer paper to get ALL the patterns needed for this 14" block:
The 8 units are sewn into four sections of two units each. Here are 4 units sewn into 2 quarters, then joined to make a half block:
Two halves, ready to be joined into a circle:
The best tip I give quilters when making blocks with places where many seams come together, like Lemoyne Stars and this Mariner's Compass, is to machine baste that center first. I turn the stitch length up, to 5.0 here from my usual 2.0. I baste stitch about an inch on either side of the center:
I open it and take a peek--if I am happy with it, I turn the stitch length back to normal and sew the entire seam, stitching right over the basting stitches. If I think I can do better, it is a snap to pull out those basting stitches and try again. I was satisfied with this:
Here is the back of the Compass: