I Did It! My First Paper Piecing Pattern

I did it! I designed my first paper piecing pattern. Right now, it’s still by hand but I’m trying to figure out EQ8 to get it on my computer so I can share it. I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to do that though. But no matter – I’m pretty excited that this pattern works!

On May 13, I wrote about a class I took on how to make these patterns. There is a link to Dana Jones’s website where you can learn more about what she teaches. When the second class was finished, I felt confident enough to try something more complicated. (If you don’t know what paper piecing is, check out this article over at The Quilt Show.)

Designing a Paper Pieced Pattern: Not Easy, but Not Hard

I wouldn’t say doing the design was easy, but it wasn’t hard either. Perhaps the best description is finicky. You need to be pretty meticulous with your lines and you need to do a lot of erasing. Meticulous isn’t a word one would use to describe me, but I can fake it sometimes.

Dana recommends using velum paper for the design, but the one I bought was too thick, so I had to resort to tracing paper. It works, but it’s a bit easier to rip when you’re erasing. But it does work.

Once I had it on the tracing paper, I transferred it to regular paper and brought it to a local copy center to have it made a bit larger. I got two copies so I could cut one up.

After I cut one copy into the different sections, I taped them to another sheet of paper so I could add a quarter inch all around. These were photocopied onto foundation paper. I use a very inexpensive newsprint for my paper piecing projects.

Now, To Try It

I designed this to be just two colours to make it easier for my first try at a paper piecing pattern. I like using a mottled or textured fabrics for backgrounds.

First piece:

And now it’s time to put all the sections together:

A Mistake!

Oops! You know how I’m always saying that all quilters make mistakes at some point? Here’s one. When I sewed the two sections together, a small piece of fabric slipped below the seam line, so I had to take out those stitches and resew it back together.

And here is my first paper piecing pattern! It came out to 12 inches by 7.

I’m very happy with it. I like how diverse it can be. People can use different shades of different colours to match their skin tones. And once I can figure out this darned EQ8, I’ll offer it to anyone who wants to give it a try.  

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