This quilt was paper pieced and if you've never tried it I am including my paper piecing directions so you can! The foundation for my block is available on The Quilting Gallery's website here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8779102/PaperSnowflakeFoundation.pdf
BASIC PAPER PIECING INSTRUCTIONS
Paper piecing is a method of constructing a block by sewing pieces of fabric to a paper pattern in numerical order. All of the solid lines on the pattern are lines you will sew on. The dotted lines indicate the edge of the seam allowance on the outside of each unit. All fabric will be placed on the blank side of the pattern.
NOTE: Pieces of fabric that go on the outside of the block should be cut on the straight of grain whenever possible to minimize distortion. Refer to the section entitled FOR ODD SHAPES AND ANGLED PIECES for instructions how to cut pieces on grain.
Starting with the number 1 piece, cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the number 1 area and overlap each edge by about a 1/2”. This can be a large rectangle.
This piece of fabric is placed, right side up, on the blank side of the paper pattern, in a position where it will completely cover the number 1 area and overlap each edge by at least 1/4”.
Check the position by holding the pattern and fabric up to a light with the printed side of the pattern facing you. Pin, lightly glue with a fabric glue stick or spray baste in place.
Lay the foundation unit (pattern and attached fabric) paper side up on a cutting mat. Using an index card or other lightweight piece of cardboard with a straight edge (I use a greeting card), place the card on top of the number 1 area and line up the edge of the card with the line that runs between areas 1 and 2. Fold only the paper back over the card leaving the fabric exposed on the mat.
Place the 1/4” mark of your rotary ruler or ADD-A-QUARTER RULER on the fold of the paper and trim the exposed fabric to 1/4”.
Turn the foundation unit over, fabric side up. The second piece of fabric, cut large enough to fill the number 2 area and overlap the edges by at least 1/4”, is placed on top of the first piece of fabric, right sides together, matching the edge of the second piece with the trimmed edge of the first piece.
Flip the foundation unit over and sew directly on the line running between areas 1 and 2, beginning at least 1/4” before the start of the line and ending at least 1/4” beyond the end of the line. Use a shortened stitch length of 13-15 stitches per inch. Press new piece open.
Continue in this manner, adding pieces in numerical order, until the unit is complete.
After each unit is finished, increase the stitch length and baste any large, loose pieces of fabric to the paper foundation in the seam allowance (the space between the solid black line and the dotted line).
After basting, place the foundation and fabric unit, paper side up, on the cutting mat. Place the 1/4” of your rotary ruler on the solid black line on the outside of the pattern and trim excess paper and fabric away. Do this on each edge.
FOR ODD SHAPES AND ANGLED PIECES
To match up angles, simplify cutting of odd-shaped pieces and cut fabric on grain when necessary, lay your foundation unit fabric side up on work surface.
Take a large piece of the fabric to be used in the odd-shaped or angled area and set it right side up on the fabric side of the foundation unit in the proper position (the way you want it to be in the finished block). Make sure it covers the area to be filled.
With scissors, cut a large rectangle more than sufficient to fill the space. Don’t skimp and try to save fabric during this step but keep in mind you will have larger scraps that can be used elsewhere after cutting your angle.
Pin this piece of fabric in place to the paper foundation before flipping the foundation unit over and placing on your cutting mat.
Lay your card on top of the area to be filled instead of the previous piece that was just added. Line up the edge of the card with the line between the area to be filled and the previous piece.
Fold the foundation unit, paper and fabric, back on the line over the card exposing the new piece of fabric. Place the 1/4” mark of your rotary ruler on the pattern fold and trim the new piece of fabric.
After trimming, turn the foundation unit over and remove any pins holding the new piece of fabric in place.
Carefully flip the new piece of fabric on top of the previous piece, right sides together.
Turn the foundation over and sew on the line on the paper side as directed in the BASIC PAPER PIECING INSTRUCTIONS.
This technique will also allow you to easily positions a directional fabric into a paper pieced project!
ASSEMBLING UNITS INTO BLOCK
Lay out the pieces to be assembled as if you are putting together a puzzle, fabric side up. When assembling units into blocks or blocks into a finished quilt top the units are sewn right sides together
as in traditional piecing.
Points where the units need to match are marked with a dot on the MATCHING POINTS DIAGRAM. Push a pin through the center of one of the matching points from the paper side of one unit and bring the point of the pin through the center of the corresponding matching point on the other unit from the fabric side.
There will be at least 2 matching points on each unit. Push another pin through the next closest matching point in the same manner as the first.
Hold the two units tightly together so the two pins in the matching points are perpendicular to the surface of the pattern. Line up the edges of the units as much as possible. Take two more pins and pin the two units together close to the matching points.
Repeat with any remaining matching points.
Remove the upright pins and sew on the solid line near the outside edge of the pattern from end to end.
If you made any of the blocks and want to show off or want to see other participants block they are posted on Flickr here:
Here is a link to The Quilting Gallery's website so you can check out all of the other participating designers blocks! http://quiltinggallery.com/quilters-fun/celebrate-christmas/