Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Modified Paper Piecing: Farmer's Wife 1930s: Blossom, No.15

The Farmer's Wife 1930s
Blossom, No.15

Years ago I was involved in a round robin, and introduced to a modified paper piecing technique that didn't require me to sew through the paper. That was a revelation because I hated that part with a passion. I had avoided all paper piecing projects. But the idea of folding back the paper, and sewing beside the seam made a lot of sense, and saved the paper to use again. No ripping!

Yesterday I posted on a Facebook site for Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks, and another poster mentioned a book called Painless Paper Piecing by Marjorie Rine. This is a modified version of her technique, I believe, by the little bit I can read in the look inside option on Amazon. I learned it from another quilter, and will pass on the rough details I used. The book is still available used, and I suggest you purchase it if you want the exact details of that method.

I will only show a small segment of this block using a typical paper piecing unit. Units are generally labelled A-Z and numerically. In this case, C1 is the first triangle that we will add. 

I used my ruler to measure how large fabric for that triangle needed to be to cover the space AND have 1/4" seam allowance around it. I cut my fabric generously, and trim afterward. Nothing makes me more frustrated than having to cut fabric the second time because I was skimping.

Start by cutting out all your paper units on the dotted lines, and folding precisely as possible on the solid lines. It really does not matter if they are folded toward one side or another as the fold will bend. Paper piecing is usually done on the side opposite the numbering, and this is very important in assymetrical blocks. When a block is symmetrical, or a mirror image of both halves, I use the side with the text. It saves me flipping the block back and forth to read.

I use a pencil to add some notation as to what color goes in which block. The G's meant green here, and I had only one other fabric, the floral, so didn't indicate that.

You can see it overlaps the edges on all sides here. Use a glue stick to keep it in position. I use generic, acid free glue sticks, but even white glue like Elmer's will do in a pinch. Remember,"Dot-dot, not a lot."

Fold back the triangle on the paper fold. You will need to trim the excess to a 1/4" seam allowance. This is very important. It reduces bulk, and you will use that 1/4" seam allowance as a reference to lay the next piece in all cases. 

*Note: I only trim the seam allowance between this piece and the next at this point. Save the outside edges until the very end as some minor shifting will occur as you sew.

No fancy rulers, just my Creative Grids. A scant 1/4", and trim.

The next unit is C2, and a floral. The triangle is cut larger than needed. 

Lay it right sides together on top of the green on C1, and hold in place as you fold the paper back on the crease between C1 and C2. Turn over the whole unit while holding it in place.

It should look like this.

Now sew just alongside the crease very closely. 

You may wind up nicking the paper slightly while trying to get close. No problem with that. 

You can see here the stitches are not through the paper.

Fold the fabric triangle over. Press with a dry iron.

Fold back the paper on the seam line now between C2 and C3, and trim the seam allowance to 1/4". 

Again, this provides a reference on where to lay your next piece.

Continue to add the rest of the pieces to the unit. If you have a long unit, or you find your pieces are especially large, add a dab of glue stick to keep them in place. When you are done, your unit should look like this from the back. 

Now is the time to trim the outside edges of the unit. I always wait until the end to do this.

Remove the fabric unit from the paper unit with a tug.

Ta-dah! This unit is done, and you can reuse the paper several more times. 

My blossom block is laid out, and ready to assemble.

And done. Nothing fancy or revolutionary here, and no special tools. There's just no horribly messy, shredded paper to remove! What a relief!

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

1 comment:

Linda Swanekamp said...

Ordered the book, used on Amazon. Hope it helps me adventure again into paper piecing. You post and pictures were incredibly clear. Thanks.