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Weekend Paper Piecing

After a long week, all I wanted to do was to pick up a few scraps and create something. So I pulled out a pattern I had set aside a few months back.

The design Is based on a A Girl Sewing by Danish artist, Vilhelm Hammershoi. I found the pattern through Lori Kennedy's site and fell in love. When I downloaded it a while back paper piecing seemed a bit intimating but I figured now that I have a bit more skill let me give it a try.

Some paper piecing patterns have two versions of the pattern, one to show the color/ shades and the other provide the order in which you should attach the pieces.

One thing I have learned about paper piecing is that blowing up the image and working from a larger version of the pattern, makes it so much easier. So the first thing I did was invest in a 18 x 24 blow up the all white copy of the instructional pattern.

Next I selected my fabrics. Well honestly I picked my fabrics first- and that's just because I love looking at fabric. For this project I wanted to make sure I used scrap only. So I went back through some of my old project bags, and pulled out some pieces. It's amazing how much you have left over from a prior project.

The color pallet that came with the pattern was helpful in determining how much of each color I would need. In addition using the color version of the pattern helps you to visualize where each piece will lay.

If there is a pattern on the fabric, here is where you should pay close attention to how the pattern will lay in the final layout. I made the mistake twice of putting a piece in wrong, and taking out a block after a whole section is completed is NOT fun.

The next trick to paper piecing is wax paper.. that's right, go to the kitchen and get your roll of wax paper. This is the most important part of this process, and it's a life saver. I got the super wide roll, so that I can use it for large projects and small projects.

I taped the blown up version of the pattern out on a table, then rolled out some wax paper, shiny side down on top of the pattern. Next I traced all of the lines using a sharpie. I used a ruler to make sure I got all of my lines straight. Once all the lines were written out, I copied the piece numbers over (A1, A2, A3). This will helped as I started to put the puzzle pieces of your project together.

I Cut my pieces out of the wax paper keeping them organized by Letter category. As I went through the pattern I selected sections of fabric, and ironed the wax paper to the fabric for that section. If you are following along just note: Don't' worry about the wax paper it peels right off when you're done. And if one comes off while you are working, just iron it back on, the pieces are reusable.

I like to trim the fabrics leaving about a 1/2 inch seam allowance. When I am connecting the pieces, I can match the lines of each edge of paper together, so that the ends line up. When I sew I use the 5/8 line, so that my seam will land as close to the paper as possible.

This is where I should have paid close attention to the patterns of my fabrics, so that if something does not connect and create symmetry I could select a different piece before sewing. I ended up with a piece that I hated in the end, and pulled out the piece on the right shoulder (see pictures below).

For this project as I mentioned, I used pieces entirely from my stash (except for the backing and binding that I bought, on sale). It was cool to see these pieces that I'd been saving used in a new way. The boarders were a piece of Brother Sister fabric I had that looked like wood. I added a hanging mini quilt extending the quilt pattern to the 3D element,

I tried to keep the quilting simple, so that I didn't take away from the beauty of the piece. I free motion quilted some swirls in the background, and mostly added movement, and shape to the body.

Overall this came out so nice. I think the color choices really pop, and the framing just intensifies it's artful appeal. Lot's of fun and super easy.

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