First Quadrant
Tips

Paper Piecing Tools

I have a big run of “secret sewing” projects lined up through the end of June, and that is really unusual for me. Typically I have a project I need to keep secret every so often, but this is a rather long list. Thankfully I get to share one with you tomorrow, and in early June and then as June rolls into July I will have lots of fun things to tell you about. I can give a bit of a tease on a swap item I am working on today, though.

The challenge with this swap is to use V and Co Ombre Fabric. I realized that having fabric and deciding on a design is harder for me than having a design and selecting fabric with this challenge! After a lot of debate, I made another May is for Makers purchase and bought Jeli Quilts’ Double Goosed pattern.

First Quadrant

First Quadrant

Not wanting to give too much away, above is a grey scale image of the first pieced quadrant.

Prep for Last Quadrant

Prep for Last Quadrant

The pattern is paper pieced, and I really like how doing something repeatedly can leads to efficiency. The above is my fabric prep for piecing the last quadrant. I did not have much waste!

Paper Piecing Tools

Paper Piecing Tools

Which lead to me posting about the tools I use when paper piecing on Instagram yesterday. I keep handy:

  1. A ruler with an obvious quarter inch at the edge for trimming,
  2. 2 rotary cutters: 1 for fabric, 1 for paper (2 scissors for that matter: 1 for fabric, 1 for paper), and
  3. Wooden seam roller for pressing seams.

I really like not having to plug in and use an iron when I am paper piecing. Something about using the wooden seam roller is just fun for me.

I also got some really great suggestions for other tools that I might check out in the future:

  • @mara.creates: I also use a sewline glue stick for putting the first fabric down and I love my clover clips to hold fabric in place instead of pins.
  • @a.fox.made.this: I use a tracing wheel to pre-perforate all the lines. I find it makes turning the paper back to trim seams easier and more accurate as well as being easier to tear away at the end.
  • @liveacolorfullife: I keep a postcard handy to fold the paper back on the line for trimming. If that makes sense. Someone recommended template plastic for that–more durable
  • Irene @Patchwork and Pastry: My metal stiletto – I use it to score paper, guide small things through my sewing machine, and a host of other things

And others mentioned that a quick place to get a wooden seam roller might be at your local hardware store in the wallpaper section: a wallpaper seam sealer!

What are your must have paper piecing tools?

**The Modern Selvage Quilting giveaway is over. Congratulations to Christi S.**

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social.

27 thoughts on “Paper Piecing Tools

  1. Sew says:

    I always have as was mentioned a postcard for folding the paper back over and an add a 1/4 ruler, love that tool, and I never use pins I always use paper clips, so have large and small ones, a hot iron as I press after every row of stitching, and a super heavy vintage iron to use as weight to give me super flat seams 🙂 And my tablet which is just perfect for enlarging a pattern as I work on it, its the only thing I use my tablet for hahahahahaha

  2. Excellent post regarding tools for paper-piecing Yvonne! I always wondered what a person might use that ‘tiny pizza cutter’ for (now I know it’s a tracing wheel), such a good hint @a.fox.made.this.

  3. Paige says:

    An Add-A-Quarter ruler comes in handy! Anticipating the reveal!

  4. Yvonne, I love how your Double Goosed project is coming along, and I can’t wait to see it in color! I’m very new to paper piecing, but I wanted to say that I recently ordered a wooden seam roller to use at Glamp Stichalot. It was one of the recommended notions. Take care, Mary.

  5. Patricia Cash says:

    I am just starting out on a paper piecing adventure, thanks for tools information.

  6. Your paper pieced block looks great! I can’t wait to see it finished. I don’t really have many tools just for paper piecing. My one tip is that if you have a lot of the same block to piece and you are in a hurry, cutting the fabric just 1/4-1/2″ larger makes placement so much easier and quicker.

  7. Can’t wait to see the reveal. I’m intrigued by the little bit that you’ve shared.

  8. I can’t wait to see all your secret projects and news! I love my mini iron and 1/4″ ruler for paper piecing. I’ve recently stopped stitching through the outside seams. I backstitch at the beginning and end. It helps when it’s time to rip off the paper. It can be a mess and difficult with all the little seams to get each bit of paper out, but this method makes it a little easier!

  9. Jan O says:

    I never thought of a wooden seam roller – such a clever idea! I can see using it for all sorts of piecing, not just paper piecing. It would save trips to the ironing board by flattening seams that the next seam will cross, then they can all be pressed at once. I may have to raid the old box of wallpaper supplies!

  10. Good Morning Yvonne! I always look forward to your posts, each and every day! But how fun that you have things to share but must wait for the right time. I am certainly looking forward to your revealings. It has been quite some time since I have done a paper pieced block; but have been looking around trying to discover the correct project for some special fabrics that I have and a couple of the choices are paper pieced blocks. I will be checking out the wooden seam roller at a local Ace hardware and seeing if it something that would work for me. Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

  11. Oh, my goodness, I’ve never thought of some of the items in these links. And your seam roller is genius, especially with summer coming on. Who wants to heat up the house with an iron?!

  12. Jen R says:

    That block looks fantastic! I like it in the grey. 🙂
    I have yet to try paper piecing. It is very intimidating.

  13. Ooo, that Geese block is going to look lovely! Great choice! I also use a postcard for paper piecing, invaluable! Can’t wait to see this finished!

  14. Janice says:

    Great list of tools. I never thought about using the wallpaper seam roller. That’s such a simple, but great idea. I also use an Add-A-Quarter ruler. It has a little lip on it that catches the edge of the seam so adding that 1/4″ seam is quick and easy. I can’t wait to see the reveal of your Goose project.

  15. Love this pattern! I made a little quilt with using the V&C Ombre…it is waiting to be quilted. My fav tools for paper piecing are the Add A Quarter ruler and I have a piece of acrylic template cut into a rectangle about 2″ by 8″…works like the postcard…and the postcard is probably easier to find as the template is clear and can get lost in that pile of fabrics. Have fun, Yvonne!

  16. Lara B. says:

    This pattern is amazing and I’m very intrigued how you are doing it with ombre fabrics Yvonne.
    I’m going to have to try your tip about the seam roller. I purchased one awhile back and then forgot what it was for, LOL.
    I (like half the people here) love using the Add-a-Quarter Ruler… no slipping! I also like to use Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it to hold the fabric pieces in place, but I put the dots of glue so they will be hidden in the seamline.

  17. Miriam says:

    Your double goosed is wonderful! What a stunning pattern! I don’t do a lot of paper piecing, but I am going to pick up a wallpaper seam roller next time I’m at the hardware store. I like it better than the little wooden “presser” that I feel tends to stretch and pull the fabric if I’m not careful. I also need to find another tracing wheel. That’s a great tip, too. I always enjoy seeing your projects!

  18. sewserena says:

    I can’t wait to see what colors you used, but even from the black and white photo, am really intrigued how your fabric selection changed the look of the block! So neat.

  19. Renee says:

    The wooden roller is still on my list, especially as summer rolls around and turning on even my little iron is unpleasant! I totally inherited a tracing wheel from my Grandma and haven’t used it yet–I will definitely try it for paper piecing next time!

  20. janequiltsslowly says:

    Having just taken regular copy paper pieces out after finishing a block, even though I used a bigger needle and very short stitch length, it was torture. I felt like I was going to tear out the stitching! So I am going to order some more “made for paper piecing paper”. I think I have used papers that Carol Doak markets in the past. They are just SO MUCH easier to remove.

  21. Judy says:

    I am heading to my old wallpaper hanging supply bucket right now! That is a GREAT idea 🙂

    OH, I love your first quadrant!! Even in gray scale. . . oh how cool would it be to do the whole thing in gray ombre. . . This May is for Makers thing is awesome, I have bought so many patterns that I never would have known about through posts like this! 🙂

  22. The wooden seam roller is a recommended tool for my upcoming Glamp Stitichalot adventure. I’ve never used one, but hearing your glowing review, I’m very tempted to add one to my shopping cart!

  23. Jasmine says:

    Thanks for the tips. I still haven’t tried paper piecing… Someday that will change.

  24. Marly says:

    A seam roller! What a brilliant idea! I must search the hardware store.

  25. A clear glue stick and an Add-A-Quarter Plus ruler, and your life will be complete.

  26. Sally says:

    I like the idea of a seam roller, other essentials for me would be a comfy chair and either some tv that doesn’t need to be properly watched or else radio/music/audio book!

  27. 2nana50 says:

    I enjoyed this article on your tools… I use a wooden finger press for pressing the cloth back, and I love the idea of the tad of glue, but especially the tracing wheel… That one makes sense to me!!
    Also Yvonne can you send me a simple email from a regular email if yours, I’m having to refugee my email, and deleted Jetgirl from email as my box was past my limit… I now just got to figure out how to use Woord Press to check out your blogs, I could use some help with how to set Word Press up, please… I don’t want to lose your posts…

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)