Paper Piecing Tip

Thursday Things

Life, QuiltCon 2018

I have been paper piecing a lot recently. I designed a block that uses paper piecing (my first design using the technique) that you’ll see in April, and the quilt I am working on this week uses paper piecing. I thought I’d share the paper piecing tip or strategy that I came up with this week that has made things go smoothly and quickly for me.

Paper Piecing Tip
Paper Piecing Tip

I pre-fold the template along the piecing lines before I place the first piece of fabric (which I glue baste down using a glue stick). This makes it really quick to flip back the paper, trim a 1/4-inch seam, and move along. To help me fold along the lines, I used a heavy card stock paper (aka a color card from Cloud9 Fabrics for their Cirrus Solids, haha). I align the cardstock a fraction of an inch before the line, so that I can see just a small gap before the fold line (this accounts for the thickness of the cardstock), and then I fold the paper back against the card stock.

I am taking a lot of extra Vitamin C this week in preparation for QuiltCon. Also in preparation, I ordered a fabric lanyard and a nicer utility apron than the one I made for myself last year.

Apron and Lanyard
Apron and Lanyard

The lanyard is made from fabric of a world map, and I purchased it from the Aspen Leaves Designs Etsy store.

Apron Zipper Detail
Apron Zipper Detail

In addition to having nicer, wider ties on this apron and an assortment of pockets, the apron I purchased from My Empty Nest Designs Esty store has a zipper pocket as well, which will be a very handy addition for items that need a bit more safe keeping!

I have also been trying to plan and schedule blog posts for while I am away at QuiltCon. I’m kicking around the idea of a Q&A article, so if you have any questions you’re curious about that I can answer, ask them in the comments or send me an email to yvonne(at)quiltingjetgirl(dot)com! Thank you!


  • I notice that some bloggers include their blog names on their photos they post; others, like you, do not. I’d enjoy a post from you on that. I’m always wondering if I need to (I do, but it’s an extra step and takes a bit more time). Thanks!

  • I’ve learned to really like and appreciate paper piecing. I fold all my papers before use as well. It does make it easier to fold back and trim after each addition. Happy stitching this week. You might also designate an apron pocket for hand sanitizer. With this flu epidemic, I’d be going for any potential precautions.

  • I’m so happy you’ve jumped into the world of paper piecing! 🙂 I enjoy PP, but still struggle with a couple aspects of it. I prefold my paper too, it helps a lot. I hope you enjoy your time at QuiltCon. I haven’t been yet, and can only imagine how rejuvenating and motivating it must be. Have fun!

  • I love paper-piecing too, and especially love the technique I learned from Joanne at Canuck Quilter Designs, where you don’t sew through the paper, You can reuse the templates. A friend at a quilt retreat gave me a slim piece of siding, yep house siding (her husband is a contractor) which is FABULOUS as it is so thin, more durable than cardstock, which a crisp edge for folding paper, or freezer paper, back upon it. Have fun at QuiltCon!

  • I’ve never prefolded my paper, but I do use an old credit card to help with the folding as I go. The lanyard and apron are both very nice 🙂 I’m looking forward to enjoying all the QuiltCon fun (from a distance, unfortunately).

  • Paper piecing is a great technique. My friend that I used work with taught it for years, and finally succumbed to the Add a Quarter rulers. It helps with making the trimming fast & easy. She always resisted but was happy when she found it.

  • Cardstock (or in my case a magazine subscription insert!) is THE best tool for foundation paper piecing. It really does help with getting crisp folds! Look forward to seeing this new pattern in April!!

  • Love the new lanyard and apron. I expect to see lots of pictures of you sporting both 🙂 That is such an easy trick to help with paper piecing. Honestly, I had never thought about folding before I start sewing. That would totally make it easier to line things up. Thanks for sharing that little secret.

  • I love paper piecing! I haven’t tried freezer paper and glue though, I still use the old tearing method. Have such fun at QuiltCon! Oh wait … I’ll be there too. Maybe I’ll bump into you! Why do you take lots of extra vitamin C’s in prep for QuiltCon? If this is a secret health trick, I must have missed it.

  • I’m glad to see you’re getting into good shape before Quiltcon! I remember how many miles you said you walked last year! Thanks for the paper piecing tip, it would certainly help!

  • How fitting is that apron for you?! I can’t wait to hear about your QuiltCon fun and see pictures! I’m excited to see what you came up with for your paper pieced block. I love paper piecing, it is addicting! I don’t pre-fold, but my 1/4″ ruler has a tapered edge that I use to fold with.

  • I love the apron, so cute! I do something similar but I just put a ruler a smidge below the line and use my hera marker to go along the crease. I think your example above looks crisper so I will have to try it out. Have fun at quiltcon and stay healthy!

  • I was taught to fold the papers when I paper piece, but I fold on the 1/4” line so I know exactly where to trim and where to line up my next piece. It’s saved me more than once! I use a really thin ruler (as thick as cardstock) that has a quarter inch mark line on it. I also bought a ream of newsprint that I print my paper piecing templates on so they’re easier to tear out. Much more affordable than foundation paper and just as effective! It’s also great for printing PDF sewing patterns on (it’s easier to pin through)

  • I use freezer paper, and sew along the lines first with no thread, so easy to turn back, a little dab with the iron to keep each piece in place. Apron and matching lanyard, great colours there, and safety in having pockets with zips.

  • Paper piecing is one of my favorite quilt methods. I think it’s because you can get such sharp lines. Thanks for the tip on pre-folding – I never thought to do that! Of course, I’ve done some that involve characters & the eyes always have way too many lines to pre-fold. Perfect for less detailed patterns though! Your lanyard & apron look great. It’s always neat to have personalized things! Thanks again! 🙂

  • I love the space-themed fabrics. So very appropriate. People will recognise you with or without straight hair and makeup. 😉
    I dug out some hardware for a homemade lanyard for my new job (the ones work supply are boring black), but I have not got as far as choosing which fabric. I might make a few to coordinate with different outfits!

  • I enjoy the actual sewing of paper piecing, though it took me a while. The biggest problem I had, was iif it was for a bee, then size was crucial. Found it hard to print off to exact size. For myself, of course, I just adapted the size of the block.

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