Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paper Piecing First

My big March project, my mother's Lilac Diamond Quilt (a full blog post with lots of pics will follow after I give my mom the quilt next weekend!), is quilted and I am binding it by hand now. 

The fabric I chose for the Lilac Diamond Quilt is so beautiful, I really wanted to make something else with the leftovers, but the colors are so vibrant and busy, I hadn't quite decided what I should do. I have been seeing some beautiful work done with paper piecing, I know its been around for centuries, but I was unfamiliar with the technique until recently. I decided now was the time to play around with it. I found this beautiful template for a Lone Starburst on Six White Horses and I downloaded the pdf file. Honestly I didn't know where to begin. I had no clue about paper piecing. I searched around the web for a tutorial, but honestly didn't find anything that I really followed well. So I just started experimenting. 

You need 4 As and 4 Bs to make one Starburst:

After some trial and error, I realized a few things, just going to list them out below:

1. Put the fabric on the back of the paper, and sew on the lines on the front.

2. Decrease your stitch size if you want to get the paper off without ripping out the seems from the fabric!

3. The first piece of fabric needs to face right side up, while all of the others are right sides together. Which means wrong side facing you.  


4. Use big enough scraps of fabric, this is great for using up tiny pieces, but don't just "hope" its enough because then you are using your seam ripper a LOT and its really tough to pull out the seams because your stitches are so small! 

This is NOT a tutorial, those are just a few pointers. I don't feel qualified to be giving anyone lessons on paper piecing at this point, BUT it was tons of fun. After a LOT of trial and error, ripping out a LOT of seams, realizing that my pieces of fabric were NOT big enough... I managed to get the 8 sections made for my Lone Starburst. I worked on this Thursday evening and Friday evening!

1 of 8 Starburst Sections

1 of 4 A/B Sections

My eight sections before I sewed them!

After I finished my 8 sections, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to piece them together with the paper still on, or if I took the paper off and then just lined up my seems and sewed the pieces together... I went with the latter. It worked out okay. My seems weren't perfect, but they looked pretty good and I was pleased, as it was my first paper piecing attempt and I did it all on trial and error. 

One A/B Section Sewn Together

My Lone Starburst! 


  1. Very pretty and nice work. I've been playing with paper piecing myself and it can be a little frustrating!

    Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

    Stay warm!