Paper Piecing Tutorial #1: Paper Piecing a Segment

My step by step directions are designed to help you use my “Made By Marney” paper pieced patterns. Tutorial #1 gets you started on paper piecing a segment. I cannot fit all of the photos in one post, so Tutorial #2 shows how to finish the segment and sew it to a second segment. The pattern I am using can be found as a FREE download on this website starting Tuesday, February 6.

Let’s do a tutorial on paper piecing right now. Set the stitch length on your sewing machine to 1.5 (that’s about 20 stitches per inch).

Step 1 : Make 3 copies of the original pattern. (I use cheap copy paper.) Cut it into the 3 segments A, B and C, shown by the red lines. I like to add 1/4″ seam allowances between the segments. This is not a necessary step, but I find it a helpful reminder as I paper piece. If you prefer, you could just make 1 copy of the pattern and cut it apart on the red lines. Just make sure you are allowing plenty of fabric along the edges for the 1/4″ seam allowance as you paper piece. I will be paper piecing Segment C.

Step 2: Pin a scrap of fabric behind piece #1. Hold the pattern up to a light source so you can position the piece behind piece #1 on the pattern. The right side of the fabric is facing away from the back of the pattern. Note that the scrap is larger than piece #1 to allow for seam allowances.

Step 3: I am now ready to position the fabric for piece #2. In the first photo I am pointing at  the
line I will be stitching. In the second photo I am bending piece 2 back along the stitching line to help me position the fabric. Note that the fabrics are right sides together. I am allowing for about a 1/2″ of fabric beyond the stitching line. You can see I am working with a large scrap for fabric 2. I like to trim my fabric AFTER stitching it in place.
Notice, I start sewing 1/4″ before my stitching line, and will stop stitching 1/4″ after my stitching line. No backtacking is necessary.
Step 4: Bend the paper pattern out of the way and trim away any excess seam allowance beyond the 1/4″ needed.
If you have found this post helpful, visit my next post “Paper Piecing Tutorial #2: Sewing Segments Together”.
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7 thoughts on “Paper Piecing Tutorial #1: Paper Piecing a Segment

    1. Thanks Deana…they are in my “Cute and Clever Totes” book! I grew up on a farm and we always raised chickens for the eggs.

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