This is my first attempt with a tutorial. I welcome constructive feedback. I am not a technical writer and my chosen style is to try to put it in words how I would verbally teach it. So “listen” to my words as much or more than you “read” them.
The pattern I have chosen is “Paddlewheel” by Judy Niemeyer Quilting. Judy’s company, Quiltworx was recently highlighted in 2 major quilting magazines and this pattern was included as part of articles.
I am a certified Judy Niemeyer instructor and love teaching her patterns and techniques at quilt shops and guilds across the country (and beyond with a quilters cruise in May!)
There are some tools that are recommended for our techniques.
Before we can begin you need to cut out your papers! Quiltworx prints these on newsprint for us making it easier to remove the papers at the end! When trimming papers, be sure to leave at least 1/8″ all the way around the pieces.
Now let’s begin!
Here is my Paddlewheel quilt – there is a contest going until April – if you use fabrics from the “Reclaimed West” collection you are eligible!
Today’s post is for the “Goose” block!
(I will do the other block and assembly tomorrow)
This is the quilt we are making! My sample block is the one in the lower left corner.
Here is our pattern and some of the fabrics I get to choose from!
The pattern is written for the cream and blue in the upper left in the above photo! I have chosen different fabrics for mine and made notes on my pattern which colors replace which fabrics!
Once we have our fabrics chosen we are ready to cut out the pieces. Quiltworx patterns take the guess-work out of cutting the pieces for paper-piecing. We will be using “Template Layout Sheets” These are simply pre-printed papers that tell you exactly where to cut your fabric. They are clearly labeled as you cut so there is no guess-work when you get ready to sew.
There are helpful notes on the template layout sheets – this one requires 10″ squares and all fabrics to be stacked right side up
This is the “Template Layout Sheet” It is used to cut your fabrics the proper shape and size for paper-piecing!
I don’t have to have EXACTLY 10″ – I need approximately 10″ If I was using a “pre-cut” there would be not measuring or trimming. I am using yardage generously donated by Timeless Treasures Fabrics so I have some cutting to do.
I use the template layout sheet to determine what size to cut my fabric – no measuring!
And I will also trim off this excess fabric – just close to the outside line! Then I begin to place large paper-clips on each piece I will be cutting out. This will secure the paper with all the good information to the fabric pieces!
The template layout sheet is numbered for the order to cut each line. Here I am cutting line 1, then line 2 etc. I use my Add-A-Quarter ruler as it stands over the paper-clips and will not slip as easily. (In the photo I have not added all of the clips yet)
All the pieces are cut in the 1st stack. To the right is the 2nd stack as I need 2 stacks to make this quilt. (In this photo you can see the placement for the paper-clips)
Here are both stacks cut – the stack on the right has BLUE on top, the left stack BLACK. (I am going to trade the BLUE triangles with the BLACK triangles)
Here I have traded the geese (triangle shape) between the left stack and the right stack. (See the blue poking out on the right side? With the BLACK geese)
Once I have “swapped” the geese I line up the pieces by section #. Section 1 is on the left and section 10 is on the right. All of the pieces (except section 1) have the words SEW SIDE on them, you want these to all point the same direction, in this photo all SEW SIDEs are to the right!
Prior to starting the next step it is recommended that you place your sewing paper on a light box (or window) upside down, trace the DASHED lines on to the back of the paper. (If you are experienced with paper piecing this step may be skipped.
Now this is section 1. (please pretend it is black fabric, I forgot to take a photo of this step with black fabric. TURN the section one fabrics upside down so you are looking at the WRONG side of the fabric.
Using a water soluble glue – glue the WRONG side of section 1 to the WRONG side of the paper. You will see your traced lines to aid you in fabric placement. (once again pretend this fabric is black!)
Now place your folding template (template plastic 3″ by 12″) on SOLID line 1 as shown in photo (see now it is black fabric!)
Fold the paper back (solid line one)
Place your add-a-quarter ruler against the folded paper
Used your rotary cutter and trimming away the excess fabric, leaving your 1/4″ seam allowance
Now to add section 2. You ALWAYS want to place this so the words “sew side” are away from you. This makes lining this piece up a breeze! (No dashed lines on this piece in a couple of photos you will see WHY the dashed lines are nice)
Here I am pulling the 1st fabric off the stack (right side up) (Still no dashed lines)
and sliding it under section one, where we just trimmed using our add-a-quarter ruler. I have placed the paper here only for your reference. The piece of red fabric is UNDER the black piece. The fabrics are “Right Sides Together” SEE THE DASHED LINES? For the purpose of this tutorial I am showing the pertinent dashed lines, you would have all your dashed lines showing.
WE are ready to sew now. Set your stitch length to 1.5-1.7, use a size 70 microtex sharp needle and a sewing foot without the little 1/4″ ledge. WHY a size 70 you ask? Each time we take a stitch we push fiber dust and a little bit of paper into our machine, with a 70 sharp we will push a lot less trash into our bobbin area!)
Now I am at my sewing machine, I have placed my presser foot on solid line 1 and I will sew all the way along the solid line, including the seam allowances. (See the red fabric poking out?)
After I have sewed this is what it looks like and I am ready to press.
And here I have pressed. Don’t worry that the edges are not even, these will be trimmed as we progress through the block.
Before I can trim to add the next piece, I need to gently pull the paper away from the sewn line in the seam allowance.
Another view of how I gently pull the fabric from the seam allowance so I will be able to fold and trim
Notice I pulled it way back from the edge, this will allow all the straggly threads to be trimmed as I progress.
Take your folding template and fold on SOLID line 2
Use your add-a-quarter ruler and trim away the excess fabric. You should have some of each fabric to trim away. If not you may not have placed your 2nd piece of fabric properly.
Now I am ready to add section 3. (Notice the sew side is away from me)
I pull the top piece of fabric off the stack
Place it under the area I marked off when I traced the dashed lines. Now I will go to my machine and sew on SOLID line 2
My line is sewn and I am ready to press
And I have pressed
This photo allows you to clearly see where I started and stopped my sewing!
And this photo shows you where I gently pulled the paper back from the stitches so I will be able to “fold & trim”
I place my folding template on SOLID line 3 and fold back the paper.
I use my add-a-quarter ruler and trim away the excess fabric.
The excess fabric after trimming.
With my sew side away from me – I pull the top fabric off the stack of SECTION 4 fabrics
This photo shows you where you should see your fabric “under” the paper to know you have placed it properly.
This is AFTER I have sewn section 4 – see next photo….
Notice now that I have pressed, you cannot see any of my notes – that tells me that I have placed my fabric properly
Here I have gently pulled the paper back from my stitches. Don’t worry if the paper tears a little extra bit, that just makes it easier to pull off later!
Place your folding template on SOLID line 4 and fold.
Used your add a quarter ruler and trim the excess. If you have nothing to trim OR a LOT to trim – stop and check before trimming!
See the red fabric – I have already placed SECTION 5 under my trimmed piece.
OOPS! See the traced line? That means that I did not place SECTION 5 properly (the red triangle). I need to un-sew this and scoot it over and re-sew
See how far to the left that red fabric is? That is why it did not line up properly!
See the little red corners on the left and right? Much better!
Now when I press I have covered my traced lines!
Gently pull back the paper and trim on SOLID line 5.
Now we are to LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT stage – just keep on with what you have been doing. Only instead of lather, rinse, repeat – you have a couple of choices of acronyms
TSP (teaspoon) – stands for TRIM, SEW, PRESS (I believe Carol Doak coined this acronym.
SIFT – Sew, Iron, Fold, Trim – I am not sure the origin of this acronym, it was shared by one of my students.
Once all 10 pieces of fabric have been added you are ready for the next steps!
Here is our little block all finished up
Here is the back side – it is time to CAREFULLY trim the edges.
Because we left at least an 1/8″ all the way around the block we can clearly see where to trim on the OUTER line!
I like to use my add-a-quarter ruler because I can line up the “1/4” on the inside line as a double check!
Here I have carefully trimmed all the sides
Isn’t it pretty?
Now that you have made one block, I encourage you to “chain-piece” the remaining blocks. This will speed up the process A LOT!!! I love chain-piecing!
For chain-piecing I will glue all the SECTION 1’s in place, Fold and Trim all Line 1’s and now I am ready to add the 2nd piece of fabric and sew
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and look forward to you joining me for tomorrow’s post as well!