When I first started doing my Dear Jane, I had NO IDEA what paper piecing (PP) was and had done some appliqué - blanket stitch.
Here are a few pictures of my first blocks. Pretty horrendous, eh? LOL
As you can see in this one, I wasn't even trimming to 1/4". I figured if I lopped off a piece, it would be okay. *s*
During my last 30 or so blocks, I've perfected my technique. Mind you, everyone has their own technique. I think I should add that I've never really taken any courses, before. I've received a ca-zillion hints, advice, tips and tricks from the DJ group and from my Secret Pal (2006) and friend, Jo Spindle. Once again, thanks, Jo! *s*
First of all, I believe in BIG pieces, when you're PP'ing. Once you start re-assembling these pieces, these huge chunks of fabric are difficult to manipulate. Once again, live and learn. LOL
I started trimming to 1/2" ALL my pieces, on ALL sides. Easier to handle. Only AFTER one section was sewn to the other, did I trim the piece to 1/4". That helped me to have more "control" over my block.
Second, while PP'ing, if I had a "floppy" piece - you know the kind of section that has a big triangle and the paper is flopping around and it's difficult to find the tip of the triangle, to pin it to the other piece? Well, I had tried pinning it down and somehow, the pin distorted things. My trick? Change the stitch on your sewing machine to the longest one available and (temporarily) BASTE the sucker down! That helped me to get more accurate sized blocks.
Those are my 2 little tricks.... and while I received LOTS of advice, I only wish that I had done this on my first blocks. (see above pictures) *grin*
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