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Piecing by the Numbers

Count the ways to enjoy paper piecing once you learn how to quilt by number.

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Steps for Sewing


On your pattern, crease the line between areas #1 and #2. Place your first and second fabrics with the right sides together, aligning the raw edges. Pin them to the side of the pattern without numbers so that the wrong side of fabric #1 is touching the paper. Extend the raw edges at least 1/4" above the creased line, making sure the fabric covers both sections.

Flip your pattern over and sew on the first line, going a stitch or two past the intersecting lines. Finger-press the fabric pieces open, or use a small iron.

Folding the paper back so you don’t cut it, align the 1/4" mark on an acrylic ruler with the folded pattern edge and trim off the excess fabric. To help make sewing less confusing, crease the line between #2 and #3. Trim the excess fabric, adding the ¼" seam allowance. Take your third fabric and align the raw edge with this cut edge, making sure it extends beyond the next seam. Flip, stitch, press and trim your way around the rest of the pattern. When you’re sewing, it helps to have your stitches small, about 14 per inch and to use a larger needle, such as a 90/14. Replace the needle if it becomes dull. A clear sewing foot or one with an open toe allows you to see the line better. Select your fabrics first and layer them in the order you’ll be sewing. It’ll help you stay on track if you get interrupted.

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