Dear Quilt Doctor,
I understand the concept of paper piecing and have done a few projects. What I don’t get is how to keep myself on track as far as which colors go in which place. It’s all that flipping back and forth that confuses me. Do you have a way to help me keep it straight?
I’m a huge fan of paper piecing. My favorite blocks to paper-piece are Square-in-a-Square, Flying Geese, and Log Cabin. I love using up little tiny scraps of fabric and having those blocks perfect when I’m done. I’m kind of a sloppy sewer … paper piecing makes me feel like I’m in control!
One thing that might help is to choose your fabrics before you begin to sew. Stack them in the order you’ll be using them. I know it’s fun to dig in your scrap box for each section but that can get confusing, especially those patterns with a million numbers on them.
When I make Log Cabin blocks, I draw a line diagonally through the block and then write “light” on one side and “dark” on the other, if it’s important that they be pieced that way.
For those patterns that have a lot of detail, I use my colored pencils and color each section. It reminds me what color I need to use next and is easier than using the photo from the pattern. Don’t use crayon; it will get on your fabric when you press.
I hope this helps you. There are a lot of great patterns and books on paper piecing in your quilt shop. Have fun with it!
More to check out: