Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wash Away Foundation Paper for Paper Piecing

Thanks for all the anti-night-time-monster ideas. We may be deploying some or all of your ideas depending on how things go over the next few weeks with our son.

Lots of cool quilt patterns are based on a technique we affectionately call 'paper piecing'. I used this method to create the quilt that I'm using for the blog banner right now. Pattern from this book.

There are options to what paper you can use, but personally, I am a convert to the wash away type.

Non-wash away foundation paper requires you to use a very small stitch length when you are sewing fabric to paper, and just requires that you rip off the paper after you finish the blocks.

I have used this method before, and it works well, but the wash away paper has some cool advantages.

I have found that you don't need to use those super tiny stitches when using it, you can use a normal stitch length. Also, when you are done with your blocks, you just soak them in water, and the paper disappears. This puts no stress at all on your seams, and there is no risk ripping a stitch or of left-over paper sticking around forever in the center of your quilt.

There are a couple versions of wash away paper on the market, but I use "Wash Away foundation paper for paper piecing and machine embroidery" by Dritz. Mentioned before that I got it at Columbia River quilting, but it exists in stores as well.

A word of caution when using any paper piecing method (wash-away, or not) it is very important that you do not use a hot iron to flatten your fabric into place. Because you have run the paper through your computer printer, the ink is likely to bleed out onto your fabric from the foundation paper itself - especially if the fabric is white or light in color.

If you keep a wooden iron (using the flat 'back' end, not the pointy side) at your machine, you can easily fold back the paper with very little fuss.

How did I discover this little gem? Gee...maybe I had to re-make a quilt block or two somewhere along the way. Doh!

Mrs. Schmenkman has a blog post that just floored me. How could a quilting book by Yoko Saito exist that is not yet part of my library? Horrors! Looks like a quick trip to Etsy can remedy that situation. Thank you Mrs. S!

Shells above are from a shell photo study I did for my little sister's new home decor. She loves them - yeah!


LuvMyPup said...

Your sister is very luck to have you to take those photos for her! They are fabulous.

LuvMyPup said...

When will you be showing us more squares of the baby girl quilt you are making?

jan in nagasaki said...

Hi, Emily mentioned your blog over on Ravenhill...I think I could learn a lot here!!!!I had better go find out who Yoko Saito is.... i might be missing something big...

I am having a kimono giveaway over on my blog... check it out if you want to.....I am hoping to pass on some good stuff and clean out my closet!!!

Judy said...

I have tht book.. by Yoko and I made a purse.. I love it.. now I'm addicted to her books..I have 3..I posted a picture of my purse at my blog.. check it out..

Under the Lychee Tree said...

I just bought 2 Yoko Saito books. I look at them everyday. I'm a fan. I love her designs. I just need to study them more before I attempt at stitching a few blocks. Thank you for your tip on wash away foundation paper!