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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sewing Basics: Paper Piecing Series: Sewing Your Blocks Together

This is a Sewing Basics Series on Paper Piecing. 
You can find all of the posts under the Sewing Basics Tab at the top of my blog. 
 Please let me know if you have any questions or something doesn't make sense!

**My instructions for this series specifically pertain to my pattern Two Stars Squared. The method will be the same for any pattern, though the details may vary.

Sewing Your Blocks Together

You should now have four completed block sections

Turn them over and you should have this
I already removed the paper from one block.

**Some patterns are easier to sew together if you leave the paper on the back. There is no right or wrong. If you prefer to leave it on, skip the next few steps.

Tear off the paper
I usually start in either of the corners. The paper comes off easier when it's not connected to more paper on the other side of the seam. Personally I think it's easier on the seams if you start from the corners, but this is just my preference.


keep going until all the paper is removed
doesn't this look cool?!

Arrange your blocks so the design is pleasing to you (this is more for when you are making a scrap block, using a wider variety of fabrics, or have directional prints).

We will be sewing two blocks at a time

Take two blocks and line up the points where they meet along one edge.

Pin right where the points meet.
go in at an angle, even more than this (it's hard to get a picture of it with one hand) to keep your blocks lined up well.




*** TIP: Pinning:
Where you are pinning is pretty thick. To help keep your fabrics in place, go in at an angle instead of straight through. If you go straight through and THEN angle your pin to come back out, the block on the bottom can shift, and thus leaving the SA for the bottom block smaller. This can also effect how your blocks line up together on the front.

NOT like this! Compare with the picture above. 

**TIP: Lining up your seams:
You can open up your blocks as you are matching them up to make sure the seams are lining up flush with one another. Notice the grey fabrics.

Now Sew 1/4" from the edges.
Slow down as you go over the seams, the bulkier fabric can cause your fabric to shift under your sewing foot.


Press the seam open. First finger press it open to make ironing easier.


Turn over your blocks and press on the front

Repeat with the other two blocks.


Piece these two blocks together. Start by lining up the center seam

 and pin on each side of it, holding the SA down flat.

Now work your way out along one side.

Come back to the middle and work your way out pinning the other side of center.

Sew with a 1/4" SA. 

Press seam open

Iron the front

And you are FINISHED!!! Wahoo! Great job!

One more TIP: Sewing your blocks together.
When you pin your points together, on ANY block style, paper pieced or not, if you want your points to match it is better to match your seams than worrying about the fabric being flat in between those seams. Sometimes when I pin my blocks together one section might have extra fabric between pins, when you are sewing those sections, hold onto the following pin, pulling your fabric taunt. As you sew it will space your fabrics evenly and everything will line up. You may have a little wave, but it won't pucker. And when you do your final press, it usually takes care of anything that is noticeable. You don't want to stretch your fabric a lot, but you can stretch it a little. A little wave is far less noticeable than seams that don't match up.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! Please leave me any feedback you might have! :) I hope this helps you feel confident to try paper piecing if you've never done it before, or hopefully you've learned something new that will help you in the future! :)

I would LOVE to see ANY paper piecing you do using this tutorial! Whether you use my Two Stars Squared pattern or not! Please share it in my flickr group, or leave a comment with a link to your blog post! :)

Good luck and have fun with your new addiction!! ;)



  1. Hi Diane,
    I wanted to let you know I used your tutorial yesterday and made your awesome block!! I still need to sew it all up, but I really love it. I had never paper pieced before and It was a lot of fun!! You rock!!



  2. I just found you through the De-Stash Bash and love this block. I wish I had seen your tutorial a month ago. I did my first paper piecing and it was such a headache!!! The backward cutting really, really threw me for a loop! I ended up just tracing my pattern on the reverse of my paper and used the pieces I had cut and just had a reverse of the pattern. You can see what I did here: http://hollidaisycreates.blogspot.com/2013/03/paper-piecing-for-bow.html

    Anyway, this is awesome! Great job and THANKS for sharing!


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