Paper Piecing 101

If you're joining us for the Row by Row Experience this summer, you might have seen our Cascades Row. Constructed with paper piecing, it highlights the natural beauty of Oregon. While paper piecing isn't difficult, it can seem a little confusing at first. No worries, though, we'll walk you through it, one step at a time.

 Row by Row Cascades

First, gather all of your fabrics. If you are using a pattern that calls for specific colors/fabrics, it's easiest to mark the color name on the selvage to keep track of them. 

Cut out swatches for each piece of the quilt section you are working on, keeping them oversized to make placement easier. 

Paper Piecing 1

Pin fabric for the first placement onto the back side of paper template. Pin second fabric on top, making sure that both raw edges are past the stitching line. 

Turn over and stitch with a small stitch (1.5 to 2.0), from front side, following the stitching line between fabrics 1 and 2. Extend stitching line about 1/4" beyond line at beginning and end. There's no need to back stitch. 

Paper Piecing 2

 Fold back paper at seam line to get seam allowance without paper behind them. Using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, trim to 1/4" seam allowance. 

Paper Piecing 4

Press fabric over and press from back side. Continue adding fabrics in numberical order, trimming and pressing between each addition.  

Paper Piecing 4

Trim block with 1/4" seam allowance (outermost line on our templates). For multi-part blocks, piece each section individually. 

paper piecing

Align raw edges and pin. Stitch along seam line.  

paper piecing 5

Remove papers by tearing gently. If they resist, fold along seam line to break down fibers. Using foundation paper makes this step easier. 

paper piecing 6

Press once more from front. Continue piecing and stitching together sections until row is complete. Stay-stitch a scant 1/4" around entire row. 


We hope you will come on in to the store to get your free Cascades Row pattern! If you want a little more help with this skill, we will be hosting small classes with the pattern designer to learn paper-piecing throughout the summer.

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