How To Paper Piece: A Guide and a Giveaway

Michele of the Quilting Gallery put together a fantastic and comprehensive Tutorial on How to Paper Piece, for Beginner’s. She asked if I would review it on my blog and then share it with you all – yup that means a giveaway!

But first!  I’ll share with you my journey of paper piecing.  I first paper pieced for a mini project at a Quilt’s By Barb Quilt Retreat.  We did four snail’s trail type block’s and made them into a pot holder.  Much to my mother-in-law’s surprised – I really enjoyed it! 
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Even though I enjoyed my first dip into the paper piecing world I really didn’t attempt it again until the New York Beauty Quilt Along.  The triangular pieces in the arch are all paper pieced.  Again – I enjoyed that portion of the block…curved piecing…not so much. 

I then did a paper pieced block here and there when it was called for but nothing too serious…that is until the Fairy Tale Block of the Month came to be.

While I enjoy paper piecing, I have decided that the block has to be super cool in order for me to do it anymore.  The block has to be worth it.  Paper piecing is a very accurate way that you can sew together intricate designs without resorting to applique or shoddy block piecing.  BUT it is tedious.  You can only really chain piece if you are a super organized person and aren’t too worried about having to rip when you mix things up a bit.  I also recommend setting up your work area so you can sew, cut and iron all fro the same chair.  Of course – I don’t do that…I use my pressing and cutting movement as part of my ‘cardio’ for the day. 
fairytale paper pieced blocks so far
Well – the fairy tale blocks were definitely worth it. 
So keep in mind that before I reviewed Michele’s booklet I had had quite a bit of paper piecing experience.
I was very impressed with Michele’s tutorial
It covered everything!
  • introduction/history of paper piecing
  • recommended tools for both paper piecing and miniature paper piecing
  • preparing to paper piece
  • paper piecing technique
To top off all the clearly written information and instruction, Michele includes six 6” practice blocks.  It is strongly suggested to stitch the blocks in order as the skills and techniques from one block will be used in the next block(s).  These six blocks and the order in which they are presented will help make you a confident paper piecer in no time at all by building and reinforcing your skills the entire way through.
Of course – since I was reviewing the tutorial I had to make the blocks myself!
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I decided to go with my ‘low volume’ fabric scheme so I can mix them in with the blocks I’m making for the Aurifil BOM.  Speaking of which…the June block just came out! 
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1. January Aurifil BOM, 2. February Aurifil 2014 BOM Block, 3. March Aurifl BOM, 4. April Aurifil BOM, 5. May Aurifil BOM
Can you tell ‘low volume’ is very outside my box!!!?  Oh well – this is good for me and I’m sticking with it!
So with all that – I highly recommend this paper piecing tutorial for beginner and ‘some experience’ paper piecers.  She really lays things out clearly and in a highly comprehensible way.  I even learned a few tricks from Michele’s paper piecing tutorial that will definitely make my paper piecing adventures easier (and I got to make six cute blocks!). 

You can purchase your very own copy for just $10 by going HERE.  Save 25% by entering kimapple' in the coupon box and press "update cart" (code is good until midnight Friday, June 6th Sunday, June 8th - don't wait!)

Oh – right – I mentioned a giveaway above.  Let’s not forget about that!  Michele of the Quilting Gallery has generously allowed to me to give away one TWO pdf copies of her Paper Piecing Booklet Tutorial to one TWO of my fabulous readers!.  If you purchase the tutorial first, you'll receive a full refund if/when you win!

I’m completely snagging Michele’s question from her giveaway earlier this year since it really is the perfect question for this type of thing.
What was your first paper piecing experience like? If you haven’t tried it yet, why not? Share a link to a photo, if you like, it’s optional.
And that’s it!  Simply answer the question below (be sure you leave an email if you’re a no-reply blogger – when in doubt – leave your email.

Giveaway EXTENDED!  Yup - you get two extra days to enter to win this great Booklet Tutorial!

Giveaway will close on Sunday, June 8th at 5pm CST.  Winner will be announced on Monday, June 9th.

83 comments:

  1. I haven't tried paper piecing yet. I am still learning about it and just haven't figured it out yet.

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  2. I love paper piecing. This was my first try at it: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151093277194737&set=a.10151093277169737.439270.587719736&type=3&theater

    Since then, I did take a class at Quilting on the Square and learned about the add a 1/4" ruler. Would love to win this book for more learning.

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    1. forgot to add my e-mail: caringdreamer3@yahoo.com

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  3. I have only done a couple of small projects which I enjoyed! Exited to learn more about this technique. carolann427@aol.com

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  4. I have tried paper piecing in the past and enjoyed it. s_ erle@Hotmail.com

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  5. I've only done a little paper piecing - my first project was a tiny ship that I put in a coaster!

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  6. I have done a couple of paper pieced blocks. I like the method, but don't like removing papers.

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  7. I haven't tried paper piecing yet, it looks too scary!

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  8. My first experience is lost in history... I tried it, failed and decided never to try again. Then I bought the book Backyard Birds. I really wanted to make those birds! I made it work, but still have troubles with those weird 4 sided pieces. Which way are they going to turn? I've done lots of PP since. I especially like the tiny blocks - smaller than 3" that were offered by QuiltMaker Magazine for a while. (There should be a PP magazine, don't you think so?)
    Thanks for the chance to win.
    Hugs

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  9. I have only made one paper pieced block. It was from a class. It was okay, but haven't decided what to do with it, since I don't have anymore fabric to make more and not sure I really want to. Maybe a pillow? And my seams aren't perfect, my husband thinks they are though so maybe I am too critical. So I guess I am not accurate enough. Maybe I will try again.

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  10. I really enjoy paper piecing. I agree with Vicki H on removing the paper, especially when tiny. I just finished 2 Dr. Who quilts that were all paper pieced. However, it was work and since I am self/internet taught, I would love to have this book to give me more tips on how to do things in a better method.

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  11. Haven't tried it because it looks so involved…but really do want to give it a try! Thanks for the sweet giveaway :)

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  12. I'm not sure what my first paper piecing blocks were. I think they must have been for my nieces' and nephew's quilts. I did a cat for some and a horse for others. I have done others since then and most were my own designs that I drafted. Pieced Flowers" by Ruth B. McDowell was my inspiration and guide. Almost all have been flowers.

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  13. I have not tried paper piecing yet but it is on my list of skills to try. It is true to say I have not tried it yet because there has not been a gap between projects to play with new things for a while. I have seen videos of paper piecing and am excited to try it.
    Pauline


    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

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  14. my first foundation piecing was an online class in the early days before much of anything!! it was all done through email!!
    my first paper piecing was my name badge for quilt guild....such tiny pieces, but they both turned out great!!!
    i love paper piecing for those impossible to piece blocks!!!

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  15. Would be an interesting new way to quilt--I would love to try paper piecing

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  16. My first time paper piecing was a free pattern from Quiet Play. I absolutely loved it. Everything turned out perfectly, although it is a little fiddly though.

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  17. The world of paper piecing entered my quilting studio in April. Since then I have paper pieced three different blocks. As a matter of fact I paper pieced a New York Beauty type block just a couple of days ago. It was my first experience with curve piecing. I enjoy the accuracy of paper piecing. My blog has photos from my first experience with paper piecing here
    http://livinh20.tumblr.com/post/81477896296/foundation-paper-piecing I hope I win. Every quilter has something to share to help other quilters grow. Thanks for sharing your experience with Michelle's new booklet on paper piecing! Cheers, Dena

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  18. My first experience with paper piecing took me about six different times to get it right. I did not think I would do it again but I was wrong! It is really fun once you get the hang of it.

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  19. My first ever quilting class was an introduction to paper-piecing. I blogged about it and shared a photo of the small quilt that was made from fabric from two cotton shirts–because I didn't know if I would like it and wasn't going to invest in quilting fabric until I did–here: My Quilters Origin Story.

    Paper piecing makes really difficult blocks doable by beginners and not-so-beginners ... I think every quilter should learn the basics.

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  20. My first paper piecing experience was 3 yrs ago and it made me want to rip my hair out. I'm interested to see the method that Michele teaches.

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  21. My first pp experience was in 2005, a miniature Storm at Sea. I love it even though it takes a little longer than regular piecing. The end result of perfect points, corners, dealing with bias edges, etc. is so worth it!! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4540529445722&set=a.2864432384343.108460.1665776843&type=3&theater

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  22. I haven't tried PP yet but it is on my list to do.

    tushay3(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. I haven't tried PP yet but it is on my list to do.

    tushay3(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  24. I love paper piecing!! My first learning experience was WONDERFUL and I haven't looked back since!! snowflakemcguire(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  25. I tried paper piecing this past spring on a Easter Bunny runner. Had a hard time getting my mind around it but might try again. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  26. Hello,

    I have done a small amount of paper piecing many years ago, a birdhouse, I found it a great way to get a accurate block.

    Happy days.
    Bev.

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  27. Just done a little. Like everything else, just takes practice to get it good.

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  28. My first paper pieced project were two wall hangings with the word LOVE and let's just say that the second hanging was less frustrating than the first ;-)

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  29. I have only done one small practice bloc which was far from perfect but fun to do.

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  30. Getting ready to do my first paper piecing block in June. My quilting class is doing the quilt "Memories of Christmas Past"
    by Betsey Langford & Carolyn Nixon. To win this book would be perfect. I look forward to learning a new technique.
    akk_nana@yahoo.com

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  31. I've never paper pieced anything. I really want to as I've seen so many cool blocks and designs but I've always been a bit intimidated by it. It looks really tricky. I really need to use this tutorial!

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  32. I made a queen size quilt. At first I thought it was going to be awful, but I ended up hooked. All my seams were perfect, with very little straightening to do when finished.

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  33. A friend had some sort of get together and everybody make a block or two for a baby quilt for charity, and we did Grandmother's garden blocks. I decided that they were gorgeous, bought some fabric for my own, and then got stuck when I realized just how long it was going to take me!

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  34. I have wanted to try to paper piece
    But, since I am more of a spur of the moment sewer, I have not yet tried

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  35. I haven't tried paper-piecing yet, probably because I'm a little bit intimidated. I have lots of patterns I want to try, so maybe the real reason is just plain old procrastination. lol

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  36. I don't paper piece much because I can't get past the fabric waste. These stars weren't my first paper piece project but I did enjoy making them and am happy with how they look. https://www.flickr.com/photos/svf_5/10344997545/ svonfumetti at yahoo dot com

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  37. I started with the Christmas tree , the easiest I could find.. I have loved it ever since, then I did DontcallmeBetsy class, it was free that year...

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  38. My first try went okay, but I really hate the waste, but love the precision, so I am game to do more, just haven't found the pattern that says "Do Me". http://secretlystitching.blogspot.gr/2013/10/twist-to-60.html

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  39. I have done paper piecing numerous times and it is great for the precision. My most recent project was a tessalating leaves table topper where the blocks were only 6 inches.

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  40. I have done a far bit of paper piecing but I do find it tedious also. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  41. My first attempt was trying to sew some mugs on a coaster size block, and I got mixed up with template piecing. I also ripped off the paper too early, and couldn't figure out how to join sections! I nearly gave up. Now, I LOVE paper piecing!
    Susie

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  42. I haven't tried piecing yet. Just plain chicken. Your giveaway is perfect. Maybe by winning I'll get enough gumption to give it a try. Thanks for the chance.
    katztoo at exede dot net

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  43. I have never done paper piecing. The reason why is because 1. I'm lazy and think I can get good enough results without it, which is true, if I'm not too picky or trying to do something too involved, and 2. I've looked at how to do it briefly, and it confused the living daylights out of me. :) I would be very interested in really finding out how to do it because I'm becoming interested in some of the designs I've seen online. sarah@forrussia.org

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  44. I haven't done much paper piecing but I love the accuracy, especially as a new sewer/quilter. I too think it would be hard to do hundreds of blocks but for a stunning centerpiece or a sampler it would be great. Thanks for the opportunity! notwendy gmail

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  45. I have done some in the past, but not for a while. My daughter and I did a baby quilt with paper pieced animal blocks!

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  46. havn't tried it but want to, thanks

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  47. I only recently heard of paper piecing (i'm new to quilting) but I'm seeing it everywhere now and would love to try it out!

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  48. I have search on Pinterest a lot for piecing but haven't take the journey to try it. I guess I'm a little scared on how it would turn out. lol

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  49. my first try was the Craftsy BOM, now i love it. i'm doing Sew Kitschy paper pieced BOM i really enjoy it and is the least scarey way to do Y seams

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  50. My First paper pieced project was a hearts baby quilt it was a kit and i really enjoyed shopping for the fabric and making it up. My daughter is 11 now.

    clemonssarah7 at gmail dot com

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  51. My first paper piecing experience went in the trash. I was so mad, and felt like it wasted a lot of fabric. I have tried a few more times, but never really enjoyed it. Maybe this would help?

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  52. The first piece I did was a log cabin. Very easy and fun. Then I did the head of a horse. Wow, a lot of ripping out. LOL. Finally it was finished, and it was fabulous. I made it the center piece of a sewing machine cover. My soon to be daughter in law loves it. She is all about horses. She trains students as well as horses.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  53. I haven't tried paper piecing yet. That's on my bucket list for post-retirement (after 12-1-14!!)

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  54. I "attempted" paper piecing a couple months ago, but had no idea how to do it. It was a very bad idea. But I think I will have to give this tutorial a try.

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  55. My first attempt at paper piecing was actually English Paper Piecing with hexies. It's ok, but nothing to write home about. I saw paper piecing on Craftsy and thought I'd give it a try. Once you're organized, it really is fun to be able to create those sharp exacting points! I want to learn more of the basics and advanced ways. :)

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  56. Haven't tried it yet-- I have a paper piecing project I want to start but don't know how to proceed.

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  57. I made a queen size quilt, and now I am hooked.

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  58. LOL! That was a long time ago for me. I seem to remember being a little confused at first, but once I got the hang of it, WOW! What fun having all those perfect little points!

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  59. I had a "jump in with both feet" introduction to paper piecing. I teach for my LQS and they assigned me a paper piecing class. I had to teach myself in a hurry and make up the sample for the class. LOVED it and even figured a way to save more fabric than the pattern would have. Love to "improvise", "Box? What Box?"

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  60. I LOVE paper piecing! melcrafts [at] Hotmail [dot] com

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  61. I started paper piecing thru Craftsy free sampler quilt 2 years ago. Then I took on the "two of us" from "The Quilt Show". I loved the Paper piecing!! I am a fan!

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  62. Took a class and loved it. Did a bunch of miniatures for some table runners I donated to various charity auctions. Haven't done it in years but ready to tackle it again. Loved the clarity and accuracy!

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  63. I have only done one small paper piecing project. I had no instructions. I made that swan four times. But I finally got it. And it still wasn't perfect.

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  64. email address is tammypettus@ymail.com

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  65. I have been fascinated with paper piecing ever since I first tried to make a crazy quilt square on my own with no instruction. I made it as a doggie bed for a shelter to try to entice people to pick a special friend. I was told that I was crazy to put so much work into it, but I hoped that it would be something that drew attention to a special dog or cat. I don't know if it worked, but it was a labor of love. Since then I have not attempted another paper pieced project, however I have been drawn to the New Your Beauty block and it is only a matter of time before I dive into paper piecing again. This time, I hope to know a little more about what I am doing. I love trying new projects and I am sure that it is a project that I will try very soon.

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  66. My first paper piecing project came out okay, but I was new to the game. Since then I've learned many tips and tricks and have gone on to sew complex shapes. However, I often read my notes, and am always looking to learn more. Thanks for the chance to win further instructions :)

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  67. Have taken 2 beginner classes,years apart . Thought I understood how to do this after the 1st class-wrong! After retiring I decided to get busy with my quilting,as I never stopped building my stash. New class,new teacher. Same results. I must need a tutor. I did a QAL,Aiming 4 Accuracy with Michelle last year and figured if anyone could teach me she could. with Thanks for the giveaway. rjc2cam(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  68. I love paper piecing but the real small bits get my goat every time. arghhh!! Thanks for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

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  69. My 1st exp with paperpiecing was a mariners compass. I was making a gift quilt for a brother in law. I like themes and the them was woodsy in a whimsical way. I had a ton of fun except with paper piecing. It was hard to think upside down and backwards. After a bit of unsewing it still was not perfect but I left it knowing it was not truely for use. The quilt was wonderful.

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  70. I am registered at a quilting retreat June 16 - 19th my first day's project is fan dance! I am so looking forward to learning a new technique! I would love to learn more! Quiltingcarla1167@gmail.com

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  71. i have made a couple of paper pieced items and they worked out well. For sharp points, they are the best.

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  72. I have yet to try paper piecing. What's stopped me? Getting over the hump of which pattern to try first. Glitzieritzieboutique@gmail.com

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  73. My first try at paper piecing was a star block designed by a quilter on the quiltingboard.com. It had set-in seams and was really hard! That 6" block took me one whole day to piece. Took a few years before I was willing to try again, but my LQS offered a class for NYB so I took that class, fell in love with PP and took the next class for Mariner's Compass. I've even tried my had at creating simple PP blocks and love it!!

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  74. My first try at paper piecing was a class I took at a local quilt store. I was slower than everyone else, but I did complete one 3.5" block. Everyone else finished three. I liked it because my block turned out as it was supposed to where it wasn't happening with piecing the regular way. I have made a few more PP blocks and am going to sew them on a sweat shirt.

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  75. I haven't tried it yet but I hope to sometime soon. I keep reading everything I can about I just am not sure I am ready. One day I will just do it that is the way I am. thanks for the giveaway and have a great Sunday.

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  76. My first paper piecing effort was a mess! I ended up tearing it out,,and making things worse. i got so frustrated I tossed it in a corner,,and there it sits. Thanks to you & Michele for the giveaway!

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  77. I first tried EPP a couple months ago and now I'm hooked! I love it! I didn't have anyone to show me and I don't think I'm doing it exactly right, but it works for me. I started with hexagonal and now I'm trying diamonds. Thanks :)

    tdkcarpenoctem@hotmail.com

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  78. One of my first (maybe my first) paper piecing was my Spinning Stars quilt from Project Quilting. I love how perfectly the points always come out. I am teaching my mom paper piecing now. http://sweetboaterchick.blogspot.com/2013/02/project-quilting.html

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  79. I haven't tried paper piecing yet. It's on my list of things to try this year. I would LOVE to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  80. I began with a pattern too advanced for me which was discouraging. Since the first I attempted much simpler designs, but would like to know tricks to complete more compllicated patterns.

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  81. I am a very beginning beginner at paper piecing. I like it because it appeals to my need to be precise! Thanks for the opportunity to win. MariaCall@cox.net

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  82. I bought an absolutely beautiful Moda fabric kit. When I received the pattern, it required paper piecing! I haven't touched it because I'm scared to death to try :(
    jinsnapp@hotmail.com

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