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Men Don't Need To Ask For Directions or Instructions

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Decided I wanted to learn how to paper piece.  I had a book that I purchased years ago with the stars of each state.  You paper pieced each star or individual stars.  So I read the directions (sort of), watched youtube videos and started. 


You make 1/8 of a block at a time.  Put A part and B part together to form 1/4 of a block.  First A part turned out great EXCEPT I put the very first piece of fabric wrong side out.  So I started another block.  Turned out great EXCEPT I put the first piece of fabric wrong side out.  Are you getting the theme yet?


So I started another Part A.  Took my time and made SURE the first piece of fabric was turned right.  Wow...I did a great job on this.  Made my Part B.  Another great job.  Sewed Part A and Part B together.  Then I trimmed the piece.  Looks great.  I'm gonna like this.


Made enough Part A's and Part B's to make a full 12" block.  Looked great EXCEPT it didn't turn out to be 12" square.  Made another full 12" square EXCEPT (YEP) it didn't turn out to be 12" square.   Hmmmmmmm.....I'm sure they must have drawn their lines wrong.  I mean how hard is it to sew down a straight line?  Even I can do that.


Then it dawned on me that a video came with the book of stars.  So I decided I needed to watch it and see if they explained any mistakes THEY may have made.  So I get to the end of the video and saw where instead of trimming on the line I should have added a 1/4" seam line to their marking.


So today I get to start all over again and this time make sure I follow ALL instructions.


I think I may like paper piecing.


(Remember:  Men don't like to ask for directions OR read instructions.)


This is coming from a man who when he first started learning to sew, sewed a pillow case completely up on all 4 sides and then tried to figure out how to get the pillow inside the case.  I mean how hard can a pillow case be to make?



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Wow and I thought I was the only one who did not read instructions.. Do you know how often I have had to use a seam ripper lately..

I am almost finished piecing my second quilt ever ( decided to do a hockey quilt since it is my favorite sport ).  Just need to decide what size border to put around quilt and then I am ready to cut out backing and get it on the Millie..

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David I had to just laugh at your story, I remembered when I first tried paper piecing. My results were quite similar to yours; I did not read the instruction until after a dozen or so failed attempts. I am self taught when it comes to sewing and quilting.......believe me lots of failed attempts and lots of frustrations. my first quilt I made was a eight point star with Y-Seams, prior to that I sewed a few hems on curtains and made a couple pillows. So I feel you pain.........LOL.

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Too funny, David and Liam!  Take Corey's advice and check out Carol Doak's on line paper piecing class.  She is the queen of paper piecing. 


I tried to teach myself paper piecing and was having marginal success.  Lucky for me Carol Doak came to our guild and taught classes and the light bulbs came on.  I have never looked back, it is my preferred technique.  I do not 'do' templates and will draft blocks in EQ if I cannot find them in the software, and then print the pp foundations.  I use Carol Doak's foundation paper and it works very well.  At a major quilt show I encountered Claudia Clark Myers, who collaborates with Marilyn Badger, and asked her what she uses for foundations and she replied the cheapest, light weight copy paper that she can find.  So you do not need special paper, however I have never used copy paper.


Enjoy the process, it delivers wonderful precise results.

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Very funny. When I start a paper piecing project, I have to think too hard. But I do like the results. I'll have to check out Carol Doak's class.

I do use copy paper when I paper piece. I just make sure I use small stitches, so that when I rip the paper off the stitches don't come undone.


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I found this cheapest foundation paper @ Amazon, 500 pieces & will try to use it for gazillion strips that I saved for almost a decade.

Will be making those vintage scrappy strip blocks sewn onto newspaper quilters in the past did but instead i will use this inexpensive foundation paper. Pinterest has a lot of these ideas.

Carol Doaks foundation paper I use for show quilts, like Star of David that I recently entered. Next project is Anita Grossman Solomons mitered log cabin, will start that project next year after I gather all the strips I need.

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I hate reading directions too. I like to look at the picture and try to figure it all out. Then I read the directions. You cracked me up, getting the first piece on backward. I am getting ready to paper piece a round inner border on a quilt. I have been watching a Renae Haddadin DVD, she shows two different methods, one where you do not sew through the paper. I want to try this method, but it is a little confusing. I have watched it about 73 times, and I think 73 more and I should be able to attempt it. I will let you know how that goes. 

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Could you just use actual newspaper?  That is to say, the clean stuff that the newspaper has left over at the end of the role.  They sell it rather cheap, and I have used for parties to cover tables for the kids.



Cagey I problem with newsprint is the thickest of the paper. Most people want the thinnest paper possible. But yes you could use that. Many moons ago when I started paper piecing I use whatever paper, copy paper, news print...

But I wouldn't use that anymore.

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