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Questions Answered Edited from email

Re: BROKEN HEAVY LINES ON PATTERN
Do I treat the heavy broken black line on the pattern as I would an unbroken heavy black line?? In other words............do I cut along that broken line as I would cut along a heavy unbroken black line?-- Mary

Hi, Mary
      Yes, you treat the broken heavy lines just like the solid heavy lines. Broken lines indicate the edges of a unit, and units are meant to break down large areas into smaller, logical chunks. The sections of a unit will be put back together just like patterns without units. It should become clearer when you review the piecing order.

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Re: ARROWS ON PATTERN
I am going to make a red hat t-towel for a friend but am wondering what is meant by the arrows on the pattern. Can you pls. advise! Thanks!--Lois

Hi, Lois
     Two arrowheads pointing at each other (or one arrowhead pointing at a seamline) indicate where two points in the pattern should meet. These two points are specifically pinned together when sewing sections together. If you look at the drawing or photo of the finished pattern, you can see why you'd want those spots to meet. Please see the how-to.

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Re: WHEN TO REMOVE PAPER
Do you have any recommendations of when to remove the paper? I had a bit of trouble where the sewing lines converged and I had very small triangles! Also, when sewing pieces together, like the six pieces of the snowflakes, I ended up removing the pieces on the inner points before sewing. Otherwise I tended to pull on fabric with my tweezers! I didn't notice a real difference in accuracy, as long as I was careful to include enough fabric for a 1/4 inch seam.--Marion

Hi, Marion,
    Personally, I almost always remove paper when I am all done with the project. I will
remove some pieces as I go if I no longer need their edges for sewing. You could also remove paper before sections are sewn together if you draw around the edges of the sections first in order to preserve the seamline.
     When I remove the paper, I use a seam ripper to loosen the edges of paper and those little triangles you mentioned (without touching the stitching), and I try not to pull on the stitching too much. If the little triangle is really resistant, I leave it! I figure it will come out in the wash, as I wash all my pieces. I'd only make a special effort if it is clearly in a spot where quilting needs to be done.

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Re: BULK IN SEAMS
My question is how do you deal with the bulk of the seams? Any suggestion? --Karen

Hi, Karen
      There are two ways I deal with bulk in the seam allowances:
     1) When joining sections together that seem bulky or do not want to lay flat, I press these seams open. (The only place a 1/4" seam allowance is required is around the outside of each pattern piece, so the sections can be joined together.)
     2) When sewing fabric onto a paper pattern piece, I often cut these paper-pieced seams with smaller seam allowances, 3/16" to 1/8" when the pieces get smaller and/or closer together. This cuts down on the amount of fabric in the area.*
     The bulky seams in detailed paper piecing is an excellent reason to learn how to machine quilt!

*Note: This assumes that you are using scissors to trim these seams. Recently it has been pointed out to me that some people rely on rulers to trim their seams--ALL their seams. If this is you, you may wish to reconsider using a ruler for the paper-pieced seams, as it is very slow. Cutting paper-pieced seams a little narrower will not hurt anything, especially if you are making a wallhanging. If you are making a quilt to be used on a bed and some stress will be applied to the fabric, I would use your best judgment as to how small a seam allowance you can leave.


 

 

 

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