Paper Piecing Tutorial

Finally!  You asked for it and I’ve delivered….
a Paper Piecing Made Easy video tutorial!
Remember in my last post about paper piecing I mentioned I had to teach myself because I couldn’t find a tutorial with a clear enough explanation.  I tried to explain it as best as I could in my tutorial so, I hope at least some of you will benefit from this.
If you have never tried paper piecing for whatever reason… give it a try.. it’s not as bad as you think. Print out this template and scroll down to the bottom of this post to view the video tutorial.
I designed a 4″ x 4″  Rocket Block just for this tutorial.  Notice the template is not numbered.  Sorry about that but it took me all night to get the template into a format that would allow you to print it out at exactly the 4.5″ x 4.5″ size I needed it to be.  So, I didn’t want to fuss with it anymore trying to input text in it.  The labeling is described in my video and it’s really easy.  For this block just make sure the center block is #1 and then it doesn’t matter in what order you add the remaining fabrics.


Click here for another: FPP Practice Block

And here is the video tutorial! Enjoy! 
The mini travel iron used in this video can be found here (affiliate link):
Please comment and let me know what you thought of it.  If you are an experienced paper piecer, I want to hear from you, too! Thanks!

More on Foundation Paper Piecing:

• Foundation paper piecing supplies

• WIP Wednesday #68: Foundation Paper Piecing Demo with Crafty Gemini

• Crafty Gemini Quilt Club INTRO – Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) Edition

• Crafty Gemini Quilt Club: FPP Edition

• WIP Wednesday #69: NEW online QUILT CLUB! JOIN US!

46 replies on “Paper Piecing Tutorial

  • Hillbilly Handiworks

    If there is one kind of quilting that I can claim that I am good at, it is paper piecing. You did a nice job of explaining.

    I might add that the light source is very important for dark fabrics or very intricate designs. I have a large light box that I never use; I prefer just holding my block up to a lamp. An easy peasy light box to make is a glass cake pan with a string of Holiday lights under it.

  • Beeshebags

    Hey there, I get your posts via email, and whilst I don’t come and leave a comment often, I wanted to let you know that I read them. I hope you don’t mind, but I shared the link to this post with a Yahoo Craft group I’m in….I reckon a couple of the girls (women actually!) could find your tutorial useful. Thanks for sharing it with us. Hugs Naomi

  • Crafty Gemini

    Hillbilly Handiworks: thank you! I agree! I read about these expensive light boxes, etc. I just use a lamp and clip it over my work station so I just lift it up over my head and start sewing. Thank you for that handy tip!

  • Mrs. Sassy Crafter

    Vanessa one more time you taught me something!!!! isn’t she a genious people?!….I love this tutorial, I have never ever quilted a thing before, and now I’m making a quilted table runner and I absolutely love it!!!! I think I might add quilting to my list of hobbies…with this tutorial I could make a baby blanket, right? or what is it for?

  • Crafty Gemini

    Mrs. Sassy Crafter: LOL. Thanks! I’m glad I can help! Quilting is my love! I bet you will get more into now that you’ve started! With this tutorial you can make a 4″ x 4″ block. You could make a baby blanket, you would just have to make a bunch of these blocks and then put them together. Then you would layer it with batting and another piece of fabric behind it and then stitch through all three layers to hold it together, etc. Happy quilting! :o)

  • Melinda

    This is SO timely! My mother-in-law just gave me a kit for two paper pieced stockings and the directions baffled me completely. Your explanation of how to piece things together makes so much more sense than the quilting magazine’s!

  • Benita

    I love your tutorial on paper piecing. You explained it so well. I think I can do it now. I bookmark your video so I can back and watch it over and over again if I need to. Thanks again. Cheers Benita in sunny Arizona

  • Anonymous

    Most of the quilting magazines think I know much more than I really do about quilting. I loved your tutorial on paper piecing. You explained where I undersood how to do it! Thanks for the great instructions. I had seen your “youtube” presentations when I was in Colorado. Now that we are home in Texas, I was anxious to see another video. You do a great job!

  • Anonymous

    Crafty Gemini,
    I haven’t worked with fabric in years and am now spending time picking up my skills.
    Too sick to attend a paper piecing class tomorrow I decided to teach myself by going on line.
    I followed you explanation without any problems at all and the block is very good. I plan to teach my 11 yr old granddaughter this weekend (I should be quite recovered by this weekend.)
    Your tutorials are GREAT! Lesson DVDs would be wonderful if they are as clear as these two I watched.

  • Anonymous

    I learned more in five minutes than I have in years!! I assume you are a Gemini and that must be it, so am I. You are on my favorites list,
    Glad I found you,

  • Suzanne in Montana

    Vanessa, thank you so much for taking the time to teach your love of quilting to others. I also love to teach and recommend your videos to all interested parties who are looking to learn quilting techniques and styles of quilting. Like you, I initially had another career but changed, so I have only been seriously quilting for about 2 years now but have found your videos to bew so helpful and informative.

  • mamaforhim

    This was great and I am pretty sure I will remember it when I get to try it, but is there a non-video, pics only version that I can print out? I do not have a laptop that I can set up next to my sewing machine.


  • Bea Loesch

    Made my first one and you explained it to make it so easy…I have little pieces of material and thread all over the place but I am so happy I have you to teach me how to do this..

  • dmw0315

    I have a question for you…. how do you decide to lay out your project. I have to come up with a picture of a chapel in stained glass style. Do you have any suggestions? could I send you a picture of it to help out. I really need to have this done & am at a loss

  • carrie

    And four years later…. I watched your tutorial today and it was fantastic. So clear and simple. Thanks for posting and helping us newbies out!

  • Sharon

    Thank you. You made this so simple. Do you happen to have it on paper? I would be able to follow it better when I am not around the computer. But, I thank you either way. Happy 2015 to you!

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson

      Unfortunately, I don’t. I only do must of my tutorials via video. Glad you enjoyed it. After a few times it will become second nature and you won’t need the video anymore. Have fun!

  • Pamela

    Thank you! Several times through your paper piecing video I thought, “Oh – THAT’S how it works!” I’m fairly experienced with the sewing machine, but paper piecing was still confounding me. Just think, Crafty Gemini – years later and your wonderful video is still illuminating us! (I pinned the video so I’ll always have it handy!)

  • Angie Jensen

    I bought myself a tablet it is small enough to put by my sewing machine or work station and I can watch the tutorials on youtube and stop them as many times as I need. I love the way that you show us how to do things so logical and easy to understand.

  • Jessica

    I normally don’t leave comments but I had to do so for this one. I absolutely LOVE this tutorial!!! You made it so clear and easy to understand that I am now super excited to try it out myself. Thank you for doing this for us. YOU SERIOUSLY ROCK!

  • Debbie Reid

    Vanessa, I talked to about being at Missouri Star Quilt. Do you know what day you are filming this week. I’d like to meet you if the weather permits. Of course I know you are too busy to stand and talk all day but I’d be honored to shake your hand. Also did you bring your new quilt template with you? Id like to buy one but I know I can order it from your web site. Thank you. Debbie from Missouri

  • mandy

    I am very new to this and would love to give it a go . Does it matter what order i number each piece ? sorry if i sound silly .

  • Ann V.

    Thank you for the way you did this it is very clearly instructed.. I was wandering is there a special kind of paper you use,also is is necessary to have the Add A Quarter ruler,and Mary Ellen best press that I have seen on other tutorials.I have seen several designs that I was fascinated with that I would like to attempt to try this.I enjoy watching you with your instructions.Thank you. Have a blessed day.

  • Nancy Johnson

    Just watched your video tutorial on paper piecing after searching the internet for a good tutorial for the last 24 hours. Your explanation was clear and concise with excellent video to match. You took a relatively simple pattern and completed it all piece by piece until you showed the finished product. Your thoroughness made all the difference in helping me to understand this somewhat perplexing process. You are an excellent teacher!

  • Tonya Maddox

    Here it is – a bazillion years later and your video is still inspiring us newbies. Thanks to my friend Sandy for sharing this tutorial with me. I will now stop whining and give it a try. Thanks again. You ROCK!!

  • Margie

    Thanks for a great explanation of Paper Piecing. Professional, to the point, great video and appreciate it still being posted for those of us just now getting interested in paper piecing.

  • Bogey Babe

    Thank you for the tutorial. It makes so much sense to me now.
    I appreciate the simple explanations that you have given.
    Thank you again!!

  • Penny Schneider

    I searched for a paper piecing tutorial, and as you said, there just weren’t any [that clicked for me]. I’m trying to make the quilters planner cover and just cannot get the paper piecing portion right. I’ve practice with your tutorial several times now – great scrap buster! Anyway, I like the look of my scrappy blocks enough that I’ve decided to just make a quilt using your little rocket block. Maybe by the time I get that finished I’ll be able to finish the planner cover. Thanks so much for all you do.

  • Violet

    If you have a pattern that has four units to sew together do you print the one side of your paper right side up to get the top two pieces (right and left top) then print the bottom right and left in reverse? hopefully I didn’t make that clear as mud. Thanks

  • Pennie Estraa

    This was a great video, easy to follow and understand! Thank you so much! I will continually refer back to it. I have to watch videos a couple of times because I don’t trust myself in that I might accidentally leave a portion out. Great, great, great!

    Thank you.

  • Elaine

    Thank you for this very clear tutorial. It makes so much sense to me now.
    I appreciate the simple explanations that you have given. I’ll be practicing this block several times — perhaps enough to create a table topper — and then on to more complex patterns.
    Thank you again!!

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