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.

And here is the video tutorial! Enjoy!  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!

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36 Responses to Paper Piecing Tutorial

  1. Hillbilly Handiworks September 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    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.

  2. Beeshebags September 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    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

  3. Crafty Gemini September 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    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!

  4. Crafty Gemini September 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Beeshebags: No problem. Thank you! Pass it on freely… I hope the ladies in your group find it beneficial. :o)

  5. Mrs. Sassy Crafter September 8, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    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?

  6. Crafty Gemini September 9, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    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)

  7. Melinda September 9, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    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!

  8. Benita February 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    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

  9. patricia September 23, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    me encanta… entiende con sólo mirar….gracias!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous October 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    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!

  11. Crafty Gemini October 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean. Glad to know I helped you with paper piecing. :o)

  12. Anonymous November 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    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.

  13. Crafty Gemini November 19, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Awesome! I’m glad to help! :o) Feel better!

  14. Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    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,

  15. A.J. Dub. May 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I can’t seem to download the template without paying scribd a membership fee. Can I get the template via email?

  16. Suzanne in Montana June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    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.

  17. mamaforhim June 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    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.


  18. Bea Loesch October 22, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    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..

  19. Anonymous December 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Block only printed 4 3/8 x 4 3/8ths. What can I try next ? Thanks, Helen

  20. Vanessa Wilson December 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Make sure your printer settings are not set to “Fit to Page” or “Shrink to Fit”. It should just be printed as is.

  21. Bree Adamson December 6, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    Yay! Just finished my first paper piecing block. So proud of myself.

  22. dmw0315 February 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    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

  23. carrie February 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    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!

  24. Sharon January 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    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 January 6, 2015 at 9:44 am #

      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!

  25. Margaret wilson February 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    You made it look so easy I always get in a right state i make it more than it is thankyou xxx

  26. Pamela February 19, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    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!)

  27. Cathy March 6, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Oh Wow!!!!! Thank you for this! best tutorial ive seen on paper piecing!

  28. Cathy March 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    O…and, I shared this pattern in a quilting group on facebook leading them to your page and this tutorial! Thanks again!

  29. Angie Jensen July 11, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    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.

  30. Jessica July 25, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    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!

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson July 26, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      Thank you, Jessica! I really appreciate your message. 🙂

  31. Christine September 30, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    Loved the tutorial. I’m just learning paper piecing and this was so very helpful! Thank you!!!

  32. Debbie Reid January 26, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    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

  33. mandy September 23, 2016 at 6:53 am #

    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 .

  34. Grainne April 3, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    Loved your tutorial thank you so much fantastic lady.

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