March 21, 2012

Basting your paper pieces

Oh thank goodness we're at the part where we get to play with the fabric. I'm going to show you how I baste my shapes for the Sprocket quilt.

To baste the diamonds I start with paper clips on two sides (these really make EPP so much easier, thanks for the hot tip about paper clips, Jessica!). I thread a needle, without knotting the thread. I take a backstitch through both layers of fabric at the point, leaving a long tail. I don't pierce the paper.


I turn the diamond and fold down the next side. The seam allowance should "flag" out to the side. On the way to the next point I take a little running stitch into the seam allowance, to make sure the thread behaves and to keep the shape taut. Another backstitch at the point, again, through both layers of fabric but not the paper. Turn and repeat around the diamond. I make sure the thread is snug as I go.


When I get back to the starting point I take a final backstitch and leave a tail of thread. Again, I don't tie a knot. The paper template stays inside the shape until it's been joined to other pieces on each side.Then I'll remove the paper and reuse it.

If you prefer to stab through the paper (just a preference thing) you only need a few stitches. Don't overdo it.

When I baste diamonds through the paper, I go down through the point and up in the middle on each side. I typically knot my thread tails together at the end but I'm not sure that's necessary. Basting through the paper means you'll need to remove your basting stitches to take the paper template out (if you only baste through the fabric, like in the first example, you'll be able to leave the basting stitches in).


To baste the hexagons, I use paper clips on all sides, then take just a few stitches per side.  I do stitch through the paper with these, because they are so big.  I knot my thread tails together at the end too. These giant hexagons go quick.


Basting a little bit here and there adds up! Pretty soon you'll have enough to make a Sprocket. The list of all the Sprocket quilt along posts is here.

9 comments:

Brenda said...

thanks for the great pix. what happens to the flags on the diamonds?

Jill said...

Great pics and instructions Christina! Your posts are making me want to EPP again...

Laughing Duck said...

because there is never JUST one way to do thing I prefer to fold those "tails" on the diamonds and baste them down. The tails seem to make the area where the seams meet lumpy.

Mama Pea said...

I'm going to get behind on this fast. But we'll see how I do!

Mama Pea said...

I'm curious what happens to the "flags," too....

Christina said...

Brenda and Mama Pea, the flags will all remain on the backside when the pieces are stitched together. They make kind of an interesting pattern and they don't fight with each other. Laughing Duck, I'm interested to hear that! It seems like it would put more fabric right into the point, which would make it less precise, but if it's working for you, awesome!

Elsa said...

What a clever way to keep the fabric in place! I'm not sure about doing any more sewing paper pieces by hand again after doing my hexagon quilt tho.

Suzanne said...

This definitely goes in my "someday I will do" pile. You make it look easy!

anotheryarn said...

I was wondering how to deal with the acute angles in the diamonds; thought "I should ask Christina" only to discover you already covered it.

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