Patchwork puzzle

Of course, it all went together perfectly well in the end:

But next time I really must remember to write a plan of what goes where. If you’re piecing anything complicated, it’s always a good idea to make two versions of the piecing plan – one to cut up, and one to refer to later on. This creature is pieced in silk, which is less bulky on a small scale than cotton. You can see from the picture that I’ve removed the tacking, which I usually do after pressing.  Tacking stitches can be distracting and patchwork always becomes transformed and elevated once the temporary stitches are removed.  I’m also showing you the back so that you can see what it looks like before the papers are taken out:

Thankfully I remembered to number the pieces, which was helpful. Goodness knows what I might have ended up with if I’d forgotten that bit as well. You can see that concave curves need to be clipped in order to fit around curved paper pieces. You can also see that you don’t need to clip right to the edge – I usually leave about 1/16″ unclipped.

And on very close inspection, some of the seams don’t match up perfectly – which is OK, since all the seams will be covered by linen yarn. In fact, in real life they already are, since these pictures are from last week and I’ve been working on this over the weekend. Next time you see this it will probably be finished. A kind of time lapse photography. And proof of the fact that time is relative.

Post script: there is a tutorial on English paper piecing here.

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16 Responses to Patchwork puzzle

  1. Viv says:

    It went together great. Thanks for showing the back of the work, I find this really helpful as have never used EPP on curved shapes and this shows very clearly what needs to be done.

  2. Amanda says:

    It’s a lovely process Karen. I find I’m often taking photos for memory too. Great for when you do forget that extra copy!

  3. chloe says:

    Really great to see the process explained so clearly and with pictures too – thanks again! Do you clip convex curves as well, or just tuck the material a bit? Perhaps it just depends on the fabric: I guess there’s no need to snip silk. As lovely as your beastie is, I have to admit I was kind of looking forward to seeing a crazy misshapen creature with limbs all akimbo 🙂

    • Karen Turner says:

      I was a little disappointed myself that it all fitted together in the end : -)
      I don’t clip convex curves, I just carefully fold and pleat the excess. As you say, silk is fine enough to do that. Bulkier fabric might need clipping.

  4. Loralei says:

    I’ve always had a fear of paper piecing; however, your photos and instructions make it seem far less intimidating, and the results are gorgeous!

  5. Karen, thank you for sharing this…sounds like an echo here but I enjoy see the back of the work as well. Really provides a good understanding of processes. So the paper, what grade is it and perhaps maybe someday if you are in the process – or if I missed that demo/explanation you could just go over, perhaps, doing one piece. Thank you so much for all your efforts. Lovely to watch pieces develop. Cheers

  6. serenapotter says:

    I absolutely love these little animals !

  7. tina says:

    that is great, love it!

  8. Rachel says:

    It’s gone together well, hasn’t it! Is there a slight hint of a spiral in the arrangement of the colours?

  9. sally jo says:

    Thank you so much for showing the back side of your stitching so we could get the full effect of this technique. Tutorial is a wonderful gift.

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