6 simple steps to sewing paper-pieced blocks

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I used Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets to paper-piece a star block. I also showed you how great the Clover Roll & Press worked to flatten out the seams on a paper pieced block right at your sewing machine!

Today we’ll trim the sections of the block and sew them together to make our second cushion cover.

The finished A sections of the star block

Step 1: Trim

Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim all three sides of the eight sections along the dotted lines. Make sure you trim off the tips of the segments; this will make the sections easier to sew together.

Trim the sections along the dotted lines, including the tips.

Here’s one of the sections after all the edges have been trimmed:

One trimmed section

Step 2: Arrange the sections into the block shape

Create the block shape by alternating a Section A with a Section B, with the points positioned towards the center of the block.

Alternate Sections A and Sections B to make the star block.

Step 3: Sew sections into groups

Next, sew the segments together to make the block. First, sew it into quarters by attaching one Section A to one Section B.

Group the eight sections together into pairs.

Pin one Section A to one Section B and sew them together along the longest side of the triangle. Stitching along the solid line on the printed sheet will give you a ¼” seam allowance.

Stitch one Section A to one Section B.

Step 4: Press the seams

Use the Clover Roll & Press or your iron to press the seam to one side. Here’s one quarter of the block:

One quarter of the star block

Step 5: Repeat

Sew the remaining sections together to make three additional quarters of the block. Pin the sections together and sew along the solid line and press the seam to one side.

Two quarters of the block are sewn together along the solid line.

Repeat with the other two quarters to make the second half of the block. Make sure you press the seams in each half of the block in opposite directions.

Press the seam with the Clover Roll & Press.

Remove some of the Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets foundation from the points of the sections to reduce the amount of bulk in the center of the block. A Clover Ball Point Awl works well to help pull the foundation away from the stitching lines.

Remove some of the paper piecing foundation from the points of the units.

Sew the two halves of the block together, nesting the center seams to help make your points nice and sharp. Your block should measure 14½”.

The finished Star of the East paper pieced block.

Now we’ll add a border all the way around the block to make the front of the cushion cover big enough to cover the 20″ Fairfield Crafter’s Choice Pillow Form. First, cut two 4″ x WOF strips of the grey background fabric. From these, cut two strips that are 4″ x 14½” and two strips that are 4″ x 21½”. I still have the UNIQUE Clear Grip on the back of my 6″ x 24″ Omnigrid Ruler which really makes the ruler feel so much more secure when I’m rotary cutting with my OLFA 45mm Deluxe Ergonomic Handle Rotary Cutter and my UNIQUE Double Sided Cutting Mat.

Cut 4″ wide strips.

Sew two 4″ x 14½” strips to opposite sides of the block and press the seams towards the borders. Next, sew the two longer strips to the remaining two sides of the block and press.

The finished cushion front

Step 6: Remove foundation

Now that everything is sewn together, go ahead and pull off the foundation from the back of the block. Sometimes when you’re paper piecing, the fabrics on the side of the finished block aren’t on the straight of grain and may stretch. By leaving the foundation on the blocks until the borders are added, it keeps everything nice and straight and prevents the sides of the block from stretching.

Use a Clover Ball Point Awl to help pull the paper piecing foundation away from the stitching lines. This is a great job to do in front of the TV!

Remove the paper piecing foundation

Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets made the job of piecing the block for this cushion cover so easy! Now that we’ve made two of our cushion fronts, tomorrow I’ll show you how to add a split back to make the cushion covers easily removable. We’ll make one more cover front – I’ve left the easiest one for last. See you tomorrow!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: 2 key products to take the frustration out of paper piecing

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