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Paper Piecing the Intertwined Block

Today, we make the third and final block of the What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy quilt challenge.This block is a little more involved and appears to be intertwined, hence the name. I’ll be paper piecing the intertwined block to ensure accuracy and perfect points.

Paper Piecing Template

In order to paper piece this block, foundation piecing templates need to be created. The block once again is 9½-inches. After drawing out the block on a piece of paper, I divide it into four sections to make it easy to piece together.

Foundation template divided into sections
Foundation template divided into sections

 

The four sections are then drawn onto their own pieces of paper and photocopied. When photocopying foundation templates, make sure to photocopy them all on the same copier. You don’t want any distortion in size because each copier is just a little bit different.

To make 12 blocks I need 12 of each template. I use regular computer paper to make the templates. Although you can purchase special paper for paper piecing, I find regular paper works fine.

The template below has been numbered to indicate which piece is first, second and third, as well as, which line to stitch first. BG and EE defines whether a background fabric or Eclectic Elements fabric is needed.

Template with pieces assigned and stitching lines indicated
Template with pieces assigned and stitching lines indicated

 

I really enjoy paper piecing and, even though it takes a bit longer to do the piecing, the blocks come out perfectly finished. I’ve gathered my tools I need for the job.

Paper piecing tools
Paper piecing tools

 

Stitch Length

I always decrease the stitch length on the machine when paper piecing to make it easier to rip the paper off afterwards. There are more holes when stitches are closer together resulting in easy tearing of the paper. Not so easy for ripping out if a mistake has been made!

The stitch length is decreased on the home screen of the LCD monitor on the Creative 4.5 sewing machine. Use the stylet to touch the minus icon under the stitch length icon.

Stitch length icon
Stitch length icon

 

The stitch length in numbers is at the top of the icon. The default stitch length is 2.5, which can be seen in the photo above in white. As the length is changed the number is seen in green. The photo below shows a stitch length of 1.5.

Stitch length decreased to 1.5
Stitch length decreased to 1.5

 

I like to glue my first fabric piece to the paper with a dab of glue from a glue stick. Then, it won’t slip or slide around on you. Make sure to glue the wrong side of the fabric to the paper.

Fabric glued to template
Fabric glued to template

 

The rest of the pieces are then put on with right sides of the fabric facing each other. The second piece is placed on top of the first piece with right sides together.

The key to paper piecing is to make sure to cut the pieces large enough that they will generously overlap the space to be covered allowing for the seam allowance and a bit more. I cut my pieces quite generously as I would rather waste a bit of fabric than have to recut and reverse sew.

Holding the fabric and paper up to a light source allows you to see if the fabric is covering everything it needs to cover.

Second piece on top of first piece
Second piece on top of first piece

 

Sewing the fabric to the foundation paper

The quarter-inch foot with the guide doesn’t work so well for this type of piecing because the guide cannot line up with an edge. I’ve changed to the 1A or 0A foot. The center of the foot runs down the printed line, which is the sewing line. The wider foot also allows for more purchase on the paper.

0A Foot
0A Foot

 

Changing the foot

Changing feet on the Pfaff Creative 4.5 is fast and easy. Place the foot under the presser foot with the two silver bars lined up with the hooks on the machine. Then, press the presser foot down button to engage the foot.

To remove a foot place your thumbs or two fingers at the front of the foot on each corner and push down to release it release from the presser foot column.

Hooks and bars lined up to attach foot
Hooks and bars lined up to attach foot

 

After each piece is sewn in place, trim the excess fabric to a ¼-inch seam allowance and press.

Trim excess fabric to a ¼-inch
Trim excess fabric to a ¼-inch

 

All the foundation piecing is done!

Foundation piecing completed
Foundation piecing completed

 

Once the sections are sewn together, it’s just a matter of putting those sections together to create the block. This can be done with the paper on or off. I prefer to take the paper off before I sew the sections together.

The Intertwined Block
The Intertwined Block

 

Changing the needle

At this point, we should change the needle before going to the next sewing project as it has probably become dull from punching through the paper a few hundred times.

Multi-purpose tool

To change the needle take the multi-purpose tool out of the accessory box. It’s a grey piece of plastic that looks a bit like an H and has a hole in one end.

Multi-purpose tool
Multi-purpose tool

 

Slide the needle into the small hole at the one end. It works much better if the foot is removed.

Place needle in hole
Place needle in hole

 

Move the multi-purpose tool up to the top of the needle. Loosen the screw to the right of the needle. You may need to use the screwdriver depending how tight it is.

Ready to release the needle
Ready to release the needle

 

The needle will release into the tool.

Reverse the directions for removing the needle to replace it. Make sure the flat part of the needle faces the back of the machine.

To be honest, I find the tool a bit cumbersome and it’s much easier to change a needle just using your hands and holding the needle with one hand while loosening and tightening the screw with the other.

Needle released from machine
Needle released from machine

 

Wow! I’m really moving along with this What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy quilt challenge. Now that a new needle has been put in the machine, I can start sewing all the blocks together to form the quilt top.

Paper piecing the intertwined block made for perfect points on this block and tomorrow the blocks are going to be sewn into sections to get ready for some applique.

Happy Quilting

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

2 Comments

  1. Kirsten

    I have a Pfaff machine and it came with tool as well. I agree it is not rely useful for needle changing, but genius when sewing over bulky seams especially when hemming jeans.

    • Kirsten that’s a great idea for that tool – thanks for sharing. Jen

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