Dealing with bulky seams….PP Monday style

After making my green star for this week I ummed and ahhed about whether to share it on the blog.  I love the star, but it suffers from the problem that a lot of paper piecing stars suffer from… a bulky center.

free paper pieced star blockIt is a fun star but the center is where 16 points of fabric meet, and as the star is only 8 inches square it makes for a lumpy middle.  Now this is a problem that I came across when I first started making paper pieced stars and there are a couple of tricks for minimizing the bulk.

1.  Iron seams open… ALL the seams are ironed open on my stars… and when the paper is removed I starch the seams so that all they want to do is stay open.

turning star partscompleted paper back2.  Remove the paper pattern in the corners BEFORE I sew all the pieces of the star together.

remove paperThis step means you are less likely to get paper stuck in the center joins… and so less bulk.

3.  Use tweezers to remove any excess paper that does get stuck….

tweezer actionThe only other trick is I have found that quilting through the bulk helps soften it, and with time, washing also softens it too.

Now there is only so much of the bulkiness you can effect… at the end of the day the bulk is there because so many seams are meeting at the same point. I personally think the visual effect of the stars are worth the extra bulk…

Now, if I have not turned you off this pattern, you can find the PDF here….turning star pattern.




Green with envy yet?

If not, give this block a look…

Triforce star

This block is called the Triforce star block…and if any of you know Zelda you will know where it got its name from.   A little geeky I know but I love it.

Triforce star pieces

The block has a few more pieces than the last couple but only a few… 28 in total.  The free pattern can be downloaded here…Triforce Star.

As promised I also took a photo of the stars I have made so far….

Green stars wip

Straight Star…paper piecing Monday

This week’s paper piecing star is a easy, fun one…

Straight star block

The straight star is another relatively simple 8 inch star block…using just 28 pieces none of which are weirdly shaped or angled.  A PDF copy of the pattern I used can be found here….straight star pattern.

Straight star pieces

I used a random selection of green stripes from my scrap bag… but I think you could get some interesting effects with this star by carefully placing the dark and light pieces.  The effect of a whole quilt with this block would be fabulous I think, so it has been added to my “To Do” list.

Tune in next week for another fun 8 inch star….

8 inch stars… a new paper piecing adventure

Welcomes to the launch of another Paper Piecing Monday adventure.  After a little break I found myself back making paper pieced stars… surprise!  This time I am focusing on simpler 8 inch stars. First up is…

Twisting Star block

….a fun, simple fun 8 inch twisting star.  I love the four piece structure for this block… it is easy to make and align the pieces and the pattern only uses 28 pieces of fabric!…

twisting star block pieces

I will be revisiting this type of star again I am sure… but to start you can find the free pattern here (with numbered pieces I promise) …Twisting Star block.

Just for fun I also made one of my previous 8 inch stars…

free paper pieced pattern

I did this pattern as part of my Starry Night quilt and I thought it was good one to play with in this colour scheme too.  The pattern can be found here…WQ Starry Night Block 1.

I am currently playing with a couple of new star designs and having a blast.  More next week…