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In the Quilting World

Learning Paper Piecing the Moda Way

There are many techniques that can be used in quilting. These include techniques to improve accuracy or make piecing easier. There are, in addition, special rulers, neat gadgets, books, and lots and lots of products that are geared to make your quilting experience a successful one.

As the editor of a quilt magazine and an avid quilter I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting quilting products that can make my own quilting better or more enjoyable, and I search out products and test them so I can share my experiences with my readers. Finding a new worthy product makes my day.

The one technique that I have always shied away from is paper piecing. I don't enjoy it. I love the accuracy, but it's one of those few things in quilting I truly don't enjoy. I think most quilters can tell you of a certain technique or maybe a product that they just don't like and avoid at all costs. Mine is paper piecing.

If paper piecing is something you've been wanting to explore, please don't let me scare you away from it. As a matter of fact, Paint Samples, our featured pattern for this update, is a great place to start for the quilter who is looking for a good project to try out this technique. It's available at AnniesCraftStore.com.

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Paint Samples quilt pattern is an easy paper-pieced project. It's the perfect place to start learning this technique.

There is another possibility -- it's a product from Moda Fabrics, designed by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co., called Cake Mix and Cupcake Mix Recipes. What it actually is, is paper piecing for 5-inch charm squares and 10-inch Layer Cake squares. It comes in a tablet of paper pieces that are laid out and measured, and have options for several blocks to make with each different tablet. The Cupcake Mix tablet is designed to use 5-inch precut squares and has three different blocks you can make from one tablet. The Cake Mix is designed for 10-inch precut squares and has options for five different blocks. Now that's unique. Usually you only get one way to piece a paper-pieced block.

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Cupcake Mix and Cake Mix Recipe tablets.

I really like this idea. I'm all about options. I think it's the creative side of me. With the lovely charm and Layer Cake packs Moda so graciously sent me to test this new product, I read the very easy instructions on the top of the tablet and began to select and pin my precuts and papers together to try them out.

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I selected 5-inch charm squares and layered them as directed;
then I added paper pieces and pinned them to the fabric. Ready to stitch.

The instructions were very easy to follow, and with the layering, there was absolutely no confusion. I went to my machine and, following the easy instructions, I stitched along the stitch line. This product even gives you the start position so you can continue on with just one stitch line.

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Following the stitch lines I stitched my first piece.

Once you've stitched along the stitch line, separate your pieced units simply by cutting along all the cut lines marked on the paper. It really is easy and a no-brainer.

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Cutting the units apart and trimming.

Your units are ready to make any of the blocks shown on the front of the tablet. Select your chosen block, remove the paper, and simply stitch the units into that block. It couldn't be easier. I assembled the units as directed and made my first block with the 5-inch precut squares.

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Units stitched for first block and the finished result.

I loved how easy this went together, so I started to select the rest of the 5-inch precut squares to make more blocks from these beautiful charm packs. I pinned them and stacked them to take to my machine later. Then it was on to testing the Cake Mix Recipes papers for the 10-inch Layer Cake squares. With the Cake Mix Recipes for the 10-inch squares there is more stitching and more pieces, but there are also more block choices.

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10-inch Layer Cake squares pinned and ready to try out.

Again, these recipes foundation papers were so easy and accurate. I loved the end result. With the Churn Dash block option I ended up with two 6-inch composite blocks from one Recipe paper and two 10-inch precut squares. For the first time I'm seriously thinking that paper piecing could be fun. I selected and pinned several more combinations together and, along with my pinned 5-inch charm ones, headed back to my machine. I have a plan in mind for both sets of blocks. Wish me luck! Once again, I have started two projects at the same time. I have no control when it comes to quilting.

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The blocks I made with the Cake Mix Recipe tablet and two 10-inch precut squares.

All in all, I have to say I love these Recipe paper-piecing tablets. They're easy, very accurate and, most of all, there are options. For someone who has said she has a dislike for paper piecing, I think I may have to change my mind. Thank you Moda and Miss Rosie for another great product and, of course, for your fabulous fabrics.

I encourage you to try these Cake Mix and Cupcake Mix Recipes for successful foundation piecing and then share your thoughts with me so I can share with the rest of our readers.

If you choose to play along with me in these updates I'd love to see your projects. Send me a photo at editor@quiltersworld.com and you may see your project and story on Facebook or in one of the coming updates. I welcome your insight and your suggestions.

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