How to Paper-Piece (Part 2)

Quilty | Paper-Piecing Basics, Part 2 | Episode 143

Mary explains how to make a paper-pieced block and why paper-piecing is great for so many projects. Check out Fons & Porter’s Best of Paper Piecing for countless projects or look at the Times Square Pattern. And don’t forget paper! Be sure to watch Part 1 of this episode. For more quilting tips and techniques pick up Quilty magazine or watch more Quilty episodes at!



  1. Thank you so much Mary, I am going to try it.

    Phyllis, 3 years ago Reply

  2. I have been wondering how exactly this was done and now I know! Thanks so much for a great demonstration.

    Quiltin Gammie, 3 years ago Reply

  3. Paper piecing has always been a schallenge for me, but I’m ready to try it again. Thanks!

    stripeyquilter, 3 years ago Reply

  4. Good demo. I’ve learned to be sure that the pattern is accurate, especially if you have to join sections.

    Barb Schafer, 3 years ago Reply

  5. I am most disappointed in this your lesson on paper piecing, your Mother would not agree with teaching this way. First of all you say to sew all those fabrics to each other then trim, no you should trim 1/4″ each time you sew a new fabric, that way you do not guess at placement, it is already marked for you. well I am not here to teach you, but perhaps you should re do this lesson.
    oh one very important part of pp is that when you print the pattern out make sure that it is a full size pattern, adjusting the printer settings may be needed

    Carylanne, 3 years ago Reply

    • There are many ways to paperpiece. Mary is showing one and you have been taught another. No need to feel superior just because you like yours better. Give this method a try you may just find you like it!

      Cindy, 3 years ago Reply

  6. I know that you said there are different ways to paper piece, but I have been paper piecing for quite some time, and I have never seen it taught this way. I’m sorry Mary, but you lost me on this one. You never sew a piece on without trimming the previous one first. Then you don’t have to do that awkward trimming that you did when you are done. Also, you never mentioned that when you are making copies of a pattern, to be sure and have a master copy that you use to make your copies from. Do not make copies of copies, or use different printers, because it can distort the size of the printed copy. I think that people watching this video, and trying this technique for the first time are going to be very confused by this lesson.

    Grace, 3 years ago Reply

  7. I have to agree with Carylanne. The Christmas card and add a quarter ruler makes paper piecing much easily, faster and uses less fabric. How about offering this card and ruler method as an alternate method. When you get into smaller and more pieces, it’s more accurate and less bulky.
    When you get into small spaces, run the back side of your seam ripper over the perforations and the paper is easier to remove.

    Mavis Keilen, 3 years ago Reply

  8. I feel very confident now. Your demo on paper piecing was excelleny. Thank you.

    Sonja, 3 years ago Reply

  9. I’m so excited! I always wonder about how that worked, it actually sounded quite dumb to me! Now I can see where this may help me a great deal. I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist and I get discouraged if every piece isn’t perfectly like the last one. I can see that this might be good for me! So thank goodness to QNNtv and my chance to see what is good for me.

    Connie Blumenschein, 3 years ago Reply

  10. Your are doing a wonderful job. I just started anew project and learned somethong new. Thanks.

    Pat, 3 years ago Reply

  11. I am really surprised that you elected to demonstrate paper piecing this way. You made it far more difficult to understand, especially for a beginner. I think that you should have had Carol Doak come on to teach this technique. I’m sorry Mary, but you lost me with this one.

    Grace, 3 years ago Reply

  12. Carylanne and the others who have commented on trimming the 1/4 inch allowance BEFORE going on to the next stitching are correct. However, for the block you were demonstrating, it was easy to do the trimming last because the added pieces were all loose and the seam allowance was accessible after the block was finished. Perhaps you should do an “advanced” block showing the “trim as you sew” method that most blocks would require. Also, I always run a basting stitch just outside the outer edge of each block to hold all the edge fabrics from flipping around, especially when joining the blocks together. I often don’t even tear away the paper until the blocks have been joined, especially for miniature quilts! The tear-away process is great to do while watching tv — even quilt videos! Keep up the good work, Mary!

    Ruth Scharback, 3 years ago Reply

  13. You have made it look so easy, that this is my next project. I have seen it done on TV, but felt that it was to difficult to try; I can’t wait to get started. Thank you Mary.

    Hobbs, 3 years ago Reply

  14. I’ve never heard of let alone done paper piecing but can’t wait to try after seeing this. However, these negative comments are confusiong because I don’t underststand what they are explaining at all. So Mary, I am excited to try what you have shown here. Just need to get some more fabric and paper. Where can I get the base patterns?

    Vicki, 3 years ago Reply

  15. It’s been a while since I have done paper piecing. When that happens you always have start from the beginning again. Then you say “oh that’s right, thats how you do it”. So thanks for the reminder. Now I can do the paper piecing feathered star I have been wanting to do. They are so pretty. ;)

    Zoed, 3 years ago Reply

  16. Mary, thanks so much I was having a difficult time understanding PP. I had watched several other video’s but yours was the most helpful. I am happy to say i have now completed one PP cat tail it looks great, thank you so much.
    Leslie Irby

    Leslie Irby, 2 years ago Reply

  17. love the quilt in the back and would love to get the pattern or find out more about it . you do a great job on your teaching thanks for showing quilts in a modern light

    rachel crawford, 2 years ago Reply

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