Paper Piecing ~ Sprout Block Tutorial

on March 20 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 27 Comments

Penny from sewtakeahike and the Ringo Pie Bee joins us today with her lovely Sprout Block tutorial. Ayumi is back tomorrow with another amazing paper pieced tutorial for a Juice Glass; both Penny and Ayumi have created fantastic quilt designs incorporating the two blocks! Download the free Sprout + Juice Glass PDF Patterns today.

Did you see our Ringo Pie Bee Interview with Ayumi + Penny?! Plus here are some of our favorite Paper Piecing Resources. Comment in any post this week for a chance to win one of three $20 gift certificates!

Find Penny’s patterns in the sewtakeahike shop, and don’t miss her awesome Isosceles Pezzy Picnic Quilt tutorial! Penny is in the Spring 2012 Stitch magazine, and she also has designs in a new C&T Publishing book coming out this fall. Hear Penny in recent podcasts with Pat Sloan and seamedUP, and visit Penny every day at sewtakeahike!

First, here are some tips:

  • Press your block after each addition of fabric.
  • Be sure to leave a 1/4″ of fabric around all edges of the pattern to allow for joining seams.
  • I use regular old printer paper and sometimes it doesn’t come off the block super easy. To remedy that, reduce your stitch length (my stitch length is normally set to 2.5, I adjust it to 1.7 when I paper piece), this will give the paper more perforations and help you tear it off when you’re done!
  • Throughout the tutorial, you will see marks on the fabric side of the paper. Don’t pay any attention to them! I use recycled paper on a regular basis so the marks have no bearing on the pattern!
  • If you are going to be making several of the same blocks, try this method to save some time: For each part of the pattern, cut two rectangles or squares (whichever was most needed for the section) and sew it to the first block area. If it fits, then I use the second one as a template to cut more, based on the number of blocks you are making. Sew the entire first block in this manner and by the time you finish the first block, you will have all the pieces cut for the rest of the blocks. This will save time (no unpicking because you know it the fabric pieces will fit!) and the blocks go together so quickly if you don’t have to guess and figure out the best way to arrange your fabric!
  • When stitching different sections of a block together, i.e. the right and left sides of the sprout block and the top and bottom sections of the juice block, baste stitch them together first. Then if the sections aren’t matching up, it is easy unpick. If the pieces match up, then stitch back over the baste stitch with a normal stitch length.

Step 1: Print and cut out your paper Sprout Patterns for the right and left sides of the block.

Step 2: Using whichever side you like first, lay your first fabric right side down and the first half of the pattern right side up over the fabric. Make sure your fabric is arranged the way you like and the edges surpass the area on the pattern that it will cover by at least 1/4″.

Step 3: Lay the fabric for the next pattern piece right side towards the first piece, making sure the edge of the fabric will cover the area needed and extend at least 1/4″ beyond the area. Sew along the first line.

Step 4: Turn it over, fold back the second piece of fabric and either iron or use a seam roller to press the seam open. (This is a very important step to help reduce the possibility of having a wonky block once the paper is removed).

Step 5: Fold the second fabric back over the first fabric and trim the extra fabric in the seam to about 1/4″.

Step 6: Continue steps 3-5 until the block is complete and then follow these same steps to complete the other side of the sprout.

Step 7: Turn your blocks over and trim to 1/4″ past the edge of the pattern line on all sides.

Step 8: Place the right and left blocks right sides together, matching up the seam from sewing on the last piece of fabric…

…And sew them together using a 1/4″ seam. Press this seam open, then remove the paper from the back of the block.

Here is a Juice Bar quilt top that incorporates today’s Sprout Block and Ayumi’s Juice Glass Tutorial (on the blog tomorrow!):

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27 Responses to Paper Piecing ~ Sprout Block Tutorial

  1. Patricia Price says:

    I absolutely love this

  2. Beth T says:

    As a note to Becky Greene–my best friend is a far, far better quilter than I, and she bastes like crazy. Her quilts have a precision to them that is amazing, and I am sure some of that comes from the time she takes to baste. (The rest of it I attribute to her excellent sewing skills, dedication to come close to perfection, and her love for the project on which she is working.)

  3. njeri says:

    Gorgeous. Looking forward to more.

  4. Becky Greene says:

    What a great suggestion to baste sections together first. I actually sewed and unpicked a block FOUR tmes last night before I was satisfied. I was afraid I was going to perforate the fabric itself!! Next time, I will baste one and sew once!

  5. Flying Blind says:

    Love it!

  6. Heidi says:

    This is so, so cute. Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. MissMary says:

    Gaa! If there were a way to make paper piecing less time-consuming, perhaps I’d be more for it! Any suggestions?

  8. MarciaW says:

    This is a lovely idea for using scraps and like the theme.

  9. MarciaW says:

    Thanks for another imaginative method that uses pretty scraps!

  10. Melissa says:

    Darling…What a great way to use up scraps!

  11. Suzanne says:

    Such talent! I love the idea of the seam roller.

  12. Jen says:

    Sooo cool!

  13. Erin says:

    Great tutorial and makes me a little less afraid to start paper piecing. I love the sprouts and think they would look darling as a quilt of their own.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I just love this – it terrifies me because I’m not that advanced yet, but I’m adding to my list of challenges!

    lwghosts at yahoo dot com

  15. Aniza says:

    awesome paper piecing tutorial…! Amazing!!

  16. Mindy says:

    Paper piecing is something I have yet to try, but this makes it look fun!

  17. Jane says:

    Penny…great tutorial, love the sprout…can see an entire paper-pieced garden spring from this, Thanks.

  18. Patti says:

    This looks like so much fun, and lately I have become obsessed with paper piecing, so I may just have to give this a go! Thanks for a wonderful tutorial!

  19. Bianca says:

    The quilt is just absolutely adorable!!!!!!

  20. Liz T. says:

    I’ve never paper pieced before, but this is just adorable!

  21. I’ve been watching these gals in an amazement kind of way…..how did they do that. Very inspirational!

  22. Leila says:

    Wonderful tute Penny! Yet another project to add to my ever growing to do list!

  23. rumi says:

    Like this! I sew paper piecing and think the tips are useful!

  24. Louby says:

    This is one project I really want to turn my hand at this spring, thanks for the inspiration!!

  25. Megan says:

    I’ve never done paper piecing, and it seems so complicated! I do love the idea of making a mini quilt with this pattern though, so maybe I ought to give it a try. Thanks for the tutorial!

  26. amorette says:

    so perfect! i have been wanting some paper piecing help, and these are adorable.

  27. Heather K says:

    I was lucky enough to be in a bee with Penny this past year ~ and have a wonderfully pieced block to prove it!

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