A few of you showed interest in how I managed to piece 1/4 squares. Since I took tons of pictures along the way and I love to share, I’m all in! I pretty much paper pieced these project with a few added steps. I wanted the squares to finish 1/4″ so I needed 3/4″ squares to start.
They are oh so tiny right? At this size, I had to be crazy precise. My first few tries using a printed grid on copy paper fell down when I had to piece them together. I found it IMPOSSIBLE to line the seams up and if I taped it first I had way too much bulk. After a lot of trial and error, I just decided my best bet was one large sheet of paper. I had some over sized artist tracing paper and decided to give it a whirl. The paper worked out great, but I found trouble making my grid. If I drew a line and used that line to draw the next one 3/4″ away gave inconsistent results. Worse yet, if I was off on one line, I was off on every one there after. To avoid that, I taped the tracing paper on over my cutting mat and used the mat’s lines to create my grid.
After I drew my grid, I took a minute to “score” the lines. I folded them and pressed along the fold with my finger to get a nice crease. Once I did one direction, I went back and did the other. It makes nice little pockets for the squares to sit in and helps keep the seam straight when it is time to sew.
Here’s the magic…. a glue stick! I used an ever so tiny amount of glue on each square for two rows. It’s just enough to hold the squares still while handing them. The tracing paper pops right off after it is sewn. I couldn’t feel any glue residue (really, ever so tiny amount), but it does claim to be washable. If there was some left it should come out with a bit of water.
Time to sew! I folded over the row on the pre-creased line put in a straight stitch at exactly 1/4″. Not scant! That’s how I ended up with frog #2!
I used painter’s tape to mark a 1/4″ on my machine so I could be sure that each and every seam was consistent. I used a straight stitch plate on the machine to reduce warping though I’m not positive that the wide mouthed plate would be a problem. I used a walking foot, a tiny weight thread and the smallest needle I could get by with. Last tip – I used short short shot, OMG does my machine really make stitches this short stitch length.
After sewing a row, I finger pressed it out of my way, glued on the next row or two and dropped in the seams. I kind of love him after all the seams in a single direction have been pressed down, he’s so WARPED!
To reduce seam bulk, I trimmed them from 1/4″ to roughly 1/8″ of an inch. I pulled out all of the paper on the open seam side then pressed them in opposite directions. No really, it’s easy! Do a little finger press then press straight down with the iron.
Now it is just a matter of sewing the cross seams. I did find that starting in the middle and working my way to the edges prevented an early mistake or crooked line from echoing through the whole piece. After the seams were sewn, I trimmed them down too and removed as much paper as possible. It doesn’t all come out! I thought about trying to water it down and pull it out when it was wet, but as I mentioned last week – I was over it! Next time.
So go try it! It is something you can do start to finish in less than hours – mistakes and all. Then show me what came up with!