Before I share the link to the week 4 pattern, I have just a few things to share about paper piecing. I know some of you have had your blocks finish smaller than intended, and I have been racking my brain looking for clues about what might cause this and how to avoid it. Here are a few ideas. I don’t guarantee they’ll solve the problem, but if you’re tearing your hair out because of shrinking blocks, these might be worth a try.
1. Press at each step, but hold the steam. Steam can make your paper shrink, and that will alter the size of the printed template. Even a small loss can add up to measurable loss over several patches.
2. Choose your paper carefully. Thick paper results in a thick fold at the seam allowance where pieced sections are joined. That thickness eats up a little bit of size. Again, a little bit of loss adds up over several sections.
3. Alternatively, if you don’t have thinner paper, consider removing the paper from the seam allowance before you sew pieced sections together, to remove the thickness that way. Just remember to sew with a 1/4” seam allowance, and to handle the sections carefully to avoid stretching anything out of shape.
4. I am sure you all do this anyway, but I’ll repeat it just in case. Check that the templates printed out at the correct size. To test the size, measure the test block that prints out on each template page. It should measure 1 “ square. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to adjust the scaling, either by setting scaling on your printer, or by enlarging or shrinking the page on a photocopier. I’ve been told that printing from an iPad results in losing 1/8. To correct that you would need to print at 114%. (I think that’s right. Be sure to check your results before heading off to the sewing machine!)
If anyone else has any tips to add, please share in the comments below!
Now, on to Snowflake 4. The block at the top of this post is this week’s snowflake. It's available here. I suggest 4 different versions of this one.
Finally, here’s my snowflake sewing for the week.
I had a request earlier in the Facebook group for fabric requirements and directions for this runner. Leave me a comment and share a snowflake (in the linky below if you have a blog or in the FB group) if you would like me to share this. If there is enough interest and participation, I’ll take the time to write up the pattern.