Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tutorial – Paper Piecing Angles

Angles can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to paper piecing – especially long skinny angles! Time and again I’ve set out my fabric, thinking it perfect, but finding when I folded it back that I missed the mark completely. Until I found a little folding trick. I doubt it’s news (in fact Juliet from Tartan Kiwi and I were comparing processes and I think we do the same thing!), but it might help if you’re a bit stuck on the angles.Please note, I'm no expert, this is just what works for me :)

Paper Piecing angles 2

You can see I’ve started this pattern already and pieced the first sections (A1, A2, and A3) but A4 needs to go on an angle so that all of the triangle is covered by fabric and still allows for seam allowance. So let’s start!

Paper piecing tricky angles

Step 1: Turn your block fabric side UP. Lay your fabric over the area that you need to cover (remembering to leave enough for at least 1/4” seam allowance on all sides)

Step 1

Step 2: Holding your fabric firmly in place, fold the pattern on the angled line that you need to sew – folding paper and fabric in one go. Press it very firmly so that when you release it, there’s a nice crease.

Step 2Step 2b

Step 3: Flip your fabric over and line up the crease on your fabric, with the crease/line on the pattern underneath (still working with your pattern fabric side up).

Step 3

This means the shorter side will now be partly covering the area you need – keeping in mind that when you sew your line and flip the fabric back, the larger section will be there instead and you’ll trim off the remainder of the shorter piece. I like to fold it over at this point just to double check that it will in fact cover the area.
Paper Piecing angles

Step 4: You can pin your fabrics in place or just very carefully hold them in place and turn the pattern over. Sew on the angle line as per usual.

Sewing paper pieced angles

Your line might look rather wonky compared to the fabric placement, but if you’ve done it correctly, when you fold your fabric back, it should cover the angled section perfectly.

Paper pieced angle

Trim back the seam allowance like you normally would, and you’re done!

Tidy block

Now this does mean there’s a bit more wastage of fabric, but in my mind if it saves me having to unpick and re-sew eleventy billion times, it’s worth it. Besides the cut off scraps usually come in handy for some other paper piecing project somewhere along the line!


  1. Aha! Those long skinny angles have been my undoing several times, will definitely give this a go. If it saves me unpicking even once it will have been worth it :)

  2. I've been using the trial and error method (lots of time with the seam ripper) so I cannot tell you how glad I am that you shared this!!!

  3. Wow, that is a great tip! Thanks for sharing

  4. I have definitely found you can't line those areas up the regular way! I'll have to try this!

  5. Great tutorial! You explained it so well.

  6. Smart! On my only foray into paper piecing, this was definitely the type of piece that gave me the most trouble.

  7. Great tips! Thank you :) in our house we do things eleventy billion times lol

  8. Such a great tip, Kristy! This kind of thing has driven me nuts in the past, so it's great to have a way to deal with it!

  9. Woohoo! Now this is information I needed! Thank you!

  10. Love your cushion, a really great tutorial and I love the trick of folding the material, I must remember that for the next paper piecing project

  11. How did you know that this is where my failures in paper piecing occur? I don't have many troubles with paper piecing, and I do enjoy doing it, I just get frustrated when I can't get my 'bits' to go the right way, but with folding the piece so I can see it'll cover the section I need it to will be a saviour for me, so thanks for sharing :o)


  12. Brilliant tutorial - just wishing I had read this yesterday before all the unpicking occurred ;0)

  13. Super tip...that bit is always my downfall...Thankyou

  14. Ooh, this really helps. I'm always unpicking if there are angles in it somehow!

  15. brilliant those long skinny with angles ..............looks like they can be beaten thank you :))

  16. I really wish I had read this yesterday before I started my sewing, I must have unpicked as much as I sewed, if not more... note to 'self read the how to's before you start!'

  17. I never thought of this!! Thank you for sharing; this is going to save me so much seam ripping! :)

  18. I tried doing my first paper-pieced pattern just yesterday, and I could have really done with knowing this tip sooner! Thank you so much! <3


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