Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Academy of Quilting - Ripless Paper Piecing

Academy of Quilting - Ripless Paper Piecing

This class begins on Friday, February 19. It's a 3-lesson class with one lesson posted each week. The classroom remains open until March 28 so you don't need to rush to complete your project in the first 3 weeks.  And I'm with you every step of the way.
 Here's my version of the class project.

Here are pictures of projects made by previous students.
They show a wide range of colour and value choices.

You may already have some experience with paper piecing, sometimes called foundation piecing since the usual way is to sew onto a foundation.  This class will show you how you can achieve the accuracy that paper piecing gives without some of the extra steps.
The steps you WILL NOT do are:

  • create one foundation for every block you sew by printing or tracing
  • cut the foundation into individual sections - you don't cut it up and it is RE-USABLE!
  • sew with a very small stitch length that is extremely difficult to rip out if you make a sewing mistake
  • spend time removing the foundation from your blocks

Included in this class is a tutorial about fabric 'value' - no, that's not how much it costs!  It is the relative lightness or darkness of your fabrics. This can 'make or break' a quilt.  Here is an excerpt from the class:


It is generally thought that there are seven main values that we can select for fabrics. When you move from one to another, you are stepping up or down the value ladder. These are the steps we will consider using:

·         very light
·         light
·         light-medium
·         medium
·         medium-dark
·         dark
·         very dark
There are many more subtle variations in between each of these named values. It is the selection of values from the light, medium and dark that create the contrast we see in traditional quilt patterns. Here are two blocks. One has excellent value contrast and one does not. It is very easy to see the difference.


Dakota Star  in light, medium, dark at left and in medium and dark at right

Here are those same blocks arranged as quilts. Which quilt uses value better?  High contrast quilts make each block piece stand out. Low contrast is a more subtle approach. There will be times when you wish to use low contrast. A great use of low contrast is for clothing items. The important thing is to know the difference and choose the values of your fabric to create the effect you wish to achieve.

High contrast and low contrast

Both blocks in grayscale
Notice how the two blocks look in grayscale. The green reads as very dark. The melon color reads very light and almost blends with the background. This is a case where you must trust what your eyes tell you. No one would confuse the melon color with the beige background when looking at the colored version. The red grayscale shows the dark, medium and light medium values.  There are no extremes in this block.

Learn more about value and Ripless Paper Piecing in the classroom. 

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