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Favorite Technique: Paper-Piecing

Hey friends, Elsie here! It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that I love paper-piecing! Something just clicked for me creatively when I started doing it on layouts. I always want to try and find new ways I can get better at it, and to see what fun new designs I can come up with. It is truly my absolute favourite technique, so I’m excited to share these two cards with you!

elsiecard7Okay, truth time… I always feel very uncertain making cards. It’s not something that comes as naturally to me as making a layout does, but I had a blast making these, and I suspect it has something to do with my paper-piecing being the main focus!

I used two different methods for paper-piecing these images together. I recently got a Silhouette Cameo (wahoo!), and so I thought I would try paper-piecing with a cut file to see how it compared to my usual freehanded method. It certainly has its pros and cons, so let me talk you through them.

elsiecard9I don’t know why Alpacas are suddenly ‘on trend’, but I will happily embrace any random image I can make a pun out of! I saw this cut file in the Silhouette store, and I thought it would make an awesome birthday card. The cut file came with all of the parts you need to piece together this Alpaca, which made the whole process really quick which is such a big plus.

elsiecard3When I usually paper piece, I use tracing paper to scope out which papers I want to use, and that is perhaps what I found most difficult about this cut file method. It was hard to work out which patterns and colours would look good together on a computer screen. However, I used the Oh My Heart colour scheme as my starting point, but then pulled in pieces from the Take Me Away and Birthday Bash collections as needed. I seriously love the fussy-cut candles from Birthday Bash on top of the cake!

elsiecard4Another plus with using a cut file is that I was able to use more intricate shapes. This obviously adds a lot more detail than if I were to cut out the Alpaca by hand, so it’s great to have that option. I was also still able to stitch around the Alpaca, and I felt this made the piece feel much more ‘me’!

elsiecard5The second card is, again, just as punny as the first! But this time I made the image freehand, so no machines were used in the paper-piecing! To summarise, I drew this cartoon-y crab and traced it onto some tracing paper to transfer the pencil onto the orange polkadot patterned paper from Oh My Heart.

elsiecard6The method was similar to using a cut file in the sense that I had all of these individual pieces that I needed to glue together. These shapes were obviously less intricate and much more simple to cut because I cut them by hand, but I think the result is just as effective. However, on finer details like the highlights in the eye, I used a trusty white pen to add that detail back into the image.

elsiecard1Just like I did with the alpaca, I used stitching in coordinating thread to outline the crab. Stitching is great, because it covers any wonky edges of the shapes I cut out by hand!

But I still used my Silhouette to cut out ‘Shell Phone’ as I wanted that pop of bright blue for the sentiment. Talking of the sentiment, in full it reads: ‘If you ever need me, just know that you can always call me on my… Shell phone!” And that copper foiled die-cut piece from the Oh My Heart ephemera looks so cute in the crab’s claw and works perfectly with the sentiment.

elsiecard2elsiecard8I love the way both of these cards turned out, they’re so fun and I hope that they make their recipients smile.

Paper-piecing is such a great way to be able to create whatever you want, and I urge you to have a go. And trust me, it will soon become your favourite technique too!

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One Response to "Favorite Technique: Paper-Piecing"

  • Debby L
    July 20, 2017 - 3:33 pm

    Too, too cute~