How to Glue Baste Small Pieces

English paper piecing is normally used with larger, geometric templates…not small, fiddly pieces.  I LOVE the precision and ease of English paper piecing…so I use smaller pieces to create details that are normally reserved for foundation paper piecing.

I’ve discovered an easy way to deal with small or thin templates, so you don’t have excess bunching.

Tip 1:
Fold the smallest/shortest edge first.  This will make that side crisper, and have less bulk.

Tip 2:
Leave the outside edges open.
1.  This allows for less bulk, but it means that I can machine sew blocks together instead of needing to hand stitch them together (I like to keep my options open.

I lift all the corners of my outside edges so I don’t pick up threads from the fold….then I HAVE to do quilt block surgery, or hand stitch blocks together…OR! What if the block is on the edge of the quilt?! ACK!

2. By leaving the outside edge free, it makes the piece less fiddly.

With this block, I basted the top, then the long side…and I left the right side open (see below).  I’d lift this edge anyhow…I might as well save a step.  You can see a few other blocks around it that are left open.)

If you have thin pieces, you can do the same thing.  For this block, I would glue baste the inside curves, and leave open the pieces that will be joined together.  Join these to the outside curves.
Then lift the fabric on the inside curve, and glue down the fabric on the straight sides.
When you iron and remove the papers, everything will lay flat!

I hope this is really helpful to you!

2 thoughts on “How to Glue Baste Small Pieces

    • Rachael says:

      Hi Carrie, do you mean the paper template? I use a rotary cutter to cut the square, then either whatever scissors I have handy (not fabric cutting scissors!!), or a rotary cutter, depending on the pattern. My favorite scissors are small grade school scissors.

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