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Using the Sirota “No More Tears©” Paper Piecing Method

Paper Piecing for the 21st Century

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This class is pure FUN!  Why?  Because we let go of our desire to “control” the outcome.  After all, scrappy means using scraps of all different colors and patterns.  


For many of us paper piecing can be a quilting brain-teaser, right?  Well if you love paper pieced projects but find the process somewhat “confusing”, then this is the class is for you.  You’ll be learning my revolutionary “No More Tears” © method of paper piecing, and although you won’t be finishing the entire project in class, you should have at least one completed 12” x 12” star block and the tools you’ll need to finish your project at home.  And it will take half the time you’d expect from paper piecing.   Don’t believe me?  Well, join the class and find out how! 


What to have on hand

Your pre-cut and any extra fabric

  • Sewing machine, thread and pre-wound bobbin, regular piecing foot and 1/4" foot

  • Seam Ripper (just in case)

  • Rotary cutter (with a new blade) and ruler - 6"x12" works fine

  • Invisible Scotch Tape (any brand)*

  • Pencil or pen

  • A Hand Needle (embroidery, cotton darning) as long as it has a sharp point and a long eye*

  • Small cutting mat 9" x 12" is fine

  • Highlighter (Pink, green, blue, orange, but NOT yellow)

  • Add-A-Quarter ruler (the longer the better)

  • Paper and  fabric scissors

  • Oral B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss or any ribbon floss

For Virtual Classes Only:

  • Brand new Elmer's Disappearing Purple Glue  Stick or any washable, acid free glue stick

  • Your printed patterns (for virtual classes only)

  • Click here for more about the paper                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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Fabric Selection

This project is perfect for using up some of your fabric scraps, fat quarters or jelly rolls.  The reason this pattern works so well is because the star points are made of alternating lights and darks, two contrasting colors, patterned fabrics, or combinations of each.  Two-color stars have a more “contemporary” look, whereas scrappy stars are more “traditional”.  The background, however, is very controlled.  If you use one fabric for the background, your stars will pop.  Use two different fabrics and you’ll get a secondary pinwheel pattern.  Just make sure that your background fabric(s) is in high contrast to your star fabric.

A word about design and fabric selection:  Please, keep it simple, and keep in mind that we’re here to learn a new method, and maybe not design the ultimate Chevron Star masterpiece.  Ideally, we’re looking for a variety of scraps or two contrasting fabrics* that allow the Chevron Star pattern to shine.  The finished project will be simple to construct, yet impactful. 

Since practice makes perfect, we want to practice as much as possible during class.  If we’re too focused on design, it takes away from our practice time.

* Contrasting fabric means any 2 fabrics that will stand out on their own and make the lines of your quilt top “crisp”.  They can be solids, a print and a solid, or 2 small prints that read as solid from a distance.  When selecting your fabric, avoid stripes, directional prints, large prints, or 2 prints that share a common color.  You designate which of your fabrics are “A” and which are “B”.

Cutting Specs for Scrappy Stars

Each complete star measures approx. 12" x 12" and the class sample measures appox. 36" x 36"

  • Fabric “A” – 108 2” x 5 ½” rectangles.  (12 per star)

  • Fabric “B” – 108 2” x 5 ½” rectangles.  (12 per star)


Background Fabrics – for pinwheel background

You will need 24” (includes a little extra) of both a light neutral and darker neutral… “BL” and “BD”. Then, cut four 4 ½” strips from each fabric. From those strips cut:


  • “LB” (Light Background Fabric) - Cut thirty six 4 ½” squares.  Cut these in half diagonally to create seventy- two half square triangles.  Each star requires 4 squares cut into 8 HST.

  • “BD” (Dark Background Fabric) - Cut thirty six 4 ½” squares.  Cut these in half diagonally to create seventy two half square triangles. 


Cutting Specs for Two-Color Stars

Start with 1 yard each of color “A” and color “B” (includes a little extra)

  • Cut sixteen 2” strips from each color

  • Cut each strip into 5½” rectangles, for a total of 108+ of each color


Background Fabric – for solid background

You will need 48” (includes extra) of your background fabric.

  • Cut eight 4 ½” strips. 

  • From those strips cut 4 ½” squares. 

  • Then cut the squares into half square triangles.

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Make it a Table Runner

Each complete star measures approx. 12" x 12" and the class sample measures appox. 15" x 41"

Fabric “A” – Thirty-six 2” x 5 ½” rectangles.  (12 per star)

Fabric “B” – Thirty-six 2” x 5 ½” rectangles.  (12 per star)


Background Fabrics

For the stars:

Cut three 4-1/2" strips.  From the strips cut twenty-four 4-1/2" squares.  Finally, cut your twenty-four squares diagonally in half to end up with forty-eight half square triangles.

For the sashing and borders:

Cut three 2-1/2" strips of fabric.  You'll cut your sashing after your blocks are finished, according to the block size you end up with.  The leftover strips are used for the borders.

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