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

Paper Piecing for the 21st Century

Card Trick Done!.jpg

Class Project
"Is This Your Card?"
36 x 31 ish

Card Trick.png
Pick Another Card 32 x 32.jpg

Card Trick has always fascinated me because I love optical illusion quilts. I prefer to paper-piece Card Trick because it pretty much guarantees more accuracy, as well as eliminating seams, which enhances the illusion. 
But 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” and a bit tedious, then you’ll want to check this out. 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, if not two or three, completed 8”x8” blocks, and the tools you’ll need to finish your project at home. You’ll see that it will take half the time you’d expect from paper piecing. Don’t believe me? Well, join the class and find out how!  


Your 5 baggies of pre-cut fabric

Sewing machine, thread and bobbin

Pins, and just in case, a seam ripper

Rotary cutter (with a new blade)

17lb Translucent Vellum 8 1/2" x 11"

To order 100 sheets click here

To order 50 sheets click here

To order 30 sheets click here

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6” x 12” rotary cutting ruler

Small cutting mat (9" x 12” is fine)

Highlighter (any color), pencil or pen (for taking notes)

Add-A-Quarter Ruler (optional) 

Invisible Scotch Tape - any brand

Elmer's Disappearing Purple Glue Stick (preferable) or an acid-free, washable glue stick


If you don't feel like reading all of the following stuff, just skip to the last paragraph.
First of all, it makes the paper piecing process much easier and the pattern preparation much faster.  When I first developed my method of paper piecing I used regular copy paper because I wanted to eliminate the need to purchase special papers.  However, in the early years I experimented with all different kinds of paper and discovered 17lb vellum.  It was perfect for the process.  And when I taught live classes I supplied the vellum patterns as part of the class materials.

Then came virtual classes and you all needed to print your own patterns.  Copy paper is easily available and almost everyone has copy paper.  It works, but there's more pattern prep to do because copy paper isn't smooth and isn't translucent.  For most of my patterns, copy paper is just fine because the patterns don't have lots of segments.  "Not Your Daddy's Log Cabin" blocks have twenty-two segments and regular copy paper doesn't quite cut it.  It's usable, but not ideal.  Thus, the need for vellum.

You can look for your own 17# vellum, but the links I've supplied are brands that I've used before and I can definitely say that they are my favorites.  If you choose to look for your own, make sure it's 17#, 8-1.5" x 11" and feeds through your printer smoothly.  Also, if you've never taken one of my classes before, you'll just have to trust that whichever quantity you order, one sheet of paper goes a long way.  
So the bottom line is this...get the vellum.  It goes through the printer the same as copy paper  You'll find it changes everything and streamlines the process, eliminating time.  There are links above for 100 sheets, 50 sheets or 30 sheets.  The 100 sheet option is the most economical, and order early to make sure you have your vellum in time for class.


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 Card Trick masterpiece.  Ideally, we’re looking for four distinctly different fabrics for the “cards”, and a contrasting background fabric.  Typically, the background fabric looks like a solid.  In other words, a print that reads as a solid from a short distance away is most desirable, because it camouflages your seams. 

Click on the quilt for a better look.

When selecting your fabric, avoid directional prints.

Your finished wall hanging should measure 32” square

Fabric Requirements:

You’ll need to start with at least  5 ½” of each of  your four “card” fabrics, 20" of background fabric, 13" for frames and 15" of border fabric.  I'd add a couple of inches for to these measurements just in case.  These cutting specs assume 40” of usable fabric from selvage to selvage, or WOF (width of fabric).  


For the Cards:

From each of your four “card” fabrics cut:

Two 2 ¾” strips. 

From these strips, cut nine 2 ¾” x 5” rectangles and nine 2 ¾” x 2 ¾” squares.

Then put each of your cut “card” fabrics into its own baggie.


For the Card Backgrounds:

From your 1 ¼ yards of background fabric cut:

Four 5” strips. 

From these strips cut twenty seven 5”x5” squares. 

Cut the squares twice diagonally into quarter-square triangles.

Put your triangles in a separate baggie.

For the Frames:

Cut six 1-1/2" strips

Cut one 4" strip

For the Sashing and Borders:

Cut six 2-1/2" Strips


Bring some extra fabric to class…just in case😊




Basic paper piecing

The "No More Tears"© method

Precise block and quilt top construction (your points will match!)

In this workshop we’ll take the mystery out of: