Points and ‘tails’ – How to deal with ‘points’ on the paper pieces

Points and ‘tails’ – How to deal with ‘points’ on the paper pieces

Some paper pieces have sharp points, rather than blunt corners and many quilters become unstuck when they first encounter these and are at a loss of how to deal with them. But rest assured: Points are easy!! No matter which EPP technique you use: It all comes down to the direction of turning the paper piece and the direction of folding the fabric! As you baste your fabric to the paper piece, whether with needle and thread of with glue, always turn the paper piece clock-wise (if right-handed) and then fold over the fabric at the next corner in line, folding the ‘fresh’ or ‘new’ edge over on top of the previous edge. All ‘folding’ should be done in the same direction and in sequence (turn the paper piece, fold over at the corner, secure with stitching or glue, turn the paper piece, fold over at the corner, secure with stitching etc.). Your needle will work its way around the paper piece in an anticlockwise direction if you are right-handed (for left-handed quilters it is the other way around). If you are covering a Hexagon all the ‘pleats’ of the fabric folds should lean in the same direction.

When you have a Diamonds shape with a ‘point’ it works the same way: You simply fold the fabric edge around the tip of the point creating a little ‘tail’ or ‘flag’. It is not necessary to tuck under the excess fabric ‘tail’ at the tips: Let your tails wag! 😊  But always work your way around the paper shape in the same direction and only deal with one corner or point at a time. That way all your tails will point in the same direction, which is very important! All your covered pieces of the same shape should look identical when you lay them next to each other. When you come to sew the pieces together, and a tail ‘sticks up’ along your seam, simply fold it back and out of the way and continue to sew your seam normally. As you sew the pieces together the tails will nestle neatly on top of each other where the points meet, creating little ‘rosettes’ on the back of the project, without creating excess ‘bulk’. If some of the tails are mis-folded (pointing the wrong way) then they will ‘collide’ and make sewing together difficult – a very common occurrence when tails are folded ‘any which way’!

But whatever you do: Please, DO NOT cut the tails off!! You could end up with a hole in your quilt as the seams will be damaged and start to fray.


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