Marcelle Medallion Machine Paper Pieced Tips

I'm happy to share this tutorial about paper piecing the center block of our Marcelle Medallion Quilt pattern. If you have any questions, leave us a comment!

To sew-along with this tutorial you will need-

Marcelle Medallion Pattern

paper piecing templates copied 4x at 100%

all of your fabrics prepared as instructed in the pattern

sewing machine and all purpose thread (I like to use polyester thread for paper piecing so that when tearing the paper away I don't break the threads.)

optional-fabric glue stick, lightbox

The general technique of machine paper piecing utilizes templates printed on paper, which as you sew your fabric pieces together is behind the fabric stabilizing awkward seams and providing a printed stitching line to follow. Usually you will sew with the wrong side of the fabrics touching the un-printed side of the paper, with the printed side of the paper face up as you sew, and the fabrics underneath. It can be awkward to sew this way at first, but many people LOVE using paper piecing to get their points crisp. I would recommend completing one practice block to get warmed up before starting on your actual center block for your Marcelle Medallion.

Here we go! Oh, and you can click on any of these images to enlarge them for a closer look.

You will follow the paper piecing order shown in step 1 under the paper piecing method heading in the pattern. Start with pieces A and B.

Lay piece B wrong side down on the un-printed side of the paper template and check to be sure your fabric covers the entire B1 area a little beyond the dark outline.

Lay piece A right side down on top of piece B, now the right sides of the fabric are touching and the paper is behind them. Folding piece A along the future seam line, and over area A1, test to be sure that piece A will cover the A1 area after you sew the seam. Flip it back in place and carefully flip the whole fabric/paper stack over so that the printed side is up, and sew along the stitching line starting at the solid line and ending at the solid line.

Press the fabrics open and press with a dry iron or a seam roller. With the fabrics held in place flip the paper/fabrics over and trim the block down along the solid outer line using a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.

Now you will piece C/D or E/F, for tutorial purposes I'm sewing C/D here. You will follow the same process of laying down your first fabric, D or F in this case, and then placing the second fabric right sides together, folding on the future seam line to test placement and be sure if the fabric will cover the entire C or E area, folding the fabrics back together and preparing to sew.

Sew the fabrics through the paper just as you did with piece A/B, this time you will have excess fabric to trim. Trim the seam allowances down to 1/4" and then press open as you did before, with a dry iron or seam roller.

Trim the block in the same method as with A/B.

Repeat these steps to piece both C/D and E/F.

Next you will piece G/H or I/J. For the purposes of this tutorial I am piecing I/J. 

Repeat the same method of placing fabric, checking that your pieces will cover the entire corresponding area of the template, sewing, pressing, trimming.

Repeat these steps to piece both G/H and I/J.

paper piecing-2-32.jpg

Now that you have all of the components pieced you are ready to assemble one quarter square block.

Sew F/E to A/B along the B and E edges following the stitching line on the paper. If you want to double check that your seams intersect you can poke a pin through both units front to back, and then carefully peel up the front unit to see where the two blocks match.

Sew G/H to I/J.










Sew the completed G/H/I/J unit to the C/D unit along the I and D edges.

Now you are ready to piece the upper and lower sections of the block and are ready to sew the "sort of" Y seam. I like to think of it as more of a bend in the road seam. Align the two sections as shown, don't worry that at first they will only match along the E and G edges.

Sew the seam that you have aligned, starting at the edge and sewing in towards the center point of the block. Stop sewing with the needle down when you reach the point at which the center points meet, about half-way. Lift the presser foot. Pull the remainder of the upper and lower block together to align the seams, put the presser foot down, and sew the rest of the seam.

Repeat your steps until you have four identical blocks, and then piece them together as shown in the Marcelle Medallion instructions.

You can see above that the block looks a little strange at first, don't worry, it will look a little misshapen until you sew the four quadrants of the star together and remove the paper. 

I hope this sew-along is helpful, and please if you have any questions or want to share a link to your block let me know in the comments!