Paper Piecing- What is It?
Hello, my Unity Lovelies. Today’s challenge is focused on my FAVORITE technique of all times, paper piecing! What is paper piecing? Paper piecing is a method of filling in the spaces of a stamp with paper instead of a traditional coloring medium like pencils, markers, or watercolors. However, those mediums can be paired with paper piecing if you want to kick up the level of depth. If that was not a perfect explanation, this Unity Quick Tip by Echo Noble on how to paper piece may help! The video had tips I had not even thought of before.
While many familiar with Unity Stamps recognize paper piecing as a technique that goes great with Angie Girls and other “people-y” stamps, it is not merely for playing paper dolls. Check out some of my non-Angie Girl samples for some inspiration.
I would not say paper piecing is for every image, though certain critters made by Unity totally do work with the technique. The Swagger kit by Lisa Arana has a very basic, chubby bird that just is crying out to be cut out of subtle patterned paper. I think his fat tushie goes perfectly with this witty sentiment called Nice Butt by Angie Blom.
*Tip: When paper piecing an animal, use a subtle print or one that does not distract from the features of the animal. If the paper is too busy or bold, you can lose the sense of the animal.
Florals are a fabulous form to paper piece. Gracielle’s big bold florals, like Be Unstoppable, are great for this technique. I chose a stripe and polka dot for the papers, and while I liked the color and pattern, when I put them together initially, they lacked depth. So, to add a little illusion of depth to the flat paper, I shaded around some of the images to give shadows and highlights.
*Tip: Make sure your pattern is aligned with your image. The stripe pattern works with the tulip because it is vertical. Imagine what it would have looked like horizontal! A horizontal stripe would have disrupted the flow. Think about radial/random patterned paper when paper piecing round images.
Angie Girl Inspiration
Finally, my all-time favorite images to paper piece are Angie Girls!!! I love the complexity of their outfits, their style, their amazing hair! Angie Girls are what got me into Unity Stamps and then paper piecing. When I first started stamping about 3 years ago, I didn’t have a lot of mediums for coloring. I had a pack of Prismacolor pencils and some crazy cheap watercolors. However, I did have a lot of paper that I had been collecting from die-cut cardmaking. I found that paper piecing gave me a lot of freedom to “color” the clothes in a way that looked professional, even though my skills and mediums were not yet top-notch. I fussy cut my way to making some really cool cards with basic supplies!
The first sample is Clara Girl. She is in my top 5 Angie Girls** ever to paper piece because of all the elements. I got to choose papers for her slippers, pajama pants, shirt, and laptop! I also think she might be the only Angie girl that is sitting. Her little fly-aways remind me of me on a Saturday morning, grading papers.
*Tip: Color your image on the background before you glue your image. You don’t have to be too “fussy” with the grounding coloring either. Check out this process picture!
Last, but not least, was my favorite paper piecing project of the set. Hello, Sunshine Girl is a recent acquisition to my stamp collection, and I just love her summer vibes! I gave her a chartreuse glow to match her polka dot dress!
*Tip: Layer your paper piecing to create additional visual interest. For example, the pocket on the purse, collar, and belt were all cut and pieced on top of their main image.
Paper Piecing Challenge Instructions:
1. Paper Piece a Project- Remember, piecing is not just for Angie Girls and clothes, although they are a great deal of fun. Step outside your comfort zone and try piecing a new type of Unity Stamp Company image.
2. Post Your Project– Make sure to share your work to the most recent Paper Piecing Challenge Album on the Unity Show and Tell. The album will be live for one week.
3. Encourage Others and Be Inspired– While you are posting your own entry, make sure to check out other amazing pieces and encourage your fellow crafter! You folks inspire me all the time to keep upping my game, and I feel so great when you comment kind things on my posts. Do that for others in our community.