Monday, October 1, 2012

Paper Piecing Fear and Loathing-Aid

 I have, up until yesterday, always hated paper piecing. I have only experienced frustration and have never been successful. I had looked at books, tried different papers, bought videos, but still no success. I think part of the problem was I never found a pattern that was paper pieced that I wanted to do that I couldn't do with regular piecing. I am confident I would still fear and loathe PP except that I found a pattern I wanted to do that couldn't be done the "regular" way.

So, I decided to give it one more shot. One of the biggest problems I had was wasting fabric. There is no way around that, but when the motivation is there, I am willing to let that go. The result of not wanting to waste fabric was that I had problems covering all of the space on the patterns, and I couldn't get over it. I bought a video a while ago. I understood at the time that Carol Doak was a queen of paper piecing and I saw the video at a local quilt store and bought it. I watched it at the time, but since I wasn't convinced that the method was worth the trouble it really didn't cause a change in my attitude.

Yesterday, because of the pattern I found that I wanted to piece, I watched it again. It was very helpful, except for one aspect. I think this video was made to be a companion to a book, so she gives specific instruction about how to make specific blocks. She doesn't tell how to figure out what size piece of fabric to precut, and that is a big part of my problem. I went online and did a bit of research about how to figure out the size necessary and one blogger said to make the pieces 3/4" larger than measured. Because of my problems about covering the foundation I decided to go with it.

The ruler you see in the lower right of the picture above has lines every 1/8th inch. I used that to lay over the parts of the foundation and made them 3/4" larger. The foundation pattern underneath the ruler is a guide provided to piece correctly and I wrote the measurements I came up with on it. With the Singer block that I made I just listed each part and put the measurements on it, but this was a bit easier. Then I decided to go for it and cut the pieces out for the whole block. I then pinned the pieces to the foundation they will be sewn to.

The block I am making today is this one. I really think it's cute and I'm considering making it for our guild auction in a couple of weeks. It's taken me about 2 1/2 hours so far to prep, let's see how long it takes to make.

So if you have given up on paper piecing, or never tried it because it seems too might want to reconsider!

I'll post a picture when I'm done.

DONE! Again it's after dark and the color isn't great, but isn't it fun?

I'll need to figure out how to embroider the words.



Allie said...

I saw that block too, so cute, I love it! I'm almost convinced to give it a try, but she did say the singer block was for "advanced"....nothing like learning to swim in the deep end, lol.

The Twilight Quilters Coven said...

Love the block!

I have a ruler called, Add-Enough, from the company that makes the Add-Quarter, etc. rulers. I've used it and liked it. (I'm usually in too much of a hurry or lazy to use it, though.) It does work.


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