Getting the hang of it

/ Friday, 15 January 2010 /
I volunteered to make a pink block for a quilt that will be auctioned for a breast cancer awareness auction in October.  The call was put out by Dana on Flickr.  I thought it would be a good chance to practice the paper piecing skills that I'm trying to sharpen up. After making Jessica's 9 1/2" block, I was ready to try a bigger one: this one is 12 1/2". It's called Divided Star and the original pattern by Marcia Hohn is here. Please forgive the quality of the photo - I had to arm-wrestle my daughter for a spot on the bathroom counter where the light was best - it's so overcast today there was no hope of an outside shot.

I think I'm getting the hang of paper piecing. Things I like: awesome, really skinny points and sharp corners that look good and match up well,and , also, the intricacy that a paper-pieced block allows. But I still struggle with knowing how big to cut the fabric to make sure it will fit once it's sewn and flipped. I seem to have a zero-sum approach - either the piece is too small, or it's so big that I end up cutting away twice the amount that I actually needed. Either way, it seems to be a shockingly profligate way of block assembly.

You may think I have some chutzpah signing this up for Sew-n-Tell Friday, since that's supposed to be for finishes, and how can one measly block qualify as a finish? But this is a finish since I'll be sending it in as is, but also because it took hours to do! Every little step I take in paper piecing seems like a huge accomplishment to me!

23 comments:

{ ktquilts } on: 15 January 2010 at 13:18 said...

That is a finish, and it is beautiful!!! Paper piecing gets easier. I'd say you've a good start!

Many blessings,
KT

{ Lara } on: 15 January 2010 at 13:22 said...

Very pretty Lesly! I must get onto my block this weekend... oh if only there was more hours in the day :)

{ Monica } on: 15 January 2010 at 13:43 said...

Looks great to me!

Measuring gets easier with practice. I wish I could explain here in just words but its much easier if you have a visual to go along with the explanation.

If you can get ahold of a Carol Doak book, she explains how to measure and cut your pieces.

{ Mag } on: 15 January 2010 at 14:05 said...

it is pretty... i love all the fabric put together...

{ wishes, true and kind } on: 15 January 2010 at 14:21 said...

This is a fabulous block!

{ allyn } on: 15 January 2010 at 16:40 said...

i love the nice precise corners and points, too. maybe i should look into the paper piecing thing.

{ Karen } on: 15 January 2010 at 16:48 said...

Your block looks great. Paper piecing does give great points. Paper piecing isn't second nature to me either so I understand just what it means to you to have completed it. Congratulations.

{ Nicole } on: 15 January 2010 at 17:01 said...

I love it! Your points match up perfectly - so jealous. :)

{ pinksuedeshoe } on: 15 January 2010 at 17:24 said...

Wow, those colors are fantastic, and I am totally jealous of your straight seams and sharp points! Beautiful.

{ Rach } on: 15 January 2010 at 17:38 said...

So cute! Thank block is just adorable! Now I want to make them, too! :)

{ Deborah } on: 15 January 2010 at 17:51 said...

Lovely!

{ Vals Quilting } on: 15 January 2010 at 19:40 said...

awesome colours...I going to be making a quilt here shortly with those exact colours for my niece and boy they are sure beautiful together
Valerie
http://www.pastimesonline.ca/vals-quilting/

{ Valerie Moss } on: 15 January 2010 at 19:40 said...

awesome colours...I going to be making a quilt here shortly with those exact colours for my niece and boy they are sure beautiful together
Valerie
http://www.pastimesonline.ca/vals-quilting/

{ Sew It UP! } on: 15 January 2010 at 19:46 said...

That looks great! I have been wanting to try this technique for a while. Any suggestions on a starter block?

Thanks!

{ Jackie } on: 15 January 2010 at 20:38 said...

Paper piecing is one of my favorite techniques!! You are so right about the sharp points and the ability to do more intricate patterns. I love your block. You did a fantastic job.

{ Pokey } on: 15 January 2010 at 22:58 said...

Wow, Lesly! your points and seams are perfect! I have enjoyed the few paper pieced items I've done. Yours looks wonderful.

{ Rene' } on: 16 January 2010 at 09:20 said...

Lesly, your block is beautiful!!! Definitely qualifies as a finish. Your paper piecing looks perfect. Can't believe this is something you are just learning. It still terrifies me. Do you have any suggestions for a great general paper piecing pattern or book? I really like the fabrics you chose for your block and the organization you are making it for. How ironic that both our Sew and Tell Fridays involve breast cancer awareness blocks. I did not mention in my post (because my mom sometimes pops by unannounced) but I originally made the blocks for my mom when she was going through chemo. I wasn't sure how she would react to receiving such a quilt during her treatment. I'm hoping she will be fine with receiving this for Valentine's Day...five years after her treatment...and scaled down some from "screaming" pink ribbon. Sorry for the long comment. Enjoy your weekend.

{ Thelma } on: 16 January 2010 at 18:36 said...

I think you've got the hang of paper piecing!! Beautiful block, you did a great job. The only paper piecing project I worked on came with templates for cutting the fabric the correct size, maybe you could try that next time.

{ amylouwho } on: 17 January 2010 at 01:12 said...

I really like this block and it TOTALLY counts as a finish! I may do something like this for my quilting bee this year. Thanks for sharing!

{ Leslie } on: 17 January 2010 at 11:59 said...

this counts and it it amazing!!! so intricate and beautiful. i love the colors and the fabrics and it is going to such a great cause too...great finish.

{ Rene' } on: 18 January 2010 at 17:27 said...

PS, I nominated you for an award on my blog.

{ Cheryl Arkison } on: 20 January 2010 at 23:33 said...

I love paper piecing! Just think of those extra pieces you cut off as opportunity scraps!

{ Heather } on: 21 January 2010 at 23:56 said...

Gorgeous block! You did a fabulous job! You made me laugh, too, because I'm exactly the same way with paper piecing/measuring. Gotta love the end result, though! ;o)

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