Saturday, March 25, 2017

Whine & Geez!

It is my blog and I am free to express my opinions here...even if it is whining.  So here I go.

Whining - Act I. As you Wish Block (Honey Pot Bee - March)
I do not want to paper-piece. May be someday but not today.

I just got a paper-cut. See (my index finger)

That is a sign that paper-piecing is not conducive to my general well-being
I do not have foundation paper.
The printer does not have ink.

I do not NEED to make this block by paper piecing.
I was confident that I could replicate the block without paper piecing.

Made a rough sketch of the block, dividing into sections and proceeded one section at a time.

Hence proved. This block can be made without paper piecing.

Paul: If the block can be made without paper patching, then what is the benefit of it.
Me: Paper piecing leads to greater accuracy (after you stop sewing things to the wrong side, I am told)
Paul: So your block will not be accurate. Hmmm...
Me: I am fine with a little wonkiness. It will match all the other blocks in my sampler quilt.
Paul: I think your block is wonky because you whined so much.
He is probably right about that.

That brings me to Whining - Act II. The Echo Block (Honey Pot Bee - March)

I did not enjoy this block. The strips are too skinny and they are difficult to keep straight. I had to carefully lift away the fabric in the seam allowance to be able to stitch a straight line.

Honestly, this block should be paper-pieced for neatness and accuracy.

But that ship has sailed.

The conclusion of Whining - Acts I and II.
Both blocks were completed and both are wonky.

On the up side, taxes are filed. Phew!!!
I had set aside a whole weekend for the dreaded annual activity. But it took only one morning (spilling into the midday).  I had made it more of a beast than it really was.

Paul: May be that is what you are doing to paper piecing?
Me: Whatever do you mean?
Paul: You are making it more of a beast than it really is.
Me: Geez, Paul - must you be right all the time?

Ok, fine. The reassurance that I needed came from two sources. Bernie (who was similarly apprehensive) mentioned on her blog that she did it and it wasn't so bad.

I learned from my Craftsy BOM that you do not need foundation paper, but regular copy paper works just fine. You must first perforate the sewing lines with threadless stitching, using a short seam length.

Also, Paul changed the toner in the printer. I was officially out of all excuses.

So, I printed out the star pattern (Thanks Bernie). Here is the saga of my first paper piecing attempt in pictures.

Needled - No thread

Tore away the paper in disgust, after the fabric moved and failed to cover the section completely.

The next time, I managed to complete the block. It was measured and found to be lacking.  AARGH...

The next one.

Not the best outcome!!!

Making the next two.

Almost there.

Papers removed easily :-)

How I wish the seams matched perfectly. But they don't :-(

So the block is complete. It is not perfect. The length of time spent, mistakes made, do-overs and fabric waste should have led to a better block. May be next time.

On the upside, spring is here :-)
The joy of a tax refund (small but joyful) combined with the need to celebrate spring brought me to this lovely fabric line - Somer's Garden and I splurged.

Also on the Connecting Threads site, I noticed these two lovely fat quarter bundles that include fabrics by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.

This is Cool Neighbors and it is 50% off.  20 FQs for less than $15.

And this is Fun Neighbors FQ Bundle. 19 FQs for less than $15. You are welcome.

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties. But I'd love to hear from you.
What did you whine about?  And what spring activity you are looking forward to?

This blogpost contains affiliate links.


  1. I've learned to appreciate paper piecing, there are blocks you can't do any other way. Both of your BOM blocks turned out nicely, it doesn't count what the quilt police say. Your star block turned out very pretty and the seams being off won't be as visiable after it's quilted. One hint for the future, print off an extra copy of the paper pieced block and cut it up for templates. Then all you have to remember is that whatever fabric you are using needs to exceed all four sides by 1/4 inch (though I use 3/8 inch just to give me some wiggle room). I'm doing taxes this weekend. Hopefully mine will go as fast as yours

  2. I feel your pain on paper piecing, although, I did teach a class or two on it. But I have such a hard time figuring out how big fabric pieces need to be for these odd shapes. My suggestion are: Take the Craftsy paper piecing class by Carol Doak -- you can always go back and re-watch the parts about how to plan to fit odd sizes. And, try some really easy blocks first. That star was a difficult one for a beginner. And, I think it looks great! Yea for taxes being done!

  3. Yours has become one of my favorite blogs, in part because of your quilting choices, but also because of the honesty and variety in your writing. Whine on as desired, because it never comes across as negative, just interesting, informative and real. Thank you!

  4. Love your paper-piecing saga. Wish I could help you and show you some tricks in person. One day ;-)

  5. I am not one who enjoys paper piecing either and we makers all deserve some whine time occasionally. But you stuck with it and pushed through to accomplish your goal which counts for everything.

    Practice makes perfect I am told. So keep at it. I am one who probably will never achieve the perfection because I do not enjoy the process. My whine. :)

  6. Paperpiecing, you either love it or hate it. You can buy a product called Sew Easy from Joann's that works like a charm, but you have to trace everything, first. It's my product of choice. I don't mind tracing first. XO

  7. Hi Preeti. You poor girl. I hope your paper cut heals quickly. I have paper pieced for years and still am not in love with it. But I can't make star shapes any other way. I learned how to make flying geese with paper piecing and they always coming out great. I do agree with Kate (#1 post above). If you make a template and cut it all apart and number them in the order that you need to sew them together, you can cut the pieces ahead of time and make them bigger than you need to and wha la! Paper piecing is an acquired talent. It is not easy when it is basically all done backward. I don't think backward, so it took a long time to figure it out. You really don't need to perforate the printer paper either. As long as your stitches are small enough they will tear off fine. Keep trying. And P.S. Tell Paul he doesn't have to be so helpful if it is taking away ALL your reasons for whining!! Geez! LOL.

  8. A little whining never hurt anyone. I think your blocks look great! We're our own worst critics, after all. Very inventive to remake that envelope block. Hope your paper cut heals quickly!

  9. Girl, whine is my middle name! (Not really, it's Evangeline.) But I do seem to whine more than necessary. One of the things what will not make me whine is paper piecing. That's because it makes me cry. I've tried it. Several times. I'm too dyslexic to keep track of how which way, order, the whole bit. I actually sewed seams on backwards a couple of times. No more. It's too confusing for my brain. I think of it like my being a mathetician...something better off left alone. Surely I know someone who will PP for me...I have a math teacher who helps with math stuff.

    You, on the other hand, can definitely get this. Your block looks great for a first try. Lots of commentors had suggestions that will probably help, and you're so smart and tenacious when it comes to figuring out a block. Keep practicing and in no time you'll be paper-piecing blocks with tiny pieces. And that envelope block is the bomb-diggity!

  10. I don't mind the paperpiecing. So no help in getting over your aversion. But I agree with Cindy. I never pre-perforate my paper. I just use a very small stitch and that helps with taking the paper out again later. Your star looks great. And yes, even with paperpiecing the seams don't always match. Have not really figured out why :)

  11. Paper piecing using freezer paper is my preferred method. Whining is fully acceptable, however your blocks look good. Once they are quilted no one will be the wiser.

  12. You are so funny!! You know the more you paper piece, the easier it becomes! Do more may grow on you!! There are lots of times I whine while paper piecing. Usually after I discover my fabric wasn't big enough and especially when I have to rip out the stitches!

  13. I still whine a bit when I paper piece too. But the more I do it, the less I need to whine. I just know I can only PP when I am not tired. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  14. My approach to paper piecing involves using pretty large chunks of fabric and generating lots of waste... Er... Scraps! But no matter which way you made them, I think your blocks turned out great, and your post was a fun one to read!

  15. I'm with you. Anything but paper piecing. Claire aka knitnkwilt

  16. Paper piecing is not my fav either! But your blocks turned out great with our without paper piecing! Great job!

  17. I have absolutely no desire to paper piece-just sayin. This was a laugh- out- loud post for whining 1 and 2! I'm likin the Cool Neighbors! Enjoy your day! mary in Az

  18. I only paper piece when I have to and sometimes you just have to. I think you captured the internal struggle quite well :)

  19. Love your letter. Stick with the paper piecing. I had to laugh as I was reading your post as my first of many attempts were far from perfect and looked nothing like they should have.

  20. Great post! I'm glad you decided to share your adventures (misadventures?) with us. My favourite part of the post was when you said the second block should have been paper pieced. Maybe I should be thankful that I am miles behind in this bee.

  21. Oh Preeti, I am with you on paper piecing, my fabric always moves, and the first two blocks I had to do in one of my sewing bees were paper pieced, groan. Got them back with improv though hehe! We all have our weaknesses.

  22. Your conversations with Paul made me laugh, we have had similar here, right from Alan trying to print off my sheets for previous blocks. I'm with you, I think this block doesn't need paper pieced. I will paper piece it, but will makie it much easier and simpler with fewer bits. I'm also not worrying so much about scale and accuracy. After all, these are for me so a few bits here and there are ok. Its meant to be fun I have decided, stress free. My kisses block has hst not flying geese (I misread, ie didn't read the instructions)

  23. Great redo on that block - congrats! Thanks for sharing how you put it together!

  24. I think your blocks look awesome, wonkiness and all.
    P.S. I have never paper pieced, even if it isn't quite the beast I imagined.

  25. I don't mind paper piecing but would not want to do it all the time. I like to whine about mending --buttons fall off. Pants need to be hemmed. Ugh! Your blocked turned out beautifully. I love wonky!

  26. At least your saga had a happy ending, you got to buy some fabric. Kudos for your perseverance in completing the blocks. They look wonderful.

  27. There is definitely a learning curve to paper piecing - it does get easier after a while. I just hate taking the paper out afterwards!

  28. I paper piece all the time, using printer paper. I don't pre-stitch the paper. Just set your stitch length to really short, and piece like normal, following the lines. Stress makes it harder than it really is. Relax and try to enjoy the process.