Monday, April 7, 2008

Paper Piecing Success

Today I focused on getting the Civil War Diaries blocks for the week finished because I want to switch to other things the rest of the week. My sewing room has baskets stuffed with fabric on almost every surface - fabric designated for the quilt of each era of Eileen's classes. I need to be able to move them all out for awhile so I can focus on other things. This affects the Diaries blocks as much of the fabric for them is being "temporarily borrowed" from the baskets. I had only four blocks to complete, as I'd already made the other blocks that Juliann chose. Here are my blocks:

Awful Tragedy

Single Thrashing


Forgotten the Word Defeat

These blocks are going together so much faster than they were thanks to a bit of help I've received from Carol Doak. If you aren't familiar with Carol then let me introduce you. Carol is the leading expert in the art of paper piecing.
How many of you believe like I did - that you don't need instruction in paper piecing because you understand how it works and do just fine on your own? I know that's what I've always thought. And I've always rather disliked paper piecing - not because of the time required to pull off the paper, but because I seemed to have to redo every third or fourth seam because I'd placed the fabric on the paper incorrectly.

Carol visited our guild two or three years ago, and a couple of my friends took her class. They said it made all the difference in the world when it came to their success with paper piecing. I wasn't convinced. However, when I started having the same old troubles with the paper pieced Civil War Diaries blocks I began to wonder whether taking a look at her method might be a good idea. The paper pieced blocks were taking me hours to do, and I was getting more and more frustrated. So I ordered Carol's book and CD online, and got some of her foundation paper to use in place of printer paper. I read the book and watched the DVD as soon as they got here. What a difference! I can't believe how much easier this is going for me. I should have done this a long, long time ago! And the paper rips so very easily! I can honestly say that I am now enjoying paper piecing. Really, really enjoying it! I never would have believed it!

And now I'm really ready to tackle those intricate Salinda Rupp "Nearly Insane" blocks! As soon as I clear out a basket so I can start choosing fabrics for that quilt.


Lily Boot said...

okey-dokey - I've already bought the paper, and now I've just bought the book and dvd on ebay - for a song! So as soon as it arrives I'll let you know how I've fared! Thanks Patti! :-)

canquilt said...

Your blocks are all such great fabrics. You are all caught up now on the CW. You are also not far away on the DJ either. Good job.

Ayala Levinger said...

thank you for your recommendation. I saw the video once and was thinking about adding this book to my collection and now you say I should.. thanks!
I have posted in my blog a photo of the paper piecing block (just one..) I have made so far and I would like to learn more about this method.
thanks again

McIrish Annie said...

You are hip deep in the civil war blocks! I can't believe you are working not only on the Civil War Diaries but DJ too! and taking your classes. You will be the expert I turn to if I have any questions about CW repro fabric. Glad you are enjoying it. and Carol Doak is definitely the way to go. She is the Master of PPing.