Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The eagle has landed

I got a nice start on my eagle block at Tangled Threads last night. I stitched down his head and also stitched the yellow stripes onto the red shield. Joseph took two LONG naps today, so I finished the block by the time he woke this afternoon. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It was a challenge because I had to cut the eagle in four parts in order to fussy cut the fabric so it gave the illusion of changing light on feathers. Everything had to be sewn "just so" in order for the shield to touch just where it was supposed to on the wings and tail. This made it pretty bulky in the center - several layers deep in the shield stripes. If I want to hand quilt them it'll have to be a stab stitch!

Tomorrow I'll get back to my Civil War and Dear Jane blocks. I have some catching up to do!

1. Warmer weather and bits of sunshine
2. Blooming dogwoods
3. A nice evening with our kids
4. New flavors of coffee creamer

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A new block

I needed some handwork for Joseph's nap times today, and since I don't have a hand quilting project ready I took my appliqué. I've not worked on blocks for the Mid-Century Album Quilt for quite awhile, so it was a refreshing change to work on one of those blocks today. You may remember that I trimmed the last block I made incorrectly, so it had to go into the orphan drawer. That soured me on this quilt for awhile.

This dove is a finished 8" block. I completed all the appliqué while Joseph napped - except for two leaves. I did those when I got home. I'm happy with how it turned out. I have one more block prepped - an eagle - that I can take to Tangled Threads tonight to work on. Looks like I'd better spend Thursday prepping some handwork. Wonder what I can do while Joseph naps tomorrow?

Monday, April 28, 2008

My blog reading is under control

At least for the time being! A month ago I had several thousand posts to read according to Bloglines. I had my blogs divided into the following folders:
  • Must Reads
  • Want to Reads
  • Read When I Have Time
  • Craft Blogs
  • Designers Blogs
  • Others

I was subscribed to over 340 blogs. I was spending way too much time at the computer that should have been spent sewing. I was caught up on the "must reads" but that was it.

I've slowly been working my way through the mess - skimming blogs to determine whether or not they still were of interest to me. Reading the posts on the ones that were. Deleting blogs that were not. Moving blogs into the "must reads" folder if I decided to keep them. Deleting all the folders except for "Must Read" - which I've renamed "Quilting and Craft Blogs" - and "Designers' Blogs".

Tonight I finished working through the entire list. I am now subscribed to 254 feeds - still way too many if everyone posted daily - thank goodness that isn't the case. I'm hoping to keep up with these from now on. If I can't I'll need to do more weeding out. I hate to do that, but have decided I must get my priorities in order. Sewing time is more important than computer time!

Now I just have to convince myself that exercise time is more important than both of the above. I'm working on that. At least in my mind . . . .

A first time for everything

Sure I lose things. I lose things all the time because I put them away and can't remember where I put them. However, these are little things. Usually things that aren't that important in the long run. Certainly not finished quilt tops. I know just where those are. When I was doing my sewing room reorganization I moved them all from the shelves upstairs down to my sewing room closet. Each one is hung carefully on its own hanger waiting for its turn to be quilted.

However, I have apparently done the unthinkable. I've lost a quilt top. I can't figure out how that could have happened! Granted, it is a small quilt top. Very small in fact. Probably about 16" x 20". It's one I finished last fall when I was making a push to finish quilt tops. I remember putting it with the finished tops. So where is it? It isn't hanging in the sewing room closet. I've been through those tops four times and it just isn't there. I went through the batting jammed onto the shelves upstairs where the tops used to be and it isn't there either. I've gone through all the drawers in my sewing room - no luck. All I can figure out is that it may be folded inside a small piece of batting upstairs, and now looks like just another little piece of left over batting. I'm going to check that next.

I really wanted to find this, because it is perfect for my next hand quilting project because it's so small. I wanted something that I could finish quickly. I guess I'm out of luck. At least until it turns up - long after I've finished looking for it!

Congratulations Diane!

Diane from Persnickety is the winner of the Klutz glove. As soon as I hear from you, Diane, I'll get the glove off to you in the mail.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This and that and the other

Saturday several of us bloggers were privileged to attend a gathering at Cher's. The group included Holly, Dot, Michelle and me. Both Dot and Michelle have already written about the great time we had, so I'll just add my two cents. Cher was a marvelous hostess, keeping us supplied with coffee and tea and providing a great lunch as well as a tour of both her sewing and her fabric rooms. Show and tell was marvelous, with both Cher and Dot sharing marvelous quilts of all sizes. We got to see the fun sampler that Holly is currently binding, and I brought a few things to share as well. The time went way too quickly, and I'm sure we will get together again before too many months have passed. From left to right in the picture - Cher, Dot, Michelle, and me. Unfortunately Holly had to leave early so she wasn't there when Cher's sweetie returned home and was pressed into service as photographer.

I worked on my hand quilting both Friday evening at guild sew frenzy and yesterday at Cher's gathering. Today I finished it while watching the Mariners lose - once again - and then Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It's not been that long since I had my own Harry Potter marathon, but Fred is having one now so I joined him so I could keep quilting. This is a very old UFO - pieced in 1991 as a class sample to advertise a class I was teaching at Daisy Kingdom in Portland, Oregon. I started hand quilting the white squares a few years later, but put it away after I'd done four or five. Last year I started hand quilting again, first finishing my Fireworks quilt and then going back to this one. I decided immediately that once I finished quilting the flowers - if that's what they are - I would put this on the longarm to finish it. I'm going to load it tomorrow morning, and hopefully will finish the quilting tomorrow also. I've not finished a UFO since sometime in March, and I'm creeping much too close to the top of the queens list for the Stashbusters UFO challenge. My goal is to have this one done by the end of the week. Don't know what I'll do with it then other than add it to the stack of finished quilts!
Today I also made two Civil War blocks. I've not worked on them for a couple weeks and was really feeling the urge to get back to them. I've decided to make both quilts now that my friend Kathie has gifted me with a few more Abe Lincolns, so I think I'll focus on finishing the blocks in the first book before moving on to more blocks in the Love Letters book. Here are Conscript Law and Merchantable Goods. Notice the green fabric with pink roses in the second block - the same fabric Rosemary Youngs used in her block. This is an OLD fabric - I know just when it came out because I used it's companion print in a Daisy Kingdom sample in 1991. I have a yard, and this is the first time I've used it! It was so much fun to be making these blocks again!

Many of you asked about the seam guide I use on my featherweight. I'm not sure where I learned about this marvelous gadget - either online or in a magazine - but I think it's worth it's weight in gold. It's designed particularly for the featherweight. It has replaced my "wall" of masking tape and little post-it notes that I've used for years and years. It is available from The Buggy Barn - here is a link to the correct page on their website. If you piece on a featherweight then you really need this little gadget!

Friday, April 25, 2008


I'm very happy to report that my precious little baby - my featherweight - is now home. Once again she is sewing a beautiful seam and purring just like a kitten. She is cleaned, polished, and oiled. The tension assembly was taken apart and whatever was wrong there was fixed. The bobbin case also had it's tension tweaked. This is the best stitch I've ever seen her make with the finer thread - right now I'm using Alex Anderson's Masterpiece. I'll have to try the Aurifil again. Now that she is well again she may decide she likes it too. I hope so - I have several cones!

Megan has asked us to post a picture of all our Civil War blocks together. I hope to get that done in the next couple days - as well as catch up with last week's blocks. Plus catch up with my Dear Jane. Now that the medallion is a finished flimsy I can return to other projects.

Presents from bloggy friends

This past week I received several nice packages in the mail, including two presents from bloggy friends across the globe. These are extra special as they were handmade with me in mind. These are from two very special ladies who mean a great deal to me as they have enriched my life in so many ways.

The first is one of Darlene's pincushions. Many people around the world have received these from Darlene - she is such a kind, generous loving soul! She promised me something for my newly redecorated sewing room, which I promptly forgot all about. So this was pretty much out of the blue. Thank you so much Darlene - I just love it! It will be so much fun to use this, as I'll be reminded of your friendship each time I see it.

The second was made for me by Lily and came all the way around the world from Australia. A short time ago Lily offered a prize to the first two people who left a comment on her post. I was the second person to comment - it helps to live in the pacific coast timezone! The handwork on this little lady is positively exquisite. She is Lily's own design I believe, and her name is Marta. I was glad she survived her long trip around the world; she was so happy to be released from her wrappings so she could breathe again. She will have a place of honor in my spring decorations - as soon as I figure out where that is!

1. Retirement!
2. Children and grandchildren
3. A wonderful husband

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stuff - and a little giveaway

I took my medallion to class yesterday afternoon to show Eileen. She made a great suggestion for the quilting that I'll be able to do very easily on my longarm. As soon as she mentioned it I remembered reading about it in the last lesson we received. It's a bit tricky to describe so I won't try - but now that I know what to do I'm going to load the quilt onto the machine as soon as I get fabric for the backing. I'm really excited to get it finished.

Some of you may remember that I've cut my left index finger twice with a rotary cutter, the first time so bad I needed stitches. I got myself a "Klutz" glove to protest that hand. It was too big, so yesterday I picked up a smaller on. This leaves me with a "medium" glove that I don't need. If anyone out in blogland would like this glove leave me a comment and I'll send it to you. If there are more than one of you who'd like it I'll draw names. I'd like to send it out by the beginning of next week, so if you are interested leave me a comment right away.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A finished top

I'm happy to report that the medallion quilt is now a finished flimsy - 101" square. It took me at least a day longer than I'd hoped - but it's done. I've put the remaining pre-1830's fabrics into the cabinet so I have two empty baskets for the next class. The last border consists of period correct chintz. We received it in our packet at the last class - we had about 10 to choose from and I felt this one enhanced the colors and fabrics of my quilt the best. The first pictures shows the final border of stars before they were sewn together and attached. You may also notice that I decided to move that outside gold pointed star to the other side of the quilt to spread out the gold even further, and I'm glad I did. There isn't any floor in this house big enough to spread this out for a full picture, so I settled for a picture of a quarter of the quilt so I could show the border. I really love how this turned out!
I thought I could get back to Civil War blocks next but I'm afraid they will have to wait. My featherweight has started making bad noises and breaking thread- I really babied it along through these last two borders. I took it apart for oiling and cleaning but that didn't do the trick. So she is going to have to go to the doctor as soon as I have a chance to take her. It will be like leaving one of my children - I hate to have her out of the house and not with me!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Much better!

I moved around a few of the hourglass blocks and it made all the difference. I think this looks so much better, and I don't think I need to move anything else. I'm really glad I took the time to do this. I know I would have been bothered by the other every time I looked at the quilt. Doing so wasn't all that bad, actually. Though it would have been much easier if I'd done it when things first started to bother me - about three borders ago.

All my fabrics for this quilt were in a terrible jumble on my cutting table since I cut out nearly 30 stars without refolding anything. So I took the time to straighten up, refold, and set aside lights that I've not yet used for star backgrounds. Now I'm all set for making the last nine stars - after I fix something for us to eat. It's going to be easy so I can get back to sewing - hot dogs and canned soup. I'm blessed to have a husband who doesn't mind such things for dinner!

Three-quarters there

Today I couldn't resist sewing stars on three sides of the medallion. I have two more star blocks made, but one of them is just not acceptable color wise. It's been relegated to the orphan drawer. That means I have nine more stars to make before I can finish this round. After this round is the final chintz border. This is a BIG quilt. With the star border it measures 85" square. The final chintz border is to be another 8" wide - thus the finished flimsy will measure 101" square. This is fitting to the era also - beds were tall in the late 1700's and early 1800's. Many bedrooms were equipped with a small step stool to help one climb into their bed. Many early medallion quilts were much larger than this - 120" square or more.

Seems like the more I try to spread that bright gold fabric around the quilt the more I find myself sticking it again and again in the same place. I'm going to need to take out that one gold star and put it into the border still to be constructed. That still leaves a bunch of gold in one spot near the center, but I don't think I want to start ripping out that far into the quilt. Every time I look at it I find it bothering me, however, so I just might have to do that.

In the back of my mind I'm trying to figure out how to quilt this monster. Since sewing machines weren't invented in this era the only authentic way to finish it is by hand. I don't think I'm prepared to do that however. Most quilts of this era were also quilted in straight lines or a diagonal grid. Both of those would be very difficult to do with a longarm. I believe clam shell quilting was done in this era, but I don't have a clam shell template for my longarm. Baptist fans were not yet done on quilts - they weren't done until the Civil War or later. So until I can solve the question of quilting this it will go into the closet with my other finished flimsies.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I spent Wednesday making stars, and then made a few more yesterday after babysitting Joseph. I'm cutting them out a few at a time and then sewing them - easier on my back than standing to cut them out all at once. Besides, I don't have enough table space for that many stars. I've just slapped them up on the design board - they aren't sewn together and aren't in their final arrangement either. I'm going to make a few extra so I can pick and choose. I'm not sure I like the star with the bright lime green star points- even though Eileen OK'd all of my fabrics the green stands out more than anything else in the entire quilt. So that block may be added to the orphan drawer. These stars are fun to make and go very quickly. I'm really motivated to finish this flimsy because I'm not going to allow myself to do any more Civil War Diary or Dear Jane blocks until I finish this monster!


1. Spring blooms everywhere! Newest are the azaleas, crabapple, cherry and apple trees.
2. Time spent with Joseph
3. A planned trip to see Jeremy, Chelsea and Sophie tomorrow
4. New fun flavors of coffee creamer
5. Starbucks' almond twists

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Moving on to the next round - finally!

Thanks for the suggestions everyone - I really appreciated them! I finally went with the first - and easiest choice - the dark brown. It was the easiest because I had plenty of yardage. Using anything else would have meant either lots of piecing or more shopping and I really didn't want to do either of those things. When all is said and done I'm sure I'll like this choice just fine.

So . . . today I finished the corners of of the checkerboard and mountain border and sewed on the stopper border. Since this border wasn't one of Eileen's choices I'm now moving into uncharted territory. At least the math changes on the next border were easy! I moved my big board long enough to hang the whole thing on the design wall in the sewing room so I can see it every day - and thus - hopefully - be motivated to make the necessary 36 stars quickly for this last pieced border. As you can see two are finished, and I'm cutting out a bunch more. They sew up really quickly thank goodness. I work on two at a time, using each as the leader-ender for the other. My goal is to have this border finished by the middle of next weekend. Then all that will be left is an 8 1/2" wide plain chintz border. Hopefully I can have another finished flimsy by the end of next weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2008

More decisions

Thanks to everyone who gave me input on my medallion. I'm still trying to come to a decision. I've decided I do need the "stopper" border in between the stars and the mountains - but what fabric should I use? I tried a few more and eliminated some of them easily. Here is my thinking process.

First I repositioned the stars so only 2" of the brown fabric shows. That gave me a better idea of what it would look like sewn together.

Next I tried a slightly lighter brown fabric. OK, but really no better than the other.

I tried a considerably lighter fabric - one with a neat curving feather stripe. Oh no - I don't like this at all!

Finally I tried the blue stripe. I didn't try it sooner because I have less than half a yard - not nearly enough. My friend Kathie found a place I can get more online so I cut strips to see how it would look. Hmmm . . . I like it, but I'm not sure I like it better than the brown.

I could try the blue stripe with brown corners like the border in the center - but first I would have to hunt for that brown floral. It has escaped from my baskets and found it's way back to my shelves - somewhere. Not sure I want to spend time right now hunting for it.

So this is the burning question . . . do you like the blue stripe enough better than the brown one that I should go to the trouble of ordering two yards - so I don't have to piece it - online and waiting for it to come? I'm not at all sure I like it that much better.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Decisions, decisions

I spent most of the weekend working on the medallion. The checkerboard and mountains border was finished easily by lunchtime on Saturday. Then I spent the rest of Saturday and part of today trying to decide on cornerstones.

I didn't like the look of a large plain square at all.

I thought I'd like a diagonally placed four patch, but didn't like the way that looked either.

I tried a square in a square block next but that wasn't right.

Next came a double four patch. That was better - I liked the way it "finished" the checkerboard border. But I didn't like how it led my eye off into the corner.

What if I replaced the one four patch with a triangle square? Nope - don't like that.

How about one four patch and three plain squares? I think this is the best so far. It might work.

My final try was to cut more triangles and finish the outside mountains so they looked like the rest of the mountains. I had considered this idea a couple times earlier but discarded the thought without trying it. I didn't think I'd like that much light fabric in each corner. Wouldn't you know it - I like this one the best. Once I had it in place I realized it perfectly echoed the first border around the center.

Finally! I made the decision by mid afternoon today. Now on to border number six.

I decided on variable stars for the sixth border. I made five of them and set them into place on the design wall to see how I like them.

Hmmm . . . I like the stars . . . but now are there too many light fabrics next to each other where border five and border six meet? Maybe. So I tried adding a "Plain Jane" border like the one I added after round two. Hmmm . . . I'm not sure if this is an improvement. Maybe this fabric is too dark for this narrow border. Maybe I should try a medium tone for the Plain Jane? I haven't had time to cut that one yet to try out, so I don't know how that would look. I'll have to try that tomorrow. If I go for the Plain Jane I have five stars I can't use as the stars will need to be 8 1/2" finished instead of 8" finished.

Decisions, decisions . . . sometimes it's so hard. So I'm going to sleep on it and look at it again in the morning. I invite your ideas also if you would like to join in my decision making.

In the meantime I made another Dear Jane block - C-3 - Rayelle's Fence - so I could stay caught up with the group. This one was really easy. I just sewed two small strata, cut them into strips and sewed the strips together.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Civil War Diaries blocks for the upcoming week

Kathie has asked me to choose the blocks for this coming week. I can't remember whether or not our "Diaries" week starts on Sunday or Monday so I figured if I posted the list tonight it would work for either. I'm going to choose easier, faster blocks as I know some of the participants are trying to catch up. You should be able to do all of these without paper piecing.

These are all from the Civil War Diary Quilt book:

Conscript Law - p. 17
Merchantable Goods - p. 61
Hateful Old Thieves - p. 103
Sad and Lonely Days - p. 119
Love Letter - p. 149
Knitting and Reading - p. 153
Bombardment - p. 161

If you have done any of the above already - or prefer to do some from each book - here are a few easier blocks from the Civil War Love Letter Quilt book:

Skirmishing, Cannon Firing and Uproar - p. 27
Benefits of the Sick and Wounded - p. 61
Back Home - p. 65
Treat from Home - p. 105
The Monitor - p. 115
False Graves - p. 117
Camp Conditions - p. 157

Friday, April 11, 2008

Update on the medallion

I was perusing the giant 3-ring binder of lessons for the medallion quilt and discovered that there is another 8" border between the border I'm doing now and the final chintz border. Looks like I won't be done with this top tomorrow after all. That's OK - I think the 8" variable stars that I felt weren't appropriate for this border will be fine for the next one. The 4" centers will allow me to feature a bunch more of the beautiful prints in the baskets. And I love to make variable stars. Since I need to do another border it's a good thing it's one I'll really enjoy doing!

Checkerboards and Mountains

That's what Eileen calls the border that I chose for the next round of my medallion. I thought the checkerboards nicely echoed the squares surrounding the center, and the mountains were paired with the checkerboards in her instructions. I like them and probably would have chosen them even if they hadn't been included because the triangle shapes echo those in the flying geese border. I have sewn all the checkerboards together but the mountains are just placed onto the design wall. I will sew them tomorrow - right now I'm heading upstairs to watch the Mariners beat - I say that very hopefully - the Angels. My Mariners haven't done very well so far this year - hopefully they can start doing better now that they are back home.

It was really fun to work with all these fabrics again today. They are so different from what most of us think of as 1800's fabrics. So much brighter, more colorful and exuberant than the fabrics from the 1840's on. I never would have identified most of these as reproductions, but have Eileen's expert assurance that everything I've placed in my pre-1830's basket is representative of that era. I used this as a great excuse for shopping - especially loading up on any fabric with "Sturbridge Village" in the title as Eileen told us that entire line was authentic reproductions. So of course I have enough fabric in the basket for at least three or four more pre-1830's quilts!

After the mountains are sewn together and sewn to the checkerboards I will have only a couple more steps left. Cornerstone blocks for this round must be chosen and constructed. Then the outer chintz border strips sewn on. Doesn't sound like all that much - maybe I can finish tomorrow. Sunday for sure!

Back to working on UFO's

I had a marvelous time with Joseph yesterday - and came home tired with lots of aching muscles. It's been over 30 years since I spent all day keeping up with a little one! Crawling around on the floor with him was great fun - he is such a happy, contented little guy - but sure didn't do my sore knees and shoulder any good LOL! I loaded up with Tylenol PM last night and slept a good 9+ hours. It's a good thing I'm doing this only twice a week. Should help me get into shape. He is in the process of adjusting to his parents going back to work, and nap times seem to be suffering the most. His morning nap was all of 15 minutes instead of the usual 1-2 hours, and was taken under great protest. His afternoon nap didn't start until 2:30, and was also protested violently. So he was still sound asleep when his daddy got back home at 3:30 all ready to play. Hopefully by the time I'm there next Tuesday that will be all worked out.
Today I've designated as pre-1830's medallion day. This was the first class I took with Eileen Trestain. I kept up well for the first several classes and then life intruded. I've done nothing on the project since October 2006. There are only a couple borders left, and the last one is just fabric strips, so I hope to have a finished top in the next few days. As it's now too big for the design wall in my sewing room - the bottom of which is blocked by my ironing board - I'm finally having a chance to test the gift I received from my hubby last Christmas. This is Cheryl Ann's portable design wall - what a great invention! I had to set it up in the living room in order to have space to step back to look at my progress, and the living room is at the opposite end of the house from my sewing room. Oh well, I can really use the exercise LOL!

1. Sunshine and warmth today
2. Grape hyacinths blooming all over the yard
3. Red and yellow tulips opening to the warmth of the sun
4. The smell of freshly brewed coffee
5. Happy grandchildren

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Caught up with the Baby Janes

I'm very happy to report that I've completed a total of 11 Dear Jane blocks and am now caught up with the Baby Jane's group. From now on it will be two blocks a week - hopefully very manageable. Just in time, as tomorrow I start taking care of Joseph two days a week. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity but it will cut into my quilting time. I'm going to us his nap times to do handwork on UFO's - tomorrow it will be hand quilting.
Uncle Homer

Dad's Plaids

Bachelor Buttons

Mirror Image

Chris's Soccer Field

Jason's Jacks

Rose of Sharing

Simple Simon

So, what's going to be next? I believe I'm going to focus on getting my pre-1830's medallion to the finished flimsy stage. I need to put those two baskets of fabrics back on the shelf so I can have them available to hold the fabrics for my Salinda Rupp quilt.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Two more blocks completed - Jane's Tears and Field of Dreams

I'm finding the Dear Jane blocks to be just as addicting as the Civil War Diaries blocks, but there the resemblance ends. These are smaller and include a significant amount of applique, and so far they are less complicated. I know they will get more complicated - I've looked ahead in the book - but in a very different way from the blocks I've been making. I think the two projects compliment each other nicely. I wonder if I'll still be saying that a few weeks from now. As you can see on my sidebar, I'm doing this quilt with the Baby Jane group. Once I've finished eight more I'll be caught up with them, and I'll start progressing sedately doing two blocks each week. Should leave me plenty of time for UFO's and starting the Salinda Rupp quilt. Theoretically anyway LOL!

Four Corner Press

My first Dear Jane block. B-13, also called Four Corner Press. Fast and fun to make. And one of the very easiest LOL! I'm picking fabrics as close to the original as I can. This is going to be a lot of fun - and a huge challenge. I hope I'm up to it!

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.