Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Re-learning Paper Piecing ... Again

I decided I wanted to be a part of the paper pieced block of the month at Quiet Play since it has a cute sewing theme.  Also, since Kristy revealed all the blocks for 2013 at the outset, I knew what was coming and could decide if I was interested enough to participate.  That is one of the drawbacks of mystery BOMs.  I have so many quilts I want to do, I am hesitant to commit my time to something I might just be lukewarm about. The first block was titled "Measure Twice" (and assumes you "Cut Once") and here is her sample with the cute little tape measure inching its way up to the right. I was excited to practice  and re-learn my paper piecing and also create a little something for my sewing room. 

I say re-learning paper piecing because I have had a class (or two) and watched tutorials and done it successfully several times.  Yet I do it so seldomly that every time I try, I feel like I am starting all over again!  Today was no exception.  I put my first two fabric pieces face to face on the back side of my printed paper and stitched my first seam.  It took me close to 45 minutes to convince myself that doing so was the correct first step.  By contrast, it took me less than 10 seconds to sew the inch and a half long seam.  OK, now I have a fuzzy memory that the next step after sewing the seam is to fold the paper back and trim to a non-critical seam allowance. Since the size of the seam allowance does not matter, a quick snip of the scissors is perfectly adequate. Still I am pretty weird about the hidden parts of my quilts and so I whip out my Add-a-Quarter ruler designed for the task so that my never-to-be-seen seam allowances can all be 1/4 inch.  Amazingly enough I knew just where my specialty ruler was.  That was not a hurdle.

I smoothed my just-begun block out on the cutting mat and concentrated very hard on placing that Add-a-Quarter ruler just so.  One quick swipe of the rotary cutter – zip! So intent was I on that one stroke that I ran that rotary cutter right over my left index finger.  No I did not slip with the cutter.  I just stupidly had placed my finger hanging over the edge of the ruler in the path of the cutter.  Didn't hurt but, gosh darn the blood kept flowing. I sucked on my finger. I applied pressure. I wiped. I sucked more. The only intelligent thing I did NOT do was go get a Band-Aid.  I wanted to get the next piece of fabric added.  So I alternately sucked, squeezed, wiped, and sewed.  It is unfortunate that when guiding the fabric under the pressure of my sewing machine, the finger I use the most is ... you guessed it ... my left index finger.  I have learned another unsung benefit of paper piecing.  Since you sew on the wrong side where the paper is, the little Dracula-enticing drops of blood go on the paper and not the block!  Despite the obstacle of this minor medical emergency here is my block.

I did fussy cut the uppermost animal print fabric and tried to align the tape measure tip along the striped fabric I used.  The black stripe at the very edge of the tip did not fall quite where I wanted it to and was slightly off from being at right angles, so I do not think it shows up as well as it could.  It was the first seam, whose trimming shall live in infamy. The markings for the tape measure are not on there yet so maybe, when I make those markings on the yellow mini-check, I will widen the black stripes of the tip of the tape measure so they are more defined and at a more of a right angle.  This block may have been cut only once, but that cut was a doozy. I am using this for my WIP post this week since technically it is not quite complete.  Hopefully I will put the markings on the yellow tape measure tomorrow and meet my January 31 deadline for the And Sew On... BOM.  Then I will post its picture to

Completed projects:  
  1. None
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Color Play of the Day quilt -  got it assembled this week, awaiting backing
  2. Doll quilt - awaiting binding
  3. Grinch quilt - on design wall for assembly and creative sashing solution
  4. Christmas stuffed ornaments
  5. Scarecrow
New projects:  
  1. This paper pieced block
Stats since last WIP post 1/23/13:
     Completed  projects - 0
     New projects - 1 
     Currently in progress - 5

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. I haven't left a comment in awhile so I thought that I would...although, I really have nothing to comment about! Sounds like you're staying super busy with all of your sewing projects, though!

  2. Ah paper piecing! I am doing some of that for my latest project (Christmas Traditions) as well. That is a really adorable and clever-looking BOM, but I will admit the complexity of some of the later blocks kind of gives me the Hives. I love the theme, and can't wait to see what else you do with it!

    Also, I have to comment on the fun "oxymoron" that is grey fabric with the names of many exciting colors on it. Just a thought...