Sunday, March 28, 2010

Preparation for Upcoming Projects

I know I haven't been posting in a few days, but that doesn't mean I haven't worked on projects. But most of what I have done has been research on upcoming stuff. And, I created a page here on ALL of my current UFOs. If you want a sneak peek at upcoming projects, you can read about them, how they got started and when and why they were abandoned. So this weekend, I searched my favorite quilting board/forum for ideas to finish my Winter Sampler Quilt. I started on the Block of the Month threads and scanned, and clicked on links, and scrolled, until I came up with several blocks I really liked that fit with the style of blocks already completed. The only problem is that two of the ones I really liked....were paper pieced.

I've never paper pieced before. Heard about it, seen how beautiful the quilts are, and how perfect the points are, which is why paper piecing is preferred for some block styles, but have no clue how to go about doing it. I have an aunt who quilts, and I know she has entered some of her pp quilts in shows before, and they are beautiful. So, I sent her an e-mail to figure out if she had any suggestions. Then I googled paper piecing. And found some great videos that helped me understand the process. Which is a Whole Lot simpler than I thought. ( I thought you cut out each paper piece, sewed the paper to the fabric, then somehow reattached the paper pieces, and the foundation of the paper was what made the points so perfect, and allowed you to use scraps regardless of where the bias was.)

In case you've never paper pieced before, it's so Easy! Print or trace your design onto paper (preferably paper designed to dissolve or remove easily) or interfacing. Start by making sure the pieces you choose are large enough to cover the selected area on the pattern, first piece right side up on the back of the printed side of paper. (BTW, the image should be reversed when you trace it, which it will be if you get it from a pattern book or online, but if you make it yourself, which you can, reverse it to trace) The #2 piece is place right-side together with the first piece, with the bulk of the material going away from where it's supposed to end up, since you will be ironing it over to the correct area. (If you're interested in learning how to pp, PLEASE don't use these instructions! Use this video, or one like it).

So, I needed to resize one of the patterns, which also turned out to be easier than expected. Then , I realized I needed to practice so I didn't mess up my beautifully resized pattern. I used the original 4 inch pattern and some of my scraps and created this:
I like it! It was so easy! Okay, I know you can't really tell what the pattern was supposed to be, since I didn't do such a hot job with planning the color arrangement (red, white, and blue does not a rose make). But for the 12 x 12 inch blocks when the only fabric colors are blue snowflakes and snowmen, it should be fantastic! Once I squared up all those rough and crazy edges, it's a nice block. Don't know what use I'll find for a 4 inch 4th of July block. I guess that means I'll be making another quilt at some point. Maybe a year quilt, 4 inch roses for each month. It's an idea....

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