I consider myself pretty adept at most techniques of traditional quilt making. Paper piecing, however, has always been a huge stumbling block. Every time I tried to paper piece a block, I thought that paper-piecing addicts must be a crazy bunch. Why would anyone put themselves through this? My ability to place and then sew and then flip a piece of fabric and have it end up where it should, despite cutting it almost twice the size necessary, always ended in frustration.
I have been forced though to confront my lack of paper piecing ability. I am starting (again) on a Dear Jane quilt – this time as b.o.m. through Stitchin’ Heaven (their instructions are absolutely wonderful). Also, my youngest son has asked for MoonGlow by Jinny Beyer, as a grad present in a couple year’s time, how could I say no?
I have been a past member of the The Quilt Show and receive their email newsletters. When I saw that Carol Doak – “the queen of paper piecing” – was a guest on an episode, I had to renew my membership. I am trying to cut down on quilting expenses this year, but I felt that the annual membership was less than the cost of some quilt classes, and as I don’t attend any of those, then, here’s my class!
I watched a wonderful demonstration by Carol, and I think finally the lightbulb moment has come. I attempted, successfully and without many arrggghhh moments, a paper pieced Dear Jane block.
Then I had to face my first Dear Jane triangle – paper pieced. Oh my. An hour later, voila! Yes, it took me that long….because I was doing a lot of talking to myself, and I did make a few errors.
So I proudly and happily carried my little block over to the cutting mat to square it up using my DJ triangle ruler that had been sitting unused for a few years. Acckkk! Why is my triangle so small? What on earth have I done? It turns out that the foundation paper I printed from my CD was the wrong size triangle. Ohhhhh…I wish you could have seen me after that discovery!
This morning, I’m starting again – on the correct size triangle – and I think I’ll have it done in about a half hour – pretty good progress!