I can't believe what I did!

loisflanJanuary 26, 2014

I just let out a howl that was probably heard all over the condo complex. I spent about two hours paper-piecing a very intricate 11 piece section of my Birds of Paradise wall hanging, and then I trimmed the section on the seam line instead of allowing the 1/4 inch seam allowance - all with no alcohol involved. The good thing is that the section was small, so I didn't lose a lot of fabric. The bad thing is that I have to rip all the stitching so I can reuse the pattern.

Now I'm going to have that wine. Arrrrgh!

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Lois...we've all been there and have done a no brainer...the howling and wine will provide some temporary relief. ... All will be well!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Oh, Gosh! I hate that when it happens!!! And YES, I've done it as well!

Step away from the project, drink, whine, and go back to it tomorrow when you're fresh!

And please share a picture of your project so we can all commiserate with justifiable emotion.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:31PM
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Oh, Lois... I feel your pain. Every time I try to paper piece, I do that! So frustrating.

A break helps tremendously... but be careful with that wine! The last time I mixed sewing and Sangria, I had to take the machine in for repair... that glass cost me 90 bucks!

Sorry it happened, Lois... maybe play with sea turtles for a while instead :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:40PM
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I so feel your pain. I have to make extra copies of my patterns cause you can only reuse them up to 4 times.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 10:23PM
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Here it is so far. The section I had to re-do is the part from the "ladder" leaf on the right to the right edge. I wish I could discover a method to make sure I position the fabric correctly. I end up ripping about every four or five pieces. I'm always trying to use a piece of fabric that is "just big enough." I'm so averse to wasting fabric that I waste time instead - rip and reposition. Oh, well, I'm on vacation.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:32PM
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Can't wait to see it all put together!!

Unfortunately, the easiest answer is that you can't 'scrimp' when it comes to fabric pieces. A little extra waste makes the process so much easier!! Cut those pieces just a little bigger! It's okay!

Now, another option is to cut a template of each pattern piece and use that as a guideline for cutting fabric. If you make the pattern from freezer paper, you can iron it to your fabric (stack multiple layers if you can) and then cut generously around it (3/8"-1/2") to give you wiggle room.

There are just some projects that 'waste' fabric. It's all part of the design process.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:35AM
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what's the expression, "penny wise, pound foolish"? i, too, try and use every scrap of fabric, and sometimes cause problems. feel free to whine as long as necessary. the good thing is, it is a lot like childbirth. the memory of the pain fades as you enjoy the results of the effort.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:41AM
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I feel your pain! We have all been there but that doesn't make it any better unfortunately.
Rather then ripping everything out couldn't you just trace the pattern or copy it on you printer??
I like the comparison of Childbirth and paper pc. It sound right to me.lol

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:04PM
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Lois, it looks beautiful and I'm eager to see it done! But OMG I so totally understand your cry of woe. I love paper piecing but I always make a few copies of the page I'm using because just when I think I've got it right, I sew a piece on upside down or cut the seams too tight. Of course, I never see it until the piece is done.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:56PM
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I suspect everybody who has ever sewn has cut on the seam-line. The aggravation usually does a good job of reminding one to take care next time :)

I don't know if it's any help, but I lay out *all* the pieces in place on dressmaker's tracing material. Some folks use flannel and if you make a 'quilting wall', flannel is great, but I started with material and just stayed with that because it's lightweight - and I already had it on hand. I taped 2 cardboard tubes (empty from gift paper) end-to-end making the tube about 7 ft long, and then taped one end of the tracing material to that; everything is rolled up when I'm not actually working on the project.

I lay out the quilt to be sure the colors are balanced overall, but a side benefit is that all the pieces are in the right place... forgetting to cut mirror-images shows up right away.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:20PM
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I've only ever done one small paper piecing project, but I can relate, because what you did is exactly the type of thing I would do! I hope you get it worked out without too much more stress.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 6:11PM
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So sorry! Things like that can ruin a fun work time.
I do agree though. It's going to be wonderful when it's completed.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions and commiseration. The next section went much better. I've taken your advice and cut larger pieces. I had to rip only one seam on an 18 piece section and that was for a pucker, not a size issue.

I think paper-piecing, like most things, gets easier the more often you do it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 1:23PM
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I think paper piecing is like learning a foreign language. It starts out making no sense at all, but after awhile it just happens and you can't remember what the problem was.

Your block is gorgeous!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:58PM
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The hardest part of this wallhanging is getting the black frame going the same direction. I made the mistake of buying a directional fabric. As if paper-piecing isn't hard enough, try keeping the fabric pattern going the same direction. That is what I would really like to master. Just when I think I've gotten it figured out... rip, rip.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Well, Lois. I'd agree that a directional fabric would be a paper piecer's nightmare! I really like batiks or hand dyes for pp for the ease of it not having a wrong side!! Makes life so much easier!!

Sure would love to see your progress!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:28PM
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