Sunday, July 09, 2006

Is it better on paper?

I have started a new quilt. This is one I have been planning to make for quite a while. I have made bedquilts for my niece and for four of my five nephews, so it's about time that the youngest one gets his.
The original pattern is from an old copy of Quiltmaker, but I have changed it a bit, and found a fabric collection with sand, sea and sky that I think will work well as background for the colourful kites, some flying in the air and some waiting in the sand before they are launched - the impression I want to give is a fun day at the beach. The kites are supposed to be made with foundation piecing, and I made loads of copies of the paper foundations, got my fabrics out and got started. I have been wondering these past few days, though, if this paper piecing thing really is such a good idea...
I have done some earlier, but I can't remember having had so much trouble with it. The kites have angular pieces of different sizes, and it was quite a challenge remembering to place the fabric pieces in the opposite direction of where they were supposed to go when they were flipped over, and invariably I'd find that the piece of fabric I had used was just short of covering the whole area it was supposed to. It is no coincidence that my seam ripper is in the middle of the picture :-D
To make matters worse the bacground fabrics are directional, and I certainly don't want to have vertical clouds or waves, so there was a challenge... Luckily I remembered that I'd seen an article in an old issue of Quilter's Newsletter about paper piecing with directional fabrics and how to get it right, and I was able to find it and put it to good use. It took some time getting the hang of it, but I'm getting there...
What I find though, is that I have to cut the fabric in larger pieces than I would if I were piecing in the traditional way, and I end up with loads of offcuts that will really swell up my scrap bag. I think my puritan mind is having a slight reaction to all this waste, so I'm not too sure if this is the technique for me. Still, I am getting better at it, and that might serve me well in future projects - if I ever want to paper piece again, that is!

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