Saturday, June 11, 2011

use it or lose it

Since attending Penny's retreat back in April, I haven't really done much, or should I say any, paper piecing. It's a shame, since I learned some really cool things. It's amazing (and scary) how quickly I forget things. Melinda and I decided that we are going to try to keep up and hopefully expand our skills by making one fancy block a week. Tara, Audrey and Carmen may be joining in from time to time, too.

At the retreat, Penny had us make a sketch of something we wanted to make. She showed us how to number it, then paper piece it. I wanted to make a mini place mat, and I thought a bowl and spoon would be kind of cute.
This block was my first attempt. It turned out ok, but I wanted to remake it and see if I could do it again, without supervision. (Ha!) My goal was to make it less wonky this time. Some of the curves on this piece were intentional, but it was causing some unnecessary work, and more importantly, unnecessary seams.
I used blue Saral transfer paper when I reworked my pattern. I love how it looks like a blueprint! The transfer paper works so well for this. It sure beats tracing on a window. :)

I was working on this block yesterday, and man, oh, man, did I struggle! It was so frustrating! I did a ton of stitch ripping, to the point of my paper almost wore out completely. Thankfully, something clicked eventually and I remembered what I had to do. What a relief!
The second block turned out much, much better. It actually lays flat! I love the vintage floral fabric on the bottom, which came from my Grandma's house. She had a small fabric stash and I'm so happy to have the chance to use some of it. Won't this make a super cute mini mat? I'm excited to do more paper and improv piecing after this success. And before I forget, again! :)

You can see Melinda's fancy block here.

37 comments:

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Your bowl and spoon turned out perfect Amanda!

donna!ee said...

super duper cute :)

susiloci said...

Un bloque perfecto!!!

Mimibeth Photography said...

I kind of like the wonkiness of the first one, but the second is perfect! I can't wait to see more of these blocks!

matate10 said...

I love it! The second one looks 3D.

MissesStitches said...

I like your bowl, and love the improvements you made. I checked out Amanda's blog, too. Keep on paper piecing, girls!

Beth said...

Love your second bowl. Makes me want ice cream. hmmm sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

Suzanne said...

Good job! Pat yourself on the back for persevering through that process. It came out so well.

QuiltinMama said...

What a super cute pattern and using fabric from your Grandma's stash just makes it that much more special!

quirky granola girl said...

i love your wonky bowl. especially the rooster fabric. but the vintage fabric is pretty perfect, too. you are making me think that i need a gorgeous red bowl to eat soup out of...

Brandi said...

That is super fun!

Kim said...

I do like number two better and without the decapitated chicken!

Nice job! Happy sewing

Maria said...

You did a great job of the bowl and spoon block. I would not even attempt it.

AnnieO said...

Really cute! Glad it all worked out in the end.

Wish I had some of my Grandma's fabric--dunno what happened to it--but I have her quilts :)

Regi said...

Very nice!!! I love how it turned out.

Kerry said...

Great impro block! I can see some of that construction is really tricky- the sides of the bowl joining to the background is a very hard bit. The vintage fabric looks perfect.

Miss Pixie said...

This looks fabulous! I love the floral fabric against the red :)

mypatchworkantahkarana said...

Hello .. it from us about color and design I like yours ... is divine .. Kisses

Rene' said...

It turned out great! I love how the choice of fabrics in each block give it a totally different look. I have that rooster fabric in the first block and love it, but I prefer the vintage look of the second block. I admire your patience and determination in mastering a technique...please share some with me ;-)

Why Not Sew? said...

Isn't it something how quickly we forget things? The block did turn out great. I LOVE that piece of vintage fabric from your grandma. What a treasure.

Cathy said...

Love them both. Your bowl and spoon are fantastic. Hugs

angela said...

Very cute! Now you could make a whole set and use your applique skills to fill the bowls with all your favorite treats :)

Love the vintage table cloth you created.

Esch House Quilts said...

Very cute block! I am so impressed that you designed your own paper piecing! I can barely follow someone else's design, let alone make my own :)

Terriaw said...

What a cute block! It's so YOU! I admire your enthusiasm for paper piecing. I have had to do it a few times for my quilting bee, and I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of it. Good for you for keeping up your new skills!

Katherine said...

Brilliant! You certainly haven't lost it. Your paper piecing is so fun and lovely.

Nichole said...

your blocks look great! it's amazing how complex paper piecing can be. i always go into those projects naively optimistic and am quickly reminded why i don't do them very often!

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Perfection! I love it!

sariah said...

Wow! That 2nd block shows real craftsmanship. Good for you for sticking with it.

Annalia said...

It may be wonky, but those chickens are great!

Rachel Hauser said...

Well, I like the first one and the second one. I've never done that kind of paper piecing. So would love to take a class!

sewtakeahike said...

WOW AJ, that's a big improvement! I'm so proud of you for sticking with it and reworking it after you decided to do that. It's so perfect!!

Chris said...

I love the fact that you used some of your Grandma's fabric. She would be very proud. Well done! All the best - Chris

cross stitch kits said...

beautiful work, I like them both actually. I have never done quilt but would love to try it out.

randi said...

i would love to learn to do this! the blocks that can be created are just wonderful!

cute bowl block! :)

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Could not be cuter. Love love bowl. It is something I'd love to make. I'm paper piecing phobic even after taking a class. I know I shouldn't be.

audreypawdrey said...

I love your new bowl! It is so cute, and the vintage fabric is the perfect touch. It would be adorable as a place mat, and it makes me want to try to make bowls.:) I am determined to make a improv pieced block next week when I am back home!

Cathy said...

Do you know the line of fabric the chickens is from. My son has chickens and this would be the perfect thing to sew up for their family. Thanks, your work is always refreshing!