Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bee Blocks and Paper Piecing



I'd fallen a little behind with my Bee blocks and decided I just wasn't going to start Christmas gifts until I caught up. First I made April's block (from October). I absolutely love this block (you can find the tutorial at Six White Horses here). Now I need to let you know I'm not a big fan of paper piecing (I thought about naming this post something like "Paper Piecing: My Mortal Enemy" or "Paper Piecing: A Necessary Evil." I do love paper piecing results though, and I love this block. I'll definitely be making one for me...maybe just one for a pillow, though!



I also need to show my first run at the block...you see I forgot that the star points were surrounded by background fabric and just kept using the cute prints April sent. When I got to this point I realized something was wrong...and started over. But this block is kind of cute, too...wonder what I can do with it?


April asked us to add something in, so I added some aquas including my favorite Denyse Schmidt print!



When I work on paper piecing I always keep a small cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter right next to my machine so I can trim as I go.


I also can't imagine doing paper piecing without these two tools. The green tool is the "Add an eighth" ruler (they also make an  "add a quarter" ruler). I prefer the 1/8" ruler because it eliminates most all of the bulkiness from your paper piecing. There is a little ledge on the ruler which allows you to trim your paper piecing seams leaving just a small seam allowance.


I also love this Clover pressing tool for my paper piecing. It allows you to do a good press without having to use an iron. It really comes in handy.



While I was paper piecing I decided to make Emily's November block as well...a paper pieced Dresden. Emily sent several pieces of fabric from one color family to all Bee participants. We were asked to use every print she sent and add in a few of our own. I found out that I really don't have very many pale yellows in my stash--in fact I was just able to add in a couple from one of the Sweetwater collections.

Just wondering if there is anyone out ther who absolutely loves paper piecing...and if so...is there some secret to it?

One more question...I really, really  want to buy a quilt ladder but will need to find a place that ships as I can't find any locally. Has anyone ordered a quilt ladder on-line that you're super happy with?

Well...it's on to the Christmas gifts now!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

19 comments:

Sue Bone said...

I really love foundation piecing. I chose a foundation pieced block for me Bee month and didn't realise it would upset the ladies who hate the technique. However they conquered their fear and are well on their way to liking the technique.

Kate said...

I've never done any paper piecing, and wouldn't know where to start, but your blocks are divine!

heartsease54 said...

I love paper piecing too, it's just so precise. I also love applique and straight on piecing. My problem is too many projects and not enough time to do them. Unfortunately my husband thinks I should cook, do laundry & clean house too :(.

Anita said...

I love paper piecing but don't really cut down strips, I do it a little scrappy or with bigger hunks hanging over. I think it takes some of the stress out of it not being long enough to fit over the paper. I also use this really cool roller to "iron" my pieces down, similar to the little tool you have but the roller is really good. PS - I totally want a quilt ladder too and am thinking of checking out old beat up ladders for a "vintagey look". Please post your findings :)

Carol said...

I always have a difficult time with paper piecing...something about having to think backwards or something...I get so darn confused. You did a great job. I'll be watching to see what you find out about the quilt ladders...I've wanted one for a long time.

Edna said...

Seus trabalhos são maravilhosos.
Sou seguidora do blog e fico emcantada com tantos trabalhos lindos.

suemac said...

I too like the results of paper piecing but don't necessarily like the process.

trish said...

Your blocks look fabulous! I have never seen the tool that is used rather than ironing between each piece of fabric. Genius! I ironed.
I have been on a continuous hunt for a quilt rack to hang on a wall as well as one that stands ... with no luck. I will keep my eyes open for the ladder.
I have one paper piece pattern that I love, but it is something very tedious and I plan to take all my tiny pieces of fabric and make a pillow using it.

Vicky said...

try this site for your ladder. I have ordered several items from him (no ladder yet) and am very pleased with quality, price, and customer service :) http://robinsonswoodcrafts.com/

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I love paper piecing because it allows me to make blocks I'm too scared to try any other way! But you really have to do more than one block to get in the groove and be efficient with it.

Lori said...

I love paper piecing. I think it grows on you. I also think the "not so correct" block would be a great start if you put 4 together.

Helen L said...

I love your block and the way you put to colors together. And paper piecing is great!! You just have to do it enough times to get the hang of it. It sure makes me end up with more accurate blocks! :-P

Bari Jo said...

Hi there! I, too, have been looking for a quilt ladder! If you get one, will you share the info? If I find one, I'll let you know, too! Your blocks are amazing! I have only tried a few paper piecing blocks for Farmer's Wife - had to get Carol Doak's DVD to teach me how - it was helpful. I am not a pro at it though!

•stephanie• said...

the worst part of paper piecing is removing the paper. yuck! but such pretty pretty blocks!

Patti said...

Hi Sherri, Please what is that pressing tool really called because I can't find it anywhere. I've even looked on Clover's website. And I love paper piecing.

Jeanenne Nielsen said...

I have trouble with paper piecing also.

Donna said...

Love the look of your paper pieced star, BUT...too much fussin' when I wanna see a finish line of a project. I'll enjoy seeing your PP pics instead.

Mama Pea said...

I love paper piecing, mostly because of the results it gives. But I don't mind it anyway. I have never ordered a quilt ladder. I think it would be great to have one. I love them. Good luck finding one! My husband would probably make me one. I need to get on that.

Anna said...

I love paper piecing. Just finished a whole sea life quilt using paper piecing. It makes the tiniest pieces so manageable and it's so precise. My OCD brain likes that part the most.

I tend to cut fabric a lot bigger than necessary which saves a lot of unpicking and cursing. It does waste quite a bit of fabric though, so I've started a tiny scrap bag that I'm hoping will eventually fill a dog bed.