Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lessons Learned While Paper Piecing, Part Two

If you missed Part One (which I didn't realize would be part one at the time), you can find it here.

I debated two issues, when approaching my January block for the Lucky Stars Block of the Month. First, could I artfully include all of my Liberty fabrics, even though I had two, or even three colour ways? I hemmed and hawed, consulted others, and ultimately decided to go for it.  Second, should I use the cutting guides provided, or take my usual approach of only trimming as I went? For my 12.5" block, I ended up cutting my fabric using templates (see part one). It ended up being time consuming, but I didn't waste very much fabric at all.
I so enjoyed making my first block and using my Liberty that I wanted to keep going! I decided that I'd make a 12.5" and a 6.5" block per month. I sketched out a quilt layout that would incorporate the 24 blocks (plus sashing) and chose fabric for my little January block. Since my big block didn't use any of the brown colourway of the Liberty, I pushed myself to mix some of these prints with the blues and reds.  I admit it: I really struggled with my fabric selection.

I'm not convinced my fabric choices work together. The larger floral print I used includes both red and peach, which I hoped would pull the other three fabrics together.  What do you think of the result? Be honest now!

I used the cutting guides that Elizabeth provided for the smaller block. I figured I could handle a little wastage, since I would be using less fabric overall.
I learned two things from this experience. One: I simple hate wasting fabric! See all those little pieces up there? They are too small to be repurposed. Too small for hexies even! If I'd used the cutting guide for the larger block, the wasted fabric pieces would have been big enough to use for hexies or I could have sewn strips together and made a strip quilt, but these cuts are far too little. So annoying!  Two: using the cutting guides made piecing SO. MUCH. FASTER. I whipped this block up in record time. 

You see my dilemma right? There is no win/win. Either I go for efficiency and waste fabric, or I am a fabric Scrooge and double the time each block takes. 

I leave you with my two completed blocks. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE LIBERTY OF LONDON?


  1. Use your scraps to make a ticker tape quilt - I can use as small as a 1cm x 2cm piece so I THROW NOTHING away!!!

  2. I think sewists must do a lot of hemming. Hawing, however, is quite another matter!

  3. ohhhh I hate having little scrappy wastes like that too and paper piecing always has little scraps. I love your blocks though =D Now I'm off to google ticker tape quilt :)

  4. Lisa, The Bay had some quite nice Liberty shirts and dresses last spring...not too expensive. I bought 2 shirts and I NEVER buy clothes.