houston, we have liftoff!

first and foremost, my fabric came a day early! yay! i took time looking at each individual fat quarter, but here are some of my absolute FAVES! i love love love feathers, and also any shade of blue, so these first two were like christmas come early! i also love the aqua/melon color combination, and the over sized flowers. clearly, i was very pleased with the purchase, and will probably hoard these beauties for awhile, in fear of messing them up/wasting them.

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i’d also like to take a minute to thank the quilting gods for allowing me to find wayne kollinger’s quilting blog. apparently, i had been searching for half square rectangles, instead of half triangle rectangles (newbie problems) but once i finally corrected myself, i happened upon his amazing blog. he actually took the time to provide three different tutorials, so i took the time to try them all!

brian was gone for the evening with a friend. i mentally prepared myself for a night of just practicing. i promised myself i would be open to try new things, not get frustrated or mad, and not expect to finish anything, just to work on technical skills. after all, i obviously just jumped into this hobby assuming i would be good at it and know everything. i was wrong. i needed to work on the basics a little more before i could produce accurate results.

here are my three different attempts.

i liked the first method, because you can choose to make any size rectangle you want. you can also use a full sized quarter inch seam, vs. a scant one…because we all know how much i hate those. it was also just good to learn the facts about half rectangle triangles, that i can apply no matter what method i use. you can’t really tell, but somehow the middle seam points were way off, you can sort of tell on the sides.

method two was my favorite by far. it showed me a new way to use my rec tool (that i bought a long time ago after searching several craft stores for, and never really used it yet). it turned out perfectly, and is probably the most standard size i will be using anyway.

method three was a good technique to learn…not just for this purpose, but for others as well. you can also choose your desired size, which is a plus. however, i don’t like that the freezer paper left a residue on the fabric, and didn’t perforate well out of the seam thread. perhaps i will try it on the wrong side of the fabric vs. the front? it also was the furthest off in size for some reason. maybe i will try it for other paper piecing endeavors.

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i also don’t like how there is wiggle room above and below the triangles, but none on the sides for seam allowance. this will prove difficult when trying to attach them to other pieces. any suggestions?!

next, i started working on a super cool block i found that looked super easy, and would also give me more practice at paper piecing….because i wasn’t ready to give up on it quite yet.

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however, i started using fabric from a fat quarter, and didn’t quite have enough (poor planning on my part) but really all of the sides are made up from the same three squares, so if i could do it once, i could do it all. it turned out ALMOST perfect. which showed me that i am improving, and actually do know how to paper piece if i take my time. my stripes look smaller than the example, but it could just be my imagination.

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and finally, the accomplishment i’m most proud of…even though i didn’t intend on finishing anything worthwhile…it looks as though i did! 🙂

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ok, so it’s not 100% complete…but darn near. there was a pin hole sized gap in one of the seams, and the perfectionist in me will not let that slide. so i need to redo one whole quadrant and then i can put it together. i’m proud of myself for sticking with this. when i made the quilt for my mom, i skipped the paper piecing blocks, because i just couldn’t grasp the concept. i’m thankful for the numerous tutorials i was able to watch and/or read to finally put the pieces together for me (no pun intended haha)!

also, the main problem, is that i was trimming the fabric down as i went. (that’s what the tutorial instructed me to do.) however, i read somewhere else NOT to trim down until the very end. that was super helpful, and made each block the perfect size. you don’t even know how excited i was when i laid out all four pieces, and they were bigger than my 12.5″ block ruler.

this block doesn’t take my breath away, but it is very cheerful and something i can finally say i am proud enough to give to the members of my group. (hopefully they don’t already have this one!) i still have 5 more to go, and can’t wait to see how the other color combos come together. this one makes me think of a peppermint bubble gum swirl. 🙂

i was also able to take the tutorial a step further, and alternate the pink and red triangles in the corners, versus keeping each block the exact same.

baby steps. let me gloat and soak up my few moments of glory.

this block doesn’t take extremely long to make either. for me, i just have to really take my time and make sure i am placing the next piece correctly. the point is, i should still be on track to finish in time. i can get a block done in a night if i am really diligent and careful. last night i was still ripping out seams and ironing as my eyelids started getting heavy, lol. now that’s persistence.

check back in to see the others i make and let me know which is your favorite.

❤ xtina

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