Slow down! You’re going to hurt yourself!

I don’t like paper piecing and it doesn’t like me. It takes more fabric, thread and time than “regular” methods. Every now and then I am enticed back to paper piecing by the notion that it is going to be faster than hand piecing and more accurate than machine piecing. Okay, for me the latter is usually true. But, once again I have disproved that paper piecing is faster than hand piecing. At least for the Dear Jane blocks.

I made the block below, C-6 Challenge, about 8 years ago. It’s ugly – I call the color “mud pink.” It has bugged me for the entire 8 years it’s been in my (small) pile of finished DJ blocks. Frankly, I am blaming it for the lull in my DJ work. I was selecting fabrics for future blocks and loving all the pretty pinks I plan on using. That’s when it finally hit me that I should just trash “mud pink” and make a new one. It’s an easy block, after all. That is, unless I decide to paper piece it.

I was trying to squeeze in my new C-6 this morning when I should have been leaving for work. It went something like this: cut, pin, sit, sew, stand, trim, press, cut, sit sew, stand, trim, press…up, down, up, down, up, down… That annoying “Voice” in my head was telling me to stop rushing because something bad was bound to happen. It’s the same one that told me to use the guard on the mandolin right before I sliced my thumb. Right after I told the Voice to just pipe down I trimmed the wrong piece and ruined the whole block. That’s when the Voice told me I was lucky I hadn’t just rotary cut my thumb right off. So that’s it. I will slow down and prep yet another C-6 for some nice relaxing hand piecing. It won’t be in mud pink, either. I might also look into getting out more so I stop talking to myself – particularly since I don’t seem to be listening anyway.

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  1. Mud pink – that describes it perfectly. I am wondering how many projects I have left unfinished because I didn't like the fabric I chose. It's something to consider.

  2. l guess paper piecing has its place, its just undestanding that place!! This is a fairly simple block, and l agree, hand piecing will be quicker. When l have multiple blocks the same to paper piece, such as a pineapple l have been working on, l can get set up and get a rhythm going, and it works for me then. Ironing board at the right height just to your right, cutting board to your left on the bench beside you, and a swivel chair is all important. No ups and downs. Everything you need in arms reach.

  3. Not a big fan of PP either but do it if there is no other way! But strangely love string piecing on paper – no logic there I know!

  4. I prefer hand piecing, even for very small blocks. I've never been drawn to paper piecing. I think it is the "math person" in me – I just see the points on small pieces! Thanks for sharing – now I don't feel alone!!


  5. I have to agree that foundation paper piecing is a lot more time consuming but I do love it for the accuracy especially for tiny pieces! I notice it especially after I've done a number of blocks using normal piecing, but once I get into the rhythmn I find it is ok! I will probably revert to FPP for a number of the DJ blocks I haven't even started yet!!!! I try and never rush in the sewing room, disaster never misses an opportunity to jump on us if we do LOL!!!!

  6. Funny! Paper piecing an me …. Not friends. Things turn out backwards, upside down every which way but right, so in my house it's banned as counterproductive.
    Much prefer calm, good ole fashioned hand piecing.

  7. Regular foundation paper piecing doesn't get along with me, but I have liked the result I get with perforated paper piecing, and I think it is more user friendly.
    So glad I am not the only one that hears voices–and doesn't listen to them! : )

  8. Yeah…..I only like paper piecing for get perfect points on little pieces. Otherwise, I'd much rather hand piece something….so much more relaxing. My shoulders migrate to my ears when I paper piece! lol

  9. I feel your frustrations….especially with paper piecing. Not a big fan either and I do agree that it wastes time and fabric for me.
    I've come to the conclusion that I like 'regular' piecing better 🙂 even if I'm not the most accurate person in the world.

    I rather like your 'mud' pink block.

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