Thursday, December 27, 2018

Paper Pieced Christmas Gift

Paper piecing is one of my favourite techniques, but I don't do it as often as I would like. It feels like a special treat to set aside time to work on a paper pieced project. I gave this treat to myself with a pattern I purchased from Paper Panache. Linda Worland is a master designer and I have been sewing her wonderful Paper Panache patterns for about as long as I have been blogging, which is 13 years!!


I decided to make Linda's Sisyphus pattern for a special friend for Christmas. Do you know the story of Sisyphus? There are different versions of what this greek myth means, but what it represents to me is...
whatever your job/life/situation is, you must continue to be persistent, try your hardest even when the situation is meaningless or hopeless, never give up, and be thankful for the journey/challenge/opportunity. It's all about effort and mindfulness, not accomplishment.

I was thinking about this the whole time I was sewing Sisyphus because this project was a real challenge! These pieces are very small. Look at the size of them compared to the sewing machine foot. Some of the pieces are so small that a number can't even fit in the space!
There are so many things to think about when paper piecing, with the odd reverse angles, and trimming the excess fabrics without cutting the pattern. I had all the components pieced and took them to the cutting mat to trim the edges and accidentally put down 2 pieces at the same time, trimming the top unit correctly and then having a fit when I saw the smaller one hiding underneath.
I'm telling you, I just couldn't believe it! The way that the 2nd unit was accidentally cut meant that there was no seam allowance on one side. The irony of wrecking this project just when I was ready to sew the whole thing together was not lost on me! 
I am the quilty version of Sisyphus!
I had to "go back down the hill" and think long and hard about how to roll the rock up the hill again. 
wrong one on the left - new version on the right
There must be a way fix that unit. Maybe add a blue strip on the edge? No that separated the body from the legs!
After trying a couple of ideas, I decided it was not reparable and I had to reprint the pattern and make a whole new section C. But I was running short on the background blue fabric and had to add in another dark blue, which wasn't too big of a challenge for a scrappy quilter.
And since I had to redo the whole unit, Sisyphus also got a wardrobe change after I decided that the first plaid did not have enough contrast with the blue background.

I did a little bit of machine quilting that you probably can't see in the photos. "Sisyphus" is quilted in the blue area, and "Never give up" in the brown area. I didn't pre-draw the design, just free motion quilted whatever came to my mind and filled in the spaces with straight, curved, or wavy lines.
Here is the completed mini quilt. It finished at about 10" square. The binding is made from 2 plaids since there was not enough of either one to go all the way around. The wonky plaid binding makes it appear as if the quilt edges are not straight, which at first was really annoying me. But now I think that's par for the course with Sisyphus. What a struggle it was... as if the creative process had to mimic the myth! 

18 comments:

  1. Amazing! I love paper piecing as well but I would find this one a challenge as there are some tiny pieces. Good work, Kathy.

    Christine from Ontario

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  2. Your persistence paid off...you got that rock up the hill and made a wonderful gift for your friend.

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  3. I've made a mistake similar to that when paper piecing, and it is so frustrating. I will try to figure out a way around it too, so that I don't have to make another copy and start over, but sometimes you just have to start again. What a fun story this little quilt will have though!

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  4. Wow! That is a great block and reminder to keep on keepin' on!

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  5. great block worth all the trouble.

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  6. Your paper piecing looks fantastic!

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  7. Wow! Way to persevere! Just like the image in your mini!
    Xoxo

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  8. I love all the different blues in the background Kathy. That rock fabric is just perfect as well. Good story to go with the picture.

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  9. Never Give Up, and you didn't! I'm sure I would have given up at the first hurdle. Great little mini for your friend

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  10. I'd not heard of this before. I can sympathize with the errors while paper piecing. I had to re-make parts of blocks while making the Peter Pan quilt for my granddaughter.

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  11. Gosh! You've earned your wings with this piece. I'm not a fan of paper piecing but pp little bits too small to have their number on them is ... well, crazy. It makes for an awesome picture when done though! Congratulations on persevering with this project and bringing it to term regardless of the many challenges along the way. Oh btw, in the last picture, I could read it: Never give up. Just awesome! ;^)

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  12. Aw man! I feel your pain! But it does make a great story. :D

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  13. Wow, I am impressed! I feel stressed just looking at this block. Congratulations.

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  14. great job - I struggle with paper piecing, but hope to improve in 2019.
    Fun little quilt.

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  15. What a tortured path to such a great project.

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing this project - I know exactly who I'll make it for....You did it! You stuck with it and ended up blessing me immensely today! Thank you!

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  17. Wow! I have only done paper piecing once and it was quite a brain teaser. Your project is amazing! I like how you bound it too.

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