Saturday, August 06, 2011

The making of a paper-piecer (rribbett)

Wednesday night Colin and I finally finished up his project. Well... I suppose it still needs to be made into something... maybe a mini wall hanging or a pocket on a covered notebook or something. Colin said it is fine "as is" but I'm supposing that what he really means is,

"I've had enough of sewing now Auntie Tani, thank you anyway. I'm going back to my computer games."

I will put the finishing touches on this before his creation gets lost (already becoming hidden under paper piles!)

So... Auntie Tani bulldozed Colin into a patchwork project. To be precise a PAPER-PIECING patchwork project.

"Colin, I really want to show you how to make something. But it is REALLY, REALLY hard! I mean REALLY! You've got to get your head working opposite from normal. A lot of experienced quilters can't even do it! But I think YOU can. You're smart. You're creative. (He likes to find things on the Internet and make them... twisted balloon animals, Popsicle stick rubber band guns.) But I need a commitment from you otherwise it is going to be a waste of fabric and both of our time. What do you think? Are you willing to see this through to the end?"

You can see that I am a hard bargaining aunt. I don't make the project sound too appealing do I? But Colin gallantly decided that a few days on the sewing machine with Auntie Tani might make her happy, and I'm the only Aunt he's got.

I pulled out some fabrics I'd picked up at the quilt show. And I handed Colin a paper piecing paper I'd downloaded from Linda Hibbert's website.

"Here we go. THIS is what we are going to make. Now... You know how to use a roller cutter and a sewing machine. Now you're going to have to learn the steps to paper-piecing. Position the fabric, check that you paper is really on top of it all, fold the paper back, sew on the line, fold the paper away, roller cut 1/ inch from the paper. Repeat!"

We were really doing tiny, itsy-bitsy work. If I had been smarter I would have printed the pattern out larger. Live and Learn. But after a couple hundred repeats Colin was getting the hang of it and though I supervised and gave verbal instructions, HE did the work!!!

Throughout the three days, Grandma would sit on the sofa and every few minutes comment,

"I am so impressed with Colin. He really is proficient on that sewing machine. Colin, where did you learn to use a sewing machine? You are so good. What have you made before?"

"In Home Ec, Grandma. I made an apron in class."

The above conversation was repeated so many times throughout the three days that I lost count. I kept giving Colin little shoulder rubs to let him know how proud I was of him patiently answering Grandma's same questions over and over and over again. What a great kid!

It took two days to get the "puzzle" pieces made and we showed them off, challenging family members to guess what Colin was making.

Pin, sew, finger press, iron, add another piece.

The whole family sat around at the end watching the puzzle get put together. AND



A really difficult frog!!! Linda's patterns are not easy!!! It took three days but Colin finished it! He did an absolutely fantastic job! RRibbitt!!!!!

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