Sunday, September 2, 2012

Give up and move on!

On Friday I decided to try my hand at paper-piecing.  I had already designed a table runner in EQ7 that I thought would be easy enough.  There are only three blocks and three borders, although each block has about 25 pieces.  

I wanted to enlarge the size of the blocks so that it would be easier to work with and so the fabrics would show, but that became a problem when the scanner/printer decided to take a square block and make it into a rectangle.  I have no idea how I managed to do that, I set the scanner to copy at 150% but it warped the block.  

First I had to figure out what the problem was, and honestly, that took some time.  Then I tried to figure out how to make it work without reprinting all the papers I'd already wasted.  In the end I had to rescan and reprint all of it.  I did get the block reworked and enlarged to a 12 inch block and sat down to sew. 
I chose some pretty fall colors with a plaid that pulled everything together to serve as the center of the block and as one border.  (The colors are washed out in the photos, sorry)  I made a couple of mistakes and had to rip out stitches, but those were silly mistakes that I figured would be easy to avoid as I continued to work.  

Then the disaster happened.  Well, to me it was the last straw, anyway.  I'd sewn in a whole run of pieces, trimmed, pressed and begun on the next run when I realized that one of the pieces was backwards.  Okay, rip it out and reset it.  The next piece was too small and didn't cover the whole area that it needed to cover.  A closer look and I realized that I'd cut all my pieces to small. 

This is what frustration looks like: 

I had precut most of my fabrics, and since I don't like lots of scraps, had to figure out what to do with all that waste.  I didn't deal with on Friday, though.  I tossed the balled up piece of paper with the fabrics still attached into the trash basket, hit the lights and closed the door.

I went back into the studio on Saturday with a new attitude and an idea.  The whole point of making the table runner was so I'd have something to donate to our church fair bingo table this coming weekend.  So with that in mind, I started playing with a tried and true method of piecing a background and appliqueing some flowers.  

The waste from the night before easily became flower petals that I cut on the Studio cutter.  And instead of making several blocks, I decided on a large rectangular background with wide borders on the two end.

The background is actually a peach with more color than here.
After tossing on a few flowers, I tried my hand at cutting some gourds, for a real fall decoration and liked it enough to cut a few more.  

I layered and pinned the table runner down and got busy with the quilting.  I decided to micro-stipple between the appliques so I could practice.  

As I'd get to each applique, I quilted around the outer edge and add a few lines of quilting in the center, then move on.  By Saturday evening I'd completed the table runner and am much happier now that I have something to donate to the fair.  

 Not too bad for a project that had such a bad start, don't you agree?  What do you do when you become overly frustrated?  Would you have kept at it longer than I did or given up before I did?  

If you have some way of handling your frustration, please share.  I let annoyances get to me much too quickly and could use some coaching adjusting my attitude.


Carla said...

Your table runner is lovely. Paper piecing can teach you a whole new language too! I only do it if absolutely necessary. It does create waste!

young by design said...

I like your new and improved table runner. I'm sure the paper pieced one would have been lovely also, but I liked your attitude about walking away and coming back with fresh ideas. Good job!!

jenclair said...

Great recovery! Love the table runner!