Yes, I just now made up the word in that title there. It means something like "Keep Calm and Curse On." Until I started piecing together the flowers for Quiltmaker's Garden yesterday, I wouldn't have thought it possible to hate paper piecing any more than I already do. Now, I know there's a whole new level of loathing. So here's what I'm doing. There are one large flower and ten small ones left to do.

So, I've marked in hot pink ("hot" for how hot under the collar it made me) the obstacle to success on this project. Below is the extent of instruction given. 

Okay, well that all sounds simple enough until you actually try to do it. It took me three tries to get that seam sewn right so that the flower would lay flat. Here's how it looks. 

And what about that center, you ask? Oh...no problem (snicker)...just sew a button over it. What could possibly go wrong in the washing machine?

Well, I suppose if you never plan on using or washing the quilt, a button would suffice, but honestly... I'm going to applique a little circle over that center. I might still end up sewing a button on, but do they really expect you to leave those raw edges? What's to keep the batting from pulling through that hole? Ridiculous.

As I've been writing this post, I think I see how to finish up the final seam on the flower. (There are still 10 more to go!) I'll have to make freezer paper templates for the first and last piece so that the quarter-inch seam allowance is already measured out. Doing it the traditional paper-piecing way really doesn't work because there's no way to cut the raw edges of pieces 1 and 14 so that they fit together properly. It took me three tries because I was trying to press in the seam line and then trim the seam allowance afterward.

Keep in mind that Quiltmaker, in its wisdom, saved this seemingly impossible section for the fifth of five parts. If this had been the first of five, I would have quit at the beginning. As it is, I've finished practically the entire quilt, and only this small bit stands between me and a finished quilt. Quiltmaker, I will never forgive you for this. If we were married, I'd divorce you...or perhaps murder for hire...

On a brighter note, my starter for the Virtual Group Bake is coming along nicely. After reading some of the comments from other participants last night, I got up out of bed and fed mine again using 50g more of AP flour and 50g of water. When I got up this morning, it looked like this: 

The bubbling action is very encouraging, and so I fed it again this morning with another 50g of AP flour and 50g of water. We'll see how it does in another 12 hours.

When I opened the curtains this morning, it was kind of pretty outside. 

The sun is shining and there is a cloudless sky. I want to be sure and get outside for a walk. Also, the bird feeders need filling. There is a little bit of housework to do today, and I'll continue on with the infuriating flowers. Hopefully, we'll get along better today than yesterday.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

heartsease54 said...

When I first saw this pattern in the magazine I was tempted to save the issues so I could eventually do it. After reading this, I am so happy I changed my mind! I've realized that reading all of the instructions before starting a quilt is a good thing, particularly with certain magazines since there tends to be a mistake or two in either the cutting instructions or fabric needs. Reading carefully is your best protection. I can't wait to see your finished quilt, since I know how much trouble you have run into with the pattern/instructions.

Ray and Jeanne said...

I've never seen a paper piecing pattern that had you sew that last hidden seam. Did the author even make the piece??? The only way I see to sew it is to cut out the paper between the center of piece one and piece fourteen. That would be after sewing 1 and 2 and before sewing 14 and 1. This could easily have been two pieces that were sewn together after piecing. If you don't like the buttons, you could appliqué a circle. I think your new word fits this project!! ~Jeanne

gpc said...

You are a word smith, for sure. What a frustrating pattern -- as Jeanne points out, they could have made it so much simpler if they really loved you. Thank goodness for the comfort of bread.

Sher S. said...

instead of a button I'd probably make a yo-yo to put there and sew it down tight!

Jennifer H. said...

Wow... the author of this pattern didn't try to make that paper piecing doable, did she? What I would do is this:

1. Do the piecing (1-14). Make sure that you leave more than 1/4" seam allowance where 1 and 14 meet.

2. Take a pencil, and extend the "cut line" across the block. The pencil line will be a "fold line".

3. Cut the paper along the cut line ONLY with scissors. Just cut the paper, not the fabric. Don't cut the pencil fold line you just drew.

4. Fold your block, paper on the outside, along the cut/fold line. All your fabric will now be on the inside.

5. Keeping the block folded, pop your seam allowances for 1 and 14 out through the cut. Trim them to 1/4" (or 3/16", if you want to torture yourself by following the directions).

6. Stitch the joining seam right next to the paper. I don't pin much, but I would use either a pin or a wonder clip to hold the folded paper together, just to make sure it doesn't slip. I would also use a dab of glue stick to hold the fabric to the paper in 1 and 14, just to keep it from shifting.

7. Open up your block - it *should* be nice and flat! Press the seam, if you want. Add the corner bits and trim to size.

I hope this makes sense. I can probably take some pictures tomorrow if you want... I don't know if the written explanation of such a visual process could possibly make sense.

Brown Family said...

Their directions were as clear as mud. I hope you get it figured out!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Jen has offered a good solution.

Dana Gaffney said...

I think I would have just appliqued that whole mess since I hate paper piecing. I watched a TED talk about making up new words and your's fits the bill.

Wendy Tuma said...

I don't mind paper piecing, but this one is frustrating for sure! I was going to offer to do them for you until I read further in your blog. Ha! Love your new word; very appropriate! Thank goodness your starter is bubbling away nicely!! Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

Dar said...

I totally agree with your opinions of this whole process. I do think Jens way sounds good. I would definitely add a circle or yoyo on that center, very tightly attached. It will be beautiful when you are finished.

Kate said...

I am so glad I resisted the temptation to make that project! It was such a gorgeous quilt. You should get an award for finishing it! I'd try to find a way to make that block in two halves as someone else suggested. Hopefully it did go better yesterday.

canuckquilter said...

Frustrating! Can you sew all the patches on, cut through the paper on the cut line, fold the paper and the patch 14 side of the block out of the way, then trim patch 1 a 1/4" away from the cut edge of the paper? Then repeat with the patch 1 side folded out of the way to trim patch 14 a 1/4" away from the cut paper on that side? You could then sew the edges of 1 and 14 with a 1/4" seam allowance and hope it lies flat? Good luck!

quiltzyx said...

What a nasty pp pattern. Shame on Quiltmaker!
Go starter go, bubble away!

Celtic Thistle said...

How frustrating Barbara, I would have expected much better from that magazine!

I think your new word is just perfect for the occasion :)