Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wait. What?

The issue that is before me is like trying to figure out the difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow. That might be easy for some of us. However, I am not sure where yesterday ends and today begins. Sometimes it as simple as the clock moving from 11:59 to midnight. Or it is the span of time between going to bed and waking up. Some great rule maker made it up and we all follow it every night and day and cannot and will not change it.

What I am really working with is reading this paper piecing pattern. It is just as baffling.

First of all its a Jinny Beyer pattern. I have yet to figure out her brilliant mind when it comes to her patterns & struggle with them every time I try to make one. You can see her work on http://www.jinnybeyer.com/blog/ Thing is, I love her work.

I made copies for all 72 foundation templates for the paper pieced blocks, and numbered or labeled them according to their layout. When I looked at it again, I realized I was not clear on which colors go where. Oh, sure I know where the black goes. Black is black and its going to be one fabric for this quilt.

This is a very different type of pattern to read. What I have been working with thus far have been traditional or machine piecing patterns. That is not how paper piecing works. Not at all. And here I am, teaching myself the system.

For me to even get started is a matter of breaking the color code first. There are only 12 different fabrics combined with black as the 13th color on the quilt. The chart to select the colors & yardage was simple enough, and easy to buy. I bought batiks that range in color from earthy browns and greens and go to the cranberry hues. Quilters in the store looked at my pattern and said batiks are a better choice. 

What is throwing me for a loop was how to take the chart on page two, and figure out how these 12 colors are divided among 22 rows. There is a chart for that too on page four. I took the page with the swatches on it, and made notes on how many blocks each one is supposed to make. Ok, then there are two blocks, A block and B block. They mirror each other and this is what is called the Tessellating part of the pattern. The chart didn't list them separately, but did list the fabric with the "areas".

Wait. What?

Its a code. A simple code. 

Yet, I find myself saying, "Wait. What?" pretty often. I've made more than a few copies of the pattern so I can write on it as I try to figure it out. Its probably more simple than I am making it, but it is one of my challenges for this year. 

Now the instructions say how to cut the pieces in order to lay them down, sew them and cut them apart. It looks like this is done one block at a time, and that there is a fair amount of waste.

That concerned me at first, being as scrap happy as I am. I wondered if a person could make two of these quilts with the fabric...then I thought about the 72 blocks and laughed at how crazy that sounded. I would be lucky to make all 72 for one quilt. And here I am at the beginning of the project, wrapped in a deeper fog than I have ever seen, wondering if I could make two. Wait. No. 

My laughter continued though I was the only one in the room to hear. You know that crazy sound someone makes when they are borderline scarey...reminding me of Renfield from the Dracula movies...heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

Some scraps might come out of it. A lot of bits might go into the pet beds. And is it really that important to plan that far ahead? I was trying to figure out the difference between today and tomorrow. 

I have been pretty spoiled with my previous projects. I was shown how to cut, how to pin, how to piece. This is not that. I am on my own and have watched the tutorials and read the patterns. I did ask both fabric stores in town if anyone taught paper piecing, and wasn't given much encouragement.

Rather than try to figure out the mysteries of life, I will give my mental resources another day of working out paper piecing. Luckily, there are also plans for the week that include scrap booking and a Winter Solstice project starting on the pet bed.