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Those darn paper-pieced turtles have almost driven me to banging my head against the wall.  After I finally got them all pieced, I started setting the blocks together, but wound up setting the first four turtles with their heads pointing into the center of the circle.  Then the remaining two turtle blocks would NOT match up the way they were supposed to.  So I had to rip them all apart and start over.  What made this even worse is that the blocks were oversized to the setting blocks and had to have a corner trimmed off the blocks that went to the edges.  And I had already trimmed two of them when I realized I'd made a mistake in the setting.  So I had to rip one of the turtles apart and replace the tail end pieces.  The latest fiasco is that my chose outer border fabric isn't long enough to do the side borders in one long strip, so it had to be pieced.  And I very carefully measured and drew a stitching line and a cutting line--on the wrong side of the stitching line, so I've come up a half inch short on my border.  I do, though have enough material left to correct that mistake, but if I make any more, I'm probably going to have to replace the entire outer border.  And just a bit of irony; the program at the quilt guild meeting right after I finished getting the turtles all set together--can't you just guess?--a lesson on paper piecing!  By the way, if anybody wants to see what the designer intended this quilt to look like, go to Java House Quilts and check out the "Shell We Dance" quilt pattern. 

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Comment by Janet/MO on January 25, 2016 at 7:14am

That is a really cute pattern Sandy & I can see why you are bound & determined to get this done.  I always use newsprint when I paper piece.  Not only is it cheaper, but you only have to lower your stitch length down to 2.0 which makes it much easier to "reverse sew" if you need to.  Good luck with getting this finished. 

Comment by Sandy Larkey on January 24, 2016 at 2:47pm

To Linda:  I did a paper-pieced snowflake once.  Had delusions of competency, and set up to do a "Four Seasons" wall hanging for a raffle in support of our local Senior Center.  Tulips, a windblown flower, autumn leaf and a snowflake.  The flower and the leaf came out just fine, but the other two blocks...well, let's just say I was almost ashamed to put my name on the label as the maker!  Good luck with your snowflakes.

To Irene and Terry:  'Tain't patience or perseverance--it's stubbornness!  You know, the feeling that "I'll be ___ if I let this project get the better of me!  When I'm really having trouble with some part of it not working, I usually go take a nap, or (if late enough) go to bed and sleep on it.  That's how I usually figure out what I did wrong.  And as far as trying to rip itty-bitty stitches, I don't use the itty-bitty stitches.  However, a tip about removing the paper; if you've got one of those wooden (or plastic) "irons" the quilting catalogues tout for "finger pressing", fold your paper along the stitch line and press it firmly with the finger-press iron.  It tears a lot easier then.  I do have to say that paper-piecing definitely isn't my first choice of quilt-making techniques, but you just get some patterns that are too "cool" to resist.  One of my projects (for which I got a ribbon at the Nebraska State Fair) was a combination paper-pieced-patchwork quilt featuring downhill skiers slaloming down slope between pine trees, skiers and trees paper-pieced, remainder of the queen-size quilt blocks of snowflake print fabric.  The skiers required much more precision than these turtles, because the block was in two sections with the join right at the skiers' knees. 

Anyway, thanks to all who have sympathized with me, and offered tips and comments. 

Comment by Pam/NY on January 24, 2016 at 2:08pm
Nothing worse than a project that fights you. It will be worth it when it's finished! You may think twice before you do another.
Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on January 24, 2016 at 8:24am

I think paper piecing is a love-it or hate-it deal!  I'm firmly in the "hate it" corner; I've never done so much un-sewing as I did with paper piecing.  Ripping is so much harder with the small stitches you use to facilitate the paper removal.  Grrrr. . .

P.S.  Congrats on sticking with it!

Comment by Terry F on January 24, 2016 at 7:15am

I had to go to Java House and it's a beautiful quilt, but looks like it could be confusing.  If it makes you feel any better I just picked up a paper piecing project I start about ooohhh, 17 years ago.  I looked at the 32 blocks I had done and thought Well, that wasn't too hard, I'll try to finish it now.  This quilt has PP dogs and cats in nice straight rows, and I'm still wearing out my seam ripper!  I admire your perseverance.

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on January 24, 2016 at 4:50am

Some projects just seem to give us fits, don't they?  I'm sorry this has been one of those for you.  How frustrating.  Sounds like you are persevering, though, and it will feel good when it is finished.  

Comment by Irene Gallway on January 24, 2016 at 3:42am

Save your head and drive the turtles up against the wall.  You must have a lot more patience then me, I would have that fabric cut into squares for my next project. lol

Comment by LKC on January 23, 2016 at 4:52pm

I think my snowflakes will join  you. I have had lots of lessons on paper piecing and still have troubles.  I would still draw my own pattern on a grid. Looks like you can use the double wedding ring templates. My mom just made her legs  and head 3-D like a toy so a baby could feel the shapes. 

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