I recently purchased this book by Ayumi Takahashi, and despite the somewhat cheesy title, love the projects and the book itself. It is a second volume of the Zakka Style book that has become one of my favorites and this one is right up there as far as well written, and beautiful projects. The main reason that I purchased this book was the very descriptive paper piecing instructions. It has been years since I have paper-pieced anything and recently I have really wanted to because of the precision and accuracy of it. I needed a re-fresher and this had the best instructions and a lot of paper templates to copy. Definitely a good buy.
I had to practice, just like riding a bike it does come back to you, but you must make a few to get into the groove again. The more blocks I made the faster I got. The first day I made one block in two hours, it kept messing up and remembering which side of the fabric to face each way became complicated. Then the second day I made 7 blocks in 3 hours so I have definitely gotten back into the process of making a paper-pieced block.
I either have friends getting married, or friends having babies, every couple of years it happens again like a cycle. (One day this will pass, as we get older, but I enjoy it at the moment). Since there are more babies on the way, and I love making a baby-quilt I practiced my paper-piecing on the book project inside of the Patchwork book. The fabrics above are what I am using (the parents of this baby love Safari animals.)
It took a few trials, some seam ripper action, and lots of patience...
By the end of the day yesterday I had blocks that were successfully looking like books! I need to remember my notes on color theory though, because its funny how the shape of the book shows so well against some of the fabrics and got lost with others. Good practice, and a fun project in the works.
I took my cross-quilt to be quilted on a long arm machine, I should get it back today... I am nervous, I have never sent anything out, and even debated on if it was cheating for a while. I was re-assured by many traditional quilters that it is ok to send a quilt out to be topstitched. It is easier than working with the bulk on my small machines. Hope it comes back and I love it, then I can send others out. Which will save me time and frustration!