Foundation Paper Piecing – an exercise in patience and persistence

March 4, 2011 § 5 Comments

It’s easy to forget during the hustle and bustle of life that everything can be a part of one’s spiritual growth and self-development. It’s easy to see someone else’s difficult situation as their “challenge” and an “opportunity to grow and learn” etc., etc. Somehow when it happens to us we often fail to recognise it for what is and think it’s “just life”. This is what happened to me on Wednesday. Except this time I realised half-way through my hair-tearing, self-berating ill-temper. The cause? A foundation paper-pieced block.

How can something so seemingly innocent be so wicked? So conniving? So Machiavellian? This is the result of all my angst.

My Block Swap Adventure partner asked for one of four block designs. All were foundation paper-pieced. (She did actually offer to let me off the hook when she realised but I’d already done some of it by then and didn’t want to give up. ) I think I said something stupid like “I’ve had a few “unpicks” but I think I’ve got my head around it now and I’m quite pleased with it. It’s good to be challenged to do something outside our comfort zones I think.” What was I saying!!!!!

I have only done this technique once before successfully and once with less than successful results. I picked the pattern that was the least challenging (or so I thought). If there are in fact a limited number of ways to get this wrong then I certainly found all of them!

Each one of the triangular sections I had to undo at least once and occasionally two or three times! I am spatially challenged anyway and this foundation paper piecing does my head in. I had them back to front, wrong way round, not enough fabric on the right side of the seam etc., etc. I was actually telling myself off (out loud) when I realised that this was an opportunity to practise patience and persistence. Did that make it easier? No. Did it go any smoother? No. Then what? At least I saw a purpose to it, and I didn’t give up.

Who would have thought foundation paper piecing could offer spiritual lessons?

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§ 5 Responses to Foundation Paper Piecing – an exercise in patience and persistence

  • sylvia says:

    I enjoyed this blog and good for you finding the positive in all that frustration. I used to teach foundation paper piecing and likened it to sewing upside down and backwards at the same time. Obviously you might just agree with that assessment. lol

  • Linda says:

    Hi Munaiba,

    I’ve done a little bit of paper piecing on a crazy quilt a few years ago. It wasn’t too bad, but it was not ANYWHERE near as complex as this one! I don’t know what your “mistakes” looked like, but this final block is gorgeous! Unless you tell them, no one (else…lol) will know you had problems with it.

    xo Linda

  • Elizabeth says:

    I attempted paper piecing for my swap partner also! I made it work, but I never felt very comfortable with it, and I also felt like I wasted fabric. However, I too am glad for the experience ; )

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