If at first you don’t succeed

Block 12 was a challenge for me, because the handle was pieced in a way that can be tricky. My mom did a quilt that had similar piecing and she fought with it for days before deciding it was “good enough.” This from a woman who has been known to pick out quilting stitches for three HOURS because the back was a little loopy. I finally settled on paper piecing it because I knew that it would be accurate and relatively straightforward.

However, not everyone has experience with paper (or foundation) piecing. I encouraged people to download the tutorial I had posted, but it isn’t a technique that is easy to learn “hands off.” (In fact, on Saturday Jeanne of Grey Cat Quilts and I are co-teaching the technique at our Milwaukee-Madison Modern Quilt Guilt meeting.)

I’ve been eagerly following Nancy, Near Philadelphia as she creates block after basket block using my patterns as well as several others. She’s doing a beautiful caramel and indigo (I like just saying those words!) basket quilt. Unfortunately, she’s never foundation pieced before and this pattern stumped her. She sent me a very nice email explaining why I wouldn’t be seeing her version of block 12, and I… well, I took it as a challenge. There had to be a way to piece this painlessly! The problem was figuring out exactly where to “line up” the triangles. The 1/4″ seam allowance is a little strange when lining up two triangles in different directions. About five minutes later, it occurred to me that if I just DREW the seam lines, the problem would disappear.

So I did! I made a test handle, photographing the steps along the way, and I put together a PDF with alternate piecing instructions for just the handles. You can download the PDF here if you prefer not to paper piece.

Thank you, Nancy, for making me think about this just a little bit more!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I try to reply to every comment, but sometimes it takes a few days. And sometimes, well... it has been known to drop off the radar. I'm easily distracted by shiny things.

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