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Give Paper Piecing A Chance

September 15, 2009

Wingless Wyrm - original paper pieced design

Wingless Wyrm available in the sewhooked shop

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I am a paper piecer.

And a paper pieced designer.

And I teach paper piecing online and in real life.

And I talk about it on my blog, vlog, and to anyone that will listen.

And I run several paper piecing communities and belong to several others.

Okay, how about a paper piecing addict?

It’s true, it’s true, I love paper piecing. LOVE. Capital, bold and highlighted, burn-your-eyeballs-out-huge-flashing font love!

What is it about paper piecing? I can’t speak for others, but I can speak for me.

Paper piecing is, as you may or may not know, a quilting technique that produces a perfect mirror image in fabric of whatever pattern you may be attempting.

When I say perfect, I mean perfect. Whatever you see on the pattern is what your fabric will be when it’s done.

I love the intricacies of paper piecing, the way I can choose to make my design appear any way I want, how I can tweak this line or that to make the appearance of the finished pieced express whatever it is I want to express.

Mostly, I just love the control I have over the art I’m creating.  Traditional patterns are great, but I loved to be tested, pushed and challenged.  I love to be different and to bring all my friends, old, new and not-yet-met along for the quilty ride.

For years, I worked on Harry Potter Paper Piecing as a fan of J.K. Rowling’s work.  I cut my teeth on those patterns.  They have been a gift to me as much as they have been my gift back to the fandom that has given me so very much.  These days, I feel a bit like the Mother of HP Paper Piecing, beaming with pride every time I get an email saying “I’m learing to paper piece just to make your patterns!”  or there is a new designer that starts creating their own patterns after trying mine.  There’s no way to express how amazing that feels!

Since 2007, I’ve been working on a book of original, never-before-published designs.   The manuscript is in rough draft stage and every block and sample piece is completed.  I’m insanely proud of the work as being not only fun and whimsical, but original and interesting, too.    I was briefly contracted for my book, and then the recession hit and ripped my contract right from under my feet.  Since then, I’ve been sending my proposal to an increasingly longer list of publishers, with one negative after another.

It has, in a word, been frustrating.  Paper piecing is what I do.  I love other crafts, but it owns me.   I make it, teach it and share it.   It’s the one craft that I could not live without.

Will I give up?  Heck no!  I’m exploring other options as I continue to plow through the list of publishers until I find one that fits and sees my work as new and exciting instead of “not mainstream.”

How to Paper Piece

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Marilyn permalink
    October 3, 2009 20:10

    Hi Jennifer!

    Same with me as I love it and my favourite thing to do! am working on something with the harry potter patterns for my niece and nephew as they love hp like me! when it is done, will send u the picture!
    you have a great website!! love it!!

    • October 4, 2009 09:38

      Thanks, Marilyn!

      How awesome that you’re working on HP patterns for yourself AND your niece and nephew. That just made my day to read!

      I will definitely look forward to photos!

      Jennifer

      • Marilyn permalink
        October 4, 2009 11:05

        am glad that my msg made your day!!

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