I’ve always admired the crisp look of paper-pieced blocks, with their perfect and intricate designs. Yet previous attempts at paper piecing left me feeling like I just didn’t “get” it. But still when Quilting from Little Things by Sarah Fielke came to my attention, I was drawn to the paper piecing section.
In the book, Sarah explores 10 quilting techniques, presenting a small dolly quilt project on which you can practice the technique, and a second larger, more intermediate take on the technique in the form of a quilt project.
So one weekend, I set out to tackle the dolly quilt in the paper piecing section—a circle of flying geese. Having struggled with this technique in the past, I went easy on myself and used a solid fabric for the background—one where the right and wrong sides were fairly indistinguishable.
I cut out all my paper shapes. And I started sewing. And then I had to unsew. And then I sewed some more. And then I unsewed. The instruction for the blocks was straightforward and easy to follow. But for some reason, I still kept putting fabric in the wrong place or upside down.
As I was struggling, I got to thinking about those visual-spatial sections of IQ tests. The ones where you were shown a 3-dimensional shape and then you had to choose what that shape looked like from a different angle. I dreaded that section of IQ tests. Somehow my dislike of these tests seemed linked to my struggles with paper piecing.
For “fun” I went online and found a visual-spatial quiz to take. My husband and I both took the quiz. We both struggled, both got frustrated, both hated every minute of its 10-question length. The results: I bombed (like, much lower than average bombed). He aced (like, got much higher than average…and an exclamation point).
The thing is my husband doesn’t sew, and therefore, it’s hard to know whether he’d be good at paper piecing. So I’m calling on all you paper-piecers out there. Are you good at visual-spatial tests? How about you non-paper-piecers? I’d love to hear from you!