Wrestling an Alligator


This is what part of my work area looked like earlier this week as I tried to make sense of some paper piecing I was working on.


After much fussing and fighting this is what emerged.

The pattern is from Penny Layman’s Paper Pieced Home book and the above portion measures about 16″ x 26″. There are 8 letter sized pages to print and then the sections within are cut up into smaller sections for piecing. There are very minimal directions and no pictures of the process. Obviously this project was above my paygrade as I really struggled with it, made many mistakes and tore my hair out as I went back picking out those wicked little stitches as I tried to make things right. At one point my son came to ask me a question about our business and after hearing my explanation as to why I looked like I was loosing my mind he made the helpful suggestion that I should just throw it in the garbage.

Being quite stubborn, I wasn’t going to let the Alligator get the best of me.


This is where I declared a draw and it was with great relief that I stitched the first border on.


A sense of calmness began to creep back into my sewing room as I finished up the second border.

The top is done and far from perfect… I can see why some people hate paper piecing, about 2/3 rds through this project I had crossed over and joined them ! Now I’ve got this annoying little voice in my head telling me that I’ve got it all sorted out now and I could really nail the next one. 😦

Unfortunately you cannot see the part that I am most happy with and that is the fabric selection. We have been having some overcast weather so picture taking doesn’t yield the best results. We have also had a lot of hoar frost that has dressed the yard in spectacular beauty !


Enjoy your weekend !

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday.




12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. allisonreidnem
    Feb 05, 2016 @ 11:22:34

    Sometimes a bit of stubbornness is needed to get through a tricky section of a project. I’m not sure I’d have won the wrestling match with the alligator though! How lovely to have won the fight and fitted some calming ‘bars’ around the beast! Have a good weekend. (Frost picture is amazing!)



  2. clairewitherspoon
    Feb 05, 2016 @ 11:41:47

    The block is really cute and the crystal covered sun is amazing!



  3. Abigail @ cut&alter
    Feb 05, 2016 @ 13:19:26

    Whilst you may have had to wrestle him he’s turned out to be a gorgeously cute little fella!



  4. Sue J
    Feb 06, 2016 @ 05:10:04

    You did a great job on the crocodile. Love the fabrics, too. You can nail the next one! Wowow!!! @ the frosty garden.



  5. Anne Simonot
    Feb 06, 2016 @ 21:17:47

    I haven’t learned to love paper piecing yet. Maybe I need to try it again — but not on something as complicated as your alligator. We have had hoarfrost a couple of times this winter, but it always happens when I’m working. When I have time off, it’s done and gone already. Grrr…



    • Colleen
      Feb 07, 2016 @ 08:39:26

      Thanks for your comment, Anne. It is a complicated pattern. Some of my frustration was because of my skill level but I found that the numbering on the pattern could have been done differently for greater ease.
      Hopefully the hoarfrost will mean rain for the crops in June and July !



  6. jody
    Feb 08, 2016 @ 07:29:55

    LOVE your gator!!! I’d say that YOU won this round and encourage you to keep up the struggle. Paper piecing yields such great results and you’ve gone and gotten it! I do admire your fabric selection too.
    The hoarfrost is so magical. The garden itself becomes other worldly in the winter.

    Liked by 1 person


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