Though I wanted to play with the kite mug mat idea for my friend Toni's daughter Rachel since last weekend, I didn't get back to it until this morning. During the week I did some studying up on technique since paper-piecing is not my strong suit--you have to think upside-down and backward and sew from the blind side. Yikes! Since Rachel picked the fabric for her sorority colors of yellow and black, I didn't want to take the chance of ruining what she sent, so I made a sample with scraps.
As the pattern instructions I'm using from the Uncommon Threads Guild website detailed, I first drew a 6" square and then added the lines for the kite sections. The first stitching line was a bit nerve wracking! However, it went just fine so I proceeded on.
Doesn't look like much yet! Although I did manage to sew on piece 4 before piece 3, it didn't matter since they were exactly the same and I'd cut identical background strips to cover the sections.
Paper piecing uses up more fabric than you imagine, so it was a good thing I pulled larger scraps from my stash drawers. The sample kite turned out just fine, and the paper came off pretty easily. Next, I turned to the "tail" section, which I altered from the Uncommon Threads pattern from squares to bow shapes.
I cut the background pieces as instructed, two 3.5" squares and eight 2" squares, then pulled three matching pairs of 2" squares from my precut bins. I folded these into triangles since I wanted a 3-D effect, and stitched them up. There was some bulkiness due to the three layers created by this method, but some pressing with the iron seemed to tame it pretty well.
I think I'm ready to move on to the real fabric. What do you think?