Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Doubting myself

As you have seen over the last few weeks, I've been working on a series of New Zealand Native Bird Paper piecing blocks.

Its been really fun coming up with new bird patterns and doing my best to display each birds character in these blocks. 

The problem is that I think the Kea pattern that I just released and the fantail (which is due to be released any day) are probably my favourite patterns that I've designed so far. 

I now find myself comparing all my new designs to those two blocks and the bad news is that I'm not sure that they're measuring up!

I start wondering- am I being overly critical? 
Are these patterns better than I think they are?
Then I remind myself that I am useless at predicting what will be popular and what won't be...
So I thought I'd ask what you guys think...

My yellow eyed penguin pattern is with my pattern testers at the moment- I like it!

But its the Tui and the Kereru that have got me doubting myself. 
Maybe they'll look better done in fabric rather than with the bland colours of my design software... 

Hmmm what do you think? Is it worth pressing on with these two designs or should I try again?

If I do decide to go ahead with these two blocks then I think I will just need one more pattern to complete the series. I'm just struggling to decide what that final bird will be! 
I've attempted:
a kakapo- the block was ugly and not very good
a saddleback- just a bit boring

I've considered lots and lots of other birds but just can't find the magic combination of a distinctive bird that will piece well. 
Ah well, I'll keep looking- wish me luck!

Oh and before I forget, if you are a paper piecer, don't forget to enter my giveaway...

I'm linking in with WIP Wednesday


  1. Love the yellow eyed penguin! It's impossible when you're too close to the project to be objective. I think all of these bird blocks (all the patterns you make, really) are pretty fantastic. Maybe just step away and take a break? Have some chocolate :)

  2. I think the new blocks look amazing and am looking forward to seeing them stitched. It's all too easy to be overly critical of your own work. Have you tried a Kakariki pattern at all?

  3. I am visiting here from Freshly Pieced today. But I first seen your work through viewing a Kea block made by Michelle of Factotum of Arts.

    Yes, all those birds will look better made with real fabric! And they are great. Stop doubting and just believe in yourself. You are doing great!

    Now how about a duck? Do you have ducks in Australia?

  4. I love all these! I'm new at paper piecing but can't wait to tackle more complex projects!

  5. I love all of your bird patterns Juliet, I think it is easy to be critical when you are so close to the projects. I really don't think you need to worry about these patterns, everyone will have a different reaction to the patterns, some people will love the ones you dislike and dislike the ones you love, but that's ok either way.

  6. Oh no! dont doubt your patterns! they are great! and probably you feel differently because you are getting so experienced at it! That penguin is fantastic and the two new ones look great I think! You have a fantastic ability to capture the nature of each bird x

  7. I love them all but then I am probably a little bias. I have chosen the fabric for the penguin and about to start tonight :-)

  8. I think they all look great, Juliet!!! The more you design, the more critical you may become of your own work. That can be both a good and a bad thing. Put the designs out there. The popular ones won't always be the ones you think are the best.

  9. That penguin is so darn cute! And I love how that last parrot looks like it has some sass!

  10. I love the new designs - especially the kereru. I can just imagine him done in some richly-coloured fabrics.

  11. LOL - do you have ducks in Australia!? Amusing on so many levels. I think your blocks look great! What about a Kokako - they are distinctive with the grey and blue colouring. Or a Morepork - that would definitely be different to what you've got already. Or a Moa!

  12. How about a Robin, there is a native Black Robin in NZ. The blue duck... I think, you're just getting better and better, and it's normal to have a look back and think that you might have made something different. When you've finished your final design, why not make a 'version 2' of some of them, or a close-up head...

    I really like the Tui and the Kereru. I REALLY like them. The branch on the wood pigeon looks like it's dividing the block up. What about putting some claws/feet on it too?

    I can't wait to see the finals :)

  13. I just read Adrianne's comment above... YES a Kokako!!

  14. You are creating astounding patterns! Keep it up!
    I think they do come alive with real fabrics, and different personalities from each quilter selecting their fabrics!!

    If you are frustrated.... give yourself a mini-break. Then look at the project from fresh eyes! You are very talented!
    I don't live in the Southern Hemisphere, so I don't know your native birds.
    I saw someone suggest a duck... sounds cute to me!


  15. I like the penguin! The kereru is a great one for me as I might turn him into a robin as those are what live around me. It looks good as what it is and has the ability to morph into other birds depending on where you're from and the fabric you use. You do have that cute NZ owl, or there's the falcon. That'd be cool too.

  16. These are fabulous Juliet, please don't doubt yourself. I was wondering about the Morepork too - but is there enough colour in him?

  17. I love your patterns ! The last bird reminds me of a parrot I had :)

  18. jjjnlzzefea
    We like your blocks. visiting from WIP Wednesday.


  19. I don't think you should be self doubting at all !
    I think you are incredibly talented and your talent is growing as you grow in confidence

  20. I have no idea how to paper piece, but I think your designs are getting better and better. I love the idea of a kokako too. I was going to suggest a kotuku but then read that they aren't native to New Zealand, so what about a mohua (yellowhead)? It might complement the yellow-eyed penguin quite nicely. Other than that, what about a blue duck? I'm all out of native bird suggestions.

  21. I definitely agree that you're being a little over-critical ;) Each design has its own unique feel but is playful in its own way.

  22. Yep consensus votes! stop over analysing...they are all very recognisable to me, and will definitely look better once sewn up in fabric!
    You have a great eye for this :)

  23. Love your patterns and have bought several of them!! I can't find the kiwi pattern on Etsy or Craftsy, is there somewhere else I can get it? and I also would love patterns for grey warbler, kaka, kakapo, takahe, and a flying royal albatross (12" x 24" if that is possible?? ) - if you feel like making them up!! I know it's a fair bit of work!! I would be happy to test run them if you need someone to do that.......

  24. Do not doubt yourself!! I love your patterns, they are brilliant, I have bought several, but cannot find the kiwi pattern on craftsy or etsy? Where can I find it?


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