I take it back. I don't hate quilting after all. I just hate the tools I was using.
At Wednesday's Quilts Plus University class, I discovered the joys of the rotary cutter, an improved stencil and better fabric-marking pens. It now takes about half the time to trace and cut out my pieces, which is the most grueling part of the process (so far).
Here's a quick look at my progress. Three squares down, one to go:
And here's my new rotary cutter. Don't quilt without it!