At least the top is done. Now to finish the pattern and, of course, the quilting. As usual, it has taken me longer than expected because I have too many projects going at once. And the story of my life, I always under estimate the time needed to do something. Plus there are the pesky little every day tasks like house cleaning and doctor and dental appointments and such that interfere with my creative pursuits.
I named the quilt Tropicana and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I already created the quilting designs for it, but before I can start on the actual quilting I have to first finish my designs for July. By the way, my triangle designs of last month were a big hit and I thank everyone who ordered. I you missed them, they are still on my New Designs page on my website for two days at a great discount. As soon as I post new designs they will be moved to the Triangles page.
In February I mentioned that I planned to design and make a paper pieced quilt. I now want to show you my progress and pass on some things I have learned (sometimes the hard way). I started by drawing the center block in Electric Quilt 7 (EQ). I love EQ and have been using it for many years and have designed a whole lot of quilts in it, but very few paper pieced ones. I started with the center block and slowly added surrounding blocks. When I did not like a block, I just kept drawing a different one until I came up with one that pleased me more. I only had to design a quarter of the whole quilt as it consists of identical quadrants, like a large 4-patch. Once I had a quilt that I liked I then printed it out and EQ added the seam allowances where required and I was able to start piecing. At first I printed on copy paper, but found it stiff and hard to pick out. So I switched to ordinary tracing paper. I had a couple of tablets that I had bought at Michael’s for just a few dollars each and they worked great.
Here is the first block:
A block can be divided into several segments:
A1, A2, and A3 belong to one segment. B1, B2, and B3 are also one segment and C1 and C2 are another segment.
The center consists of 4 copies of Block 1:
What I learned so far.
- If you are new to paper piecing, watch some videos on YouTube. There are lots of them.
- It is important to reduce the stitch length as it is easier to rip the paper out when it is time to remove it. The default stitch length on my machine is 2.5 and I lowered it to 1.8. You can go even lower than that, but be aware that if you ever have to remove some stitches it is almost impossible to do so.
- Organize. Stack the pieces that belong together in neat little piles together with their paper templates.
Well, this is not so tidy, but they are stacked together.
- Work on one block at a time so you don’t mix up the pieces of different blocks.
- When stitching over a line, follow that line exactly to make sure you end up with the correct size block.
- Press carefully so the seams are as flat as possible.
- When sewing the segments together, I first fold back the paper seam allowances or cut them off as they are very difficult to remove after the segments are sewn together.
- Do not remove the outside paper and fabric seam allowances of the blocks just yet. All the blocks should measure 6 1/2″ square before you sew them together so an extra bit of fabric may come in handy if you have to fudge the size of the blocks somewhat.
The fabric I used is Happy Hour, my daughter’s latest line of fabric by Timeless Treasures. I love it and I guess I am not the only one as Cozy Quilt Shop quickly sold out of most of the colors I needed. I have been assured that more is on the way.
I’ll post pictures of more blocks when I get them done.
Oops, time got away from me again. I’ve been so busy that I have neglected this blog and I do hope you are not abandoning me because you have not heard from me in a while. I post when I have news and when I have time. Sometimes I get so involved in creating quilting designs that I forget about everything else. Does that mean I have a one track mind? Yes, I guess I do, at least part of the time. It can be an advantage when I need to get some things done, but other times not so much.
First of all I want to show you a picture of a quilt that Rhonda G. of Wesew4, a customer, who used one of my designs on a lovely quilt made from a panel. Rhonda, I am not sure if this is your own quilt or a customer’s. It looks great and I thank you for sending the pictures. The quilting design is FL-108 Peacock and available on my website.
Next up I have a link to a video of my daughter, Daniela Stout of cozyquilt.com, presenting last month’s Strip Club quilt.
You can find the whole presentation on YouTube. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSfTT6CKBBg
And finally I have a picture of a new design for a paper pieced quilt that so far only exists on my computer and on paper. I designed this with the intention of releasing it as a block of the month, but before I go through all the work of writing the instructions and making the patterns I really would like to know if there are people interested in paper piecing and would like to participate. So you see it all depends on all of you. I could release it one block per month or the whole pattern all at once for perhaps a bit of a discount. What do you think? Is this something you might like to do? Please leave a comment. As a Block of the Month it could be finished in 6 or 7 months, but all the blocks are repeated quite a few times. The quilt is about 70″ square, but if you prefer something smaller I could eliminate some blocks and rearrange things.
I look forward to your input.
Flying High – Now Available
My paper pieced pattern, Flying High, is ready and available for download in PDF format on my website. It is an easy pattern and includes general instructions for paper piecing so even paper piecing newbies should not have any problems making it. I would recommend choosing fabrics that are not too busy and that contrast nicely with the background fabric. Fabric requirements are included for the layout and colors shown, but I also included the fabric needed for one butterfly. So if you’d like to make a smaller or larger quilt, or fewer or more butterflies, you should have no problem figuring out how much fabric is needed. The pattern is about 62″ x 62″ and makes a nice large wall hanging or throw. I quilted it with FL-376 Butterflies and Blooms v2.
The next quilt is not one of my designs. It is one of my daughter Daniela’s Strip Club creations. It was pieced in two color ways and was enthusiastically received during her strip Club Presentation last month:
The YouTube link is: https://www.youtube.com/embed/QoFqq2UnU2o
The pattern is available at Cozyquilt.com and so are the kits for both designs.
I have also been a busy bee working on new digital quilting designs and hope to blog about those in a few days. While next month I plan on showing you some beautiful blocks that can either be quilted on a longarm or stitched on an embroidery machine.
Have a great day.
It is high time for another blog and I have just the thing to talk about. Last night while I did some long overdue cleaning of old files on my computer, I came across a paper pieced block that someone might like and I’d be happy to send you the PDF file if you want to give it a try. It could be made scrappy, but I think it would look very nice in red, white and blue as a patriotic quilt. Perhaps in honor of July 4th or as a QOV quilt. Depending on how you place the colors it gives a completely different result. Here are two examples drawn in Electric Quilt:
The pattern is for a quarter block that is repeated and rotated 4 times to make a full block. The quarter consists of 3 segments. So first complete each segments and then join the segments together to make a 4″ quarter block. The pattern looks like this:
This is a free pattern with examples of the two color ways, but does not include directions or yardage requirements. If you want the pattern, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with patriotic quilt in the subject line. I am really curious to see how many people like paper piecing and if there is enough interest I may develop some more paper piecing patterns, perhaps even a block of the month program.
Until next time.