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.
I know I’ll be making a couple of potholders for myself and as they have to stand up to heat I’ll be adding some insulbright to protect my fingers. You should be able to find insulbright at your favorite quilt shop or fabric store.
When you go to YouTube browse a bit more and you will find videos for the same idea but for different shapes, such as hexagons and circles. All are very easy to make and require very little sewing. They will make great little gifts.
When you like big designs, but only have a small hoop, there is a solution. This works for both free standing lace embroidery and applique designs. Just group several small designs together and treat them as applique.
Instead of stitching them on hooped fabric, stitch each design on water soluble stabilizer (WSS). Free standing lace and applique designs can be stitched in the normal way. Other lace designs may need an extra layer of either tule, organza, or a grid of cross-hatched stitched lines and defined edges so that that the design does not fall apart when the stabilizer is dissolved.
After the WSS is removed and the designs are dry arrange them on your quilt or quilt block. A bit of washable glue on the back will hold them in place. Use a regular sewing machine with monofilament thread or embroidery thread that matches the design. A straight stitch around the outside edge or a narrow zigzag stitch will do the trick and does not require hooping.
The advantage of this system is that you can fill a quilt block with embroidery and decide on the placement of the designs before they are attached. You could even make a whole wall hanging that way. Here is an example I made a couple of years ago:
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.
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 hope all of you had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.
It’s been a very busy month and a while since my last blog. I took some time off to recharge my own battery and tried to catch up and finish all sorts of half finished projects and tasks that were put on the back burner. Well, I did not succeed in finishing everything I had planned, but I did recharge my battery and am rearing to go again. I just finished posting new quilting designs on my website and a pattern for a fun little wall hanging, that I think will be a hit with the little ones.
It is small, 16″ square, and very quick to make. Only the border and binding require stitching. The rest is all fused down, even the background, and it did not require quilting, although it can, of course, be added. The snowballs are tiny pompoms. The pattern includes full size templates and SVG files for those that have a cutting machine.
I also tried to make a series of Free Standing Lace Christmas ornaments, but only managed two as my embroidery machine had to go into the shop and it took a couple of weeks for the part to arrive. I stitched them over Mylar which gave a nice bit of sparkle to both of them:
And one for St. Patrick’s day (at least I’m early with that one).
They will be on my website in a couple of days. I am now working on a couple of embroidery designs for Valentine’s Day and I started thinking about some new quilting designs for next month. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.
Last but not least, I want to share some pictures that Deborah Zucker, a customer, sent me of a quilt she quilted for her customer who rightfully was very pleased with the result.
The quilt pattern is Prickly Pear and is published and distributed by Cozy Quilt Designs and available in their shop www.cozyquilt.com. The quilt pattern was my design too, so it was fun to come up with some quilting designs to match. I think I succeeded and Deborah did a beautiful job on the quilting. Her business name is IQuilt4U.
Here are two pictures of Deborah’s work:
And finally a picture of the original quilt design:
Stay warm everyone. Spring will be here in just a couple of months.