Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I recently started a take in the car hand piecing project.  This is my first try at hand piecing.  I decided to do tumbling blocks, using Quilt Patis for templates for English Paper Piecing. I first heard about Quilt Patis from Jessica at Life Under Quilts.  I ordered the 2" diamond Patis, and started cutting out light, medium and dark 60° diamonds.  I used my Accuquilt to cut 2 1/2" strips, then cut the diamonds using the same die.  I decided I wanted to do each block the same color, such as light, medium and dark blue.  I used Google Images to look at quilt pictures and discovered several variations of the tumbling block pattern.  Some use light, medium and dark of a variety of colors and rely on only the value to create the pattern.  Some are made of only 3 colors for the entire quilt, such as red, white and blue.  I actually didn't find many examples of the pattern I envisioned.  I started grouping my diamonds into sets, and discovered I will need a lot more light fabrics to complete this project.  Oh good, I love it when I find an excuse to fabric shop!  I basted a bunch of diamonds, following the instructions that came with the Patis, and also from watching Life in Quilts' video.  I couldn't find the link on her website, but here is her video on Youtube,  I've had a hard time finding much good instruction for Tumbling Blocks using EPP, but was able to use the techniques seen in the video and translate them from her stars to my blocks.  It is just a change in color placement, not in the basic technique she shows.  

Here are the Quilt Patis -

I chose to use them because they are reusable and I didn't trust my accuracy on making my own.  
Here is a basted diamond -
I start out sewing 3 together, paying close attention to the color placement. 

 Then add two more -
(These are not sewn, just shown as an example.)  At this point, you can take out the Quilt Pati in the center, since all four edges are now secure.  This allows you to fold your project, which is required on some seams. The straight edge on the left is then sewn to the main body of the quilt, or the 'mother ship' as Bonnie Hunter calls it.  At this point I have been adding the light diamond at the top, which allows you to remove 2 more Patis.  

Here is what I have accomplished so far -

Here is part of the back, if you look closely you can see where I have removed the Patis in the center-

I have had a little trouble with my stitches showing on the front, and my points not meeting perfectly.  Seems like most of the tutorials I have seen have slid past this part of the process, just saying to whip stitch them together.  The most helpful I have found so far is Jenny Doan and Sue Daley on the Missouri Star videos. I am getting better, but think I may need to get a different needle to improve.

 I have been working on this when I've been out and about and have gotten several questions on how big it will be when complete.  I've been telling people I'm making a doll quilt.  If I'm still having fun, it will be a wall hanging.  If it's still fun, a baby quilt, and so on..........  Who knows where it might end.

Today I was reading Lee Anna's blog Not Afraid of Color, and discovered she is also doing this project!  Check out her blog for this, and many other beautiful quilts.

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.   Edited to add: I posted this last Tuesday, late.  Tuesday evening, Judy lost several of her recent posts, including last weeks Design Wall Monday.  So I am posting again on this weeks edition Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Finish and February's UFO

I joined up with Judy at Patchwork Times to try to complete some UFO's this year.  The two I worked on in January were an Arkansas Crossroads quilt done in blues and a Christmas quilt done with various stars. The blue quilt top was purchased by my mom about 15 years ago, long before I started quilting.  It is a 36 patch of one inch squares, and each side has two half square triangles to make it a star.  The cream part of the quilt is also one inch squares.  My sister, Nancy,  picked it out from several tops mom had.  Nan got married in 2011, and at that time I paid to have it long arm quilted.  And it has sat ever since, waiting for me to bind it.  At some point, I trimmed off the excess backing and made binding strips, and then it sat again. This is the one I wanted to get done before her visit at the end of January.
The Christmas star quilt was a wedding gift for my nephew and wife,  started in 2008. I ended up buying them a gift.  I made two blocks of 6 different stars, using all sorts of fabric.  I believe all the stars came from Quilters Cache.  I started sashing these, and ran into some blocks that were wonky.  It looks like I even took part of it apart.  Since I made this, I used one of the fabrics in another project, and it bled.  So needed to  redo that block, fix any issues, sash, make a backing, layer, quilt and bind.  While digging out all my UFOs, I found that several of them stopped in their  forward progress because I ran into problems I didn't know how to fix, and I just stopped.  Now, these problems don't seem so insurmountable.

I'm happy to say that the binding was sewn on the Arkansas Crossroads quilt, hand stitched, label was added and my sister took it home with her yesterday.  A rather large empty spot is now available in my closet.  I am very happy that it's off my list and that there is a little more breathing room in my sewing room.

The second project didn't get completed, but I did make a small amount of forward progress.  I took apart the one block that had the bleeding fabric, cut replacement pieces and started sewing it back together again.  Realized I had cut the replacement parts the wrong size and it is still sitting on my machine.  I plan to continue to work on this, hopefully I can deliver it when I see my nephew in March.  I haven't taken a new picture, since not much has changed.

For February, Judy drew #9.  On my list, that is a Christmas hearts quilt.  I looked it up, I believe it is actually called Hidden Stars and Christmas Hearts, from a book by Nancy J. Martin. I think I got the book from the library.   It is the first quilt I pieced.  I started hand quilting it, and I would like to complete it by hand.  Last fall I got a Grace quilt frame at an estate sale for $2.  It was in pieces and no one knew what it was.  I found the manual online and when we put all the pieces together, it was all there!  I haven't used it yet.  I'm considering taking out the basting and small amount of quilting that I've done and trying out the frame.  One of the things making me hesitate is the memory of crawling around on my kitchen floor basting the quilt!  But it is much more likely to get completed if it is on this frame instead of the small hoop I started out with. I will also need to make leaders to attach it to the frame.
It's a small, square quilt.

Part of the quilting I'd need to remove.

 Finally a peek at a different project I have been working on the past few days.  I am cleaning out the dresser and closet in the guest room that I use for non quilting crafts.  I have discovered things that disappeared long ago, and also things I don't remember ever seeing before!  Here is my dining room table with the contents of two dresser drawers.  This clean up and out will make it a lot easier to find what I need.

Thanks again, Judy, for motivating me to get some UFO's done in 2017.