Monday, November 14, 2011

this weekend I...

I can hardly believe myself that on Saturday I had the pleasure of designing, cutting and piecing an entire quilt top! I do believe that's a first. Grandma took the children, so all was quiet and the creative juices were flowing fast.

this weekend I...

But, my Christmas-y-Meet-the-Gang quilt top is not really done. I'm going to work some curves magic on it and then it'll come into it's real name. It's a nice throw size measuring 65" x 77" now.  I'm really excited about my curvy idea, but will definitely try it on a small scale before I throw it at this quilt.  If all goes well and dandy, this will be one of the three full-size quilt patterns included in my curves class next year!  And, don't worry, I'll show you the finished work before then, no matter what.

Last week I did a fair bit of plotting and experimenting for my curves class.  I came up with this really fun to make, improv-pieced motif that I made up in really ugly fabric.  Which, to be honest, made it hard to like even though it was pretty cool (I think).  I won't show it to you.  That would be wrong on so many levels, including the fact that I called the fabric ugly.  But, I'm looking forward to making up a new version is fresh lovely colors for the class.  This is turning into such a fun project for me!  Thanks for giving me an encouraging push to move forward.  It really, really helped.

So, other than working with curves like a threaded mad scientist, I've also turned out a bunch of bee blocks for do. Good Stitches.  I'll show you this pair of asterisk blocks for the Love circle. 

Love bee blocks, Nov

I had no idea that the asterisk block is so user-friendly. Really, this would be a great first quilt block if you like this kind of look. You can make it straight (like I did) or wonky and it's so, so easy to make different sizes of blocks. Here's a nice tutorial for a 6.5" version.

Lee of Freshly Pieced, who is the designer for our November quilt, asked us to make blocks with any number, size or layout of asterisks we like.  I'd never made this block before, so I did the simple asterisk above and then made a tiny one sashed in stripes for fun.

Love for do. Good Stitches

And they are nice....  But, this morning I saw blocks made by bee member Trio Stitch Studio.

do. Good Stitches - Love Circle November 2011

Aren't they amazing?  The one on the right is downright genius.  I love the way she layered asterisk in asterisk, but even more the way she used negative space.  Well done, Deb!  I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the bee interprets this block. 

Ok, one last thing (and how did this post get so long?).  Sometimes after hours at the machine, I do enjoy my distance.  Yes, it's true!  On Sunday we had to stay home from church because Aria had a fever the night before.  So... I cleaned the whole house, Brandon made banana cream pie and I processed the last batch of apples (finally!).  Nope, I didn't uncover my sewing machine all day.  But, I did enjoy some time with needle and thread joining my Star Blossoms.

paper pieced stasks

I began this English paper-pieced endeavor on the plane to The Sewing Summit early October. Since then I've puttered away at it here and there, determined not to mind how long it takes.

Since basting is quick, but joining is not, I'm committed to joining as I go. Here's what I have so far...

Star Blossoms

It's nice to be at the point of adding the aqua diamonds (which are the "Sketch" print by Timeless Treasures, available here and here). I'm just making a small table runner, so I don't actually have too much longer to go. But still, I might be done by New Years?

joining Star Blossoms

With English paper piecing, you wrap fabric around a paper template, baste it in place through the paper and then hand-sew the basted shapes together, taking care not to catch the paper in the piecing. When you're done, you cut the basting threads and remove the papers. It's really not difficult, just slow... and satisifying! I was inspired by Teaginny. I do recommend the papers she's using, but personally did not like the glue pen.  If you're interested, learn more about paper piecing here.

Loulouthi Tiles progress

And, no, I haven't forgotten about you, Loulouthi Tiles.  When paper piecing is too small of a work and embroidery is not on my mind, I do pull out my Loulouthi Tiles quilt and work a spot of hand quilting.  I think I'm about halfway through hand piecing this very large quilt.  The inbetweens aren't quite blog-worthy, but rest assured that a finish will come.  Probably this spring when the colors speak more to my soul!  It is relaxing to always have those simple running stitches to return to anytime.

Alright, all caught up then!  Welcome new week and sunny Monday morning.  Wishing you a lovely day!


  1. the prints you're using for your english paper piecing project are super cute!

  2. looove all the asterisk blocks!

  3. I really like the asterisk block, I don't know if I've seen that before, except for maybe in union jacks

  4. I love the aqua print you are using for the EPP - went to go buy some and it's all gone, waaaaaa :(

  5. I haven't made the asterisk blocks yet, but hope to get them done this week! Yours look fabulous, as do Trio Stitch Sister's! It's going to be such a great quilt!

    And your paper piecing! I really, really love it. The colors are so fabulous, and the aqua is a perfect choice for the outer pieces.

    I'm excited to see more of your Christmas-y quilt, too!

  6. Yay for grandma-assisted sewing time, you got so many fab things done

  7. That orange and pink quilt is going to be AWESOME. I can't wait to see your hand-quilted loulouthi. I was too lazy for that, but I did do TONS of straight line quilting and it's done now! Yippee!

  8. You've made some great progress on your paper piecing...I can't wait to see the finished runner. And I am seriously jealous about the fact that you finished a quilt top in a day! You go girl!

  9. love those asterisks! so cute! love your paper piecing also. i need to start a small paper piecing project just to get my feet wet with it.

  10. You must be exhausted! What a LOT to get done in ONE weekend! Really amazing. I can't wait to see what you come up with for the curvy class, I even told two of my non-quilter friends about how excited I am to take this class by one of my favorite bloggers!

  11. Your paper piecing look so nice!!!

  12. Lots of great projects. Your stars are so great. Love the blue to go between them.

  13. Ah, Rachel! The pics in the post are so yummy I just want to eat them up. Love the astrick blocks- yours are stunning! And the hexi project is lovely too- as always, the farics you're using are magical together.

  14. I really like your mini asterisk with the stripes around it. I'm glad you had such a good sewing weekend (and I would love some of that Banana Cream Pie ;)

  15. look at all those diamonds! holey moley. What a great project! I love all your handquilting too - so very lovely indeed! ; )


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