Posts Tagged ‘paper piecing’


39.1 Double BOM(b)

February 17, 2016

Two months in a row, I can say that I have been keeping up with the monthly pattern from Ula Lenz for 2016.

This block of the month, BOM for short, is a stained glass hexagon quilt.

So far, most of the quilt is still a mystery. The stained glass patterns we have done so far have featured stars and hexagon and diamond shapes.

This month, I have expanded my “pinks/purples/oranges” batik fabrics to help flush out some colors in the quilt for a later time.

I am doing this quilt with controlled color pallet again, but I am open to using other fabrics than the ones featured here.

february stained glass hexie

Someone commented about the white patches. They are so far, the lightest color that I have wanted to do, it seems like a lot of my bright fabrics are pretty dark, these fabrics are actually light purple in shade.

Proof that I did not just put the same photo in from last month as I did this month.

february and january blocks

This is a picture of the triangular 1 sixth of the quilt in progress after the parts were sewn to the paper and none of it was sewn down to each other yet.

one sixth of feb block

The blocks are only available during the current months. Since it’s now February, the block for January should be available for purchase only.

If you click on her link, you may have to switch to English on the website, it seems the default is German. I do this on a desktop in the top righthand corner. The actual blocks themselves, are easy to figure out, pictures make a thousand words.


39.0 First BOM – Stained Glass

January 17, 2016

For the brand new year, I happened upon a brand new BOM that I decided to join up and work on.

I love the stained glass look for quilts, and this one just spoke to me this time.

A designer for which I know little about, lives in Europe, I have bought one of her patterns before and the quilt is on my list to do, Ula Lenz has made the Ray of Hope quilt in hexagon style.

I have already completed the first block, here are some of the pieces I was working on.


I had a bright bag of orange, purple, pink batik scraps that I knew just “went together”. I think someone from my guild donated them to me at the last retreat a year ago. I had kept the fabrics separate from the rest of my stash, hoping to find a use for them.

I remembered seeing these fabrics recently, so I located an appropriately dark batik that I had bought to use for some purpose that matched these pretty batiks.


I have already cut out the border fabric for these blocks, the way Ula has us do the quilt is to make sashing and fun border wonky stars in between each of the hexagon blocks.

There are many color ways that would look fantastic for this quilt. I have luckily got the first block done, so I hope that I will be able to remind myself to download her next BOM when it’s posted at the beginning of each month.

It’s free. As you can see, each of the hexagons will be done in three sub blocks, and several of them have different amounts of seams on them.

Paper piecing doesn’t scare me.

Here’s the pretty block without the border pieces.


I hope I can keep enough of these fabrics in the quilt. I may try to find another light fabric to help with the contrast a little more on future blocks.

And here’s the block with border pieces. So now it can be sewn in square.



35.7 Dancing Ribbons corner quilting not turning out

June 24, 2014

Okay I have been living with some darker fabrics next to my dancing ribbons quilt, trying to make the fabric decisions on what will work best for the corner blocks.

dancing ribbon fabric choices 2

And then on a whim this past weekend, I decided to start cutting up and using an even lighter fabric for the corner fabric, making my lightest color fabric on the left in my picture above now become the darker of the 2 blue fabrics.

Then I have everything cut out, and all my sets of pieces cut out, sewn together & trimmed.

dancing ribbons corner blocks trimmed up ready to piece.

This means all the paper pieces are trimmed and all the fabric is sewn together in groups of 2 trimmed.

But you know the old saying “Measure twice, cut once”? Yeah, I don’t think I did that.

dancing ribbons first too small corner

See how much smaller my completed corner is from the size of the quilt? I forgot to double check my measurement of my quilt block before printing out the EQ7 paper piecing.

I had put in the center block to being 20 inches instead of the 23 inch finished size. I was hoping to go large and then cut back, not the other way around. 😦

Sad trombone.

Also, seeing exactly how bright I went with the brighter fabric now this “way lighter” corner thing looks really out of place.

If I manipulate the one corner I have done in photoshop to see the quilt as it may appear (with the too small corners) it will look kinda like this.

dancing ribbons first too small corner copy

I don’t mind lighter corners, but this seems too light. I think I may rethink this redesign. I may go with the original darker fabric to tie it better to the original colors. I was “this close” to using the darker fabrics Saturday, but then “on a whim” (which sometimes works) I said that I liked this lighter fabric too much and I wanted to use it.

Since I have to redo the corners anyway for being too small, I will switch back to the darker fabric & purchase more of the ‘medium’ I have in this piece.

The dark from the corners of this piece will become the light in the next part of the fabric. The time I spent working on this quilt, there were limited hours for in-person fabric shopping. So this quilt will sit another week during the thinking stage.

The yellow bright corners may be too bright for this quilt, I have a duller version of the yellow. Possibly, I am going to rethink the actual corner colors.

I did have a thought about adding borders to the corners to make them fit better, but I don’t really want to try to mess with that.

I don’t mind too much about this setback. I DO really like the four corner colors that I have created.

So much that I decided to complete the four corners as a small quilt of its own. With a minor change with the inner star which I will highlight with the quilting stage.

blue faded star four corners

This is a cute little happy blue quilt. I will have a quilt plus the reverse of the same thing in the corners of the Dancing Ribbons quilt. With different colors.

Just not destined for this quilt at this time. Very pretty!


30.6 SQ Ep Post March A Long 2013 and Foundation Paper Piecing general tips

May 4, 2013

podcast feed

It’s finally out, the post March A long Report, plus some discussion of my projects, a tiny bit of paper piecing advice in addition to the project.

*quick warning, I play with the mic stand in this episode – not terribly loud, but occasionally distracting. whoops. not taking this out of the audio.*

During the month of March, we try to quilt for 15 minutes, building our ‘quilting muscles’.

If you listen to the podcast, the first 20 minutes or so I recap some of the achievements we accomplished in the month of March. Here are the links to the past March A Long posts where people reported their progress.

You did it!  So did I! Congrats to everyone who worked toward this wonderful hobby.

AJ Dub of Harriet Homemaker Strikes Again wins the giveaway for the March A Long as decided by

I am currently listening to the Ender’s Series on Audible by Orson Scott Card through audible. There are many books to listen to, the story is science fiction, also somewhat political (one story arc), some are older books, some are newer –  great audio drama due to multiple people reading the story!

I am working on my Quilters Healthy Choices #QHC by doing more exercise in the last 5 months than the previous number of years combined.

I recently went to a local arboretum. Beauty for ‘early spring’.

arboretum april 2013

Then I discuss about how I work on paper piecing. I really mean foundation piecing. Some tips below:

  • I glue the first piece down.
  • I cut my strips into sizes that I may try to use later, such as 5″ by width of fabric, 3.5″ inch strips by width of fabric. Especially when I am deciding the size needed for the rest of the pattern.
  • I don’t trim off the quarter inch or eighth of an inch in between seams. Unless there is a seam ending in the middle somewhere. Or unless you plan ultra bulky amount of quilting on the piece.
  • I prefold my paper before sewing. And I prefold all the way down the length of the paper.
  • After I fold the pattern, the piece that I am going to fill up next has to match up with the fabric behind or it won’t fit very well. This eliminates the need to have an “extra large” piece of fabric that all gets cut off and discarded. (see picture below)
  • Make decisions that make sense for you to help you stay organized. Do things that may help you out in the long run. Always put the dark fabric in a specific place if it doesn’t matter to the design.
  • Make one copy of one block before moving on to chain piecing or cutting all of them, you may save on fabric if you try out something first.
  • I pin down the other side of longer seams to help it stay in place, but I don’t pin the whole seam unless I fear it shifting around too much.
  • Carol Doak’s paper piecing is wonderful, use it for times when you have either intricate or small patterns when pulling out paper will be a pain in the bu*t later.  Regular paper also works okay.

how to measure for paper piecing

pin one long seam graph paper of all kinds, shapes, & sizes. You print off what you need in handy 8.5 X 11 pieces, downloads to PDF files.

Craftsy paper piece design for Hexadaisy.

The love it / hate it / love it / hate it block for the hexadaisy with stripes.

outer rings purple

I bugged about everyone I knew online to see what they liked better, but shows my decision in making the design. I picked the 5th option not shown below – combines the left half with the right half of the mosaic below – which was always intended (some people didn’t know that).

hexadaisy choice mosaic

I ultimately decided (finally) to use grey swirls instead. I love the stripes and striped pattern will work on it’s own in a different quilt. But NOW the stripes are gone for this project as they were TOO DEMANDING of my attention.

swirly grey centers

The version is going to the quilt guild auction in July. When it’s quilted.

small hexadaisy top for auction

A completely random couple of notes tacked on.

Be careful at a quilt show in case of emergency. See if your quilt guild has insurance in case expensive sewing machines become damaged.  A guild close to mine had a problem at a local show recently.

Also don’t forget to finish making blocks for other quilters if you signed up to do them.


26.4 Dancing Ribbons Paper Piecing Finish

July 2, 2012

Well hello!

I find myself with an extra hour before work so I thought I’d update you.

First, the finish along was a bust a long. Not exactly, I did make significant progress on all three projects.

One was my strip twist quilt which is 3/4 quilted and I never yet made it back to the long arm place yet. So it’s close.

Two was my periodic spiral quilt, for which I have hand stitched, and embroidered pieces, and now am sewing the trim down and this past week have been completely unmotivated to sew the trim down further.

So I take it to work and then take it home and take it to work and … well you get the picture.

Three was my Don’t Panic Quilt which received twister blocks, a background answer to Life the Universe & Everything. And now I have to machine applique it down to the back.

What’s stopping me here?  Probably the cream colored thread color in my sewing machine. LOL.  All I have to do is change thread and all I WANT to do is not change it.

But it’s summer. So that’s OK.


I did get something from block stage to very very close to finished top stage (just needs an applique circle in the very center.

IT’s my Dancing Ribbons quilt!

This is what it looked like late afternoon on Sunday July 1st.  All that’s left as of this picture is to remove the back and add a center applique.

Here’s the journey in picture form.

Starts with a free pattern from AQS. Too small. Blowed up on my scanner/printer.

Then colored the version of the pattern with photoshop.

Then I had to use all the organizational skills I’ve had to organize everything & then transfer to the foundations.

And then starting to sew them.

And then unsew them due to lack of contrast with the dark blue fabric.

And purchasing more dark dark blue fabrics. And then resewing them.

And more.

And more.

Last weekend getting closer.

Last weekend finishing up petals & starting to cut corner pieces. (pic taken sunday morning)

And then I thought I’d not have time to sew but plans changed.

So I finished outside & started sewing together.

And then I got the center finished.

And then I had the “bestest” time (NOT) trying to sew the curves of the center.

Turns out I ‘basted the quilt using my teeny tiny stitches. Then was able to resew together better.

Here’s a close up of some of the ribbons.

And now I have removed the paper (watching three television shows to do it). And I have cut out but not appliqued the center down.

Now to figure out how to quilt this that doesn’t emphasize the puckers that may or may not have happened while putting the outside curve together.

Very happy with this quilt.  All from an email for a free pattern!


26.3 A little rest from the heat

June 21, 2012

SINCE this past weekend we’re having AC problems and problems with phone tag with landlords, and landlord in the ICU of the hospital (please send good wishes/prayers his way), and generally misery in the main part of my house most of the time.

Until today.

And TODAY ONLY it appears looking at the projected temperatures of the upcoming weekend.

Finally the temp inside my house has broke below 85. Before this week I forgot how stressful, headache causing, nauseating, and draining just sitting in that sweltering heat can become. 83 now seems “cool” inside. Tolerable.

Which thanks to a single day cool front has lowered temps quite a bit for one afternoon.

So I’m enjoying today, and telling you that until the AC is fixed, I don’t have any energy/desire to post/podcast/ or do anything cooking / sewing / blogging related. Pretty much don’t want to do anything except give a weather report of the inside of my own house and sometimes have the energy to read back through other people’s tweets.

And drink water / tea. lots of drink.

And the one day I actually went away to a) sew, and b) get away from this mess of a house, was the one day that there was a possible connection & time for the person to come look at (and possibly fix) the AC. And I wasn’t home. Figures. Sux.

What makes it worse is that at work I am near several several machines that run at 100-300 degrees all the time and our lab re instituted that we all always have to wear lab coats even though the samples we deal with are all contained in vials with caps. Last summer I could periodically at least walk around without the lab coat for a while. Hot at home. Hot at work. No escape lately except for sleeping.

But today … cool …


Sunday morning I finished the last of my embroidered pieces on my periodic table quilt while I was out of town.

The group names of the periodic table for which I plan to applique a single hexagon to the side as a key to the groupings.

I will also have to cut up these names and rearrange them so that they can be appliqued to the front of the quilt top.

Here’s a slightly closer picture showing some of the variegation and the different color shades of threads I stitched together.

I tried to be random for which sides got which color grouping, and I tried to pair a light strand with a dark strand.

I already miss the easier portability of this embroidery, as I currently have the rest of the quilt top back in my purse, sewing down the one trim that I decided to use (well it’s probably getting paired with a 2nd trim outside of this).

Here’s the trim I chose. A round ric rac style of trim.

I am/was/am/maybe pairing this trim with another black trim that has spiraled gold pieces. If I do decide to put the 2nd trim on the quilt, it will lay over the top of the ric rac of the trim and be on the outside of the diagram. Double layer would be double work tho.

I DO NOT like the pins I have to use to keep the trim on while it’s in my purse. Because I fold this quilt up into a ball (or sometimes fold it) to move it around and then the pins poke back out at me.

Earlier I mitigated that problem with roxanne’s glue, but this time, I don’t want to use that glue to tack the trim down.

And I am appliqueing this trim down through the narrow gaps in the trim (provided already) and doing it all by hand so that the applique stitches aren’t really showing up at all! 😉

The only other piecing I’m doing right now is some paper piecing on my dancing ribbons quilt. This has 18 pieces for the circle, and today I realized I am one piece shy of having 9 done. But here’s a picture of 7 I took earlier today.

As you may see that the paper is still on the back and will be until these things are sewn together in a big ol circle.  So I’m not exactly half done (there are other parts to the outside as well) but I am pretty well close.

These blocks are mindless and it’s fun to think of the end result, even if all it is, folding, cutting, pinning, sewing clipping threads, ironing, repeat. And each ‘block’ has so many little pieces.

Two things of note here:

Now my dark purple is too dark but since I ripped out 2 blocks for the dark blue background, I am not ripping the blocks again, the dark purple will just have to stay dark.

And this picture shows a lot more ‘yellowing’ than what the colors actually are. Problem with not using a flash earlier and the ambient light etc.

These strips actually alternate with 9 other strips that haven’t been sewn yet.

Mind numbing. But this will be great when done. But I couldn’t paper piece 8 hours a day for several days straight w/o going a little nutzo.  (hmm, gretchen, familiar?)

Anyway, I don’t know when my AC will be back to normal and I can stop obsessing about the temperature in my house. I don’t know how long it will be until I have another perfectly perfect day to be able to sew or come talk to you again.

So if it’s a while, stay safe, drink lotsa water!