Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Good To Be Back!

I never intended my blogging break to last so long.  I've been doing some traveling and some relaxing, and a whole lot of working.

I wish I could relax as much as our dog Dillie.  That's a typical, though immodest, Corgi pose.

Dillie relaxing in Miss Main Street's bedroom.

I went out to Chicago again late in July to pick up Miss Main Street from her summer experience. We drove back east, stopping off in Michigan for a few days to visit my mom.  

Working a little at a time, I finished another big rosette for my version of La Passacaglia.  

Then joined three rosettes together.  I'm working now on the smaller rosettes needed to fill in the bottom edge.  

This is not a speedy project but I hope my slow pace is not deterring anyone from starting their own La Passacaglia.  It is one of those projects where you can't think about the time invested. Instead, I tell myself how much I am enjoying the process and how satisfied I will be with the final results.  I really do enjoy it, much more than I expected to, and am already thinking about my next English paper piecing project!  I know, crazy!

Monday, July 6, 2015


The 3-day weekend for July 4 turned into a short sewcation for me.  We did not have a lot happening so I got to spend a few hours sewing every day.  I worked on my La Passacaglia project, making more rosette centers...

...and a lot of the stars needed for the outer ring of each rosette.  

I also cut our more pieces. I will try to get those glued this week in the evenings because I want to put together some materials for handwork to take on an end of the month road trip I have planned.

I think I'll be interrupting this project next weekend to work on some other sewing I want to get done.

I hope your long week was relaxing at the same time it was celebratory!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Give Me Liberty

Are you a fan of Liberty of London fabrics?  I like the prints but the fabric is a little pricey to use for quilting.  If you are a fan, you might be interested in the Pop-In store at Nordstrom's.  

A few of the brick and mortar stores have a temporary in-store shop selling Liberty items and all of the merchandise is available online.  There are many cute items.  I like this coin purse but what really got me is this little suitcase.  Wouldn't it be great for storing a quilting project or supplies?  But a bit pricey; I'll have to think about it.

Today is a holiday from work, celebrating the July 4th holiday tomorrow.  That means extra time to sew!  Must get started. Enjoy your 4th of July celebration!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Progress on La Passacaglia

I've been working on the center parts of several rosettes.  My plan is to get 6 or 7 of these done then turn one into another large rosette (there are four large rosettes in the quilt).

I'll use the second large rosette to establish the width of the quilt, then I'll have a better handle on how much more work is entailed.  I fussy cut more pieces last weekend so have a lot to work with now. Having a lot pieces cut and glued to the paper is like having a full set of crayons to color with!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Instagram Made Me Do It

Ten days ago, Miss Main Street and I set out on a road trip, driving from our home in New Jersey west to Chicago, to deliver MMS to her summer program.  She needed a place to live so we rented a furnished apartment short-term on airbnb* then drove out with the stuff she needs for the summer and got her moved in. After a day spent helping her learn her way around Chicago on the "L," I drove back home.  I'll go back to fetch her home later this summer.

While strolling one evening after dinner, we went into a Barnes & Noble store to browse and I hit the jackpot.  I had been looking for this issue of Quilt Mania (Spring 2015) after photos from the My Small World quilt-along began turning up on Instagram (search using #mysmallworldqal).  I was smitten and badly wanted to make the quilt but could not find the magazine anywhere near me or online.  Now I'm set.  The design is by Jen Kingwell.  I plan to change the orientation to "portrait" for my version, so it can hang in my kitchen quilt space.  

But it will be a while before I get to this.  I'm still working on La Passacaglia.  

*About airbnb, yes I was nervous our rental would turn out to be a scam but it was legit and so far, so good.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

La Passacaglia - Big Rosette Finished

Wow, it's been a long time since I had anything to talk about here. But on Sunday, I finished the largest of the rosettes for my La Passacaglia project.  I think it's a good one!

I like the combination of colors in this one so much that I'm going to use them as a guide or color inspiration for the rest of the quilt.  

This rosette is about 22" across (including two finished edges). That space where it looks like a bite was taken out, that's not unfinished or an error, it's where another, smaller rosette will be joined.  In many cases, the rosettes appear to be overlapping.  The "blocks" of this quilt really do fit together like puzzle pieces.  I want to make my quilt a wall hanging for my kitchen space so need to reduce it in size from the directions in the book.  I'm planning to figure that out as I go along.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Supplies for English Paper Piecing

My La Passacaglia quilt project uses English paper piecing.  I tried this technique once before, but for this project I had to invest in some new supplies.

First, there is the book, Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein. It is not available on (my go-to source for all books). I bought my copy at Paper Pieces.  You need it to have the plan of the quilt and the directions for putting the pieces together (it goes together like a jigsaw puzzle).

The book doesn't have directions for sewing.  For construction techniques, I watched tutorials on YouTube.  Sue Daley has a series of video tutorials; her "Top 10 Tips for English Paper Piecing" will get you started.

You need the paper shapes that support the fabric pieces.  Now, you can cut them yourself but do you really want to spend your sewing time cutting paper?  Not me, so I bought the complete set of paper pieces for the quilt from Paper Pieces.  They sell a set of all the pieces, so you don't have to figure out how many you need of each shape and size.  

The fabric for my project is all coming from stash (so far).  Good thing, 'cause I spent my budget on the book, paper pieces, and glue pens.  I also bought a set of acrylic templates from Paper Pieces that make it easier to cut the shapes from strips of fabric.  I use my Olfa rotating mat for both cutting and gluing.  The edges of the fabric are lightly glued around the paper pieces and the Sewline glue pen makes that easy and fast.  I can see that I will need quite a few glue refills for the pen before the end of this project.  (Sue Daley advocates the glue process and it is working for me but there is also a basting technique that many others use.)

To sew the pieces together, I use a #11 milliner's needle (long and thin, with a small eye) and Superior Threads' Bottom Line thread.  I bought this thread at the urging of Sue Daley (in her video tutorial). The Super Bobs donut is giving me the color variety I need for my project, though you could probably manage with spools of a few neutral colors, depending on the color of your fabrics. 

You need a few other things, like a rotary cutter and thimble, you probably already have them on hand for your "normal" quilting projects. 

The last thing you need is patience.  This quilt won't be made in a weekend and possibly not in a year.  I'm aiming for Dec. 31, 2016.


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