Friday, August 23, 2019

Portable Project - English Paper Piecing Flowers

I've been craving a hand sewing project to work on while I watch TV and to take with me when I travel.  I was torn between several very appealing English paper piecing designs and finally settled on Flowers for Emma, designed by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.  I downloaded the pattern from her Etsy store

My flower centers will be this tone-on-tone yellow from my stash.  It's from a 3 Sisters collection by Moda, but one of their early collections, at least 10 years old. Once again, good to be using something from my stash.  The hexagons can be cut from 2.5" strips and having the hexagon template (1" sides finished) makes the cutting easy, though you can cut hexies by using the 60 degree lines marked on  your regular cutting ruler.  The template I'm using was $6 from Paper Pieces.  My plan is to hand stitch the flowers then applique them to the background but undecided yet whether I will do that by hand or machine. 

One of the attractions of this pattern to me was that I could see being able to finish it in a year or two, as opposed to the lifetime project that a traditional grandmother's flower garden quilt would become.  I enjoy EPP but it does take a long time to finish.  I enjoyed working on my La Passacaglia quilt (aka Rondeau) but it took me about two years and is only wall hanging size. 

When I get some of the flowers made, I can begin piecing the backgrounds and appliqueing as I go, giving me some easy machine work for times when I want that.  I'm pretty excited about this quilt!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Log Cabin Quilt Block Settings

I've been making slow but steady progress on the log cabin blocks and now have 64 finished blocks.  Since they finish at 10" square, that will make a quilt 80" by 80" which I think will work on a full size/double bed. 

I need to decide on a setting so I can begin the joining up process.  I have two alternatives under consideration.  This setting is called Sunshine & Shadows...  

and this next is called Fields & Furrows (or Streak of Lightening).  I'm leaning towards this second setting because I've never used it before. 

(Please excuse poor quality of the photos.  I laid the blocks out on the 
"design bed" and had to take the pictures holding the camera over my head.)

I've used the Barn Raising setting for my earlier log cabin block quilts, like Brownstone (made in 2014)...

 and Christmas Cabin, one of early quilts.

I found some good information on alternative settings for log cabin blocks on this site; the illustrations are very useful to help ensure I get the blocks laid out properly.

Another decision I need to make concerns the backing fabric.  I have some regular quilting cotton in the stash that I can use but am also thinking about using Minky or Cuddle, those super-soft plush fabrics.  I've never used it as quilt backing before but have seen quilts made with it.  Do you have any advice for using it?

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