Shimmering Winter Stars Quilted Wall Hanging

Shimmering Winter Stars Quilted Wall Hanging

I’ve just finished my “Shimmering Winter Star” wall hanging.

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From a distance, doesn’t it look as if the pieced triangles are twinkling or shimmering?

I started the design on my Electric Quilt 7 software with some ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest and the internet.  The triangles intersect the colors so they co-mingle and create a secondary design.  I especially love the work of Jenny Bowker “Shimmering Triangles”.  If you’re interested, she has a pattern for purchase online through Craftsy here.

Here’s a photo of the squares of batik Christmas fabric up on my design wall that I cut out of a layer cake to create the color scheme.  You can see the EQ7 sketch in the lower right hand corner.  (Sorry—my design wall isn’t yellow, but a light cream–I can’t seem to correct the color cast.)

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After organizing the color scheme, I got to work making the half square triangles.  It’s so easy–simply match up two contrasting squares …

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Put them right sides together, and

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(using a ruler and a disappearing ink pen) mark lines corner to corner, then across left to right and north to south.

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And sew  1/4 inch on either side of each line…

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Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut them apart on the drawn lines…

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…open and press… and you have 8 half-square triangles!  Ta-da!

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If you line the 45 degree line on your ruler up with the seam line (corner to corner) on the half square triangle, it’s easy to trim each one down to size.

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After making dozens and dozens of them, I put them up on the design wall (to double check the placement) and then pieced them together into the blocks I needed.

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Here you can see how they’re coming together on the design wall…not yet pieced together.  (Sorry it’s a bit blurry)

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And here it is—all finished with a green batik border, quilted with a meandering star pattern, and ready to go!  I was so pleased to get it in my shop before December!!  Yippee.

Unfortunately, I have another project that won’t get done in time.  Oh well, there’s always next Christmas right?

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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Amazing Kaleidoscope Quilts

Have you ever seen the AMAZING kaleidoscope quilts created by Paula Nadelstern?  If not, you’re in for a treat…take a look at these photos…

Kaleidoscopic XVII: Caribbean Blues by Paula Nadelstern

Kaleidoscopic XI: Snowfall by Paula Nadelstern

And see her quilts and interview on this YouTube video at the Akron Art Museum.  Just breathtaking!

http://youtu.be/yOBjVMaE2tk

And here’s Paula’s website, if you’d like to see more in her gallery:

http://www.paulanadelstern.com/

There’s something about a kaleidoscope that’s always fascinated me…the colors, the symmetry.  Remember those cardboard tubes with chips of colored stone or plastic in the end?  Well, there’s a world of sophisticated kaleidoscopes out there that take my breath away.  I love the surprise when you rotate and see a whole new view of spectacular colors radiating in perfect symmetry from the center. So this year, I’d love to make a few kaleidoscope-like quilts that reflected that beauty and wonder.

Although I’d love to take a class or workshop from Paula Nadelstern (please, please, please come to Wisconsin Paula!), she lives on the east coast and the only workshop/class I see on her schedule in 2015 for creating these lovely kaleidoscope quilts is one in Spain and a cruise to New Zealand/Australia.  (guess I won’t be taking those!)…

But I did find a wonderful article about her quilts and her process in my copy of American Quilter (Spring 1994, Vol X, No. !), “Kaleidoscopic in Design”.  She also has a book on the process–but sadly I think it’s out of print. Anyway, her technique may be a bit too advanced for this quilter, who’s just beginning to get her feet wet!  I also found an article by Bonnie McCaffery in the same issue of American Quilter “Creating a Kaleidoscope Quilt” that seems more do-able for a beginner. 

But then I found a wonderful YouTube demo by Ricky Tims online showing his version of techniques for creating a Kaleidoscope quilt:

http://youtu.be/HmZ2660K4r0

And knew I had to purchase his book right away and give it a trial run…just to see if I could do it.  His technique seemed right up my ally, at least as a “do-able” starting beginning.

http://www.rickytims.com/quiltgallery/kaleidoscope

Ricky gives great step-by-step instructions in his book with lots of illustrations.  At first I thought I could figure it out by just watching the quick video—but no, I really did need the book to keep me on track…it was worth every penny!

Quilt by Ricky Tims

Next time, I’ll show you a few photos of my first attempt at his technique!  (OK, don’t expect it to look like the photo above!!  Remember, I’m just a beginner!)

Until then…HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

My Crazy Christmas Trees Quilt

My Crazy Christmas Trees Quilt

I can’t believe all the snow we’ve gotten in Wisconsin over the past few weeks, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!  But, two good things have come of it:  (1) I’m grateful I can keep warm inside and work on my projects, and (2) it puts me in the mood to begin a project for Christmas!

Snow covered bird feeder

Snow covered bird feeder with birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been interested in a pattern by “Pieces from my Heart” for a beautiful crazy patchwork Christmas Tree quilt and just bought the entire fat quarter line of fabric from Moda called “Winterlude” by Three Sisters (see below) that might work perfectly.

Winterlude Fabric Moda

I arranged the fat quarter pieces (cut down to 12×18” rectangles) into three piles:  reds, greens, & creams.  (The blues will be saved for a future project.)  I ironed the freezer paper patterns to the top piece of fabric in each pile.  The hardest part was cutting into the fabric…slicing into 10 pieces at a time with my rotary cutter.  Yikes! …what are the odds I’d cut something wrong?  But it worked…happily there were no surprises.

After cutting, I “shuffled” the individual pattern pieces, and then began sewing.  It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together (I love puzzles)…

“Numbering” each piece or pieced set helps keep me keep organized so I can piece ten blocks at a time…I use the round stickers from the dollar store.

Piece by puzzle piece, the lower half is done…it’s fun to see it progress.  Each block takes on a life of it’s own.

Ta da! And here’s what one block looks like complete.  The blocks still need to be trimmed to size, but I have to wait until after all of the 30 blocks are done.

Ten green blocks down, twenty (ten red, ten cream) to go!

Until next time, keep warm!  and HAPPY QUILTING!!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Tessellating Leaves Paper Piecing

Tessellating Leaves Paper Piecing

So I found a pattern I’ve had for ages—“Little Bits: Fallen Leaves” by Cindi Edgerton (2001) for paper piecing tessellating leaves.  It’s a beautiful pattern and includes tissue paper patterns for each of the 25 leaves in the piece.  It’s one of those patterns that’s been sitting in my stash too long.

I’ve had a fascination with tessellating patterns for awhile now.  I think they’re so interesting.  So when I found this particular pattern, I had to give it a try.  Instead of the tissue paper patterns included in the pattern envelope, I chose to copy the patterns onto “Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper” using my printer/copier.  The foundation paper has the consistency of newsprint–it’s easy to remove, yet stable enough to hold up when piecing.

The first step is to find 25 different scraps of fabric and cut them into squares, rectangles and triangles.  No problem…

Each leaf pattern has different numbers on it—which makes it a “no brainer” once you create the master chart (see below).  The first number printed on the pattern piece is the order for paper piecing (1 to 2; 2 to 3; etc), and the second number is the fabric (1/8 = first piece with #8 fabric from your chart).

So…you need to do a paste-up board numbering each of your different fabrics from 1-25, plus a border “B” fabric (see above).  Then you’re ready to start…

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Grab a square of fabric that corresponds with the second number on the pattern after 1/# (I’m working on 1/8–so I grabbed fabric #8).  Place it on the  to back of the paper piecing pattern (this is the only time the fabric is placed right side up).  I like to use a dab of glue stick to keep it in place.

Then flip the paper pattern over, fold the paper back on the first fold line and trim the fabric to about 1/4” from the line with your ruler…

Go to the chart to find your next fabric number—in this case it’s a triangle (fabric #13…2/13)

And place that fabric on the trimmed line, right sides together (from now on every piece will be face down).  You can add a pin to keep in in place, but after awhile you won’t even need to.

Then “flip” the paper over and sew right on the line (using a smaller stitch—like a 2.0)…between 1 & 2.

Flip and finger press the fabric in place.  Then grab the next triangle (in this case it’s fabric #7)…

…and do the same thing.  Fold the paper to trim the next seam, flip and add the triangle to the seam you just trimmed (right sides together).

And sew on the line…then repeat the process…

…flip, finger press, flip, fold on the line, trim fabric, add the next fabric rst, flip and sew on the line, etc.

Here’s the smaller rectangle being added.

Until you’ve sewed all the pieces and your block is done.

Then square up your block by trimming on the outside line (be sure to cut on the outer line—not the seam line).

Put the blocks up on your design wall, join blocks into rows…

And then rows into the center of your quilt.

Here’s the back…don’t remove the paper until you’re all done adding the borders.

I love the way the pattern showed you how to sew the leftover triangles into 3-dimensional triangles that make the leaves “float” into the inner border.  Don’t you?  Now all that’s left is to get material for the outer border.  Then I can remove the paper and quilt it into a wall hanging or table topper.

Paper piecing takes a bit longer to do, but I think the results are worth the extra time.  It was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

Have you ever done a tessellating quilt?  Or paper piecing?  If so, post a photo!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts