Trying something new!!

On the last morning of our retreat, I decided that I wanted to try a new pattern that I found in the latest American Quilter magazine.

I am not a huge fan of paper piecing but thought that this one might be fun to do.

One thing that I really liked about it was that you used 2.5 inch strips to do the piecing which meant that it was super easy to cut the fabrics.

What I didn’t like about it was that there was a large pile of wasted fabric once the block was pieced……

I like how the flower part looks and I may try more as the summer goes on, but I will NOT use strips….

I am glad that I made a test block and learned how I will change it going forward.

I am looking forward to working on it further!!

Casa Amarela

Today’s Travel Log Quilt comes from the beautiful city of Porto, Portugal. Michael has been there many times, and I have had the pleasure of joining him for two of those trips.

Having grown up in West Texas, I know what a FLAT city looks like…..Porto is NOT one of those…..

The city is nothing but up and down and up and down and up and down….you get the picture!!

On our first trip, as I was trying not to get lost….and failing (this was prior to Google Maps), I came across this sweet street and loved the yellow house at the top of the stairs. I quickly snapped a photo as I walked past…..

This image stayed in my mind as I returned home and I finally decided that the only way to get it out of my mind was to make a quilt from it…..what else!!!

The things that excited me about this project were trying to get the perspective of the steps and adding the details to the house. I decided that I wanted to piece this as much as possible which meant having to come up with a paper pieced pattern.

I first blew the photo up so that it filled a sheet of paper and then printed it in black and white. I used a fine-point Sharpie to trace over all of the lines that I saw in the photo…..

Now the good thing about using this pen on paper is that some of the ink soaks thru the paper, providing a reverse design on the back….

exactly what I needed for paper piecing!

I blew this reverse image up to the size that I wanted………

and started playing with fabrics…..

I had so much fun quilting in the details…..

The final quilt is a fun reminder of a sweet day roaming around the hills of Porto…….

“Casa Amarela” (Yellow House)

Geese Opt In

Finishing the Christmas Trees…

I was determined to have these trees finished in time to decorate for Christmas and it happened….

I am super pleased with how they look!!

But, the last time you saw them they were in lots of pieces so let’s talk about how they got from there to here….

I finished the paper piecing and was ready to add the borders. I trimmed down the entire tree leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the pattern lines. Then, I removed the paper just along the edges….

That way the edges were free of paper but the rest of the piece stayed stabilized.

After adding the borders it was time to remove the rest of the paper and I found a new tool while doing it. I normally used a seam ripper to help get under the paper…..

…but was always concerned that I would accidentally clip the threads or, even worse, cut a hole in the fabric!!

Then I remembered my “Purple Thing”!! It was perfect for this task…..

Another reason why I am not fond of paper piecing….

Now it was time to think about quilting. I tried a few designs on paper…..

…but decided that I wanted to see it in the real size.

You may be tired of videos but I wanted to share one more that shows how I planned the quilting and then how easy it was to actually perform the design…..

I kept the rest of the quilting really simple and am especially happy with the striped binding…..

One looks longer than the other but I promise that they are the same size!!!!

Another project finished…….

Paper Piecing – Prepping the pieces…

Welcome back to “I HATE PAPER PIECING”…..not really!!

In yesterday’s installment I talked about the tools that I simply cannot do without…..Golden Threads Paper and Add-A-Quarter Ruler.

Today I have selected my fabrics and am getting the pieces prepared.

This video talks about one of my paper piecing horrors…. selecting a fabric, sewing it to the base and then flipping it over to find that it is TOO small!! I have added a step to hopefully alleviate this problem.

Check out the video…..

Tomorrow we finally start sewing!!