Kew Quilt — Yowza!!!!

Yesterday I had one of the sides finished and was excited to see how the next side would work. Here is the process that I used to piece each side…..

First, I drew the design using “Golden Threads Quilting Paper”.

It is thin and easy to see thru for tracing a pattern and super easy to tear off after the fact. I also like that it won’t tear if you have to rip out and re-do…..ask me how I know!!!!

Anyway, here is the pattern drawn out…..

When I drew out the first side, I made the decision that, since the lines themselves were so wide, I would use the outside of the line as my design. This meant that the colored sections were a bit wider but I think that it worked well.

Here are the steps to paper piecing….

Line the fabric up with the previous piece that was already sewn in place, matching the marking to the circular line…..

I normally don’t pin but since these seams were long, I opted for a few pins along the way….

Now I turn the piece over and sew on the reverse side, following the drawn line….

Iron the new piece out…..

And then comes the magic….

I used a straight edge to fold the NEXT piecing line over……

Placed the “Add-A-Quarter” ruler over it…..

…..and cut along the added quarter inch…..

The result is that now I have a good line to follow when I place the next piece!!

This ruler makes Paper Piecing SO much easier and I will do a review of it in the next day or two!!

As the night wore on, I made a few mistakes, including piecing from the wrong side of the paper…..

….meaning that everything was reversed!! Fortunately I only did THREE seams this way!!

At one point, I used two grey fabrics together instead of moving to the next in the gradation. I will honestly say that I debated long and hard about whether I wanted to rip out those FOUR seams to fix it, but in the end, I did just that.

Sometime around 11:00pm I put the final stitch in the side and laid it out on the wall to see how it looked…..


Needless to say, I went to sleep happily dreaming of firework stripes!!!

The final step will be to join the three pieces. I have always been thinking about applique, but maybe I should try piecing???? I will have to think about that!!!

Kew Quilt Update

I had called this my “thinking” quilt because I thought that it would take a lot of brain-power and would probably take a long time to do. Because of some choices that I have made along the way……I was WRONG!!

The first decision was a biggie… keep it more abstract and not worry about obtaining the full perspective. I had talked about this in my last post but was still a bit concerned about it when I got to the bigger of the steps…..

Were these larger posts (circled in orange) going to look bad if they were a solid piece? AND, if I didn’t have the stair points that stick out (circled in green), would that interfere with the visual aspect?

Rather than piecing it both ways to see, I turned to my computer and used digital fabric to cover the edges and see how it looked (Michael’s suggestion!!!).

This was the center section that was ALMOST complete (I had pieced and un-pieced the next section 3 times and had given up for the night)……

It even shows some of the “stair points”.

And, this is how it looked after the digital “trimming (note….I will not trim the actual fabric quite this thin)!!……

When you look at them side-by-side, I just don’t see enough difference to warrant the extra time and energy…..

Does that make me a bad person????

So, I went upstairs, sewed on the last set of stair strips and the took my rotary cutter to it and trimmed all of the edges off!!!….No going back…….NEXT!!!

Now it was time to start thinking about the sides…..

I quickly realized that the “glass” sections should mirror the “glass” sections of the middle……ie they should be grey and should change in value as they move up the piece.

I had in my mind that the smaller strips would be in colors with the color changing as it came to the curved lines in the photo, but had no idea about what colors to choose. This is where providence stepped in!!!

While I was looking for possible colors, my eyes landed on this piece of fabric……

I had a yard if it and wondered if it might work, alleviating the need for ME to do the gradations as it came to those curved lines.

The only way to find out was to try it so I drew out the pattern and started piecing. When I put it on the wall, I was pretty sure that this was what I wanted…..

…but once I had the entire side done, I was positive about it…..

Tomorrow we will look at the process of piecing the other side….mistakes included!!

Kew Quilt – Taking the easy road

As I mentioned in my last post, I had started piecing the easier of the “stair-steps”….ie, the ones that didn’t have any visible dimensional aspects. I quickly came to the end of those easy ones…..

….and had to make a hard decision. DO I make the piecing super complicated and have all of the dimensional elements as the stair moves back up OR…. do I keep it simple and let the perspective speak for itself.

Guess what I picked!!! I decided to keep things simple, knowing that I can re-do it if I am not happy.

Also, I started thinking about adding the dimensional elements with paint or thread during quilting. Those sound like good reasons don’t they……don’t they????

Anyway, at the end of the afternoon’s piecing I was about half-way finished with the “upside” and, so far, I am happy with how it looks……

Since I have decided to keep this part easy, I REALLY have to start thinking about the sides….they are coming sooner than I expected!!

Kew Quilt…..NOW WHAT??

Now that I have the design drawn and the initial fabrics selected, it is time to turn my mind to EXACTLY how I am going to accomplish this quilt.

I don’t believe that the side strips will be super hard. I will just have to be extremely accurate and careful in my piecing!!

But, how am I going to make the center “ladder” section.

Applique would obviously work, but seems like a LOT of trouble!!

I really want to piece most of it but am concerned about how I will accomplish these dimensional areas….

Rather than making a full plan, I did what I normally do and started with the part that would be the easiest. I can always figure out the harder stuff when I get there!!!

Although it is not my favorite piecing method, I decided to paper piece each section….

….starting with the large (window) piece, adding the black side pieces and finally adding the “step” to one side.

After finishing with each section, I attached it to the preceding section…..

By doing this section by section, before I knew it, I had finished the top five window panes!!

There are three more of these “simple” sections and then I get to the hard part!!

To quote Scarlett O’Hara……

Scrap Fun


I am in need of a quilt for an upcoming gift (more about that in later posts) and was trying to figure out what to do.  I knew that it needed to be a small wall quilt so I started looking thru my Miniature Quilts magazines….starting with Issue number 2.   MANY issues later, I came upon a strip pieced quilt that caught my eye and proceeded to start planning it in my head.

The first ideas was to use the strips that I had been cutting from my scraps, but realized that the smallest of those (1-1/2 inches) was still too big.  SO, I moved up a drawer and pulled out the bits that were “too small to use”….ie narrower than 1-1/2 inches.  They were perfect for piecing this quilt!!

I drew one of the block sections on Golden Threads paper and then put 30+ additional squares under the drawn one.  I then sewed around  the design using a threadless machine and achieved all of my paper patterns in one fell swoop.

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I started with all of my scraps in the drawer, but ended up throwing them onto the floor so that I could get to them easier.


As I started paper piecing these blocks, I found two things that helped the process go easier.  The first was to leave my machine in “Needle-Up” mode.  By doing this, I didn’t have to move the needle up after every seam when I was wanting to pull the sewn piece to the back and start sewing on the next one.

The second was to select and cut ALL of the pieces for a certain seam at the same time rather than reaching down into the pile and cutting them individually.

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After piecing the paper blocks, I removed the paper and put them  together into the quilt top.



My original idea was to put a solid color fabric in the small border, but decided that it lost the sparkle that the rest of the quilt had, so I used a handful of 1-1/2 strips and created the stripe.

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It was a fun quilt to make and I am truly happy with the results.


Now it is off to the home opener for the University of Georgia football team.

 GOOOOOOOO  DAWGS!!!!    Sic-Em!!!!    WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!!

Escada Azul


Wow, I just had a very fun 3 day weekend….it is sad to see it past!!!   On Friday, I mailed my Sunflower quilt to the East Cobb Quilt Guild show in Atlanta,  where it will be judged next Monday and then hung the following Thursday.  I am looking forward to seeing it hanging in this wonderful show.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I worked on several different projects and truly enjoyed spending long hours in my studio.

The prize of the weekend was finishing the blue stair quilt that I showed a couple of posts back.  It is now named “Escada Azul” (Blue Stairs)……

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Here is the photo that the quilt was based on……

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As with most of my pieces, I learned a lot about myself!!  I ended up doing a lot of applique to set the piece together and found that I enjoyed the hand work.  I also had one piece that didn’t l0ok right but I had decided that it was “good enough”.  I thought about it during the night and went in first thing Monday morning and ripped the piece out and re-did it, being much happier with the result.

I also quilted a wallhanging for a friend who is in a time crunch trying to get her booth ready for the upcoming Atlanta show.    I still find it nerve racking to quilt for another quilter….someone who KNOWS what it is supposed to look like!!!

Oh well, so much for the Holiday….now it is on to Accounting work!!!

Portugal Stairs #2


I have been working on the second in my series of stairs from Porto, Portugal.  This time it is a long set of stairs (100 in this first set and then another 114 after I turned the corner), and I decided to do it in a monochrome palette.

This afternoon, we were supposed to go to a friend’s house for the evening, but my husband started feeling poorly mid afternoon so we didn’t end up going.  Instead, we watched the University of Georgia football game (unfortunately we lost) and I did the hand Applique on this piece. 

It is amazing with these stair quilts that the perspective doesn’t appear until you put the “stair-step” side piece on and then…..WOW!!!!



This one will have even more perspective when I have done the shading, thread work and quilting…..something to look forward to doing!!


I have also been working on a charity quilt for our guild and quilting on a piece for a friend.




If you are in the US, i hope you are having an enjoyable “Labor Day” weekend!!

UFO Number 1

I decided that the first of the UFO’s that I would tackle would be a small wall hanging that was started in a class several years ago. The workshop was given by Debbie Frey and used the “Scrap Happy Spools” pattern. I had selected shades of blue for the piece and had only finished 2-1/2 of the 12 blocks needed for the top.

I truly enjoyed spending an evening finishing the squares and setting them together to make a cute small quilt. I dont particularly care for paper piecing, but found this project to be fun. As I stitched, I decided to give the quilt as a gift to a wonderful friend who wants to make quilts, but cant find the time at the moment.

I needed to quilting to be fast and easy so chose a variegated blue thread and did a free form swirl over the surface.

I am pleased with the result and my friend loved it!!!

One UFO down and 17 more to go!!!!