A Feathered Starry Night

This week I am quickly jumping back into my Starry Night quilt, mainly because I think I am close to having all the blocks I want/need…plus I am slightly addicted to the blue-yellow contrast.  The result of the weekends playing was this star…

paper pieced star block

We were snowed in this weekend which allowed me to play a little.  I designed this pattern, a copy of which you can find here Starry Night Feathered but instead of printing it out as I usually do, I thought I would give tracing paper a go.   So I traced my pattern on the paper, using a good old-fashioned pencil and ruler.  This is definitely the down side to tracing paper.  I had previously tried to get my inkjet printer to take the extra thin tracing paper but it was not having any of it.

tracing paper pattern

So the advantages of tracing paper are…

(1)  it is thin enough that lining up your fabric is easy

(2)  the thinness of the paper also means that you get less bulk where seams meet and

(3)  my stitches had less give when the paper is remove and the paper was easier to remove.

The downside…

(1)  if you can not get it to print on your printer, tracing the pattern is a laborious task

(2)  I missed the extra sturdiness that photocopy paper gives your pattern, particularly when sewing the pattern pieces together.  My pattern kept flopping over and moving.

(3)  it is more expensive per sheet and not as easy to find as photocopy paper.

Okay the experiment is over and so is the snow.  I am going to stick with photocopy paper… and go back to using my sheets of cardboard as a background to my blocks instead of wonderful snow.

snow fun

26 thoughts on “A Feathered Starry Night

  1. I read quite a way back in your posts and I am quite impressed! I love your use of color and your willingness to experiment. And congrats on the magazine article. And thanks for taking on your new duties for PMQG.

  2. Another beauty. Please, please tell me you’re keeping this one and not giving it away, except to a family member maybe? This one’s so special that to have it disappear into the void would be sad. I know Project Linus and all the rest are very worthy causes, but sometimes you deserve to keep the work of your own hands. And thank you for letting us know how the tracing paper worked out. I was considering using cheap baking paper, but my printer would probably have a fit and as it’s new, I don’t want to upset it this early in our relationship!

  3. I love paper piecing and find what works best for me is the doodle pad paper from Fred Meyers. It’s cheap and has more body than tracing paper. Down side is it comes 9x12inches so I have to trim it to 8 x 11 1/2 but after that it goes thru my printer fine. It tears off very easy. It’s that cheap paper kindergarteners use. You should give it a try;)

  4. Hi, I am a recent quiltaholic fellow Aussie living in Melbourne Australia and started paper piecing for the Doctor Whoalong run by Trillium Design. Some of the patterns had tiny pieces making printer paper very difficult to rip out so after visiting my local quilt shop I purchased the only paper they carried ( not much choice) – Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. You can put it in the printer and is much easier to rip out and still sturdy enough for the piecing. You can’t see through it, same as copy paper. I am still going through the Hundred sheets you get for $8.96 from Amazon. here is the link if you are interested. Cheaper than here in Oz, Love following your blog 🙂

  5. RE: Paper. Most copy paper is 20 lb paper. If you can find 15 or 16 lb paper, it’s thinner and easier to work with. Still has some body to it but easier to remove, especially is dampened. Alternatively, newsprint paper (like the newspaper is printed on) has some body but practically disintegrates when wet. I’ve found both at Amazon in the US, I have been following your posts and love the patterns and colors. Pushed me to get back to foundation piecing. Keep up the good work.

  6. I’m another fellow paper piecing fanatic who uses Carol Doak’s foundation paper (after I took a class with her and fell in love with the technique). Your star is so wonderful and thanks for providing the link to the pattern. I love your color combinations and have added this to my list of fun projects to do this year!

  7. I usually use tracing paper. I found that some brand can go in my laser printer, some don’t. Last time, I glued the top of a sheet on a regular paper and it did well in the printer. But it takes time for no much gain.

  8. If you are experimenting with papers, try a cheap bank paper notepad. That’s what I know them as, but they are simply the lightweight notepads you can buy at any stationery shop. Perhaps, long ago, bank clerks used paper like it. I’ve used it for most of my foundation piecing. I find tracing relaxing, and I often make one-off blocks that I do not have electronic versions of, but maybe I should try feeding it through the printer.

  9. Hi! I’m just stumbling across your paper pieced starry night quilt blocks. I’m wondering if you ever finished the quilt top? It’s such an awesome design, I’d love to see it. 🙂

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