The continuing adventure that is 8 inch stars…

Welcome to another riveting edition of Paper piecing Monday… okay there was a little bit of hyperbole in that statement, but I am really enjoying making these stars, and today’s pattern is no exception…

stamp star

I call this one Stamped Star because it feels very solid… not at all delicate like last weeks. The star is 24 pieces and would look cool, I realized after I had finished the block, with a light center rather than the dark.

stamp star pieces

You can find the PDF pattern for this star here…Stamp star.  Next week I will try to get a wip shot of the stars so far.  They are looking cool up on the design wall…but I still am not sure what I am going to do with them all!

A special finish….

This week I managed to finish up the second quilt I am taking home to Australia…this one is for my mum.
Red star quiltSo my Mum knows that this quilt is heading her way as a birthday present (yes she knows it is coming to her, because I am hopeless with surprises!)… her favorite colours are red and aqua so it is perfect for her…plus this quilt, with its beautiful stars and hours of work needed to go to someone special.

Red star quilt detail

20 paper pieced stars, a couple of yards of Robert Kaufman Quilters Linen, spools and spools of thread and countless yards of red and aqua fabric and we are done.

red star quilting detail

I was smart enough to send this quilt out to be quilted and the fabulous Nancy Stovall did an amazing job.  I actually left the quilting pattern decision up to Nancy and she choose a wonderful swirl that gives great movement to the stars.  I love it.

Red star quilt detail 2

For the back of the quilt I used a bunch of yard and half yard red and aqua prints from my stash. I also embraced the scrappy with the binding, using a variety of red prints to tie the quilt together.

red star binding

As I was binding the quilt I got a chance to look at every star more closely, and reflect on what I have learnt.

quilt detail 1

My first couple of stars were a little rough….I did not use small enough stitch setting on some of them which means that some stitches at the seams are visible.  I also was not as careful with the bulky joins in the some of the stars – I did not iron the seams open properly leaving a bulbous lump in the center of one or two stars.  But 20+ stars in I was a pro – I had embraced scrappy, had finessed my process and was making kick butt stars.

This quilt really does represent a wonderful journey for me… and I am thrilled that my mum will get to keep it.

Quilt Details:

Technique:   Paper piecing
Pattern:  various stars by Carol Doak and Quilting on the Square
Quilting:   Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting
Finish size:  65 x 80 inches

Some Quilt Talk and a giveaway…

I have been waiting for this day for what seems like ages…. today, this day, when I get to take part in the Blog Hop for my friend Sam Hunter’s new book, Quilt Talk.

Quilt Talk book

I first heard of Sam through her “We Are Sew Worth It” campaign, which was eye opening for me.  Sam started a serious conversation about the value of our work, a quilter’s work, as artists, which continues to resonate with me.

About 6 months later I was thrilled to hear that Sam had moved to Portland and joined the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.  The first time I met her I knew I had found a kindred spirit- she was straight talking, feisty, talented and hilarious (if you want to know what Sam’s sense of humor is like take a closer look at the buckets on the cover of her new book!)

photo (1)

You can imagine my excitement when I found out Sam was doing a paper piecing book… Quilt Talk is designed around a paper pieced font, which includes a full alphabet with letters, numbers, special characters and accents  There is also a dozen lovely projects that you can customize with your own words… my fave is this Star Wars inspired beauty (yes I am a geek)…


As part of the Blog Hop Sam has given each Hop host the paper pieced pattern for a particular word and a link on how to use them to make the buckets on the cover of her book.  My word is appropriately…



You can collect the full set of patterns by visiting the other Blog Hop hosts…


Sam has also kindly given me a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader… so if you would like to win a hard copy of this fabulous book just leave a comment, telling me what your favorite colour is… a random winner will be drawn on Sunday night (12th October) and announced during Paper Piecing Monday’s post.

Paper Piecing Monday the crazy edition…

Summer has well and truly arrived in Portland and I have been making the most of the sunshine… and not posting as much as I usually do.  Sorry about that.

This of course does not mean I have not been quilting… I have still been sewing away, just a little more sporadically than usual.  For the last week or so the only thing that has been up on my design wall has been my Starry Night quilt.

design wall

As you can see the jigsaw is slowly coming together.  I have finished with the star blocks and I am now just making sky.  Random weird bits of sky.

starry night wip


This week I went through my EQ7 quilting program and found a pile of paper pieced patterns and printed them out (my sky pieces are currently all 6 inch square or 3 x 6 inches).  With EQ I have been able to find a pattern I think is interesting and print it out at both sizes.

tree block sky

Now as stand alone blocks they look a little weird but once you add them to the quilt they just blend into the background in weird and wonderful ways….

star wip 2No matter how hard I tried to hide it you have probably realised by now that I did not have a grand plan when I started making these blocks, and that I am really making it up as I go along.  The blocks are not being placed in any sort of grid and I am just going with the flow, piecing bits and pieces together and seeing what works.

star wipIt is a crazy way to work…but really fun.  If you are interested in exploring the individual star blocks I have used,  you can find links to them under the “Paper Piecing Monday” tab and/or under the “Free Paper Piecing Patterns” tab.

6 inch star sky



Wee Wanders WIP Wednesday

This week I have been playing with  a selection of the Wee Wander’s fabric range by Michael Miller.  I love this fabric and have had a blast playing this week.

wee wanders fabricUsing the fabric for inspiration I pulled supporting fabric from my stash and ended up with this lovely bundle.

fabric pullAs soon as I bought the Wee Wanders, I knew what block I wanted to use – the Rolling Stone Block which dates back to the late 19th century…

wee wanders block 3I found this block, and great instructions on the Dont’ Call me Betsy site. I went with the traditional block layout but no matter what layout you use, it is an easy block that is made up of three units.

1.  A single fabric square… perfect for highlighting the wonderful fussy cut horses …

2.  A block made up of a rectangle of your chosen neutral (for me it was Kona Snow) and a rectangle of your coloured fabric.  This was a great opportunity for me to chain piece, something I do not often get to do…

chain piecing3.  A square in square block, that is paper pieced, but can be done traditionally as well.  For my blocks I removed the paper from this unit before I sewed the block together (a first for me, but it worked perfectly).

square in square blocksThese units are then laid out to make a finished 12 1/2 inch block.  I must admit for my block I enlarged the block slightly to room for the horse blocks.  My unfinished block is 14 1/2 inches square.

Wee wanders block layoutThis week the weather here in Portland has been gloriously hot and I have not got as much of this quilt done as I would have liked.  I have three blocks completed…

wee wanders block 2and…

wee wanders block 1and as the design wall shows, a number in process.

Design wallI am determined today not to be distracted by the sun…or the cat… of the World Cup.  AUGH!