Remember me….

First of all I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season.  I managed to take an unexpectedly long break over this Christmas period… and I am sorry I went radio silent for so long. It was not my intention but life has a wonderful way of throwing you curve balls…. and this curve ball involved me managing to get extreme Vertigo.   The year is going out with a bang for sure!

Anyhoo I have manged to get my act together enough to bring you another Hodge Podge block for Paper Piecing Monday….

christmas star quilt block

This is my Christmas star…and though a little late, I hope you will still have some fun with this pattern.  I love have made quilt a few different stars using this shape, and I love this simpler version, which works well at the small 6 inch size.  If you would like the pattern, the free PDF can be found here….christmas star pattern

As I am now that I seem to have a handle on the dizziness I am hoping to get back to a more regular posting schedule…. until the universe finds another fun malady to thrown at me!!!

Laced Star Hodge Podge…and a winner….

My little break from blogging has had quite an effect on me….I got into some bad habits and need to get back into the swing of posting….  Paper Piecing Monday seems to be very ingrained in my process but the rest needs some work.

So without further ado here is today’s pattern, the Laced Star….

laced star block

I really like this pattern, and not just because I have a thing about paper pieced stars!  The traditional colouring of this block gives the star a different look….

star

….giving the star some lovely movement.  You can find the free paper piecing pattern for this 6 inch block here… laced star pattern

And the last order of business is to let you know the winner of the Glass Half Full bundle was Wendi who was chosen by the very scientific method of my husband picking a number between 1 and 151 and that numbered comment won.  Very high-tech I know.

Paper Piecing Monday’s Little Houses…

This past week I have working away on projects for other people… which has somewhat limited my selfish sewing.  In between finishing charity quilts I have been making tiny little houses…

a group of houses

These little buildings are 5 1/2 inch square and are the only paper piecing I have done in the last week or so….  the pattern is called “Outhouse” and is by Carolyn Friedlander …I am also using mainly her fabrics to make this round of blocks…

pattern and fabric

I am going to be teaching a class on making these little houses at my LQS, Modern Domestic, and this will be my class sample…

a pile of blocks

I am almost done with making the blocks and it has been a fun challenge… and I have employed quite a few tricks which have made the process a little easier.

block pieces

I am looking forward to getting back to some of my other projects later this week…. I hear my Lizzy House butterflies calling my name.

A little miscalculation…

This week I finally decided on the layout for my green star quilt….and in doing so realised I was one block short!    So it was back to the drawing board…literally…and a new block was designed…

outlined starThis is my Outlined star…a fun little star with 32 lovely little pieces.  I designed this star after staring at the other blocks on my design wall for a week or so and it seems to fit nicely into the Green star mix.

quilt block piecesIf you would like to add this star to your collection you can find a free PDF of an 8 inch  pattern here….Outlined star pattern.

And here is a glimpse of what I am planning for these blocks…

quilt block layoutI hope to have a finished quilt top to share with you on Friday…

Dealing with bulky seams….PP Monday style

After making my green star for this week I ummed and ahhed about whether to share it on the blog.  I love the star, but it suffers from the problem that a lot of paper piecing stars suffer from… a bulky center.

free paper pieced star blockIt is a fun star but the center is where 16 points of fabric meet, and as the star is only 8 inches square it makes for a lumpy middle.  Now this is a problem that I came across when I first started making paper pieced stars and there are a couple of tricks for minimizing the bulk.

1.  Iron seams open… ALL the seams are ironed open on my stars… and when the paper is removed I starch the seams so that all they want to do is stay open.

turning star partscompleted paper back2.  Remove the paper pattern in the corners BEFORE I sew all the pieces of the star together.

remove paperThis step means you are less likely to get paper stuck in the center joins… and so less bulk.

3.  Use tweezers to remove any excess paper that does get stuck….

tweezer actionThe only other trick is I have found that quilting through the bulk helps soften it, and with time, washing also softens it too.

Now there is only so much of the bulkiness you can effect… at the end of the day the bulk is there because so many seams are meeting at the same point. I personally think the visual effect of the stars are worth the extra bulk…

Now, if I have not turned you off this pattern, you can find the PDF here….turning star pattern.

Enjoy.

 

 

Ellen’s Snowball…

Last week I posted the last pink block I was using for the baby quilt I am making….it was not my last pink snowball though.  While posting on Instagram a friend requested I send the quilt to her…I could not oblige but as a compromise I said I would make her a pillow.

So this weekend I sat down and designed Ellen a snowball block.  I must admit I was a little influenced by the New York Beauty blocks I have been making…and I came up with this.

Ellens Snowball blockIt is a little more complex than some of the snowball blocks but I love how it turned out.  The block consists of 56 pieces but came together really quickly.  I of course had to throw in some dinosaurs and my beloved Aussie kangaroo print.

block piecesNow the block you are looking at is 16 inches big.  I enlarged the pattern for the cushion and will add a black and white border around the block to have finished size of 18 inches.  So this weeks pattern comes in two sizes… the original 12 inch block for those that want it as an option to go with the other blocks…Ellens Snowball 12 Inch pattern.  And just in case you are interested in doing a pillow version like me the 16 inch pattern (which comes in two pieces/pdfs)…Ellens Snowball Pattern A and Ellens Snowball Pattern B.