Oh no more stars…

After an extended break from paper pieced stars I am now venturing back into familiar territory.  At QuiltCon I ran into an old friend who challenged me to make a special quilt… my response to that challenge will unfold over the coming months….starting with this block…

adventure block 1

This is an adaptation of one of the blocks I did for my pink Snowball quilt (which means you can use this pattern too if you want to make your own version of my fun modern baby quilt).

block pieces 1

You can see I used my tried and tested technique of marking the colour variations on the pattern.  If you want to make your own block, and do your own markings… you can download the free paper piecing pattern here….Adventure Star block 1

Highlight Paper Piecing Tuesday

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at QuiltCon in Pasadena.  I had never been to a National level quilt show before and it was a fabulous experience… but more on that later.  At QuiltCon Kona Cotton’s had a fabulous booth dedicated to it’s Colour of the year for 2016…

kona highlight

Kona has decided that each year they will create one new limited edition colour, and this year it was Highlight, an almost neon yellow.  They are also running a Colour of the Year block challenge where you can win a fabulous fabric bundle.    The Challenge runs from February 19th to March 1st and all you have to do is sew a block using Highlight and any other Kona colours you choose, upload a picture of your block to Instagram and tag #konaCOTYchallenge..

After getting my hands on a fat quarter of Highlight I felt I just had to play along, so I went to my trusty copy of 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars by Carol Doak and got to work.

KonaCOTY block

I paired Highlight with Kona Deep Blue and Lagoon to make this fun block, which is an enlarge version of  Carol’s Kansas Star pattern.  It was nice to get back to sewing after 10 days of not touching my machine… I am so inspired by my weekend away and so excited to start creating again…

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.

 

 

In the pink….

This week I am starting on a new paper piecing adventure.   It will not be a long one, but hopefully it will be fun.  The coming series of blocks is inspired by the impending arrival of a friends baby…

free paper piece patternYep they are having a girl…I wanted to do a quick, scrappy fun quilt for them using snowball blocks.    I have designed five 12 inch blocks for this quilt and for a change, I have an idea of what the final quilt will look like!

quilt block parts

This first block takes 48 pieces of fabric to make and as you can tell I full embraced the novelty print and pretty pink.  Just so that it did not get to sweet and girly I added some dinosaurs just for good measure!  You can find the free PDF pattern here….Pink ball one

I hope you will indulge me and my love of pink over the following few weeks as I work to get this quilt done!

The last green star for a while…

So I have decided this will be the last green star for a spell…but do not despair I will be back next week with a new colour scheme and paper piecing pattern… but till then I give you my Inner Star…

8 inch paper pieced starThis cute little number uses the same basic star shape as last week but with some tweaks to the pattern…and is a more manageable 32 pieces…

quilt partsYou can find the free PDF pattern here…Inner Star PP Pattern.

Enjoy.

More green stars…

As promised I am back with some more green stars.  I have twelve finished blocks up on my design wall and this block is lucky number 13….

8 inch star quilt blockI called this star Nick’s star, after my husband…what can I say I am struggling to find names for some of my patterns!    This 8 inch block has 24 pieces and I must warn you is easier than next weeks pattern, which is more complex, but really fun.

Nick star pattern piecesYou can find the free PDF pattern here…Nick’s Star pattern.  I have loved seeing people’s versions of my patterns on Instagram, so go forth and create pretty things!