Completed: Stitch & Flip for Lette

Last year I made a quilt for my nephew and of course his little sister should get one too! I used the stitch and flip triangle technique from the book “Quilting modern” by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson. Each square got two triangles on opposite corners.

I started with the light grey background and used scraps for the triangles. When I ran out of the light grey I added the black and at some point also started to cut triangles from yardage, fat quarters and layer cakes because I wanted a different fabric for each triangle and not all of my scraps were large enough anymore. I even unpicked a couple of squares when I realised I had duplicates. When I ran out of black background I switched to neon green. I also made some pink squares but liked the overall look better without the pink. The blocks finish at 4 ¾’’.

The squares were rearranged on my design wall until I found a layout I liked and pieced together into the top. Then it took a very long time before I knew what I wanted to do with the back. For her brother I had included his name on the back and I thought it would be nice to also do that for this quilt but I just couldn’t decide on which fabrics to use. The solution came when I started to play with solids.

The batting is Hobbs Tuscany cotton wool, which remains my favourite. For the quilting I did a walking foot orange peel design that I found in Jacquie Gering’s book “Walk”. A book I can recommend to anyone who wants to get a bit more adventurous with their walking foot. To stabilize everything and get rid of most of the basting pins I first did some stitch in the ditch quilting using white Aurifil 50wt thread. For the orange peels I used 28wt Gutermann Sulky thread in 6 different colours. I only marked dots using a template and stitched from fabric intersection to dot to fabric intersection. This worked well and quilting went a lot quicker than I had expected. The curves aren’t exactly identical for every peel, but that’s ok. This curvy design adds a lot more to the quilt than a straight line cross hatch would have done.

The binding was the next hurdle. I always wonder how some people can already pick a binding fabric at the start of the project. I don’t even try anymore, probably because my quilts develop organically and I don’t always know at the start what it’ll look like in the end. A fabric that I think will work at the start nearly always doesn’t. Anyway, I thought I’d figured something out that would work, cut out strips from several solid fabrics but when I draped them around the quilt, it was just “meh”. Then I ordered some fabric but it turned out way too dark. However, it looked absolutely great with the top I had up on my design wall so unexpectedly I had suddenly solved another back problem. Still no binding for this quilt though. I proceeded by holding up lots and lots of different fabrics from my stash until I found the fabric that you now see. This is the aqua crosses fabric from the Safari life line from Stacy Iest Hsu. Only problem, I had maybe half a jelly roll strip left so that was not going to cut it. Luckily, I found a fabric store in the Netherlands that still had enough of this fabric in stock and all was well in the end. This fabric works with both front and back of the quilt.

In total I used 175 different fabrics in this quilt, 3, background fabrics, 160 triangles, 11 fabrics on the back and 1 binding. I think this is a record for me. I finished the quilt just in time to gift it on my nieces 1st birthday. If hope she’ll enjoy using it for a very long time.

English paper piecing

I think I have a new love.

English paper pieced flowers

Last weekend we went away and I decided somewhat last minute that I wanted to take something with me to craft. I’ve seen many bloggers take English paper piecing projects with them when they travel because it’s portable and doesn’t require a lot of tools. I always thought English paper piecing would be very complicated and difficult but I had never looked into the details of how exactly it’s done. A couple of YouTube videos convinced me that it is in fact extremely easy as long as you work accurately. Within an hour I had printed several sheets with hexagon templates from My Poppet and cut a stack of fabric squares to take with me.

Sunnyside flower fabrics

I chose four fabrics from the Sunnyside collection that I didn’t use for the babyquilt because they had flowers on them. The print is the same for each fabric but they’re in a different colourway. The white one reminds me of old fashioned curtains and tablecloths but cut up into smaller pieces this association luckily disappeared. I decided to start simple and assemble hexagon flowers with one of the fabrics in the centre and the other 3 in a circle around it.

assembled flower

All I needed to take with me was a plastic thingy (that probably has another official name in English) that at first held the sheets with printed templates and that I later used to store assembled hexagon flowers (a very nice discovery that those fit in there!). Two small containers held my precut fabric squares and my cut templates and fabric covered templates. Lastly, I brought some pins and needles in a small pincushion, a pair of scissors and two spools of thread.

English paper piecing supplies

During the weekend I assembled almost 5 flowers! I was amazed at how fast they came together for something that is made completely by hand. What I also like about it is that it’s actually so easy that I can still do it when I’m relatively tired and other crafting projects aren’t an option. This might change when I try more complicated projects with differently shaped pieces or attempt fussy cutting.

English paper piecing process

The remaining fabric has already been cut into squares and I am ready to assemble some more flowers. I’m not really sure what I am actually going to do with them because my spur of the moment decision to try English paper piecing didn’t really involve much more than “let’s give it a try and we’ll see how I like it”. Assemble into larger pieces to make a very small quilt or keep them separate and applique on pillows?

detailI also already have quite a number of ideas for other paper pieced projects. Where can I get more time?