Snapshots of life and crafts on our little homestead

Posts tagged ‘hand piecing’

Scrappy quilt top

After three years and more than 2,000 hand stitched hexagons I am about a week away from finishing a scrappy quilt top.

English paper piecing

Making slow but sure progress on my king sized English paper piecing project. Started working on squaring up the edges of the project. This process turned out to be a bit more complex than I had envisioned, especially since I didn’t bother to develop a pattern before starting the project, but I think I have a template now. So it should be smooth sailing going forward. Still hope to finish this project this year.DFD8E92F-84DF-4BF9-A483-8B6D9467D144

Scrappy Star quilt

Finished hand piecing the last of the hexagon diamond blocks over the winter, now it is time to piece the 3000 English paper pieced hexies into a scrappy king sized star quilt.



Pretty in Pink

Another  UFO moved from the closet to the finish pile this weekend. After about five years of hand stitching cathedral window blocks my Pretty in Pink quilt is almost finished — just need to sew down the binding. I started this top when my youngest granddaughter was born, she is now in school and outgrown pink quilts. 😒

With all of the patterns within patterns created by the blocks I used a very simple quilt pattern to complete the project…Now to find a home for the project.



Box Play

This morning I finished sewing the binding around a hand pieced wall quilt that was in my sewing travel box for 18 months. I used the English paper piecing technique and a number of hand dyed and batik fabric scraps to create this piece. The top was then sandwiched with Soft and Natural 100% cotton batting and the black batik fabric used for some of the stars on the top.  I then machine quilted the top with a smoke colored filament thread.


I love English paper piecing so much that I am currently working on a king sizes quilt top using 1 inch hexagons that are being arranged in an interlocking star pattern. The nice this is that I am using several years worth of fabric scraps to create the units. Working with the scraps from various quilts that I have made over the years brings back lots of memories and adds an interesting history to what I suspect will be a three year project.

Another quilt top completed

I finally  finished my Cubic Stars quilt top. For the last year I had hand stitched this  English paper piecing top for a number of hand dyed fabrics along with a couple of other favorites. Now I just need to sandwich the top and put it aside for hand quilting this winter.


Long term project update

A few weeks ago I started working on my longterm quilting project again. This project was started two years ago and it will more than likely be another 3-4 years before it is completed. The finished project will be a hand pieced king sized quilt made out of one inch hexies using fabrics from my scrap basket. So far I have cut about 3,000 scrap squares, made about 1,000 hexies (ordered the paper template from an online source), and have a 100 or so units in various stages of completion.

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I really enjoy hand piecing because it can be taken anywhere and worked on while waiting or traveling. I especially enjoy this project because it allows me to work with fabrics used over many years and to think about the quilts that were created and the individuals that received the finished products.

English paper piecing project

With the hot weather we have received recently I have been able to make some progress on the English paper piecing project I started several months ago. All of the full stars have been added and the partial stars that will abut the border are created.

english paper piecing

We have a long car trip to visit family in the near future so I should be able to complete the top by mid-September. I really loved working on this piece but I will be just as happy to finish the top so that I can move on to other projects this fall and hand quilting the top this winter.

Diamond play update

Over the past several weeks I’ve made some progress on my diamond play English paper piecing quilt top. The project is up to about 800 different hexagon and diamond units that have been had pieced. I probably have to add another 200 – 300 units before I can start weaving the boarders.

Diamond play English paper piecing quilt top

My goal is to have this top stitched together by mid fall so that I have a project to hand quilt over the winter.

Wish me luck on actually completing the project and moving it to the UFO pile.

April updates

Growing season has finally arrived and life has gotten very busy again.  We took a long weekend at the end of April to drive down to PA to visit the in-laws and an ill family member, and I have spent the better part of  the daylight hours for the past two weeks preparing vegetable and herb gardens and cleaning up winter damage. During the long drive to and from PA (6-7 hours each way), and the couple of hours each night carved out each evening as a reward for the yard work  I made some nice progress on three of the five projects started this year.

Blue ice needlepoint pillow top. It has been several years since I worked on a needlepoint project. It is so nice to pick the craft up again...

Blue ice needlepoint pillow top. It has been several years since I worked on a needlepoint project. It is so nice to pick the craft up again…

English paper piecing quilt top that I started several months ago. It is comprised of three different 1 inch units. The hand stiched top in this picture contains about 600 units. The finished piece will have about 1,400 units.

English paper piecing quilt top that I started several months ago. It is composed of three different 1 inch units. The hand stitched top in this picture contains about 600 units. The finished piece will have about 1,400 units.

Geometric black work sampler that will be used a pillow top

Geometric black work sampler that will be used a pillow top

I hope to have another project at the end of the month along with a few garden pictures.

Enjoy the wonderful spring weather.

Putting the Scraps to Work

My fabric scrap draws were so full that I either had to start new draws, throw some fabric out or put it to use. Additional draws are not an option and I could never throw perfectly good fabric away, so I started making hexies out of the bit and pieces. So far I have made about 1,500 and have about twice as many more to make before the scraps are under control.

it is really interesting to see how my taste in fabrics and colors has changed over time, and how the quality of fabrics have changed over the years.

Hexies units

Moving right along…

This weekend we are scheduled to get another 6-8 inches of snow, so I’ve had some time to finish the center unit to my English paper piecing project (264 – 1 inch diamonds and equilateral triangles). I was even able to start some of the stars and hexies for the next layer of the top.

floating blocks english paper piecing projectI truly love hand piecing projects, even though that take a long time to complete (it will take me 6-9 months to finish this top). Fortunately, I will have several hours next week to work on start pieces as we dive to and from the Vermont Flower Show.  I am really looking forward to the touch of spring the show will provide and the workshops and seminars we can attend at the event.

More project time

We are in the middle of the second snow storm in as many weeks. We were fortunate with last weeks storm when we only got a foot of snow. This week it looks like we will get between 1 and 1.5 feet of snow over the next couple of days, I love the snow, but at this time of year it is getting hard to figure out where to put all of white stuff that has to be moved from the driveway and around the out buildings…. at times it is hard to believe that we should be starting veggie seeds in the next week or two….. Oh well time to procrastinate a bit…

This morning I started a nice pot of navy bean soup that will be severed with some olive rosemary bread I made the other day, set the wood stove and picked up with a few craft projects that I have been working on.

The needlepoint project posted a week or so ago is moving along.

equality needlepoint I still need to finish the border, add all the words into the background and finish the embellishments.

Over the past few days I have also been working on my English paper piecing project.

floating baby blocks

I have about 10 more baby blocks to piece, then I need to add the triangles between the units and piece all the units together for the center of the quilt. The next series of units to be worked on are the larger hexagon shapes that will have six pointed stars in the center. I plan on having 6-8 rows of the star hexies around the outside of the floating blocks.

Hope you all stay warm…

paper piecing update…

This week we have had several cold and sunny days that have kept me out of my basement quilting room and upstairs enjoying the warm sunshine streaming in the windows and getting a head start on a number of spring activities like planning out the vegetable gardens and getting some deep cleaning, closet painting and equipment repair done. As a reward for checking projects off the list, break time was spent working on the center section of my mini english paper piecing project (each segment is about an inch wide). I love it when you can start to see something drawn on grid paper come to life….

2015 floating blocks

The center section will be nine block square, the second section will be six point stars of equal depth, and the final section will be a collection of hexagons and one inch squares. I hope to have the project finished sometime in the fall. At all levels I plan on floating the main elements and laying them out so that it appears that light is shining from the top right down.

Dance to the Light of the Moon

A couple of weeks ago I started working on a quilt that I designed more than a year ago. The piece is a bit of a study in merging a number of  techniques.


Four fabric layers down and a few more to go before the dancer can be placed

So far I have employed three of the five different techniques that will be used in the top: liquid starch and freezer paper applique, and paper piecing.

Paper pieced moon

Paper pieced moon

Even though I color coded the paper template the seam ripper was my best friend with the moon block… piecing the block was challenging but I really like the way it turned out.

liquid starch applique unit

liquid starch applique unit

I really dislike raw edge applique, so I used the liquid starch method and a clear plastic template to create the dancer for the quilt. She will be one of the last items placed on the top. The background will have to be completed before the best place for her can be determined.

Does anyone have ideas on what type of border the piece should be finished with? I have drawn and erased borders many times, but have not settled on a finish yet. I would love some input.

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