Anyone who has ever made an English pp hexie quilt has my admiration. Recently Lori over at Quilting Needs revived my interest in making a hexie quilt. Unfortunately hand stitching all of those hexie’s is out of the question for me. Too many years cutting hair, rolling perms and typing have not been kind to my fingers. But I really want a hexie quilt. 🙁
After playing around with ideas in my head I thought I had it all figured out. However, my design ideas didn’t bode well on paper. Why cant I paper piece a hexie quilt? Not English pp. It was rather easy once I wrapped my head around it. I cant say if I am the first to make one this way but I sure would have appreciated others had they shared this idea. For me the best part is no turning of fabric, no basting and no Y seams.
So…with leftover batik scraps in hand and my newly printed templates I set out to make a hexie quilt. In the coming weeks I’ll share the templates and photos here.
My Mosaic Quilt is on the frame. I’m pleased with the quilting I have done so far, with the exception of the pebbles I stitched in the sashing. By the time I have quilted all the sashing I should be a master pebbler (to my amazement that is a word in the dictionary).
You can only quilt so many practice sandwiches before you are ready to move to the real thing. I made many little girls happy with baby doll quilts. After my quilting started improving I would cut the nice sections from the sandwiches, bind them and giving them away. It made no sense to throw all of these in the trash. So if you are learning to quilt on a long arm or domestic machine think how happy little girls would be to have a nice quilt for their babies. Or a matching quilt.
Mosaic QAL month 2 begins today. This month there are also 4 identical blocks to complete. Assemble the templates following your preferred pp method or refer to my tutorial here.
If you are new to paper piecing let me reassure you, I used my seam ripper and tape multiple times when piecing this quilt. Mostly because I either used the same geese fabric as the previous patch or because I didn’t place my strip properly. A few times I thought I could get away with using a piece of trimmed scrap that didn’t work out well. The instance I shouldn’t share because it is a major blond moment, I had sewn the same colored geese fabric twice in a row, after removing my duplicate I turned around and stitched the exact same strip in its place. After removing it once more and now taping my template I started again. But this time I grabbed a background/sky strip and stitched that to the template. Wrong again, what was I thinking? Fortunately I had already applied tape or I would have been printing a new template. Rest assured I did finally get it right. So don’t be discouraged.
Each completed block this month will measure 15 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ (with seam allowance). These blocks will fit between your corners forming the 8 outside squares of a 9 patch block. Next month will finish off the 9 patch layout with just one block. The dimensions aren’t accurate in the example below, the layout is an example.
As with the Feb block, trim strips to 2″. Begin piecing with any remaining strips from Feb. When I began piecing this months blocks I had half each of my 22 strips in a different color remaining and added 1 more set of 22 strips measuring 2″ x 18″. Again I was left with about half of each strip after piecing all 4 blocks. Rounding up to whole numbers that would be 66 strips total of 2″ x 18″ from my 22 colors of fabric
If you are using 44″ wide fabric I recommend you cut your strips as you move forward from here till the end. Based on my figures from the fat quarter strips the closest total estimate I can give for the 9 inside blocks using 44″ wide fabric is a total of 27 strips of colored fabric cut at 2″ x 44″.
Continue to cut 2″ strips as needed. By now you have realized how small these triangles are and you feel like you will never reach the end of one strip.
Cut strips as needed one at a time as you move forward. ( I feel like I am writing a cooking recipe)
Assembling the block
Just like last month, I recommend you lay your templates in front of you paper side up to match the block layout diagram
The Mosaic Quilt QAL part 1 is nearing its end. There are 2 days left to download your free block templates for the month. The templates for month 2 will be available from March 14- April 14.
In case you are just joining in, this is a free 5 month QAL. The templates for each month are free providing you download during the current month. When the new templates come available on the 14th of the month , the previous months templates will come down. The is a paper pieced quilt that will finish (pre-quilted) 69″x 69″. You will need general paper piecing knowledge. I give directions for piecing this quilt with strips, you can find my pictorial here. Month 1 post with download link is here.
At some point I will add a link for others to share their work. With the change to a self hosting site there are so many things to learn. This being one. For now, if you would like me to share your work contact me and we will get it posted here.
If you have visited my site this last week you have likely encountered problems. I’ve not been hacked, it is safe. Instead I have changed web hosts. WordPress.com is so limited on what you can and cannot do, even with a paid account. After my 2nd host in a week I believe I am now on the right path. If you encounter errors as you click around the site I apologize. It’s a slow process but I am confident it will be back to normal soon.
With that said, not enough time has been spent this past week working on my Mosaic Quilt. All of the templates are complete and stacked by my machine. My completed blocks are also waiting to be stitched together. That doesn’t stop me from placing them on the floor for a photo op.
As I progress I am very pleased with my fabric choices.
March 14th the new block templates will be posted. So grab your February download while you can. Although there are a lot of flying geese piecing goes relatively fast. If you have never paper pieced and shy away from this quilt because of the flying geese, give paper piecing a try. They may just become your favorite quilt block.
Don’t like the pinwheel and star blocks? They can be replaced with your own design. Prior to deciding to share this as a QAL my plan was to add compass blocks. Because many quilters avoid those sharp points I decided on this design. I hope you are enjoying it.
This is my new paper pieced pattern “Starlight”. Included in the pattern are directions, a coloring sheet, block layout diagrams and full size templates to complete a 16 block 52″x52″ quilt. The blocks are 12 1/2″ square with seam allowance. This pattern was inspired by an ancient mosaic floor. The photo to the left I made using 9 blocks instead of 16 the pattern calls for. I had made many test blocks from scraps and the blocks chosen were those that blended best. It was pieced using left over 2 1/2″ strips from my For the Love of Geese quilt. Purchase and Download Here
Lori at Quilting Needs completed her top using 16 blocks the pattern calls for. Her quilt makes me think of a cool summer night looking up at the clear sky. This was Lori’s first paper piecing project and I love it. Thank you Lori for trusting me and agreeing to test my pattern. Head over and give congrats to Lori at Quilting Needs
If I were to make another quilt with this pattern I would definitely choose contrasting colors for the stars.
Increase the number of blocks to make a full size quilt by printing additional templates, directions for expanding not included. If you do make something using my pattern, please share a photo with me and a link back to my site is always appreciated.
Susan at Farm Quilter shared these lovely blocks. I am in love with her colors and cant wait to see her finished table runner. See what I mean about the contrasting colors?
The blocks below were pieced with Moda solids, I may have enough of them to complete another small quilt. Unfortunately I didn’t like the look of the solids with the batiks or I would have had a full 52″x52″ quilt. The paper is a little wavy but I think you can still get a clear idea of the template assembly. Depending on whether you are piecing a corner block, border block or a center block the number of templates to form each will vary. The dark blue quarter star is 2 templates on either block shown. These 2 templates combined with 2 templates for the large star forms 1/4 of the whole block. This is not a complex block so it is beginner friendly. You will need paper piecing knowledge. You may find instruction videos all over youtube or you can refer to my tutorial here. The tutorial is not for this pattern.
It was my intention to have more photos of completed quilts to share with you today from 5 additional testers. However, being new to blogging I don’t have a list of reliable testers to fall back on. Lori followed through with a remarkable quilt and I love her for that. Half of the testers have been unreachable since receiving the pattern for testing. Please… if you volunteer to test a pattern for myself or someone else any feedback is valuable. If you receive the pattern and its more difficult than you anticipated or perhaps it really isn’t for you, share that with the designer. Any feedback, even negative is better than no feedback at all.
We are 8 days into the QAL and I hope everyone is stitching away. The block pictured above is from my quilty friend Sandie. I love that she is using 2 different colors for the sashing, they will separate and define the geese design.
If you have photos of blocks to share email them to me for sharing in this post. Another option is to join the Facebook group , from there I can share your photos. I will continue to do research to see if I can find an alternative. Apparently wordpress.com does not allow 3rd party plugins unless you have their business plan which I do not.
Just a quick note on the QAL. Shame on me. I don’t know how it got past me but I surely did not include precut dims for the pinwheel blocks. Yes I paper pieced them as well, I get more accurate results. You can use scrap fabric just make sure the scrap piece covers all outside cut lines. Another option and my preferred method (if no large scraps on hand) is to cut a single strip no less than 3 1/2″ by wof and strip piece following the same instructions in my pictorial for piecing the geese. These are not the only options for making your half square triangle block however they are the only options I am confident enough to share. Besides, if you piece them traditionally the fabric does not have the seam allowances marked for you like the paper templates.
If you would like to join my closed facebook page to share photos, progress, discuss and ask questions click on the icon under “follow me” in the sidebar. Because its a closed group you will need to ask to join. Email photos of blocks or the finished quilt to email@example.com . Please inform if I can share your photos here and the following info:
Can I post your name and if so the preferred name.
Do you have a blog, Instagram, Twitter or a web link that I can share? If so, please include.
Can I post the country you reside in and if so please include.
Here’s an old one I just located a picture of. I “think” I ended up going back in and appliqueing the squares to the sashing to break up the dark floral print. What else can you do when you have it completed and realize it just doesn’t look right? Unpicking stitches isn’t my thing. Sorry for the dark grainy photo, had I known I would end up using it here all these years later I would have tried a little harder with lighting.
My hubby laughs at me, I take photos of blocks and finished quilts then sit and stare at the photos. There have been many blocks I’ve followed my photo routine with and have come back and changed something, improved it. There have also been many that I scrapped and started over. First I take photos of the blocks from different angles and lighting with my smart phone, then I retreat to my office and relax.
Whaaaa, you didn’t think I would post one of the tub while I was occupying did you?
This is his favorite story to tell everyone, “I opened the door and she is laying in the bathtub staring at quilts on her phone.” LOL.
It’s been so long since I have done applique and this is most likely the last applique quilt I ever completed. There is a stack of Sunbonnet Sam blocks patiently waiting for me to do something with.
Today is the day! I hope you enjoy creating this quilt as much as I have. The pattern was inspired by a mosaic floor dated 150-200 AD. There are 9 blocks for the inside design and 2 borders. The inside border will be flying geese wrapping around the 9 blocks. The outside arch border also comes from an early mosaic floor that I’ve adapted to a quilt block. What drew my attention to this mosaic floor, all of the flying geese of course. Did you know what we call flying geese today have been around that long?
This is my first QAL I have hosted and I have never participated in one so forgive me if this isn’t your typical QAL. If you have not read my previous posts on this QAL here is a recap plus additional information if you have been following my blog.
It will last 5 months.
The first month you will be completing the 4 corner blocks. The corner blocks with seam allowance are 17.5″ x 17.5″.
2nd month will also be 4 blocks, these blocks will sit inside the corner blocks. Think of a 9 patch block, you have the 4 corner squares, the 4 squares that sit between the corners and the very center block.
3rd month will be just 1 block, the very center block. This will also give you much needed time to catch up if you fall behind on the blocks from the 2 previous months.
4th and 5th months you will be completing both borders.
On the 14th of every month a new download will be added and the previous months download will be removed. Yardage estimates are given on the supply sheet for the entire quilt in the first month. Separate estimates are also included for the sashing and the 2 borders. The supply sheet, the color layout sheets and the coloring sheet are not duplicated in the March thru June downloads.
Before you print your download locate the size reference page. Print that page only. Make sure the line measures 1″ before printing the remaining file. This will save on paper and frustration. If it does not measure exactly 1″ you could still use the templates as long as the settings remain the same each additional month.
The 4 blocks you will be working on.
Each block will measure 17 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ with seam allowance.
What is included in the February download.
2 color layouts. 1 layout with dark fabric for the sashing (rectangle) strips and 1 with the fabric matching the geese sky (background) fabric. This printout shows fabric side up.
1 Colored layout identifying the blocks and borders, fabric side up.
1 Coloring sheet to help you decide on fabric colors, fabric side up.
1 layout diagram for the current block. This will be paper side up. Not only will the diagram help you identify template placement and geese direction, it will also help with color placement if you have a specific color order you would like to follow.
Size reference page. This should be the first page you print. Check the line to make sure it measures 1″. Your printer settings should be set to 1) no scaling 2) margins at .25 3) print to actual size. There is no way for me to instruct you on printer settings. This page will also give block specific information for the current month. It will tell you how many copies of the template pages you will need to print. It also instructs you on constructing the block.
There is nothing I dislike more than precutting my fabric so anytime I can find a way around it I take it. For this quilt I am using New Aged Muslin by Marcus Fabric fat quarters for the geese and yardage for the sashing and 200 thread count natural muslin by Choice Fabrics for my sky fabric. All of these were cut into 2″ strips. No other precutting was done. If you choose to precut further you will need to figure the dims for the patches. I do ask that you at least give piecing with strips a try first, you might be surprised. The time saved alone is well worth it.
From assorted colored fabric: cut 44 strips 2″ x 18″ (if using fat quarters) or for 44″ wide fabric cut 22 strips 2″ x 44″ (see explanation below)
From my 3 fat quarter bundles I precut 22 of them into 2″ strips that were 18″ wide. These were used for the flying geese patches on the corner blocks, all different colors. The first stack of 22 I used all of the strips. My next stack of 22 strips finished out the remainder of the 4 blocks, with half of each of these 22 strips remaining. If you are using 44″ wide fabric and NOT fat quarters, start with 22 strips cut at 2″ x wof. Depending on your comfort level with paper piecing these 22 or 44 strips should be enough to piece all the geese in these 4 blocks with fabric remaining from each strip. If you start with more than a quarter of an inch on any paper patch you may need more than the 22 strips.
For your sashing or rectangle blocks between the geese: begin with 10 strips 2″ x 44″. (see explanation below)
From dark blue fabric that I used as sashing between the geese, I cut 10 strips that are 44″ wide. The 4 corner blocks are complete and I have yet to use all 10 strips. They will also be used in March blocks. I suggest you don’t go wild and cut all of your fabric into 2″ strips. Doing so may leave you with a pile of unused strips. When I add a patch to be stitched I barely have any fabric hanging over the 1/4″ trim line, I call his piecing tight. You may not feel as confident as I and leave 1/2″ or more fabric around the geese that will need to be trimmed. For these reasons, you are better off cutting your strips as you go. Returning to your cutting board to cut more strips is better IMO than precutting all of your fabric to fit each individual patch.
Background or sky fabric. Because these triangles are so small and there are so many flying geese in this quilt I started with 10 2″x wof strips. If you are piecing all the blocks with strips, this is the fabric you will have the most waste from.
Piecing with strips.
After sewing the strip onto the paper, trim as usual with your add a quarter ruler and set the strip aside with the angled cut. The next time you use this strip you will just turn and flip the strip at the best angle for coverage of the next patch making sure the shape on the template is covered leaving at least 1/4″ for your seam allowance. See pictorial for photos. Instead of having a pile of squares, rectangles and triangles too small to do anything else with you will have much smaller pieces and narrow strips to throw away.
When joining templates I only use 3 pins at a time. Line up your corners with pins then place another pin in the center to make sure these lines are lined up. If everything is straight I then place the smallest dab of liquid Elmers washable school glue within the seam allowance and staying at least 1/2″ away from corners or heavy seams. For instance, in the photo above I placed 3 dots of glue between the pins. Finger press, then using a hot iron, iron the templates to dry the glue. Naturally you do not have to follow my method, what ever works for you is fine. After being stuck by a pin left in a quilt in the middle of the night 20+ years ago and having one of my furry friends pick up a straight pin off the floor I no longer use more pins than I can keep track of. 3 is a good number for me.
It’s just too cold outside to hang this for photos. This quilt is definitely Enzo approved. After I removed it from the frame I laid it on the floor face down for photos. Before I could get my camera ready Enzo had already struck a pose. After my photos I put him outside, threw the quilt over the couch for front view photos. He came back in and while I was adding wood to the stove he had claimed his spot again, love this guy.
Enough about him. This quilt is full of feathers, some look nice, some I am not happy with but I am still learning. The backside of a quilt is always my favorite to look at, like I said, I laid it on the floor face down first. Technically I’ve been quilting on a frame for a little over a year. But if you subtract the 6 months I owned a pos long arm from a no name company I haven’t been quilting very long. The first LA was full of mismatched parts and there was a constant tension issue. At first I thought it was me, the manufacturer wasn’t any help, so I set out to find others who also owned this machine. Trust me people when I say take negative reviews to heart. The tension issues have since been fixed by a group of persistent ladies, again with no help from the manufacturer. Fortunately though I had an opportunity to purchase a hand guided Gammill with a 12′ frame reasonably and I just could not pass it up. There have been no issues with this machine and I have quilted several, large and small quilts with it. Now that I have the correct tools to work with I can only improve from here.
We live in an earth home and the only windows are southwest facing. Its cold and dreary outside today so taking photos was near impossible. But I was and am so excited to finally finishing up I had to share it with someone. The weather will warm and the sun will eventually come out from behind the clouds and better pictures will follow. Stay warm.