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 http://email@example.com, corny I know. 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. To make the quilt a little larger I added a flying geese border and what I call an arch border. The 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.
The 14th of every month a new download will be added and the previous months download will come down. Yardage estimates are given on the supply sheet for the entire quilt in the first month. The yardage is also broken down just in case you would like to use specific colors for the 2 outside borders and the sashing shown in dark blue in the photo below. 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 finished block measures 17″ x 17″ . 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.
This is the first block in my new 5 month long QAL that begins Feb 14th. It will be my first QAL ever, I have never created or participated in one. The reason, I like to see the quilt before I commit to making it because if the patterns aren’t appealing to me I will get bored with it and move on to something else. Or…and the main reason is I don’t like having more than one project going at a time. Many of the QAL’s that drew my attention were 1 block a month QAL’s, I don’t have the patience for that. Hopefully by have this QAL it will teach me the patience needed to participate in anothers quilt along.
The block above is a 17″ block, it took me 6-8 hours to make and that included taking photos and writing notes for 2 pictorials. If it were the start of the weekend I would have the other 3 completed by Sunday. But…since I have a whole month to complete them I may just get some past due things done around the house.
The fabric I am using in this quilt is New Aged Muslin by Marcus Fabrics. Several months ago I purchased a fat quarter bundle because I liked the dusty look the fabric has. After receiving the bundle I went back and ordered 3 more bundles. One I used on practice blocks for another project and I loved it. So the remaining 3 I have saved for “the right” project. Because I wanted a dark sashing I did have to order a couple of yards of the dark blue. It took some going back and forth over the sashing color. My other option was to use the natural muslin that matches my geese sky fabric for the sashing. The geese would have looked like they were floating having all the same color background but I opted for a dramatic effect and went for the dark blue. Off to work now. Oh, did I mention the QAL is free? Well it is, so if you would like to join in come back Feb 14th to pick up the first download. Happy sewing!
With the upcoming quilt along I thought it only fitting to add a pictorial. There are paper piecing tutorials all over the internet and I have read quite a few, even watched many videos on YouTube. Honestly, this is a combo of tips I have taken and combined that work for me. None are wrong, it all comes down to what works best for you. This is what works best for me. The paper pieced pattern is Mosaic Quilt, the QAL pattern that will start on Feb 14.
My precutting involves cutting fabric into workable sized strips. For the Mosaic Quilt a 2″ strip is prefect. I’d rather spend the times sewing then cutting.
The first fabric patch on any paper pieced template will be wrong side to the paper. Every additional patch you add will be right sides together.
This should have read:Line up your colored geese fabric with your seam allowance.
In the photos below I will try to explain a little on piecing with the strips and the angled edge.
When I slide that template up and over the geese fabric I want to be certain I have left at least 1/4″ seam allowance. If not I will have to rip stitches which usually means ripped paper template. Then you have to add a piece of tape to stabilize the template.
My template patch is covered and I still had a little fabric trimming to do so I would have a 1/4″ seam allowance. If I had cut my geese pieces in rectangles I would be cutting off and wasting that corner of fabric. 9 times out of 10, if I had cut the geese into triangles to cover the patch the bias would have distorted my fabric with all the handling. If that weren’t bad enough, for paper piecing flying geese it has been my experience that I had to cut the triangles a lot larger than necessary. If I didn’t, after stitching and turning my fabric I would always have the point a little off and not enough fabric on one side to leave my 1/4″ seam. So I would end up ripping stitches and my template. Tape isn’t the easiest thing to press over. It also makes it more difficult to remove the paper if your new seam goes through the tape. Instead of my waste can being heavy because it is filled with a lot of wasted fabric pieces, it’s light and filled with small strips of fabric and paper. Almost like going from a dry fluffy cotton ball to a soaked cotton ball.
If you are new to paper piecing I hope you can take something from this pictorial and apply it to your own work. Whether you are new or experienced, if you feel I have left something out or would like me to expand on a photo please leave a comment or click on the “Contact” tab at the top of the page and send me a private message.
On Feb 14th the first download for the QAL will be available along with another pictorial for joining the templates. So, if you have ever wanted to try paper piecing but wasn’t sure where to begin you have found a starting point. Hope to see you join in and if you do, please share your photos.
Previous post on paper piecing
A couple more things to keep in mind, I starch and press my fabric prior to cutting.
Before trimming and joining template pieces I ALWAYS press on both the fabric and paper side of each template. (Do not add more starch)
Sew along with me for the next 5 months. Feb 14th will be the beginning of my sew along. Each pdf will be available for download for 1 month for free, then taken down on the 14th of the next month when a new download is added.
There will be 4 blocks to make in February and 4 blocks to make in March. April will be just 1 block so that will be a good time to catch up if you fall behind on the previous months blocks. May and June will both be border block months. If you complete the top as pictured the pre-quilted/pre-laundered finished size is 69″ x 69″.
This quilt is fat quarter friendly, strip friendly and scrap friendly. A few months ago I purchased some Marcus Fabrics New Aged Muslin fat quarter bundles and have been saving them for the perfect project and for me, this is it.
If you modify my pattern by changing border blocks or adding to it to make a larger quilt I would love it if you shared a photo with me. If you don’t know me, I’ve been known to combine patterns from different quilts to suit my own likes and needs. Yes, I have purchased patterns just for 1 or 2 blocks.
The Mosaic Quilt was inspired by a Roman Mosaic Floor dated 150-200 AD. It caught my eye because of all the flying geese. I wonder, did the Romans who constructed this piece even consider its life beyond the 2nd century, did they give any thought to how long it would last? Did Roman slaves construct it or a skilled worker who traveled around Rome or a local craftsman? The answer would most likely be found online but what would be the fun in that? As with previous quilts, while I am piecing this the possible answers to these questions and many more will be played out in my imagination.
If you have ever pieced flying geese traditionally, the number of geese involved in this quilt would be enough to scare you away. Fortunately they are paper pieced. You will have to trust me when I say paper piecing flying geese will be like entering a new dimension. The great thing about this or any quilt I have been designing is, there is no precutting those tiny pieces unless you just want to, I do not want to. When I design a quilt I keep in mind that I want manageable strips of fabric for piecing so I don’t have to pre cut hundreds of pieces no matter how small or large they may be. You will still need to cut strips unless you use jelly rolls. You will stitch a strip to the paper, trim the excess strip off. Then the next time you use this strip, just rotate the strip for best fit, stitch and trim. There is less waste this way. Make sense? If not it will when I share the photos.
So I hope you’ll join in and share your progress and photos with me.
The Wind Rose is on my frame and I started the quilting today. I’ve settled on feathers, I will stitch feathers over the entire quilt. Please ignore the wonky lines in the center, they are coming out.
Next month I will be releasing a quilt pattern, instructions for a babysized quilt if all goes well with my testers, but could be adapted to a much larger quilt.
I’ll also be sharing the below quilt pattern as a sew along with my followers. A facebook group has been setup to share and communicate as we go, not required. Including this pattern I have 2 other irons in the fire and have to put out 2 of them prior to sharing this sew along. The pattern below will be a variation of what we will be working on. The outside design has been changed a couple times but the center will remain. If you are interested in joining in you will need to follow me. When we are ready to start I will give a heads up by email letting you all know as well as posting the final drawing here.
I hope you are all well and stitching away, if so I have a lot of catching up to do. Stay warm yall.
ALL TESTER SPOTS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO VOLUNTEERED.
In case you missed my post last week, I’m still looking for 1 more pattern tester. It will be a 52″ x 52″ quilt with 3 different but similar blocks. With a little math you could easily expand this into a larger quilt. Initially the quilt was a gift for one of my drivers whos 3rd grandbaby is due this summer. But because it went together so well I decided I would package it to sell on Craftsy. Its not there yet.
What I expect from the testers
1)You do not post photos of your progress or finished quilt online until I am ready to make the pattern public.
2)You can have the top, (quilted or not) completed by February 28th, 2018.
3)You make me aware of any errors. Suggestions are also welcome to improve the pattern, but not required.
For an experienced pp it will go together quickly. If you are new to pp you will need to know the basics since there are no step by step instructions at this time. I really want to see if my testers can piece this without a step by step which should not be a problem with the diagrams I have included. This is not a complex block like the North Star I have shared. If you have read my previous posts you know I love flying geese but if you are not a fan of them, don’t worry there are no flying geese in this quilt. Yardage and patch cutting recommendations are given and templates are numbered for piecing order. It would make a good 2 color quilt and it is fat quarter friendly.
If you are interested in testing, click on the “Contact ” tab above to send me a private message with your email address.
A couple pattern testers needed. If you are in between projects or need to take a breather from a current project, leave a comment below with your email address. You could also click on “Contact Me” above to send me a private message with your email. The blocks are beginner friendly so if you have been wanting to try paper piecing this may be for you.
One of the paper pieced patterns I have been working on the last of couple weeks is ready to be tested, finished size 52″ x 52″. It could easily be expanded to a full size or lap quilt. Keep in mind my pattern does not instruct you on paper piecing, you will need to know the basics. It is a pdf pattern that I will email to you.
What I expect: .
You do not post photos of your progress or finished quilt until I am ready to make the pattern public.
You can have the top, quilted or not completed by February 28th, 2018.
You make me aware of any errors. Suggestions are also welcome to improve the pattern, but not required.