Mirage paper pieced wall hanging

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The February Island Batik Ambassador challenge is a 24″ mini quilt.

(see disclaimer at bottom of page)

Click thumbnails above for larger view

It makes me so happy to share my first project as an Island Batik Ambassador. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me that my first fabric pull was a gorgeous selection of greens. I can’t help myself, they call my name and so do flying geese.

5″ Stash builder strips

The geese fabrics were from the stash builders. Island Batik Stash Builders are twenty  5″ x 44″  strips of various fabrics, rolled and tied. Roughly 2 3/4 yards per package.

For this challenge I chose to paper piece one of my own designs.

The inside blocks were paper pieced using Auiful 40wt. While Aurifil thread was included in my Ambassador box, it was not the samples I pieced with. For paper piecing I always use 40wt Aurifil and for all other piecing I use 50wt Aurifil.

1 1/2″ Strips and templates

When prepping for paper piecing I measure the depth and width of each patch. It helps if you write the dimensions on at least one template.

Next I will cut my fabrics into strips to match the depth of each patch. (You can view the steps I follow in this tutorial.)

Most of the geese patches including seam allowance were 1 1/2″ therefor all geese strips were cut to 1 1/2″ .

The background, Island Batik Celery fabric cut to 2″.

Here’s a tip you may want to save if you’ve considered giving paper piecing a try.

When you are piecing sharp points like the ones shown in the photo it helps if you raise the height of your presser foot a little. If you do not the paper will shift causing you to stitch off the line. Note the arrow in the photo to the left. As I was stitching along the line the seam to the left of the foot caused the template to shift left and I stitched slightly off line.

Block details

The block comes from one of my original designs intended for use in For Love Of Geese. As with others, such as the 2 blocks that formed the Xando quilt, this block did not make the final cut.

Let me tell ya, it was a challenge matching all these seems.  I love the design but I think it will be better suited for a larger block, perhaps double the size.

Block detail.

                                                                                        Almost there

Main block

We were blessed with a fresh layer of snow today. I now love using snow as my  backdrop. The greens did not look as rich with inside lighting.

During piecing I questioned my choice of fabrics. It wasn’t until this moment that I truly appreciated the combination. I also love the way Celery  makes the geese pop.

At this stage it didn’t look finished so I decided additional strips and/or blocks would not compliment my start. Back to my Island Batik goody box I went.




island batik february challenge, paper pieced flying geese

The box revealed this black Island Batik solid. It’s as luxurious as their batiks.

My finished 24″ February challenge completed.  It looks like a mirage laying in the fresh white snow so that is what I am going to call the pattern.

Mirage is  hanging on the wall in my new sewing room.

islandbatik, islandbatikambassador, paperpiecedflyinggeeseminiquiltpattern

What I learned

Binding strips cut to 1 1/2″, I do not like using this size strip. Even though I clipped the corner points before turning,  it was too narrow to get a decent mitered corner. If you have a tip for using 1 1/2″ binding strips please share.

Fabric pull for the March Island Batik challenge. I’ll also be sharing a free pattern download.

island batik fabric



See what others are working on:

Would you like to see what other Island Batik Ambassadors are working on? View links to their sites here.

Oh Scrap,  Show and tell Monday,  MCM,   Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Moving it forward

Colour Inspiration and Linky Party,  To Do Tuesday,  Linky Tuesday,

Silly Mama Quilts,  WOW,  Wednesday Wait Loss,  Midweek Makers,

Needle and thread Thursday,

Finished or not Friday,  Off the wall Friday,   Whoop whoop,

Thank you,

island batik, island batik ambassador, hobbs batting, accuquilt, auriful

 Island Batik  Hobbs Batting  Aurifil  AccuQuilt


    1. Paper piecing allows so much more than accuracy. If you can draw a straight line it can be made. Thank you for both warm compliments on this cold morning.

  1. Your fabric pull is perfect for this little mini. Love, love how the Celery makes those colors stand out. And against the snow it does look like a mirage, all shimmery. Congrats on your first IB finish. And thanks for sharing it on Wednesday Wait Loss.

    1. Thank you. If I would have unstitched many more times I would’ve had to start with fresh fabrics. Thanks for stopping by again.

  2. I love this design! Paper piecing is so much fun and the results are amazing. I nearly always take the time to measure and precut my pieces when making multiple blocks. It makes the process quicker and takes the guess work out of it!

    1. It sure does. If I can get by with minimal cutting I do. If I didn’t despise cutting so much I could likely get more designing done. But…I try to make the patches small enough for manageable strips. 🙂

  3. This block is magnificent!! Thanks for the paper piecing tips, especially about raising the presser foot. I’m about to start a new paper piecing project so the refresher was very timely for me.

  4. Beautiful paper pieced design! I too have found 1-1/2″ binding just a scootch narrow when appying it to mini pieces and I think I might try 1-5/8″ or 1-3/4″ the next time I do it and see if that works better. For bigger quilts I prefer 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ for the opposite reason — I find it fills better than the wider strip. Also, why do you like to use 40 wt rather than 50 wt thread for the PP process?

    1. Thank you. I’ll try the narrower binding again, it was likely just me. The 40wt just gives more piece of mind when removing papers. I’m not always gentle.

    1. Thank you Soma, I loved your phoenix and couldn’t help but wonder what it would look like if it were a quilt.

  5. This little quilt is stunning!! I just finished a paper pieced wall hanging and it took some patience.

    1. Thank you. For me paper piecing is like a good book you cannot put down. Traditional piecing on the other hand requires my full attention and patience. I just finished the April challenge and had to de-construct every block and put them back together, I don’t know what I was thinking while I was piecing them.

  6. It’s a beautiful mini. Thanks for the tip on paper piecing narrow points. I’ve had the paper shift as well and I had not figured out why. I want a very narrow binding on my mini as well and I was planning on using the usual 2 1/4″ but sewing it about 1/8″ from the edge and folding all the excess to the back.

    1. I’ve never tried sewing the excess to the back because I bind using my machine. If I come up with any tips I’ll be glad to share with you. A few quilts ago my templates kept shifting, I can’t say how many I had to replace and start over. Fortunately it was a repeating pattern like this and I was able to see where the issue kept happening and narrow down the cause. Sometimes you can just start your stitching on the other end of the sew line and eliminate the shift. Seems to me when you are stepping up on a seam you still get a little shift but not like stepping down. Stepping down, Tthe presser foot drops down and wants to ride along the seam instead of over it. It took a couple turns before I found the happy medium.

  7. Love the paper piecing. Very striking. Did you do single or double fold binding? Single fold binding is far more forgiving on small projects as the bulk is less. I learned this from last year’s Island Batik minis and I use it semi-regularly for non-bed quilts now.

    1. I always make single fold and have never tried for anything narrower than 2.5″ until now. I will try again. Except when I trim around the quilt before binding I will leave .25″ all around the quilt. Maybe that will help by eliminating 1 layer anyway.

  8. Love Mirage!! It would look awesome depicting the edge of a forest reflected in a lake in a pictorial quilt!

    1. Oh yes you are right. One half of the block in muted fabrics for the lake side. Or even a darker background fabrics for land side and stagger the geese points to form a mountain and its reflection in a lake.

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