We are our own worse critic

strip pieced quilt

We are our own worst critics. So often I begin a project with fabrics that look well together when laying alongside one another and only after the quilt is finished do I wonder “what was I thinking”? Honestly, this happens with every quilt with the exception of 2. You cant go wrong with a 2 color quilt.. The other, the whole time I was piecing it my nose was curled and I questioned myself. It was only after the top was completed that I truly appreciated the colors and placement.
If fabric choices arent tough enough, what about piecing? Perhaps the lines dont exactly meet, we have all had this happen. One of my sisters will tell me, “if you didnt point it out I wouldnt have noticed or no one will notice but you”. That is reasuring as long as it takes my husband to walk into the room. He has an eye for noticing those little mistakes that “no one will notice”, lol. He has noticed things that I as the assembler did not see.
We have all at one point fudged a seam. We have either neatly puckered or stretched a seamline to make the points meet. Ideally we dont want to do that but the thought of ripping out all those stitches is so depressing. More often than not the problem isnt with the piece you are stitching, it may be several seams ago or several blocks ago and when you start ripping seams you may undo more than half of what you have completed before you find the issue. Two words, paper piecing. With traditional piecing there is very liitle room for error. With paper piecing, as long as you position your fabrics correctly, stitch on the line and match your points when joining blocks you will spend your time stitching instead of ripping. With paper piecing you can see where you went wrong before it’s too late.
Remember Elmers washable school glue? Turns out it is good for more than coating your fingers to watch it dry and peel off so you can admire your fingerprints. If you place a tiny dot of glue inside the 1/4″ seam allowance then dry with an iron you will discover you have fewer shifting pieces. The number of dots to place really depends on the length of the seam you are stitching. For a patch that is 3″ long you could get by with 2 dots. Stay at least 1/2″ away from corners and within the 1/4″ seam allowance. The size of the dot…well grab a sharpie fine tip permanent marker and lightly place a dot on a piece of paper. Thats about the amount of glue, A little bit larger than a period on this page. If you are paper piecing and the paper gets stuck to the fabric, keep a damp rag nearby. Touch just the glued area with your rag and the paper will be released.
Things to always keep in mind if using the glue.
1. Always stay at least 1/2″ away from corners. The glue does add some extra bulk and you will want to avoid seams that will go from 2 layers of fabric to 4 or more layers. Your longarmer will not like you or you will not like yourself when you hit one of these already thick seams made bulkier by glue. 2 layers of fabrc with a tiny dot of glue will not bog down or stop the quilting machine.
2. Always apply the glue within the seam allowance and a very small dot. You will know if you applied too much glue when you are turing your pieces. The glue will spread out and too much will run into your stitch line. A damp rag will release the glue or if its not a lot you can gently pull the fabrick apart.
3. Make sure the glue is dry before running thru your machine. If it is not dry and you have not kept it within your seam allowance it will get on and dry on the needle. If the glue is dry it will not gum up your needle.

Pattern above quilt by :http://www.getasquiltingstudio.com/  Very clear and easy to follow pattern.


Gaggle of Geese

flying geese quiltAnother quilt I finished several months ago. It was one of the first quilts I had quilted on a longarm. I still have a ways to go with the longarm but I will get there. This is a paper pieced pattern offered for sale by Better off thread, http://betteroffthread.com/2015/01/02/gaggle-of-geese-pattern/. The 1 seam flying geese border was added by me so if you do purchase the pattern please know the  directions for the border will not be included.

The pattern was great, it was clear and well written. One could get lost in the instructions for many quilt patterns, that was not the case Gaggle of Geese.  If you like paper piecing and flying geese  this would be a great addition to your pattern collection or you could expand on this. My collection consists of  patterns by many quilt designers. There are patterns that I may like one aspect of the quilt but not so much the rest. No one said you have to make the quilt as instructed by the designer although that would be their preference. If you can make the blocks fit from a dozen different quilt patterns and are happy with the outcome, that’s all that matters.  After all, you will be the one the quilt represents every time the receiver looks at the quilt.

Perhaps you are experienced in traditional piecing and would like to give paper piecing a try? This pattern would be a good fit.  A very confident patient beginner could also pull it off but keep in mind there is curved piecing in this quilt.

Flying geese/tree everlasting

Another one quilted and Enzo approved. There are 3 more in my box waiting to be quilted and I really should get another started.

Quilting my UFO’s


When my sister in law Sandy saw an unfinished Quiltworx feathered star top she said my nephew would love it with all of the colors.  So last weekend I finally pulled it out of the closet, fixed a mistake and loaded it on the frame.


This prompted me to start pulling other tops out and get them quilted.  Since this one, I have completed 1 and loaded another on the frame today.

flying geese tree everlasting

See, I told you I love flying geese. The geese blocks are 1 seam flying geese and tree everlasting are traditional pieced. My quilting skills aren’t as advanced as my piecing skills. Vertical and horizontal lines are easy, its the diagonal lines that I am struggling with.  Really, how do you quilt this many triangles with half the quilt being 3d blocks. You can’t quilt over these flying geese, you’d just be defeating the purpose of the block. After some thought, I decided a vertical line alongside the flying geese would be the way to go and as it turns out the geese look like they are coming off the top. The rest of it I’m just stitching curly q’s which go pretty quick, it will be done tomorrow.  I can’t wait to hang it in the natural light…hope it’s not raining.

For the love of geese quilt

paper pieced quilt flying geese quiltThe name may be a little confusing to non-quilters but give me a few minutes of your time and you will understand. First of all I am not a bird lover, I am a  quilter and that is what this blog is about.

Due to the lack of complete quilt patterns with flying geese or patterns with instructions that were more complex than the actual piecing I began penciling quilt layouts on graph paper.
My red and white medallion quilt was born.

quilt red and white, #paperpieced quilt

The requests for a pattern was so overwhelming after I posted it on Facebook and a quilting group I belong to. Unfortunately I hadn’t kept a diary on fabric yardages, sashing dimensions or tips. It was a lot of work and going back to start from the beginning was not something I was ready to do at the time. Perhaps there is a blue and white medallion in my future?
In all honesty, other than the center medallion that I drafted, anyone can recreate this quilt or one similar. All of the blocks used are common blocks found all over the internet for free.
Flying geese, I love them.  They are versatile and there is just something about the clean straight lines on a finished block that draws my attention.  If pieced properly the top point is almost magnified, it glows, it demands and draws my attention. It doesn’t matter if they are pieced traditionally, paper pieced, speed pieced or 1 seam (3d) flying geese, I love them and want them. They are incorporated into almost every quilt I make.
So on with my quest to find that perfect quilt pattern with A LOT of flying geese and of course I wanted a circle of geese but not just 1 circle and it must be straight piecing. NO CURVED PIECING.  Because I was successful with the circling geese in the red and white quilt, (no curved piecing) I expanded on that pattern. First I pieced a sample quilt with scraps. Other than a few errors on my part with color placement it went together well.  So I started keeping a diary for fabric requirements and instructions. The pattern “For the love of geese” will be for sale soon.
There is no curved piecing and no Y seams.  With a little math and your favorite blocks you could easily expand this quilt.  You could use it as a medallion on point/straight or place your favorite blocks around the circling geese center prior to sewing on the border.
Stay tuned, I’ve been working on expanding this pattern.