My Wind Rose

#paperpieced #compass #paperpiecedquilt
Wind rose

My medallion is almost complete. Its laid out in pieces just so I could finally see my work. Its a little haphazard right now but so far so good. The background fabric is my favorite muslin, I used white as a highlighter behind the red and blue points on the outside circle. It was also used as points for the inside circle. The white will be more clear once it is all sewn together.

The block will be set on point in the quilt with the blue needle in the center row pointing north. To square the block there will be stretched flying geese to form the triangles for all 4 sides. This too will be more clear once its sewn together. When I reach this point in any quilt I start getting excited , I took this photo a couple hours ago and I am still grinning ear to ear. I’ve made other compasses but in my opinion, this is the most wonderful wind rose I have created. I can only hope I did it justice. Colors, why  I chose them. If you look at the actual map i pulled it from, you will see I tried to duplicate the colors. With a little less gray. The colors to me seem to create  dimension to the medallion.

Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511

You can click on this link, Yale University and see this map and others. It will also allow you to zoom. You have to let me know if you view the map, does my Wind Rose resemble Jorge Aguair map, his is the 3rd one down?

paper pieced pattern: flying geese pattern: quilt patterns: circling geese pattern: no curved piecing circling geese: red and white medallion quilt: Grafton,Il:Jorge Aguiar 1492 map
Jorge Aguiar 1492 explorers map. This is where it all started for me,rd rd one down.
See what others are working on

Sew Fresh Quilts

Silly mama quilts

Linky Tuesday

Wednesday Wait Loss

Let’s Bee Social

Sew Fresh Quilts


Fall weather has now arrived here in Southern Illinois and I admit I am pleased. There’s nothing better that opening the windows during the day and the smell of all of natures wonders blowing in my windows. I’m weird but I love the smell of decaying leaves in the woods. Sleeping is more restful with the windows open a couple inches and the crisp night air blowing in. Cuddling under a couple quilts made by my own hands, reaching up and touching your nose knowing if you were in front of a mirror the tip  would be red.  When the weather is hot and humid I am like a hermit.  A few years ago I was  borderline of suffering  a heat stroke while stacking wood. Now adays  I stay out of the heat  as much as possible. Owning my own business and working at home has its advantages in the warm months, the best advantage would be not  leaving my home to head off to work in the morning and returning to my hot closed up car for the trip back home. I take that back, the best advantage is working in my jammies if I so choose.

Enzo spends his days laying on a bench in front of the window and his evening in his chair while I sew.  So with the cooler weather the last couple of weeks I have quit sewing about a half hour early to go on a daily walk up the driveway before dark. Our driveway is 2/10th of a mile long and uphill on the way to the road and downhill coming back to the house. They say its good exercise walking on hilly terrain. Well we’ll see if Enzo and I start dropping lbs

Paper pieced flying geeseNo exciting news this week on the quilt front. Down to the final 3 templates of my current quilt and wondering if I should add an alternating block instead of the repeating block I had planned around the outside border. We will see, adding a new block… well  I should still have it completed by the end of  the weekend.

The flying geese blocks (to the left) piece pretty quick and easy. Currently my toughest decision is whether I should add red sashing or blue. Either way, it should be lovely. When I started out I though perhaps I would create a quilt pattern to place here for sale.  It wouldn’t be for the faint of heart since there are so many pieces involved. The directions would be a book in its self. Nope, this one I am keeping for me. I cant wait to share it with you all next week on Bee Social. I’m sure I will have to post it prior to then, the excitement will get the better of me if I don’t.


Where I am on the Wind Rose quilt

Paper pieced flying geeseAs of last night I have 10 templates (photo to the right)with 18 patches each  to complete on my wind rose quilt. Each template takes me about 20 minutes to complete.  It feels so good to be nearing the end, the last couple of weeks this day seemed so much further off. Will I have it done by Oct 24 or 25, it will  be close. Hopefully I am not as disappointed in the completed quilt as I usually am.  I also drew an anchor block to add to the quilt, its up in the air if I will include it. Putting it all together will go fast since it’s all repeating blocks. I cant think of any other quilt that has taken me this long to finish or how accurately I calculated the yardage.

EQ8 will be released on Oct.23. I’m considering that investment.  It’s supposed to calculate the yardage for you which would be a tremendous advantage. What other benefits could it provide? How many block patterns are included with the program? What are its limitations? These are things I would like answered prior to purchasing but I’ve not had the time to actually read through the docs. Layout is the single most quilt related thing I struggle with. Graph paper is great for deciding on a layout and pencil lines are erasable. Deciding dimensions and marking them on the graph paper are time consuming. Even so, the biggest drawback is not seeing your quilt blocks in place until piecing is complete. This is not good and potentially creates more work for you. When I create a block now I end up using 3 different computer programs to construct it before I ever print it out, this would be another advantage of using EQ. I could spend less time with pencil, paper and on the computer and more time to do what I love.

Its just a matter of days until I am done with this top and I cant wait to share it.

Round 3 Wind Rose quilt

First let me say that I visit everyone blog that links up and I enjoy reading them and love the photos. Unfortunately I cannot always leave a comment due to an OpenId error. I’ve yet to find a fix for this by googling.


Well…much like last week and the week before I am working on the same quilt. If I had a photo of the finished quilt I would attach it here, unfortunately you only get a stack of finished blocks. What a mess huh?  I started it Sept 24th with 3,179 pcs and as of yesterday evening I am now down to 1,446 pcs. I told a customer I would have it completed in a month, there’s 13 days left in my self inflicted deadline. This is definitely the quilt with the most number of  pieces I have done, it IS a jigsaw puzzle. At this point I’m unsure if I will produce a for sale pattern for this quilt but I will use the block patterns I drew in other projects.

paper pieced quilt pattern: flying geese: circling geese quilt: no curved piecing circle of geese: red and white medallion quilt: paper pieced circling geese quilt: for the love of geese quilt: quilting

I’m already looking ahead to my next couple of quilts. First I think I will expand on For the love of geese to make it a full size bed quilt. I have the first 2 sample quilts draped over my fabric box staring at me daily. The first one I completed with scraps to make sure it would go together as planned and I may use it to drape over an antique drop leaf table. The second (photo on left) was going to be The quilt until I realized I made an oops on the placement of one of the color patches and I wasn’t real happy with the outside border. Because I wasn’t certain how many strips I would need to complete the quilt I had purchased a total of 5 jelly rolls. Because of all the strips I used for this one there isn’t enough to start another quilt but there is enough to make this a full sized quilt.

The next quilt will only happen if I can collect enough ruler ribbons off of moda jelly rolls because they are an important part of the quilt. I have 12 so far and its going to take a lot more to do what I am planning. Fact is, I don’t buy jelly rolls frequently so it will take a while to collect what I need.

On paper piecing

This morning I sent an email to bloggers who follow me asking if they paper piece. I’m trying to get my pattern For the love of geese circulated on the web and who better to ask than bloggers. One of the replies suggested she is interested in learning paper piecing and asked for insights. What  a great idea for a blog post but I’m not sure if this is what she was looking for. Below are my heavily used tools. I did get a fresh glue stick for the photo 🙂 . I’ll also include a few useful to me tips.

The tools

These are the items I use everyday for paper piecing.

Add a quarter rulers, 6″ & 12″. Clear 18″ ruler

The add a quarter ruler is a must. You can get by with just a 6″ but for larger pieces you will need to slide it along the folded paper. Sometimes the 1/4″ lip will also slide over the edge of your turned paper and you will not get an exact 1/4″ allowance. You could also use a clear ruler like I have in the right of the photo for trimming the 1/4″ seam allowance. The clear ruler is a Friskars, 3″ x 18″ . I purchased this specifically for trimming my completed templates. Anything larger than this is too large and clumsy  for my small hands. Also, when you save all outside trimming until last, the larger heavier rulers tend to rub a blister on my fingers.

Tape, rotary cutter (well used) and seam ripper

Tape, rotary cutter and seam ripper. Some days you will not use the tape or seam ripper. But if you don’t have them on hand you will surely need them. Yes, I know my seam ripper is old and well used. I’m not going for pretty but functional and it still functions well. On occasion I have had to tape templates back together because I have cut into them with my rotary cutter, it happens.

No one is perfect and at some point you will stitch the wrong color fabric onto the template and have to rip it out, or maybe your patch doesn’t fully cover the area.  After ripping , I really recommend that you tape over this area because your paper is perforated from the needle and will tear off very easily.

Elmers washable school glue stick, disappearing purple. The purple really does disappear and it washes cleanly. This is used for tacking down your first patch on the template. Without it, the patch will slip on the paper.  Sometimes the corner fabrics will not lay flat against the paper which can be an issue when stitching the templates together or trimming the excess paper and fabric from the outside of  completed templates.

Elmers washable school glue 4oz liquid. Use sparingly and stay at least 1/2″ away from corners or areas where there is a heavy seam and within your seam allowance. Your quilter will use all types of niceties otherwise.  Again this washes cleanly from fabric. So what do I use this for? A LOT!

If I am piecing traditionally I will use this glue to tack my rows together before sewing. It keeps the layers of fabric  from shifting under the needle.  Basically any place that I would have used pins in the past, I use the glue. The main reason, I learned a long time ago the dangers of using pins when quilting. It doesn’t matter how cautious you are, there is a chance one or more will get left in the quilt. Waterbeds aren’t as common today as they once were but babies are and we wouldn’t want either pinned to a quilt.  Adults dislike being awakened  because they have rolled over on a pin left behind.  I still use pins,  3 pins to be exact. They sit beside me on my piecing table at all times and I use them until the heads pop off. For my purpose it doesn’t really matter if they are a little bent. Why 3? I dont need more than 3 at a time. These are used to line up my templates and hold them in place while I dot my glue on and set it with the iron.   Back to the glue.

It is very important though that you stay away from heavy seams or what will become heavy seams like the corners. The reason, stack 4 pieces of fabric, add a piece of batting to that, add a piece of your backing to that, place 4 small dots of clue on the corners of 4 of these pieces and try stitching through it (with dried glue of course).  One of three things will happen: 1. your needle breaks 2. your machines glides around it but not through it 3. it stops your machine in its tracks. Just think if you had 4 blocks that were all half square triangles, stitched together. IMG_1847Not following? See the photo to the left. Place a dot of glue in the center corner of the 2 lower blocks. Place the upper blocks on the lower blocks and heat set the glue with your iron (if you used just a small amount of glue it will dry very quickly). Now take to your machine and sew the 2 halves together, open and press. Next line up  the 2 halves , apply a small dot of glue on the outside corners and in the center . Heat set with your iron, take to your machine and stitch the halves together. If you did this, I am sure you noticed a difference when your machine hit that glue/seam in the center but it still stitched as normal. Open and press, now add your batting and backing and try running that under you needle to quilt this completed block. Your results will be one of the 3 noted above when you reach that center full of seams and 2+ dots of glue. This is why you stay away from the corners or heavy seams and within that 1/4″ seam allowance. I have used Elmers washable school glue in this manner for many years and have never had any issues when following the instruction above.

You can use it to tack your applique’s down so they remain stationary while hand or machine stitching. You can use it to hold patches down on blue jeans while you patch them because your husband ripped a brand new pair while at work. When you are sewing your binding onto the quilt and you want the end and beginning of the binding to join together nicely. Remove the quilt about 6″ before the joint, iron in hand, tack it together. Just make sure the glue is dry before running under your needle.

Tips that do not require tools. Remove excess bulk. You have all of your templates stitched, you have trimmed the excess fabric and paper from the templates and are now ready to put it all together.  The lower left photo is showing trimmed templates ready to be stitched. (Once edited, cropped and sized it went blurry, sorry) The arrows point to the stitch line. Once I’ve sewn these 2 pieces together I fold the paper flap in and carefully rip just that flap off on both sides below my stitched line. The rest I leave in tact. Another important fact that some pattern designers leave out about that stitch line. Remember the clear 3″ x 18″ Friskars ruler, locate the 1/4″ line on it. Now lay that line on your stitch line, trim any paper or fabric extending past the ruler. If you dont have anything extending past the ruler with the 1/4″ lined layed on the stitch line, then you dont have a 1/4 seam allowance on your finished template. Both free and purchased patterns I’ve noticed that the trim line is not always 1/4″ away from your stitch line. So use the trim line as a guide for trimming the templates from the sheets, I clip outside the trim line to be safe. To avoid any issues when putting it all together, use your stitch line to create your 1/4″ seam allowance on the finished templates. Please, if this does not make sense let me know and I will edit this post and try to be more clear. If you have additional questions, let me know and I will add to this post. IMG_1851

Do you fmq on your table model machine? Here is another great tip (I haven’t tried yet but I will) using Elmers Washable School Glue. Quilting Gail

Finished quilts

medallion quilt: 2 color quilt: two color quilt: paper pieced pattern: flying geese pattern: quilt patterns: circling geese pattern: no curved piecing circling geese: red and white medallion quilt
Red and white medallion quilt

At one time I did not take photos of the quilts as I finished them.

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.