Meanwhile, I've been working on piecing a compass for my map quilt. I used a paper pieced compass pattern from the Farmhouse Window Table Runner pattern, designed by Judy Niemeyer and Judel Niemeyer Buls. This was my first attempt at paper piecing, so after buying the pattern, I was completely confused. I gathered my materials and headed to an open class. Luckily, there happened to be another person working on the same pattern! The first class (3 hours) was spent just cutting. And I didn't even finish. This is the first time I've gone to a sewing class without actually sewing. I learned it's faster if you use batiks or solids, so you can fold and pile them to cut multiple at a time. After that, I wasn't sold on paper piecing.
The next class I got to sew (finally) and finished two blocks. The first one took a while with a lot of explanations, but the second one took half the time and by the third block, I was starting to envision making my own paper piecing patterns. It was amazing to see how precise the the blocks were, with such little pieces, and all I had to do was sew on a straight line. Even when I strayed slightly from the line, they still turned out nicely. I had cut all of my pieces a little big, which I think helped too. I took my time on these, but did have to rip a few pieces out when I mixed up my yellow fabrics. Luckily I had lots of extra, so it was an easy fix.
Though the pattern I was following had the compass in pieces, spread throughout the table runner, I sewed them together in a square. All sewn together, the block looked too big. I debated whether or not I would use it for the quilt. I had originally intended to use the background colour of the quilt as the background colour for the compass, so that it would blend in and let only the compass stand out. However, I didn't have enough of the fabric. I decided to trim the block down to within about 1/4 inch of the points and try it out again. Once trimmed, I decided to leave it as is. I plan to extend the compass points as straight lines in the quilting, throughout the water. I've seen that design used in old maps and thing it would add some nice detail.
|Apparently all I have is blurry iPhone photos of this one.|
It's nice to have paper piecing as another technique to use when designing quilts, which opens up new possibilities.
For previous posts about my Map Quilt, go here.