Thursday, 12 March 2015


There's been a little piecing, a little quilting and a little binding lately. The Honey quilt is bound and finished. The Jewel Burst Quilt is partially quilted - it's been on pause for a bit but I got some new ideas at a class this week and it will hopefully be picked up again next week. I'm loving the quilting so far, though I deviated from my original plan. The quilting blends in nicely on the front and stands out on the back. I'm beginning to see the appeal of a whole-cloth quilt. Here's the back. I'll post about it when I have more progress.

I'm just noticing the faint circle pattern made by the quilting in the jewels

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.
In the end, I was very happy how it turned out! I think the patterns and grid in the Botanics line work nicely with the map aesthetic. I love everything Carolyn Friedlander has designed. I've already bought the Widescreen grey crosshatch to back my Tornado quilt and two prints from the Doe line to possibly back this one. I'm using the grey crosshatch for my legend and others in the line for the title and borders as well. I've sewn the empty legend block and compass into the quilt, but I'm not entirely happy with the spacing. So I may change it and add some piping while I'm at it. 

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.


  1. LOVE the quilting!! Are you using your walking foot or FM with rulers? It looks perfect!! And it is going to look amazing when you get all of them finished!

    Your first time paper piecing and you chose a Judy Niemeyer design?? And it turned out perfect!! Good for you! The block looks fabulous and I can't wait to see your Map Quilt!

  2. What a beautiful block, makes me want to make more paper piecing projects!