So, this crazy thing happened last week, dudes. A new issue of the digital quilting magazine Make Modern came out … and MY PROJECT IS ON THE COVER. #holycrap!
Make Modern is a really fun magazine, always full of lovely, bright, modern projects. In this project for Issue 10, I combined fairly simple EPP with a touch of basic embroidery to create a project that really wows. My wall hanging is called “When The Stars Go Blue” (after this beautiful Ryan Adams’ song) and is inspired by the moment when the sky is neither day nor night, and you can just see the stars emerging. That’s my favorite time of day, it makes me feel so deeply happy and sad at the same time.
I hope you’ll go check out the issue – and my project, if you’re interested in hand-stitching! Thanks so much to Make Modern for choosing my project for the cover – it’s ridiculously exciting to see it there!
I’m closing in on a finished mini-quilt top for the Hand-Pieced Mini Swap over on IG. The design for this one came to me quickly enough – a week of sketching and doodling that seemed endless at the time, but once I had the right plan, it started to come together very quickly.
But man, this project has been a pain in the bum ever since! I had two pairs of paper pieces for this one, in different sizes, but worried that the smaller sizes would take me forever to sew and I wouldn’t be able to finish in time – under the theory that you need many more smaller pieces to cover a space. So I went with the larger pieces, which (of course) I now think were too big — this mini is going to end up at about 23″ square, so within the size bounds in the swap rules, but not by much. My fingers are tightly crossed that my partner is dazzled by the pretty fabrics and doesn’t notice that I’ve sent her a tent!
I do really love how it’s coming out and I’m almost there – just a little to add to each side before I can quilt it and square it up. Photo of the full top soon enough!
I cannot tell you how much I love this book, but I’ll try: I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK. Seriously, dudes, it rules. I love English Paper Piecing, and hand-piecing in general, and you know I don’t often go for quick or easy projects. Quick and easy is for suckers. I absolutely love that Diane wrote a technique-oriented book, with a focus on learning a very specific technique very, very well – with full attention paid to every tiny aspect of EPP, from cutting fabric to the possibilities of each shape. There’s projects included, and they’re lovely, but the real prize here is all the other content – let me tell you, friends, if you have an even slight interest in English Paper Piecing or hand-stitching, you NEED this book. Go get it now now now.
So, for this blog hop, our challenge was simple: fussy-cut some hexagons. In case you’re not familiar with the term, fussy-cutting means that you choose the exact part of a print you use, rather than using all of a piece of fabric. I’ve never done any fussy-cutting before, so this seemed like the perfect challenge for me!
Erm. Except that when I got down to it, I didn’t have anything terribly fussy-cut-friendly in my stash. Fussy-cutting is typically done with large-scale prints – florals or cute illustrations – and my stash is currently mostly small-scale geometrics and blenders. So how to combine my hostile stash with this technique??
Why, cut up the teensy geometric elements, of course! I used 1/2″ hexies and went for fabrics that allowed the geometrics to be easily separated from the whole.
Little stand-alone elements, such as the X’s in Cotton + Steel’s XOXO print work beautifully (Cotton + Steel in general has a lot of prints that work well for tiny fussy-cutting!), as well as stripes, zigzags, etc. There was a lot of trial-and-error, making hexies I didn’t use in the end, but even then, using tiny elements that repeat often on a print created much less wastage than fussy-cutting often does.
My little wee quilt turned out to be 5″ x 19″ – just a sliver of a normal mini-quilt! And as I was sewing it together, the line ‘summer autumn winter spring’ (from one of my very favorite poems – “anyone lived in a pretty how town”, by ee cummings), popped into my head. It always charmed me the way that cummings lists the seasons in different orders in that poem, the years just going ’round and ’round, and that one gets stuck in my head sometimes. Looking at my tiny quilt, I realized these four hexie-flowers are a bit like the four seasons – and so my little quilt has a name.
I’ve absolutely loved taking part in this challenge and finding a fun, new way to try this technique! Be sure to stop by the other fussy-cutting blog-hoppers throughout this week and see what amazingness they’ve created for this challenge!
But wait, don’t go yet! To celebrate the release of All Points Patchwork and this blog hop and everything good in the world, there’s a giveaway to enter: a set of Clover’s Black Gold hand-sewing needles and a Quilt Needle Threader!
NICE. International entries welcome, and entries will close at midnight on Sunday, June 7th, so hurry up and enter via Rafflecopter below!
As if I don’t have enough to do, I recently joined the Hand-Pieced Mini-Quilt Swap on IG, organized by Jo from A Life in Lists. I haven’t taken part in a lot of swaps in my crafty time, and I think this has to be my last for a while so I can catch up on other stuff, but with a hand-stitching void in my life since my peels were finished, I just couldn’t resist!
This is a little bit out of my comfort zone – everything else I’m working on behind the scenes is heading in a much more minimalist, quiet sort of direction, but I didn’t think that was my partner’s style. After a TON of doodling, I finally landed on this EPP design, with a fabric arrangement that I hope combines my urge to pare down with her love of brighter designs.
Of course I can’t quite show you more yet, but you’ll see soon enough! And if you’re on IG, follow my sneaky progress peeks over there.
You might not have been around when I first posted about this special project, so I should probably tell the story of how it was made.
Two hand-sewing enthusiast friends and I (Karen and Christa) decided to have a mini-quilting-bee together and make mini-quilts together. We each planned out a mini-quilt for ourselves, divided the work into three parts, and made little kits with fabric and thread and whatever else was needed.
We each of us made a third of each other’s mini-quilts, and now we each have a small piece of loveliness that we made together! (Thank you so much, guys!!!)
So each of us hand-stitched a third of these peels, then I assembled them and hand-quilted around each peel. My Instagram peeps helped me decide not to do any more quilting and to let it be simple this way, and they were definitely right. I was worried that the pink thread I’d used (Aurifil 12wt, in case you’re wondering) didn’t do a good enough job tying all the pinks together like I’d wanted, but the binding does it beautifully.
The binding fabric is my favorite fabric in the entire history of the universe. It’s a print from the V&A’s Quilts 1700 – 2010 exhibition – they produced a small line of fabrics reproduced exactly from quilts on display. This print is taken from a patchwork coverlet dated 1797 and it really is the most beautiful fabric I’ve ever seen. I’ve hoarded a small stash of it but I’m still afraid to use it for fear of running out. This is the first time I’ve been able to cut into it – it seemed fitting for such a special project!
I will still embroider a tag for it, and I’ll have to add a sleeve so I can get it up on my wall. But I’ll call it an FO anyway, so that anyone joining in the Orange Peel Quilt-Along can see it all finished!