October’s challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors was to complete a paper pieced project (Foundation or English). Last month’s project was foundation or paper pieced, so English Paper Piecing was my choice. The fabrics, batting and thread were provided to me from Island Batik.
I have been wanting to make Lucy Boston blocks for a while. Lucy Boston was a novelist and her daughter wrote about her, and her quilt – the Patchwork of the Crosses. You can find out more information here. These blocks can be colored in a variety of ways or expanded from the basic block.
One of Rhea’s blocks from Alewives Fabrics
A former colleague from Cambridge Quilts, Rhea Daiute Butler has made this into an obsession for me. Every Sunday for a few years she has been publishing at least one fussy cut version of a block. Her work is found at her store, Alewives Fabrics in Nobleboro, Maine. I had resisted getting the templates for quite sometime, but finally did. I had been planing on doing fussy cutting and Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the cross blocks – one day. Well, that’s not what they got used for – I used them for this! I had stashed these for awhile – templates, papers and book*.
I loved the colors in the Island Batik Paisley Dot Brights (cardinal, purple and cotton candy). That purple with red was really calling my name. Before we drove to Pennsylvania, I gathered up these supplies. I love my little sandpaper/cutting mat board, my needle case/threader, scissors, thread & thread magic, washi tape and used tins from my Trader Joe espresso bean obsession – filled with my clover wonder clips.
Prior to this, I had begun some work on a La Passacagalia quilt and did a lot of research on EPP. When I did the research, I tested a number of threads and stitches. One of the best resources I found was on DIY addict. I decided to do the following:
- Use templates
- Use precut papers
- Use glue
- Use the flat back stitch (I didn’t like seeing stitches on the front)
- Use clover clips and washi tape to hold pieces together
- Use Aurifil thread – 50 wt.
I am kind of an appliqué snob. I learned to do it the old fashioned way and rather stick to it often. Because, I did not like stitches showing, I never did an EPP before as I hated when the whipstitch would show. The flat back stitch was perfect. Here’s the video that I used to learn it. I found glueing the pieces to the paper to be much easier and faster so I gave in here a little. (when it works I go for the fast method). In the end, I did not make more than one. Minis are working for me more often than not, as the stack of wall hangings and larger quilts is plenty high.
I had trouble deciding on the backgrounds. The little slide show lets you see what some of the finalists were. Some of my internet friends voted – Rose, Wendy, Joan and Nancy – and they were torn between the Blackberry and the Black. The black just seemed to make it pop more. All of these fabrics are Island Batiks – even the solids!
HINT: Use your phone camera, upload to your computer and make a slideshow. I always feel like I get to stand back a bit and watch until one speaks to me.
I really wanted the blocks to pop. My next set of decisions were around attaching the piece to the background and quilting. I decided to use a narrow zig zag in a monofilament thread to attach. Above are pictures of an “old school” technique, cutting away the back so the batting moves into the appliqué. To make this happen even more, Iadded a layer of Hobbs Thermore batting and stitched around the outline in black. I cut away the outside and then added another layer of batting. Matchstick quilting won and I was thrilled with the way it turned out. I did a facing again, you can find out about them here. It seemed like added color in border/binding was calling attention away from the center. I may quilt in the ditch in the center, but I am not near the right thread right now, so I am letting that go for the time being.
So here it is, my mini Lucy Boston wall hanging – a finish for my Island Batik Ambassador project, my One Monthly Goal project and a 4thQuarterFAL!
Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the Crosses
13″ x 13″ Island Batik Fabrics
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Hand Pieced, Machine Applique and Quilting.
Aurifil 50 wt, Grey and Black
There will be a little change to my blog in the next few days. Here’s a hint. Have a great weekend!
Linking up with:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hand Quilts: Finished or Not Friday
Powered by Quilting: Friday Foto Fun
TishnWonderland: UFO Busting
Free Motion by the River: Linky Tuesday
Pretty Piney: What I Made Monday
Clever Chameleon: Chameleon Colour Party
Elm Street Quilts: One Monthly Goal