I'm sure a lot of you know that Diane of CraftyPod has written a new book (in fact, you may have found me through Diane, so hi!); it's called All Points Patchwork and it's an amazing resource for those of us that love, or want to love, paper piecing. Seriously, there are so many tips and tricks in this book - I wish I'd had it when I first started paper piecing, because I think it would have saved me a lot of heartache. She goes over a bunch of different methods, the tools that you need (or want) and there's a how-to for each shape that's in the book (she goes over all the big ones, and some ones I hadn't come across before). There's a bunch of really cute smallish projects, too! It's great for beginners, and for more advanced paper piecers who want to refine or pick up new techniques.
A little while ago Diane asked if anyone would be willing to join a blog hop to show some of the techniques covered in the book, and of course I signed on right away! She's organized the hop into several different categories (you can find all the others over at her website), and I picked the Apple-a-Day week to join; we're all using some design featuring paper pieced apple cores. So, since today is my day...meet my Kaleidoscope wall hanging!
I've been wanting to sew with apple cores since the beginning of my quilting obsession - in fact, I tried to use an apple cores in my very first quilt top. I quickly realized that I was in over my head (I couldn't even sew a straight line, let alone curves!), so I abandoned it in favor of a more beginner friendly pattern, but I've always had it in the back of my mind as a "someday" project. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it again, and of course paper piecing is one of my favorites!
Once I knew what my shape would be, I just started playing around in EQ7, and this is what slowly grew (I'm often asked about my design process, and there it is..."I just started playing around" is basically how all my designs start!). Having learned from the Hexie quilt that paper piecing takes a lot more time than you think it will, I tried to keep my project on the small size at about 30" X 30", though true to form, once I got started, I was pretty tempted to make it bigger for a lap quilt! I used 3 inch cores, and that size worked really well to use up some of my ever-growing pile of scraps, including some fussy cuts.
I tried several different designs for the actual quilting of the piece, and finally decided to practice my free motion skills by trying out some feathers. The results are by no means perfect, but I've finally gotten to the point where my stitches are even and I don't have eyelashes all over the place, so I'm pretty happy with it! The backing is just a piece of navy Kona cotton that shows the stitches beautifully.
It's a little difficult to tell, but I used a variegated thread from Sulky in pinks, blues, greens, and yellows. I love the colors and it was relatively easy to quilt with, but this thread does have a tendency to fray, so that can be frustrating when you have a bunch of ends to weave in. And to finish, I used up leftover scraps from some of my favorite prints for a scrappy, colorful binding.
Once I finished and put it up in the living room, it was pointed out to me that it perfectly matched the cranes from our wedding that hang in our living room, so I clearly have a pattern here, but they look really good together and I think it'll stay in our house for a while!
And now, here's the best part...Clover had generously agreed to offer a pretty cool giveaway to go along with the blog hop! This week, you can win a pair of patchwork scissors by entering at the Rafflecopter link below:
And, because I know you want to see all the other amazing posts in our hop, check back below every day this week to see each project!