Posted in quilting

More Piecing: Get to the Point

It is a really fine day to be in my fiber studio. The sky started out pouring with rain, and it ended up raining very hard again this afternoon. Today my goal is to practice piecing with triangles. For some reason, I find this shape way more interesting than a square or rectangle. I have been on-line viewing a wonderful tutorial by Johanna Figueroa, through You can find this lesson at

Her first lesson is based on a Japanese block she discovered. She calls it Jelly Girl. Here is an image of her example quilt:

As you can see, it is a hexagon pattern. But inside each hex is a swirling shape made up of six triangles. The hexes are spaced apart with white equilateral triangles. She promises that it will be easy to piece together.

I have small amounts of these three fabrics, so this will be a sampler. To start the project, the fabric is cut into 2 and 1/2 inch strips, across the grain.

Next the strips are sewn together in twos. Here are my strips after pressing.

This is where the triangle part comes. Using an Omnigrid ruler that has lines for 60 degree angles, the strips are cut into equilateral triangles. For the three types of strips, I ended up with six types of triangles.

They look like Christmas trees!

Next six triangles are laid out into hexagons. Only three of the triangles are sewn together at a time. The two halves of the hexes will not be joined until the rows are sewn together.

Here are my results at the end of the day:

I love the whirligig shapes.

I also cut the white equilateral triangles, which will be used as spacers. This colorful sampler will get finished next time.

Posted in quilting

Little by little, piece by piece

So far my quilt-making efforts have been limited and tentative. I have a pretty good grasp of applique technique, and can put together a log cabin block. Now it is time to move on to new skills. To celebrate my decision, I have acquired a few more items.

Twelve inch square blocking ruler, Fisker 45 mm rotary cutter and wash away adhesive tape

For the past three days, I have been viewing lessons on and checking out U-Tube videos. Now I am ready to try an exercise in free-motion quilting. The lesson, “Free Motion Quilting Essentials,” was presented by Christina Cameli on BluPrint. First I selected some fabrics to piece together into a practice block.

These remind me of a cheese plate.

Here is the block assembled.

Before I continued on to the quilting, I squared the block using my new Omnigrid ruler. Then I made the traditional quilt sandwich of backing, batting and top. I used a muslin top for the first practice stitches.

It took a little effort to get my Bernina working correctly. I had to clean out the lint, change needles and try a couple of different threads. Here are my first efforts:

Pretty wobbly. I discovered that I got better results by working from right to left instead of left to right. This may be due to my left-handedness. Whatever the reason, it was a relief to find a method that gave improved results.


The block shows a little more mastery of technique. I do believe that I will need several hours of practice before I am comfortable with free-motion quilting.