A Year of Paper Piecing Book
September is a beautiful time of year in southeast Pennsylvania. The days are warm in the afternoon , with lower humidity, and the evenings cool down quickly. Time for baking apples and cooking soup.
Time to make a basket of apples wall hanging, too!
I found a really great book, on Amazon.com, called A Year of Paper Piecing, by Beverly A. Maxvill.
It has 12 Seasonal designs for 12 inch blocks, with some great instructions to do paper piecing and a little quilting. I was lucky enough to find it sold as a used book, and I don't think it was ever used!
I picked up some fall toned fabrics while on a fabric store shopping trip with my friend, Maxine. I found some pretty reds and browns and greens in the Marcus Fabric lines. After I had the material cut, I got excited and was amazed at how much I loved those colors! I had never paid much attention to these more traditional fabric lines before. Maxine and I were very close to squealing with delight, because we found some really pretty fabrics, and they were ALL 20% off !
My new fabricI am pretty new at paper piecing, but really love doing it.
I got started , and after choosing which reds to use for which apples, it went quickly. ( I should've made a diagram with the materials designated to each apple , because I got myself confused with the same apple being in more than one row of the pattern. )
This is how the sections A thru J look before sewing them all together. Elongated, to allow for the 1/4" seam allowances. My husband said they look like houses piled on top of each other!.
Luckily, I took my time and looked this over. Have you experienced paper piecers seen my error already? The directions told me to piece 2 little sections of background fabric to the row of the basket rim. That's what I thought I did...
Then, I went back to her directions in the book , and read them properly, to learn that I needed to rip out those two background rectangles and the whole top edge of the basket, and attach the background pieces before I pieced the basket top and bottom pieces together. And I had to add some background rectangles to the bottom basket piece, too.
That is when I decided to name my little seam ripper, Cruella DeRipper.
I also remembered a very simple but handy tip that I am beginning to use a lot in paper piecing....
For tricky sections.... baste it first.
Then open it up, see if it is lined up properly, and then resew it properly. It is easier to rip out basting stitches, than the tiny size 2 stitches I use for paper piecing!! (Plus, I don't need my ultra- magnifying reading glasses to rip out the basted stitches!)
Since basting size stitches are more similar to hand piecing, I found
Here is the block, with the side strips being added.
I had 2 little squares to sew together on the top and bottom strips. I remembered to make sure it lined up properly before I sewed them on. I have learned to "piece them" at the right spot as I sew them on... by testing them pinned- on before I sew them. (Cruella pouts when I actually remember to do this...)
Before I knew it, it was time to add the batting and backing to make my quilt sandwich.
I used some Warm and Natural for the batting, and some natural colored linen blend from my stash for the back.
So I made two corner pockets on the back, to hang this little block by. They are attached on the back in each top corner ,and basted in place before sewing the front and back together, right sides together. This clever method came from A Girl In Paradise , Ann. (This tutorial , Hang your quilt using corner pockets , explains how to make these pockets.) The corner pockets works well for me. I just hang a tiny dowel rod under my shelf, attached to two eye hooks. Now, I can keep the dowel rod in place for all 12 blocks, and just take each block off of the rod by sliding it out of the pockets.
Corner pockets were machine sewed in.... and you can adjust to what size you like. I made my squares 7 1/2 inches .
Next, I wanted to try some very minimal hand quilting around the ouline of the apples and basket, and the outside edges . I have never hand quilted before, but so admire all of the work that I see from you amazing quilters out there! This includes quilts that my sister, Amy ( AmyMadeThat! ), has made for me.
So I got out a needle and some thread, and quilted a little on my apple block while watching tv last night. It was very relaxing. (It helped to use my strong glasses and a light aimed right on my work. ) My kitty, Whiskers, tried to help me with my thread management . What would I do without her help?!
My stitches are not perfect, but I think I am pleased with my first hand quilting stitches results. I love this pattern, because the little stems on the apples are not fully attached, and they stand up a little.
Apple stems stand up
September block - Apple Basket
Here it is in place under my shelf.
September is ready for me to enjoy.
I can hardly wait for October's pattern.
Let me know if you get the book and want to sew along with me.
|I'm off to my sewing room!|