Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Quilt Top Finish... but which one?!?

I finished a quilt top!!!... it might come as a little bit surprise, but can you guess which one? 

I was able to make a good amount of progress on my "planned creativity" goals during our summer vacation time, and since I've been working on THREE quilts at the same time, there's about a 33% chance at guessing which one is now a finished quilt top... so, what's your pick?

1.) The "Swell" quilt
2.) The "Facing East" quilt? or
3.) The "Scrappy Windmill" quilt?...

If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have a pretty good idea already, but if not, how about a little hint?... the quilt top is the smallest of all three quilts that I have been working on, and it's the one I started last!?!... dromroll, please for my Scrappy Windmill quilt top!

The fact that I had decided to make a baby quilt, which was smaller than the orginal version, really helped things come together so quickly. (wow, can you believe that I actually decided to make a quilt smaller instead of making it bigger?!?) The paper piecing seemd to whiz by, not to mention that I had already gotten a lot finished before I left for vacation. What actually felt like it took the longest was peeling all those papers out of the back once it was all put together! NOTE: this is the point where I discovered the BIG downside of paper piecing.

On my Facing East quilt I just charged through without completely reading through the part of the directions that said to leave the paper in until the blocks are sewn together... it was only first on this pattern that I realized that little, but important detail! On one hand, I understand that leaving the paper in helps keep the shape of the block together nicely without stretching the design, but I have to say, that peeling the papers out of the seams was just downright UNPLEASANT!

I had actually tried peeling the paper away from the outside edges of the blocks before stitching them together, but this was also not the best solution. I did notice a slight difference, and I probably could have pulled it off, but decided to stick with the "if it's not broke, then don't fix it" rule. I also tried shortening the stitch length, but from my opnion, it didn't exactly make a world of difference with the paper removal either. Hmmm... definitely some things to think about before jumping into another paper piecing project!

Size: Finished quilt top size approx. 50 x 60 inches (ca. 125 x 150 cm)
Fabrics: Kona Cotton White, Lizzy House, Heather Ross, and other various scraps
Backing: Planned pieced backing with bright prints, waiting for batting
Pattern: Scrappy Windmills by Judith Dahmen as featured in Issue 10 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine

They say that hindsight is twenty-twenty... do you have any "the picture is clearer" after-the-fact stories to share?

 Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday, Let's Bee Social, and Scraptastic Tuesday.


  1. Beautiful top! I love the precision with paper piecing but completely agree, removal of those papers is not much fun! I recently read about foundation paper that dissolves. . . this of course means submerging the top in water. . . that would make me a little nervous :)

  2. I actually don't mind peeling off the papers. I use a stitch length that is so short that it perforates the paper, making it easy to fold back and rip off. A friend uses blank newspaper to do her paper piecing. She irons it first (it tends to shrink w/ the heat), cuts it to size, and sends it through the manual feed on her printer. I haven't tried that method yet, but it intrigues me!

  3. P.S. Love the assortment of fabrics here, especially the Lizzy House and Heather Graham. Well done! : )

  4. I peeled the paper off before assembling the blocks and it worked quite well, it came together accurately :-)

  5. Such a lovely quilt! I heard the other day that Golden Thread paper is very good for using as foundation paper ....

  6. Oh, I have been watching for this finish and really love the fabrics your used with this pattern!
    I learned a paper-less foundation technique that uses freezer paper, but you fold it back before stitching. The papers can be re-used and none to remove! I learned it with my guild, but this tutorial looks like the same technique:

  7. Gorgeous finish, Allison! The fabrics choices are all so beautiful and look fabulous against the white background. I only tried paper piecing once. So I have no helpful advice to offer. Looking forward to seeing the progress on your other two wip's!

  8. In relation to @Judy: I am currently using some leave in foundation in my skill builder BOM. I am also very curious how the leave in will work out. BTW you don't have to wash the top. You leave it in till the quilt is finished and wash it then. Besides beeing quite expensive, if it works then it might be a good solution for some projects nonetheless.

    Regarding your "clear picture" question: I don't have the answer yet, but your pondering reminds me of my thoughts on the watercolour vlies I have used. I like it a lot in some regards (accuracy, speed) but dislike it's stiffness (cuddling?) and stubborn behavior whilst ironing/ pressing.

  9. What a wonderful finish, I love the colorful fabrics with the white background! For my PP-projects I always use a very small stitch (about 1.0 to 1.2) which really makes it easy to tear the paper off. And when sewing different pieces together I rip off the "seam allowance" part of the paper immediately after sewing. At that time it's easy to do :-)

  10. Such a pretty quilt top! I always like bright colors on a white background. Yes, paper piecing can be a little tricky to get those papers out, especially in the seams. I get my tweezers out and pick all the bits out.

  11. Loving your Facing East quilt so far. This may be another one added to my never decreasing list of "want to make one day". I love the precise results paper piecing gives, I hate taking the paper off though, but I figure it is just part of the process.

  12. It is so pretty! What an achievement...despite the bother of removing the papers. Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday


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