08 April, 2019

Yes, It Can!

I can rise to a challenge, particularly and most especially when I am told that it can't be done. When visiting a precious vendor booth at MidAtlantic Quilt Festival I saw a small wall hanging displayed, it was called "Courtyard Garden" and the star units were made up from diamond and kite shaped pieces. I fell in love with it at first sight and inquired about the pattern. I was told that it was pieced by hand, the English paper piecing method and that they sold the papers to make it in the booth. I wasn't interested in EPP, but I did want to make one! They girls who worked in the booth were super sweet and explained that it couldn't be pieced any other way. Really? I had other ideas.
After I returned home this little quilt was on my mind. I drafted the pattern and made templates which I drew around, marking my seam line and adding seam allowances and, s-l-o-w-l-y started stitching them together by machine, dropping the needle and pivoting where necessary to set in each shape. I pressed the seams open and... voila! My idea was to combine strawberry fabrics (!) to make a small table topper for the kitchen. I did buy some items at the booth, a yard of luxuriously soft double gauze fabric (shown below) for the back of this table topper, and a few other pieces. I really did enjoy visiting with the booth owner, I loved her quilts, she had a knack for combining vintage-style fabrics into beautiful finished pieces! But I know there's more than one way to tackle things. I admire all those EPP hexie quilts as much as anyone, but I know myself and I am NOT going to wrestle with all those little papers!!
I am thankful that when I learned to quilt, back in 1983, I had a teacher who taught every aspect of quilt construction. As a result of that instruction I understand the relationship between a seam and the necessary allowance, I can draft a block and I am unafraid to try even if I make mistakes along the way. But, one of the most important things that I ever learned from my dear friend, Ann, is that there's MORE THAN ONE WAY to do almost everything! I have always appreciated teachers along the way who say: "this is the way that I do it" or, "this is what works for me", understanding that we all find our own way to get the job done. 
After I got four stars together I didn't like the setting fabric at all: the gray grunge shown at the top of this post. As one sews, so shall she rip! I removed the gray and settled on a piece of Essex linen blend fabric in a color called "Limestone" from a Kaufman color chart that I have; I believe it will be neutral enough to fade away in the background where it should be, but in a soft shade that ties everything together nicely, we'll see. Wish me luck, I'm restarting. Just don't tell me that it can't be done! 😉 

Life is Good!


Jacqueline said...

You go girl !!

cityquilter grace said...

like you i also had a teacher who taught every aspect of quilting including drafting, quilt as you go, diamonds, hexies etc...invaluable information...glad to see you found a way to make these pretty blocks!

Tanya said...

Good for you! I find the challenge to be the fun part of quilting. Sort of like a game, or a maze, or a puzzle. Can I really do this? Your strawberry fabrics sing!

Quiltdivajulie said...

GOOD FOR YOU! Several of the ladies in our Wednesday group are infatuated with EPP - but it is not for me. Glad you changed the background - the gray was too "gray" (grin).

Janet O. said...

Looks wonderful! I am so impressed that you figured this out for machine piecing. I am not fond of EPP, either.

straythreads said...

I'm with you I don't like EPP and if I can't do it on the machine it probably won't get done! and to be part of the generation that has a good understanding of sewing and construction and drafting we can do anything. The gray wasn't working for me either.
can't wait to see it finished