Sunday, February 16, 2014

Colors of the Sun: a revisit of paper piecing

While prepping for my Piece by Numbers [Intro to Paper Piecing] class this past Saturday, I was reminded of my first quilt that incorporated the paper piecing technique. This is "Colors of the Sun," which I brought to class to show my students.
Colors of the Sun
38" x 47",  September 2001
I bring samples of my work to the classes I teach to show students various possibilities and examples of what can be done with the technique being taught in the class. Colors of the Sun was made in response to the first Guild Challenge* I ever attempted... after being a member for only about 2 months... in the first quilt guild I ever joined. A lot of firsts.
Paper pieced kimono blocks. 8.5" x 10.5" unfinished.
Another example are these kimono blocks (I made 9 of them). The pattern came from a quilting magazine (maybe McCall's Quilting?) from 7 or 8 years ago. This is a lovely—and appropriate—pattern for showcasing a collection of asian prints. I particularly like that these blocks are rectangular, not square. Having nine of these blocks would lend themselves to a traditional 3 by 3 layout (which is probably what I was originally thinking), but it might be an interesting juxtaposition to put the formal kimono block in an asymmetrical layout and leave space for free-motion quilting—something to ponder.

Another application for the paper piecing technique is when using tiny bits of fabric or creating in a very small format. These little ornaments are finished at 2" x 2".
Mini paper pieced ornaments. 2" squares.
The "Twisty Star" is the project the students work on in my class.
Twisty Star, class project.
Twisty Star quilting.
Saturday's students were busy working—trimming with the Add-A-Quarter ruler and following their thumbnail layout that they had colored.
Left: trimming seam allowances.  Right: checking the thumbnail color layout.
Here is some of the students' work—pieces, tops and quilts—from current and previous classes.
Students completed one quadrant of the block in class.
Carolyn's Twisty Star.
Deb's Twisty Star.
Mary's Twisty Star.
Sue's Twisty Star.
Janet's Twisty Star.
Jackie's Twisty Star.
Oh, and Colors of the Sun? It got a Judge's Choice and a Best Machine Quilting ribbon in the guild Challenge. It's one of my husband's favorite quilts and is currently hanging in the kitchen—heralding in the colors of Spring.

*The Challenge was called "The Pick 6 Challenge" and your entry quilt had to incorporate 5 or 6 items from the following list: yellow, purple, hunter green, sun, nine-patch, log cabin. Colors of the Sun incorporated all six.
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