Monday, June 15, 2015

Improv Gemstones Pillow : :

Thank you for all the Birthday wishes last week, it was very special! Besides all of the wonderful "Happy Birthday's," I felt encouraged by your comments to turn my first three gemstone blocks into a new, quilty pillow!

These #gemstonesquilt blocks are so addictive! Today's my 34th Bday, it's going to be a busy, special day, but not too busy that I can't squeeze in a few more of these! 💎💎💎 #CultivateFabric #improv

I love the way it turned out, and I got my coral fix by using these sweet Cultivate fabrics with the addition of peachy-coral AGF Pure and Prisma Elements!

Improv Gemstones Pillow

I finished this one again in my new favorite long, lumbar size of 14" x 28" with straight-line quilting every 1/4" using both a pale peach and light pink Aurifil 50wt. I framed it with a peachy coral binding and backed it with a durable Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed linen in Sand. 

Improv Gemstones Pillow

I'm only just getting started with this gemstone idea! I plan to pull a stack of low volumes to add to these Cultivate prints for more gemstone block making this week! Many of you were curious if these gemstone blocks are paper pieced. They are! I simply sketched out a new gemstone with slightly different dimensions, for each of the three blocks I made so far. I'm not looking for precision with these, the sketch was just my guide, but the paper foundation was necessary for me to make these gemstones with so many teeny pieces and sharp angles. Each block finishes at just a 10" square.

Improv Gemstone block No. 1! ✨💎 #gemstonesquilt

Paper piecing isn't something I'm very knowledgeable about. It always feels like experiment. Even when I finish whatever it is I've set out to make, I always wonder if I've done it right. My only real tips to share would be to 1. Shorten your stitch length quite a bit. The first time I ever attempted to paper piece I left the standard stitch length of 2.40 set on my Janome, and when I removed the paper, sadly I had loosened several seams. And, 2. Tracing paper is my personal favorite paper to use! It's translucent so you can actually see what you're doing, it's smooth, tears away easily, and we always have it on hand. I've never printed on it, since I hand draw everything, but I imagine it's compatible with most inkjet printers.

How about you, have you tried paper piecing blocks? Any words of advice from the paper piecing experts out there?

21 comments:

  1. Very cool! I've never tried paper piecing. I've always been scared of it. hehe

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  2. I have done some paper piecing and I just followed the pattern and it was quite easy. I would love to try they improv blocks. It may be in my future! I love the look you can get from this type of quilting

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  3. While I'm no expert, I do use a different technique to paper piece with freezer paper. Here is the link to a PDF from Anina at Twiddletails.

    http://www.twiddletails.com/images/FPFtute/FPFTute.pdF

    One great thing is no tearing out papers at the end, and you can often use the template several times before it loses it's "stick."

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  4. I have not tried yet paper piecing but it's something I really want to learn how to do along hexagons! I'm just learning! Btw I really admire your taste in color choosing, you are truly inspiring, because you use colors I will never put together but I love when you show your pics!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  5. I just love your gem stones!!! One more tip with doing paper piecing (not that I am an expert!) is to backtrack at the beginning and ending of every seam - that's what I was taught and I've never had a seam open up when I'm removing my papers.

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  6. That pillow doesn't look like it is 14 x 28, as stated. Looking at the photo it looks much longer than twice the height. Are the measurements given accurate? Or is this a question of warped perspective in photography? I await your answer with bated breath!

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  7. Love your gemstones!! I just got a book on improv piecing - The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood with photos by Sara Remington.

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  8. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.

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