Friday, September 7, 2007


Today it's back to quilting!

I thought I'd show you a work in progress, a lonestar. This is the first quilt I've done which is hand-pieced. I usually sew by machine and hand needle-turn the applique, but never have I done actual hand piecing. I was scared - more like terrified! And part of it was being scared that it would be boring! But my friend Anna had done it before and encouraged me and talked me through it. She learnt from quilting superstar Jinny Beyer, so I went to the library, took out Jinny's book and I was off! And guess what I found out? That not only is it NOT boring, but I love it, and it is so fast. Yep you read that right. Hand piecing is fast! Jinny Beyer says she can hand piece faster than she can machine piece. I completely believe her now!

If you look at the closeup of the sections I've done so far (5 done, 3 to go!) you will see, with the exception of the black, that each section has different fabrics. The goal with this is to show how important the concept of value is. You can have totally different fabrics, even different colors, but if they are of the same VALUE, from a distance they will read as the same fabric! It's like magic how that works isn't it?!

Look at the closeup again. You can see that the fabrics are different. Now look at the distance shot. Doesn't it look like I've used the same fabrics for each section?? They can even be a teeny bit different in value - don't be too fussy - it just brings the quilt to life, gives it some interest!

Here are a couple of photos of the design process - to get great value placement I cut and pasted mini diamonds on a piece of paper. This way I could see how the values worked together and where I needed to change/move things around. And you can see I used a mirror to see how 2 sections would work and if the values would still do their jobs - they did, so I went ahead and cut out the 'real' pieces!

So there is my lesson to you for the day on the very important concept of value! Now go play, let go of pre-conceived ideas and have fun - do what YOU want to do with the colors you crave - it's your quilt to love!!


Jeannette Bruce said...

You really have a great understanding of color! I love what you are working on, but I am having a hard time believing that hand piecing can be faster than machine piecing. Maybe I Should try it one of these days, but I do love the consistent stitches of a machine.

flippytale Quilter (Christine) said...

Your color choices are amazing!!! Well Done! I've heard the same thing about hand piecing. If I ever get off of my current (ten year) English paper Piecing binge I will try it again. Oh what the heck, I could use it on my next project! I like the accuracy of hand piecing.

Joanna said...

Yep, it seems like it would be way slower. And when you start, it definitely is. But it's just a running stitch, and you can load up that needle with lots of stitches all at once!

Plus, I find with having kids all over the place, it's so much harder for me to pull out the machine, and go back and forth tending to them than it is to have my little tin with my piecing in it. I can take it everywhere - the car, the park, anywhere, and though I'm still not as fast as a machine, I actually get more done because I can do it anywhere, if that makes sense!

Rosalyn Manesse said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I remember that the first quilt I made was a log cabin, hand pieced, and then I machine quilted it. It was 1961. I hand pieced quite a few quilts. I used to cut templates out of cardboard. I liked the cardboard from the back of writing pads. I still do a lot of hand applique and embroidery. But I usually machine piece these days.

Juryizstillout said...

That is an incredible piece! Very cool!

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