Monday, August 10, 2015

Old Quilt Designs with new fabric

I got into one of those cleaning moods and went through some of my old boxes with samples from quilt classes that I had taught.  One of the boxes had an old New York Beauty sample with a lot of pieces already cut out.  I taught this class many times and still really enjoy foundation paper piecing. So, I decided to use up the sample pieces and add some new fabric in with the old.

My favorite color is lime green and all of its shades.  Needless to say, I have a lot of green fabric in my stash!  Do you have a favorite color too?  Perhaps a favorite fabric designer?  Maybe you have a favorite motif - like dots, cats, or hearts?   This New York Beauty quilt uses some of that lime green stash and is combined with its complimentary color of reddish-purple.  To give it some punch, it's kicked up with black and white prints.  Here are the blocks sewn together to show the variety of fabrics.

New York Beauty blocks 

If you look closely, you'll see that I trimmed the blocks slightly wonky to give it a more modern appeal.  The old method that I taught was too exacting, but right for the times.  Now, we all want to just go with the flow and be spontaneous.

Here are the border pieces that are sewn, but not trimmed to size yet.

New York Beauty border pieces

So many people have thought up great techniques to make foundation piecing easier.  I especially like the techniques of Judy Niemeyer and Karen Stone.  Check out their fabulous books and patterns. And take a class if you can!  My favorite thing to do is to make pattern pieces that are 1/2" larger than the foundation area, and use these to precut my fabrics.  This way, I can get the stripes or motifs just the way I want them, I don't waste fabric, and I always have a piece that is large enough to cover the foundation.  I lay out the precut fabric pieces with the pattern on top and clip the side that will be the side that is sewn.

Precut fabric pieces with their pattern piece

Border pattern with pieces sewn down

Then, its super easy to pick up the piece and sew it on correctly.  The border strips for this quilt were all sewn with this method on strips of freezer paper where I had drawn the foundation pattern and numbered each piece.

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