I am totally copying Megan's non-Christmas Christmas mini quilt! A project that gives the Christmas feel without the use of overtly Christmas fabrics. The fabrics I used were all from my scrap bag, some from past projects of mine, and a few that I received in a bag of scraps from Debbie of 'A Quilter's Table'.....recognize any, Debbie? ;) I am in the process of hand quilting this, and will also be trying a new method to hang the quilt on the wall, which I feel like I'm inventing but maybe someone else has already done it! Stay tuned for that.
I had been wanting to try the Circle of Geese block for a while, just because it looks so interesting and fun! I'd tried paper piecing once before (well, twice, but on the same project, my summer sampler quilt) and while it was fun and paper piecing really does help you to achieve amazing and precise results, I was put off by the amount of wasted fabric. This circle of geese block was enough to draw me back in though, and give it another try! Again, I feel like I wasted quite a bit of fabric but everything was from my scrap bag this time so it didn't feel quite as bad as with the summer sampler where I was cutting into yardage specifically for that project. So with that said, a few paper piecing tidbits, from my limited experience...
- the tutorial I linked above has you pre-punch the lines on the paper using your sewing machine with no thread. I highly recommend this! It makes the process of folding the paper back so much easier, and also helps later on with tearing the paper away.
- set your machine to a very short stitch length ~ VERY important, if you want to be able to easily remove the paper, which I do!
- next time I will print an extra paper template, cut out each piece and lay them out on my fabric, cutting each with about a 1/2" allowance on all sides, to make the most of my fabric (ie. less waste!). This, as opposed to using approximately 3"x5" pieces of fabric, as the tutorial suggests, which clearly works but if you're all about conserving supplies like I am, I would recommend the former (which the tutorial also does mention).
- mark the piece numbers on the unprinted side of your paper as well as the printed side. Not crucial, but helps things go more smoothly in my opinion.
- after each step of adding a new fabric and pressing it, trim the excess fabric that extends beyond your paper template (only do this AFTER pressing) - the above tutorial doesn't suggest this, but I did it as I found it made things a lot neater and less unwieldy to work with.
- the entire circle of geese block is made up of 4 smaller blocks. I did not remove the paper until after I had sewn the top row together, and the bottom row together. Therefore the only seam I sewed without paper was the final seam.
I hope someone finds this helpful. I mainly followed the above tutorial but also referenced a few others as not everyone does it the same way and it was good to have options and figure out what worked best for me.
The only other project I am currently working on is the Little Apples wonky log cabin mini quilt. I have finished adding "logs" to it, so now what's left is basting, quilting & binding!