I can’t believe that it was only three weeks ago that I shared my fabric preparation for my English Paper Piecing project of this year, Willyne Hammerstein’s La Passacaglia quilt from her first Millefiori Quilts book.
Thanks to a fair amount of down-time over the last 3 weeks, I have been able to get busy on piecing this amazing quilt. I am moving away from the recommended piecing order somewhat, mainly to avoid doing the huge feature cogs until I have a bit more of a feel for the design options and my colour story.
Here are the three rosettes that I have completed so far. They aren’t sewn together, I’ve just pinned them on the design wall like that to enjoy seeing how the colours and fabrics play together.
Currently I am using a beautiful charcoal grey for the tiny star rings, to add that beautiful dark level that makes the jewel colours that I prefer using pop. There’s a good reason why high-end jewellers traditionally used black velvet trays to showcase their wares.
This was my first rosette. I love the way the Alison Glass prints I used for the centre star intersected, however I think I went a little overboard in diamond pieces of the star ring with the alternating Anna Maria Horner prints. It would be more effective with the diamond prints all running horizontally OR vertically, but not both. I will see if this continues to bother me enough to unpick it, or maybe put it onto a cushion or a mini quilt.
My second rosette was actually based around the tiny aqua diamonds with the hedgehogs and other prints. That was before I decided to keep those diamonds in neutral prints. Again, we will see if this continues to bother me enough to do something about it, or if I stop noticing it after the quilt grows some more. The Lizzy House teal stars did not line up properly for me I’m afraid, but I still love the effect they give.
My third rosette is green, and I completely love every part of it! Fabrics are mainly from scraps and stash, but I’m very excited with how it all works together. This is one of the reasons why I was happy to wait to make my large feature rosettes, as I am still learning how different fabrics behave in this pattern. The exquisite tiny green floral diamonds are from one of the best quilting fabric lines ever – used HERE in my first patchwork project, and again HERE in my Plus Quilt, Flora by Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda. You will see it a lot in my La Passacaglia because of it’s small detailed prints and rich colours.
I thought I would share a picture of the back of piecing, to show the advantages of keeping your edges/corners all folded in the same direction. It allows for those folded fabric tails to spin and nest beautifully on the back reducing bulk along all these tiny seams. For piecing I have been using 2 colours of thread, a pale grey or beige for any light to light areas (the centre of the 5 diamonds for example) but a dark grey thread for any piecing that intersects with a dark fabric – around the narrow diamonds above, or all sides of the tiny star ring with my charcoal fabric.
Everyone’s favourite part of creating this quilt seems to be the opportunities for fussy cutting that it presents. The centre star is ideal for this, and many different looks can be achieved depending on the fabric chosen, or even which section of the fabric that you choose. Each of the rings give you similar chances to showcase your fabrics and prints.
I do love fussy cutting but I don’t think that I will make every ring on every rosette a feature print as it will be too much work and the fabric wastage is huge! I am looking forward to seeing the next direction that this quilt takes!
Would you be interested in more English Paper Piecing posts and tutorials? I’m learning more tricks as I go, let me know in the comments if you have any questions you’d like me to cover!