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!
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That is very impressive fussy cut epp-ing on those stars! I need to go back and look at some of my backs to see whether they nest – yours looks very neat. Gray thread is great idea! I’ve always just usd black. I just read an older post on flossieteacakes blog about using poly bobbin thread for stitches to hide better, which I would like to try.
Agnes, thanks so much for your sweet compliments. I’m still learning as I go with the fussy cutting. I have tried So Fine poly thread for my EPP but the poly is slippery and doesn’t “snug” each stitch up as I go. I found myself back with my trusty Rasant, the cotton outer grabs as you stitch and keeps things tight. As long as you use a 50wt thread or thinner, I think you stand a good chance of making very small and neat stitches 🙂
Your fussy cutting is phenomenal!! I’m really enjoying working on my hexie quilt. There’s something about the process that’s very calming and therapeutic. Just what I needed this year! 😉
My fussy-cutting skills are still a work in progress I’m afraid. I am really enjoying the process though, you have put it perfectly about it being calming and therapeutic. Can’t wait to see your beautiful quilt top finished 🙂
These are just gorgeous Cassie 😍😍. Lovely to see all the pieces up close … I’ve bought the book, and followed a few la passa makers, but haven’t yet taken the plunge!! Looking forward to watching yours grow xx
Did you create the rosettes in the order given in the book?
Hi Julie 🙂 No, I didn’t follow the written order in the book. I used the diagram to guide me, and I worked on rosettes based on position and colour, as well as what I had fabric for as sometimes I was limited by using very special scraps. Hope that helps!