Well my personal weekend retreat is over and I got quite a bit done! I started bright and early Saturday morning and after spending 45 minutes or so trying to figure out what the directions were saying; I decided to just do the paper piecing the way I usually do. (I think that’s what the directions were saying anyway.) If you’ve never done paper piecing before, I would not start with this project. The pieces were fairly precise as far as size so there wasn’t much room for error. I did have a few problems. First of all, you really do need your glue stick to keep that first piece in place and apparently mine had dried out. I didn’t want to waste my retreat time going to the store so I used scotch tape. Hey – it worked and it came off when I took the paper off.
Then, I wasn’t used to so many lines on the pattern. I accidentally folded my paper on the seam allowance line instead of the sew line a couple of times which resulted in a bigger seam allowance and the piece didn’t fit. I’m not sure what all my problems were – maybe the three cups of coffee I had, but I had to rip out the first seam 3 or 4 times. It got a little better as I got the hang of it and I definitely think that it’s good that I used some of the same fabrics where the pattern called for 2 different. It might have gotten a little more confusing.
So by Saturday night I had the main points of the compass done.
On Sunday I really wanted to get the whole middle of the quilt finished. There are 16 little half points and then the background. I didn’t follow the pattern directions exactly because after doing the half points, it has you work on the snake-y border pieces. I decided to get the middle mostly finished and work on those later in the week. Putting the background together went a lot smoother. I only got 2 pieces turned sideways and had to rip out those seams. By 10pm last night, I had everything together!
As you can see, my helper was there to keep me company and hold down those pieces. So the center is sewn into 4 quadrants and then the border pieces are sewn on and then the whole quilt is sewn together. I could only go this far without the border.
The blue of the last compass points seem to read more grey than I wanted even though they were in the same William Morris line as the center points but overall I’m happy with my color choices. Another note about this pattern is that it called for butterfly pins and those would come in very handy. I used my tiniest pins several times to pin where I would sew, then opened up the piece to check for the correct positioning. Better to do that a couple times than to have to rip out seams.
So today I’m starting on the border pieces. I would describe the border as looking like bits of a wedding ring quilt with the little pieces inside curved pieces snaking around the outside of the quilt. I’m curious about the chain piecing technique this pattern uses. I’ll share pictures when I’m finished!