Sunday, November 10, 2013

Star attraction

I'm making another attempt at English Paper Piecing, this time using the diamond template.  In a box under my work table there are half dozen or so hexagon flowers still waiting to be turned into something, but for the moment this has caught my eye.  I was looking for a project to use up my Hope Valley fabric, then started to read that book and the next thing you know I'm cutting out paper diamonds and stitching fabric shapes by hand.  I figure the hexagons were just practice, preparing me for a Star of Bethlehem quilt.  This time around I'm gluing the fabric to the paper.  I usually hand baste with needle and thread, but the glue stick is a huge time saver!  I also load up about 4 needles at a time on my spool of thread.  I had never heard of this before, and it's one of those tricks that make you want to smack your forehead and wonder why you never thought of it.
Simply pull one needle to the front, push the others back toward the spool, until you have about 18 inches or so in between.  Cut the thread in front of the remaining needles, and you have a threaded needle all ready to go, with more waiting as you need them. Kind of humbling isn't it?
Anyway the book is about a young Quaker girl from England who comes to America with her sister. Quilting and the Underground Railroad are the background themes here, and the author often emphasizes the differences between the English paper piecing quilts, and the applique quilts done in America.  When I started reading the story, I didn't know it had anything to do with quilting, so it was a nice surprise. It also got me whipped up for a few days of searching the web and Pinterest  for fun facts on EPP, and Star of Bethlehem patterns. Yeah I'm a dork.
The crochet blanket is almost done, just need to add a couple of more stripes.  I'm using mostly Paton's worsted wool with my H hook.  The pattern is from Lions Brand and you can find it here.  I added more chains to make it wider (multiple of 7 plus 1), and I worked into the loop created by the chains in the pattern, NOT the chains themselves, which goes a lot faster.  I saw several people on Ravelry did the same thing.
Did you notice they are really pushing Christmas this year?  I guess we have fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the stores aren't wasting any time.  I swear I saw my first Christmas commercial on Halloween. There is holiday music on the radio and in the department stores. I'm not ready for this.  I just got out my Thanksgiving decorations, and am enjoying the fall weather.  Here are a few pieces of my turkey collection. 
We have been hosting Thanksgiving for both sides of the family for almost 20 years, and I've had plenty of time to add to my collection while browsing thrift stores and flea markets.  Some have been given to me as gifts. I especially like the ones that are also vases.  I fill them with flowers and set them on the counters in the bathrooms.  I don't usually collect anything besides books and fabric, but these only come out once a year so they are fun to unwrap and spread around the house.
Anyone else hosting Thanksgiving?  


  1. Thank you for posting a link to the crochet pattern used for your blanket, also your patchwork is really beautiful x

  2. Ha ha - all my sisters think I'm a dork too! Hey - as long as it makes us happy right!

  3. You could never be a dork, I love the quilt and I think it is fantastic that this great book has made you do some extra research on how the quilts were made. Also love that blanket.

  4. We are three-fourths plant eaters, so Thanksgiving is an exercise in patience for everyone, and a feast of epic proportions for the boy, who still wants his turkey and gravy and sausage stuffing, and I am not about to say no--thank goodness for Thanksgiving, which brings them home, finally, from college.

    Multiple threaded needles! I swear, I learn something new every time I come here. :)

  5. I love the threading idea! How funny, I've just started the same book, hope it's good

  6. A post full of all kinds of fun, Lynne! The crocheting, the quilting, the book and those turkeys: Fabulous! Keep up the fun. :-)

  7. So much going on! Love the fabrics you are using for your EPP - and i like the time saving tips too!
    The book sounds worth reading, and your crochet blanket is looking good.
    Too early to think seriously about Christmas for me - I' not ready to face up to it yet - although i have been doing a little on-line shopping in readiness.
    Gill xx


You guys are awesome! Thank you for the comments!