Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Piecing the Background

When my BFF remarked on how complex the center star looked, I just said, pshaw! It's not nearly as hard as it looks. After all, the feathers are merely half-square triangles! No biggie.

Well, yes biggie. It turned out to be quite the challenge to piece. I was so engrossed in figuring out what to sew next that I forgot to take more pictures. (I could have sworn that I did!)

Sure, the half-square triangles were a snap, but after that, each step took a lot of consideration. I tried to plan out the order of the steps in advance, but gave up and decided to just hope the star would tell me what to do next. It did, but, I have to say, I haven't sewn this many inset seams in one block before.

The block was designed to finish at 23", because it made the math a little easier. I was totally surprised and impressed with myself when it came out to just the right size! With a block with so much fiddling about, I was sure that it would be off by a country mile.

But here's the secret: aside from the ability to figure out piecing order, which did take a bit of advanced piecing know-how, the sewing part only requires the most basic of quilt making skills.

It makes me sound so curmudgeonly to say it, so totally old school, but mastering accurate cutting and sewing will never let you down. Learning just two skills, understanding how to cut out right sized pieces, and that holy grail of piecing, the quarter inch seam allowance, will open the world of piecing to you.

One more skill was needed for this block: understanding inset seams. They are made to sound so scary, but the secret of success is just to always sew away from a fixed seam. In other words, we begin a new seam right where we left off.

I've loved the challenge of this quilt, and I'm seriously considering making it again. I'm sort of into pastels at the moment, so maybe I'll make a very girly version to replace the one that got away.


  1. What a fabulous block.

  2. My favorite block! I love your fabric choices.

  3. Anonymous10:10 AM

    AWESOME POSSUM!!!!! I only hope you make this pattern available to us. The fabric choices are right on spot. I need to take you with me next time I go to the quilt shop, lol