Let me confess right from the start - yes I am very partial to everything Katarina designs for so many reasons! I just LOVE it. This collection is no different with its beautiful, bold colors that sing and so much subtle and amazing design on each one of them. It's bold and subtle in the same time, it has amazing deep colors and simply stunning low volume fabrics too.
It is very modern, inspired by modern art and yet I could immediately see even some very classic patterns in these beauties.
So after trying and playing in my trusty EQ7, after few different ones, I decided on this one:
It's a classic Lone Star pattern, with pieced setting squares, surrounding diamonds and pieced corners.
Yep...I was going to go there... Diamonds, bias, Lone Star, Y-seams - the whole shebang!! Crazy woman.
Don't get me wrong, I do love a challenge and all, but when it is for a blog tour... What if it doesn't work out?? You know, math and all, sewing, bias... But hey, that is also half of the fun, right? (that is what I kept telling myself, ha ha!)
I started easy, with these easy flowers:
These are just squares with flipped corners, some rectangles on one side and one partial seam to put it all together with the yellow center. I love making these flowers in many sizes.
Here they all are, pieced and on my wall, a happy garden while it was snowing outside... Quilter's magic, right? :)
Let me know if you would use a tutorial on these simple flowers - I can do one!
Then it was time to conquer those diamonds...
Strip sets cut (I really, really love these colors!!)
Unlike what I normally do - cut all and do serial-piecing of parts, this time, I had to see if it is going to work!
Points - check!! Phew....
Yes this was all bias edges too, and I didn't pin the living daylights out of it, I pinned just to match the points (I use the stabbing pin technique) and then go slow, use my Pfaff's integrated dual feed and ... Hope for the best?? Haha!
But seriously now, another tip I can share is that having the ironing surface with the grid helped A LOT to check and stay with the correct geometry. I would align my diamond with the lines of the grid and make sure it stays within. I know some spray starch can help here too but I didn't use any this time. Part of the reason - working with such high quality fabrics like AGF just didn't demand it. Well done AGF, well done.
I won't hide it, these perfect points just make me smile...
So first six diamonds in the center ...two more to go!
And then all 16 of them later:
Now for some corners and then to put it all together!
Yeah, that should have been another note to self - maybe don't go for a set-up that you have never done before for a Blog Tour? Lone Star I did before, but not one with additional diamonds around! Talk about a plethora of Y-seams!!
But you know what - it worked!! And here is another good tip I can share:
The method I used to piece these is a bit different then what I see in most instructions that are around, and it is so much better!! I learned it from an old book, by an excellent teacher (yes I did take a class from her too): LaMoyne Stars Made Easy, by Sharyn Craig.
The main difference is that in most instructions you are told to piece the diamonds together first and then set-in the squares and triangles. That is just way more difficult than doing it this way:
You piece it in units like this:
By placing the square on the lower diamond:
Then joining it with the upper one:
And then joining two diamond sides together:
There are few more details in all this that I won't bore you with now but it just works so well!
(another tutorial I could do? Yes? :) )
(Note using the grid on my ironing board again to stay in shape! :). )
Now for those outside diamonds! That was the part I never did before, but it turns out they go in by just good old fashioned "stop with needle down and pivot" technique! It is a wide angle, so not really too hard to do.
So slowly but surely, it all came together - HOORAYYY!!
So what do you think??
Unfortunately, this is where this post will end - I did not get to quilt this one yet, but it is going to be sandwiched tonight after dinner and can't wait to dream up some quilting!