Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Drumroll, Please: MORE New Projects! Feathered Star Baby Quilt Variations Designed in EQ8

Oh, SHHH!!!  I hear you all, clucking your tongues at me in disapproval!  Designing new projects in EQ8 is GOOD for me, and this little detour from my immediate projects only took me about 20 minutes, I swear.

44" x 44" Feathered Star Baby Quilt, Designed in EQ8
Okay, so designing the "bones" of this baby quilt only took 15-20 minutes.  Click, click, click, done!  Then I spent another 45 minutes playing with different color schemes and fabric possibilities.

Same Quilt, This Time With Novelty Prints
And This One in Kaffe Fassett Collective Prints
How fun is that, to see right on my computer screen what a quilt would look like made up in different fabrics?  Isn't it cool to see how the same exact quilt can look so very different depending on the fabrics you choose?  Plus and besides, I just "made" three quilts for free, without even buying ANY fabric...  

I was inspired to go wandering off on this tangent by my friend Julie's gorgeous Feathered Star baby quilt in progress over at Pink Doxies.  Julie designed her quilt in EQ7 and is struggling with the feathered triangle points, and when I suggested paper piecing them she said something like she'd "rather give birth to a rhinoceros without an epidural than paper piece," so I was curious about how EQ software would divide a quilt block like this for paper piecing, and whether or not paper piecing it really WOULD be worse than childbirth.

The borders I put on my feathered star quilt are easy to paper piece in one section, and since the software calculates the sizes there's zero chance that I would mess them up and have to redo anything.  So I'm selecting the center of the quilt, the feathered star block, and asking EQ8 to generate foundation paper piecing patterns for me to print.

EQ8 Has Divided My Block Into Foundation Piecing Sections
As you can see, paper piecing offers no advantage for the inset LeMoyne Star portion of this block.  I would most likely just cut those pieces with my rotary cutter and use traditional piecing for that bit.  Each blue line you see above represents a line between separate foundation paper piecing patterns that need to be sewn to one another the regular way after you've finished paper piecing.  But paper piecing is going to get all of my feathered star points to finish exactly the right size on the first try, with no risk of chopped off points, swearing, or seam ripping.  That's worth the extra bother of printing the foundation paper patterns, don't you think?

Fitting Foundation Pattern Sections to my Printer Pages
So the next step is to arrange those foundation pattern sections on the print layout so that each of the pieces I'm planning to use for paper piecing fit entirely within single pages.  Otherwise, I'd need to align and tape together, and not only is that extra work, but it also introduces an opportunity for slight inaccuracy of alignment.  EQ8 lets me rotate each pattern section individually and drag it to the page where I want it to print (which I started to do in the screen shot shown above, but didn't finish since I'm not actually making this quilt right now).  One innovation that I really appreciate with the newest version 8 is that I can print out my foundation papers in color, which is a big help in ensuring that I sew the correct fabrics down to cover each patch.

My friend Julie's quilt design doesn't have a LeMoyne Star in the center of the feathered star, though.  Hers is more similar to this design:

Yet Another Feathered Star Baby Quilt Variation
So, how does a feathered star block like this one work for paper piecing?

EQ8 Has Divided My Block Into Paper Piecing Sections
As you can see, this type of feathered star block is even more conducive to paper piecing.  After I cover those foundation paper piecing patterns, I trim them down to size with my ruler exactly 1/4" from the seam lines, so I know they will fit together much easier than if I tried to piece all of this the traditional way.  Accurate piecing with foundation paper patterns is so easy, I swear it feels like cheating!

EQ8 Automatic Print Layout
As you can see in the screen shot above, EQ software separates the block between the individual foundation sections and then just plops them onto sheets of paper.  Some of the pieces for this block, like the large white corner squares and the four white QSTs (quarter square triangles) I am going to rotary cut, so I just deleted those from my print layout and rearranged the others so as to conserve paper while having each foundation section fit completely onto a page so I don't have to tape anything together.  This is an easier task with smaller blocks, by the way -- since the center block of this quilt finishes at 36" square, I have selected a 13" x 19" paper size this time that I would print at a copy shop.

My Revised Print Layout, No Taping Necessary
Now that I've scrambled up all the pieces, can you see why it's helpful to have everything numbered and labeled and colored in while I'm piecing the block?

So now I'm curious.  How many of you out there have PaperPiecingPhobia?  Would anyone like me to actually MAKE this quilt and show you here on my blog how easy it is?  If so, let me know in the comments!  (We all know I'm just looking for someone to give me an excuse to chase another squirrel, right?)  Although this would be yet another new project, I did finish something last week...  And this would be a manageable, 44" square baby quilt that would be pieced and moved onto my longarm frame relatively quickly...  


Ramona said...

I don’t go looking for paper piecing projects because I don’t enjoy paper piecing. Would I rather give birth then paper piece?? No. I will do it if that’s the best option, but I won’t like it. 😊 Your pattern would make an awesome baby quilt. I say make it! And then share the pattern, please!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I will enable you :) I hate paper pieces and I make mistakes every time I try it with placement of fabric. If you want to show how it is done I will pay attention :)

Melody A. said...

yes, and a pattern for the feathered star quilt with the Lemoyne star in the middle, it is really nice as well. Gorgeous work!! take care from Iowa

Lynette said...

haha!! No clucking here. I've started 4 new projects this year! You are ROCKING the EQ. Paper piecing is a wonderful technique that tops all others in some situations, and definitely the way to go for these feather points. It did make me cry literally when I first tried it, but after attending a workshop with Judy Niemeyer, all my woes were resolved. Plus, you get guilt-free TV time when it's time to pull the papers!

sandi s said...

I would love to see how you make this pattern. I love the Feathered Star block but I have never paperpieced before. Hugs,

Lane said...

I love feathered star blocks but have never paper pieces one. I’d be intrigued watching your progress. I approve another squirrel. It makes me feel better about chasing my own squirrels. Lane

Unknown said...

Hi, new reader here.. I would rather paper piece than figure out EQ7.. I know, just need to practice.. but I'd rather be sewing. Cool blog, I'll be back.