Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My 'La Passacaglia' Quilt

As soon as I stumbled on Willyne Hammerstein's "La Passacaglia" quilt, I knew I had to make it. Couldn't stop thinking about it for a second. First I drafted the pattern on AutoCAD then said, Oh quit being cheap and just buy the book. So I did and started working on the quilt late in July while on vacation and just finished off the center last night.YAY! I loved every minute of making this quilt. Making the idividual rosettes for this was fun, but putting all the rosettes together was challenging. I spent alot of time staring at my design wall and then back at the quilt...over and over and over...about a thousand times. Heaven help the new kitten and dog who kept trotting over my pieces as I tried to put the puzzle together on the living room floor. By the way, the kitten learned alot faster to walk around the quilt into the kitchen instead of over it. My dog Talulah was hopeless!
 
Our new kitten Carmella blends right in. Now that its all sewn together, no harm in her enjoying it a little without being scolded.

19 comments:

  1. you've made a lovely job of this and I really like your colours - they are so ethereal yet they really do remind me of some of the very old glass paperweight millefiori I have seen. You say you took just under 3 months to finish and I take my hat off to you! I have made the Tula Pink Hex on the Beach quilt and it took me 6 months, and those pieces are pre-cut and the colours already given to you and there is no time needed planning!

    My book and paperpieces and templates arrived yesterday and as I have a few quilts underway at the moment I have set it all to one side for now. I am going to read your other posts now but would be very interested to hear any hints and tips you have on making this quilt. This will be the third quilt I have hand pieced and only my second EPP. Are those tiny pieces tricky or easy to manage? What kind of thread did you find worked the best? How did you come up with your colour scheme and what kind of balance between patterned and solids did you use?

    I do hope you reply!

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Ali. I'd love to share my tips for this quilt with you. This quilt wasn't epp however. I really believe in the old american method of just sewing on the line. It eliminates so much 'setting up' time with using paper pieces. The small pieces were no problem, in fact very easy to control, no pinning the middle or the ends. If you can see this quilt larger you will notice the 'background fabric' is pretty busy, but yet neutral. In my opinion, find the right background fabric is the trickiest part of coordinating the quilt. I just used fabric from my stash, taking out everything I thought would work (with some very lights and very darks and lots of mediums. I pulled colors that would compliment and contrast the background (I know, pretty vague, not so very helpful). Using good light, I then eliminate colors that looked 'wrong'. I actually sewed quilt a few rosettes that I ended up not using in the end, because I relized later into the process, the colors just weren't right and stuck out like a sore thumb. I used medium fabric that I myself wouldn't dream of using but used Willyne Hammersteins example for guidance. I used what I liked from her quilt and adjusted what I thought would suit me better.
      Honestly, I have no idea what kind of thread I used. It was in my sewing box, and I probably inherited it from one of my grandmas. It was cotton though. I just don't like the harsh feeling of or cutting strength of polyester. After sewing the quilt, I know now to use threads that match my fabrics more, to hide the slip-ups of sewing. With regards to the balance of solids vs patterned fabrics: Only my neutral background was very busy and patterned. From my other fabrics, the patterns were pretty darn small...since the pieces were small. I didn't want my stars and shapes to get lost in the fabric. One inportant tip I can contribute is that in my quilt there are a few areas with not enough contrast. I wish I could do those parts over again because the design just disappears....so try to maintain enough contrast in color and fabric pattern density. (oy, is that confusing?) This quilt was very important to me...a right of passage in many ways. I knew if I managed to piece this quilt, I felt I could piece anything. It was very motivating having that challenge driving me. Good Luck working on this quilt. I hope you enjoy it as much I did. I'd love to see your progress and finished quilt.

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  2. This looks amazing! Do you have photos of it finished? I'm stunned that you completed it so quickly - well done.

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    1. Found it finished on your quilts page - beautiful!

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  3. I am interested in making this quilt too. Like you I think it lends itself to hand piecing rather than epp. I just don't like all that prep and hate the whipstitch sewn together look. Did you use the templates from the book and draw around those to do your hand piecing? I have done some hexies by drawing around them and stitching on the line. That seems so much simpler to me than using epp. I will be interested to know how you did that. I would consider getting some acrylic templates made up if I decide to hand piece. Thanks for the help.

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    1. This quilt is definitely gaining popularity. I love seeing what people are doing to personalize it. When I made it, I used her templates from the book and made my own little plastic ones from simple crafting/hobby template plastic. I do believe Sue Daley said they have come out with plastic templates and /or precut paper pieces for this particular quilt. How cool is that? I loved making this quilt so much that I would love to make another one...I even had rubber stamps made for it for ease...that's an idea to consider... (I use Village Impressions...very helpful and easy. She is great to work with) I'd love to follow your progress if you give this one a go. Take care and good luck!

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    2. I am very interested in using the designs from this quilt to make my own- I have read all of your comments on here-- would you please explain the use of rubber stamps in more detail - I think I know but I am not sure-- thank you

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  4. It's gorgeous and Carmella is adorable!

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  5. I'm struggling to choose my colours, I'm tempted to use my hand painted and hand dyed fabrics? Would that work ? My background colour is a hand dyed black

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    1. Hi, I think hand dyed and hand painted fabrics will work fine! I think to be successful with this quilt you just have to make sure there is strong contrast to showcase the definition of the circles. I liked making this quilt so much I am going to make another version but fussy cut. Good luck and show me pics of your progress.

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  6. Hi Michal Erika, I'm so glad I found your blog! I've been searching the Internet for hours, looking for someone who had successfully made this quilt using the "american hand-piecing" method, instead of EPP. While I have used paper piecing in the past, I'm not so keen on the whipstitching. So, I've bought the book, and am planning to start this on my holidays next week. We have a small, boutique laser-cutting business and I've made a few varieties of the Acrylic templates, which seem to be popular (with 1/4 inch seam, with 3/8th inch seam, as a Window Style, and also No Seam) - to cater for all tastes. Our Etsy store is closed for 2 weeks while we're on holiday, however I encourage people to check us out after 22nd January 2015 - SunsetSeams. We don't sell the papers, as I prefer "American Piecing" myself - I think it's faster. Your quilt looks fabulous! Cheers, Lisa in Australia.

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  8. Hi Lisa, Thanks for your comment. I think the acrylic templates are great for this quilt pattern. It looks so complex....but has only 5 little shapes. I have been rubber stamping template shapes but I think acrylic templates are actually better for fussy cutting. Take care and enjoy the rest of your holiday time!

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  9. What a gorgeous quilt! Just amazing. Off to find the finished quilt on your blog.

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  11. Your quilt is beautiful! I hope to finish mine "some day". Rosette #5 , is a side rosette containing numerous stars that are eventually cut off by the sashing. Did you stitch the rosette as called for in the pattern even though it would be cut off? Thank you for your expert advice.

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    1. Hi, I had to pull out my book and check to see which one was rosette five. I made all the center of the rosettes before putting them together. I didn't make all the stars around it, only then to not use it. I only made the stars I needed, and cut off half of the rosette center. Hope that helps and good luck with your quilt.

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  12. I am fixing to start mine..Yours is so pretty
    Stephanie

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  13. Such a lovely quilt! Amazing fussy cutting! I’d recommend TheDIYAddict’s tutorial if individuals need additional assistance. http://thediyaddict.com/la-passacaglia-quilt

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