With my leaves complete, I’m ready to move on to the quilt top embellishment phase. However, I thought I should backtrack a little and share how I pieced the quilt for those of you who are new to the art of quilting.
I chose the maple leaf sun print for the center of this quilt. To set the paint as well as prepare the piece for cutting, I pressed it for several minutes on each side. I then chose a large number of fabrics that I liked for the rest of the piecing.
Heat Set Sun Print
Next, I rotary cut the edges off the maple sun print so that I had an irregularly shaped center.
To prepare my sewing machine for quilting, I threaded the needle and filled the bobbin with 100% cotton thread. I then attached a patchwork foot. The new patchwork feet with guides are absolutely wonderful accessories for achieving perfect 1/4″ seams.
Patchwork Feet – Bernina #57 with Guide, Bernina #37, and Baby Lock
The free form piecing of this quilt made is both enjoyable and easy. For the first round, I rotary cut strips of fabric in random shapes as I worked my way around the center piece. After sewing each strip, I pressed the seam and then cut its edges to prepare it for the next strip.
Squaring of First Strip
I repeated this process all the way around the center sun print. If you’ve ever pieced a log cabin or pineapple quilt, this will have a familiar feel for you.
First Round Complete
I deliberately kept my first round of strips on the narrow side. For the second round, I cut my strips wider than the first but used the same process in my piecing.
I continued strip piecing the quilt top until I reached the approximate size I desired. Towards the end, I shaped my strips so that they would begin to square up the corners of the quilt top.
Once I completed all the piecing, I then did a more accurate squaring of the quilt top to prepare it for the next stage.
N. Rene West