Wednesday, February 25, 2015

laPassacaglia: some of the tools I use

If you follow me on Instagram @kamiemurdock, you know I have this little addiction called the "la Passacaglia," an english paper-pieced quilt project from Willyne Hammerstein's book Millefiori Quilts, published by Quiltmania. Occasionally, I get a question or two about some of the supplies I use.

-I purchased my paper stock templates from They are precision cut, and oh, so accurate.
-Glue-basting is my preferred method of preparing my shapes, so I use a water-soluble glue pen (Sewline).
-My thread of choice is "Bottom Line," a 2-ply polyester by They even have a ring available with an assortment of colors to aid the matching process. Light grey is also good at blending with multiple colors.

This is the start of my first rosette, or cog. Some of my seams were cut a little too narrow (1/4"). I would recommend giving yourself more to work with, up to 3/8".

Sooooo, I don't have a preferred needle to recommend at this time. (Several have been harmed in construction thus far).  I have snapped multiple brands, sizes, etc. and I know its related to my technique.

FYI timeline: I've been chugging along with this project off & on for about five months, starting and completing other quilts and machine sewing in the meantime. Taking an occasional break to work on something else has often helped me refocus with this! As you can see, quality control is pretty fierce around here...


Saturday, February 14, 2015

low volume detour

low volume detour

Usually when I start a project, I have a pretty clear idea of which way I'm headed. This quilt turned out entirely different from my initial concept, but I am in love with the end result!

I used a heart block pattern that I had saved from a book that was headed to the recycle bin years ago. "My Heart Belongs to the '30s", designed by Sandy Bonsib, out of a Mimi Dietrich book.

It finished at 6.25" after framing on pointI knew I wanted to use low volume backgrounds for the initial blocks, but I was going to use a contrasting color for the setting squares.

BLUE. This shade reminded me of my worn & loved Raggedy Ann doll from my youth. Perfect for a heart quilt, right? I felt the concept was golden, even making the drive to my LQS in Lexington to seek out a few more options. That should have been my first clue...after a HUGE stall, I realized I wasn't pleased with my choice. After considering purple, grey, and even orange(!) for possible setting squares, I had to accept that the blue wasn't going to happen. I have no photo evidence of those tryouts, and good thing, because some of the auditions were really bad. Awful, honestly!

Low volumes to the rescue!!! I know why this craze is all the rage right now. Genius. When I laid these out together, this was the green light I needed. The hearts just seemed so much more light and airy- like they were floating on the background.

And just like that- the top came together so quickly!

No custom quilting here. I chose a heart-themed pantograph from Digitech Designs, and got it quilted really fast. Love it.

It finished about 50"x60", which is a little smaller than I would have liked. It's bound with 2.5" double fold. I kept the binding low volume also, (shocker) because I felt like this particular one didn't need "framing."  The horse was already out of the barn on this adventure, anyway!

Happy Valentine's Day,