Friday, 23 March 2018

Cobweb Quilt / Millefiori

About a month ago I dug out my Cobweb Quilt that I'd started in a class with Chris Kenna on 1 April 2017 - almost exactly a year ago. This pattern is by Chris Kenna and I've included details of how to get a copy further down this post.

Chris Kenna's Copbweb quilt hanging up

I'd made quite a few cobwebs at our guild's retreat in July 2017, but I really hadn't touched it since.

So I decided to sew a few more cobwebs while I took a break between other WIPs.

You're possibly thinking that these fabrics are quite different to my usual colour palette - well, you're correct.  I'm deliberately trying to use different colours and values, so my quilts don't all end up looking too much alike.  I like variety and I want to try out lots of different types fabrics (possibly with the exception of French General - but never say never!).

I like to sort my pieces and cut them to the required lengths before I start sewing.
I got on a roll and I've spent the last four weeks working on this quilt every day.  I've now finished all of the segments for the quilt. The cobwebs AND the stars.  Yay!!

Now I'll be able to assemble it at our next guild retreat in July 2018.  This quilt isn't easy or quick - it's very labour intensive because every single piece is foundation paper pieced.  There's a huge amount of cutting, pressing and sewing involved, but it's the variety of fabrics that makes it look so good. I developed a system of piecing a number of blocks at the same time, to avoid jumping up and down to the cutting board and iron too frequently.

Many people have asked me about this pattern.  The best way to get this exact pattern is to email Minerva Book Shop in Wellington, New Zealand. They can post you a copy (anywhere in the world), and will be sure to include the correction to the template published in the magazine. If you've got an old copy of the magazine at home, be sure to email or phone the shop and ask for the corrected template before you start sewing.  Otherwise your star points won't meet nicely.

However, there are a number of similar patterns available - just google "cobweb quilt pattern". Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke have good ones in their book Material Obsession Two.  (Pop Stars and Maple Leaf Rag - page 116.)

Tips for joining Foundation Paper Pieced sections.
1.  It's important to get the seams meeting up nicely when you join the pieces.  I very carefully put pins straight through the two pieces to be joined, making sure that the seams match up.

2.  As I'm ready to sew each piece I replace the pins with Clover Clips - flat side down.  Clover Clips hold the pieces more firmly than regular pins which tend to distort the pieces as you remove them

3.  I use my walking foot to sew the pieces together - it's so much easier!!

4.  I lower the stitch length to 1.70 for all foundation paper piecing.  This makes it much easier to remove the paper later because the holes are punched closer together.

5.  Although the pattern in the magazine says to trim the seam allowance off the papers before you start, Chris told us in the class to leave it on.  I prefer to leave it on myself.

6.  When you do come to join up your blocks, Chris told us that the points will sit as shown in this photo of her quilt.  The slight indentation is unnoticeable in the finished quilt.

"How will I quilt it?" I hear you asking? Well, one thing is for certain, I won't be quilting it on my domestic machine.  Therefore I'll either get it quilted by a long armer, or hand quilt it.  I'm still thinking about that.   

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