learning curves

by Nova on August 20, 2010

meet the twins …

I really loved making these gals, though my report card would definitely read ‘could have done better…’ a bit wonky and a few flatness issues (as in they won’t lay flat)  which I am worried may prove an issue when it comes to quilting ….?

Was it a challenge? Yes, though not as scary as you may first imagine. This was my first leap into curved piecing & I love to learn a new technique so I really enjoyed the challenge.

Any tips? Take your time, be organized – the pattern (Denyse Schmidt – Single Girl)  is written so well, follow it.

Any helpful hints?  When piecing the blocks you are very close to a lot of seams (you butt the circles right up close) I found my zipper foot worked great here, I could get in close without fear of my foot ‘slipping’.

Would I do anything different? Yep, I think would cut the background fabric a tad larger than the template to allow for easier squaring up. I think this would have helped a lot with the piecing of the blocks. While the individual blocks appeared to be behaving themselves, the piecing of the blocks started the ‘bubbling’ effect.

Would I make this pattern again? Absolutely! (though maybe not this week! lol!).

One of these Single Girl tops will be headed to her new home shortly, I hope she won’t be too much of a disappointment :/ though I am sure she will be loved, wonky bits and all ;)  The other gets to live here & will be hand quilted..watch this space…

Thanks to my fabulous quilt holders,  HelenLou ….

& here I am giggling with ‘the girls’  & the tail end of Jimmy the dog …

Have you made this pattern?  How did you go with it? …

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

aneela August 20, 2010 at 7:27 am

Not one but two amazing quilts!!
This one (only one for me cos I’m a quilting wimp) is on the must make soon list so I’ll be reading these tips with care!!


Kellie August 20, 2010 at 8:05 am

OMG!!! You have finished!! These look utterly fantastic Nova, I am in shock that you have made two! This will definitely kick me into gear. Wow!


Krista August 20, 2010 at 8:17 am

They look great! I’ve had this pattern for ages but haven’t been brave enough to give it a try– my ability to follow directions is lacking, plus cutting all of those pieces freaks me out a bit. So I am very impressed that you did two quilts!

I find that any issues with the quilt top not laying flat are often fixed through basting, quilting, and the final wash. Good luck!


Georgia August 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

This pattern scares me too – even though I have had it sitting in my pile of ‘must try’ things for aaages! Yours looks fabulous – both of them! LOVE the grey backgrounds.


Mandy August 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

Wow they are really impressive wonky bits & all! Well done! Now I want to try it! lol
Just remember in regard to the wonky bits – you aren’t supposed to sniff the quilts, you are meant to look at them from a bit further away – so people shouldn’t be looking quite so closely to see the bits you call wonky! Great job!


Angela August 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

Beautiful! I just bought this pattern last week. So glad to see the tips you shared. I’m big on making it ‘big’ and trimming down to square up – so that is definitely well noted.


beth August 20, 2010 at 10:28 am



Bethany August 20, 2010 at 10:55 am

I love the patchwork on the dark background! I think handmade quilts are allowed to be a little wonky :)


Tami August 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

Beautiful! Love the colors and layout. Like your blog : )


Paloma August 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

beautiful, wonderful work. I love yur choice of colors. You must be feeling very accomplished. I got some of that Kona charcoal (i’m guessing that’s what you used) for my next big quilt, it works perfect as background.


Jacki August 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm

These quilts are amazing, you are one clever cookie!!

Hope to see you soon



natalie August 21, 2010 at 4:41 am

I have not yet tried this pattern, but after seeing your quilt tops I really, really want to! I absolutely love the colors you chose, especially the dark gray to offset all of the brighter colors.


Kaye Prince August 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

They’re both gorgeous Nova – don’t beat yourself up! I love the background colour (Kona Coal?) and the scraps you used – I think I spy a lot of AMH.


Laura August 23, 2010 at 10:27 am

Oh my! Just beautiful! I JUST finished (last week) piecing this top in a queen for a wedding gift for a friend of mine. I started it as a slow process, knowing it would take a bit of work (it was also my first attempt at curved pieces). I am pleased that it wasn’t as scary as I first imagined. I LOVE the pattern and feel like b/c it was in steps it wasn’t too overwhelming. I agree about the background piecing. I had some problems squaring them and found I had to rip a few seams (all in the life of a sewer, right??). But all in all I LOVE it. I thought about doing charcoal for background but decided to stick with kona bone, for a wedding gift. Thanks for sharing your tops.
Now I’m having a hard time deciding on quilting. I’ll be interested to see what you end up doing.


Em August 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Love the wonkiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The giggles are a fav of mine!!!!! Thank you for being a part of the photos, I love laughter!


Leah August 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Wow. Im in love…I so love grey and I love that pattern but assusmed that the circles would be to hard. Nice one ot two!


Amanda Elizabeth August 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I’m not only fascinated by the quilts but also your outfit! So great!!! xo


moira August 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I bought the pattern but it frightens me a bit. You’re fab efforts have inspired me! Love the colours too :)


Linnea October 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

These look great Nova! I realize they’ve been up for a while now but I was following your old blog and forgot to update to the new one until now…oops.
I’m currently working on getting my rings finished for a small single girl. I decided on paper piecing and am really happy with that decision. Do you think using a linen or linen blend for the background would be a disaster?


Jessy November 7, 2010 at 8:26 am

I am definitely impressed! I am currently 3/4 of the way through cutting the ring pieces and hope to really get cracking on it in the new year. It’s going to be a king sized version for our bed. Thanks for the tip about cutting the background pieces bigger to help with squaring, I think I’ll try that!


Aileen December 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Wow, that is inspirational. I see you are hand quilting it. Can’t wait to see what quilting pattern you use. :)


amandajean January 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

what a beautiful pair of quilts! i love the grey background. i hope to make one of these next year. i’ve been stuck on a color palette decision for awhile now. these are utterly fabulous!


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