Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WIP Wed: Quilted Clock!

Well this week as promised I began working on my quilted clock as a reward for doing less fun projects last week.

I got the idea for this from the book "Fast, Fun & Easy Creative Fabric Clocks" which I picked up for free from my guild's swap table. I like to give "useful" presents and I figured this was a great idea for a potential Christmas gift.  Also, my living room has no clock in it right now, so I actually really need one.

I first bought some of the supplies for this project back in April, and now I have finally gotten around to working on it! I decided to do a Mariner's compass block to be more "traditional." I used the book "Mariner's Compass Quilts: Reach for the Stars" by local Alaskan Brenda Henning. Looks like it may be a little hard to get outside of AK.  You can also get a bonus cd for it that has pdfs of all the patterns, making it very easy to print perfect copies of each paper piecing pattern. Plus, the bonus cd has bonus stars, including a twelve-pointer, which it seems is somewhat hard to come by.

First came picking out the colors.  I didn't really have a plan for what I wanted, I just threw some random fabris together until I found something I liked. I started with the pale lime and tried out various shades of purple to find something that matched.
 Above was the first selection, but I decided the lighter magenta piece was too pink, so I cut it and threw in the teal for fun instead.

Below are all of my pieces all cut out and ready for assembly-line production.

This was one instance where the table-top ironing board (which I normally just use on the floor) came in really handy.  I do have a mini iron but I decided to just stick with my standard one, which did the job fine.

There were of course many of those paper piecing instances where the piece didn't end up fitting and I had to rip it happens. Luckily it didn't happen too often. Moral: Always cut your pieces extra large to save the stress!

Below are the three types of pieces that made up the star, ready to be combined.

Here was another accident, I realized after I sewed the two pieces together that the fabric didn't extend into the seam allowance enough.

First two pieces sewn together.

All three sewn together.

Two full segments attached.

The full compass pieced! It's so fun to watch it come together. :)

I had to hand applique the center onto the block. I have pretty much never hand appliqu├ęd and took a class about a year ago, but of course never did anything with the skills I learned and subsequently forgot them. Luckily I bought an applique book that had many good photos in it at the time of the class, so I was able to fumble my way along into a relatively circular center.

I'm now in the process of adding some fun quilting enhancements. The block was ironed on to some really stiff pellon interfacing.

Now when I was planning this block I didn't realize how huge it would be...check out how tiny the clock hands are on it! As a result I'm ordering some larger clock hands online.
Looking at this clock face from far away (eg in a thumbnail), I didn't choose enough contrast between the lavender and lime fabrics. Ah well, you live and learn.  I'm not too concerned since it's just for myself.  Maybe I'll quilts those lavender points with a darker thread.

I hadn't done any paper piecing in a few years and I've forgotten how fun it was! It took a few minutes to re-learn and get back into the swing of it, but once I did it was really fun.  I love how you don't actually need to cut pieces precisely or think very hard about your stitch, and it still comes out looking amazing.

Anyways, I've been having a lot of fun working on this project this week. Looks like it will be on hold soon until I get the new clock hands in the mail.

I'm linking this up with WIP Wednesday.  I have a few other WIPs but they're really more like UFOs since I haven't worked on them in a while. >_< Go see what everyone else is working on!


  1. This project of your is fascinating, very detailed. You're doing a great job piecing it all together.

  2. It's beautiful! I love the color combinations you chose.

  3. What a great idea! I love paper piecing as well.

  4. Great job Heather!! I'm also working on some blocks from Brenda's book!!