Monday 6 July 2015

LE2: Putting Together A New Compass

I went into compass overdrive the first time around - I think I actually made 6 in total before creating one that was accurate. The compass is no easy step! Since Love Entwined, I've learnt a lot and I've seen Group members tackle the compass in their own ways and I've learnt things. For one thing, I've started taking my own advice - creating in segments. For no good reason, I kept skipping this step myself, thinking I could make it work by working around the piecing segments. It's better when I actually follow the steps.
The other thing is LE2 itself. I just feel so much more relaxed about LE2 than I ever did (and do) about Love Entwined. For one thing, I feel really at ease about my fabric options - going with red and white has really worked for me and I don't feel any hesitation or feel that I'm waiting for the right fabrics to arrive, like I do with the original which is growing into a beautiful, but consuming, heirloom.

I guess I just feel more light hearted about LE2 which is precisely the point. It IS more approachable and do-able and dare I say it...? Fun.
I thought I would applique the compass but don't think I have the nerve. My eye is not satisfied unless I achieve accuracy. The compass draws in the eye immediately so if there's anything amiss on it, it will be noticed and I just can't live with a glaring problem in the centre of my wall hanging! Each piece has to be accurately traced and prepared. Then, the pieces are joined together in segments before coming together as a whole. I know how helpful it is to have visuals on how other quilters create their pieces, so here is how I made my LE2 centre compass:
 Instead of using paper or freezer paper, I use stitch and wash fusible. It makes the fabric easier to handle and edges to join and stitch. I also like the stability it lends the compass.
One thing I've learnt about stitch and wash fusible for projects like this is to pay more attention at the preparation stage. I printed out my compass parts directly onto Polyfuse fusible instead of drawing the shapes. I did this because I felt it was easier at the time. Unfortunately I didn't consider that the ink from the printer would remain on the fusible. 

As you can see, all my segments are marked and when these marks occur on white areas of fabric, the printed mark shows through in the light. Even if you don't see it directly, there's every chance it will ghost through at some later stage. How annoying! 

Normally I always cut away the printed edge lines just in case they leak or bleed during the wash and I always tell students to do the same. Printing onto fusible is convenient, but you should always cut away the lines, not leave them on because you just don't know how your printer ink is going to behave down the line. I could have prevented this by hand tracing the shapes. It's a mistake I won't make again as now I have to carefully cut away the areas with inked markings. 
This is the second compass I've made for LE2. I still like the first, but it just didn't feel right so I thought I would try again. I think the first time around, the fabrcs were amiss. I can't really put my finger on why I don't like the way it sits with the quilt. I do advise that you make the compass first as its a good part of the quilt to be finished with. However, in both my quilts, I have found myself returning to the compass and tinkering with it to make it work with how the centre was turning out. This time, it just feels right. Most of my LE2 is done now so the compass almost feels like icing on the cake. Almost, I still have some border work to do. I'm nearly there..


  1. It's beautiful and this time you know the reds won't bleed.

  2. Could you show the finished back so we can see how you pressed your seams?

  3. Beau til! Love the red and white fqbrics

  4. Beautiful! Thanks for the helpfull tips.

  5. Gorgeous and it's fun to do I paper pieced. I did mine that way too... This quilt sure is a learn and stitch and stitch and learn and unstitch LOL. Love it.

  6. Oh Esther it is striking in red and white, it is going to be quiet a stunning quilt just in reds and white, I'm thinking it may even show up the design features more than several colours? I'm really looking forward to this journey with you it's going to be very very exciting. Cheers Glenda

  7. Thanks for the step by step photos, Esther. I hadn't seen that sewing method before - using paper on each piece, then running stitch, along the seamline (edge of the paper). Looks neater than EPP. So much to learn, so little time to sew, *sigh*. Cheers, Lisa


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