Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Twinkle, twinkle little star!

I'm now testing the pattern for the next block in Missie's Gardens of a King quilt pattern. This is a challenging block and so I've been postponing getting started. The piecing is not difficult but the pieces are tiny, very tiny! How tiny? Take a look!

To make the task easier Missie sent me one of her brand new starch brush pens to try out! I used this starch brush with my Dritz Petite Press to prepare the tiny pieces using the English paper piecing technique Missie described here. You fill the base of the brush with starch. Missie shows you how and it couldn't be easier! Missie sells these brushes here.  This is a really useful little tool and I know it is going to come in handy!

Here is the little star pieced and I've inserted the next round of diamond shapes to fill in the spots between the star points. That pale fabric between the star points is a scrap that was leftover from my Godstone Grannies quilt that I called Good Golly Miss Mollie!

So how small is this star? Here it is with a ruler to give you an idea of the size! The little orange star measures roughly 1 1/2" from point to point! It took me about an hour to stitch this star together. I used Superior The Bottom Line thread in a cream colour and took small even stitches. This is a very fine polyester thread. It has some slip so knots are challenging. What I did was make a knot by wrapping the thread around the needle five or six times and then I slid the wraps down the needle to the end of the thread. There is a little tail which I gave a good tug to tighten up the knot.

It looks nice and neat on the back too and that makes me happy! When I was a young girl learning needle arts I was taught that the back should look as neat as the front and that always stuck with me. When I piece, applique or embroider that is my goal! It is satisfying and I think it makes for a better final product!

Don't forget that I've got a giveaway running. To enter go here and follow the instructions to enter (it is super easy)! I'll announce the winner at 9:00 am EDT on October 8th - that's tomorrow! What's the prize? I'll custom make one of my scissor fob pincushions for the winner!

Well it's time to prepare the next pieces to fill in this star so until I post tomorrow, happy sewing!Karen H


  1. wow! beautiful work on such a small piece :)

  2. Are you using a heavy paper for cutting out the parts for the English Paper piecing?

  3. Wow, that is tiny. If any one can do it, you can!!!

  4. Oh!!! That starch brush pen!!! I am completely sold, as I have a project coming up that I'll need to do the pre-prep method instead of my favorite back-basting method. (Designing as I go, so there's no pattern to trace beforehand)

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  6. Don't know where my comments disappeared to, but lovely work Karen.well done on such a tiny piece of work.

  7. I am really enjoying these glimpses of Missys design. I know she will not be disappointed with how you make it.
    A quilter showed me that knot some years back and I have shared it with several people. I love it how these sewing techniques are passed from woman to woman.

  8. You are an expert at putting those blocks together. That pen is neat. Never seen that before.