Mini Stars Tablerunner

So you've seen some of the masterpieces that I've been privileged to quilt lately that have been designed by Judy Niemeyer. I know some of the quilts (especially with the extensions) can seem overwhelming and beyond your skill level, but I'm here to tell you they aren't!

Judy has an engineering background and has thought through every step of the process so there's no guess work for you to do besides pick your colors. In the old days paper piecing meant making copies that could be unreliable and holding your paper and fabric to a light source while crossing your fingers hoping the fabric was big enough... Not with Judy's method.

Judy gives you every piece to cut out with your rotary cutter (with plenty of extra) that you'll need for each exact piece. She tells you which side you'll be sewing on and gives you all of the information. Is it a little more time consuming? Yes. Is it worth the effort? Super Yes. With the wedding ring quilt I'm currently making I can guarantee you it might have been faster to use an alternate method, but all of the errors and fudging I would have had to do would have taken away all that time I "saved" and I probably wouldn't have been happy with the end result... Not what I plan.

So why am I babbling about all of this? Judy also makes simple projects for you to "get your feet wet" and try out her technique without the stigma of the more complicated patterns, like the Mini Stars Tablerunner:
 Lemoyne Stars in different sizes. That's it! Traditionally this block is made with marking and Y-seams and other terms that make quilters run in the other direction. With Judy's method you'll learn the fold-cut-sew technique she uses and get perfect points in the process. What could be better?
 My Mom made this as a sample for her quilt shop and I quilted it earlier this week. I used a few different threads and the background thread blended in so well it's hard to see the stitching, but I swear it's there!
I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of actually quilting line dancing quilting, but I've seen pictures of it lately doubled up and these larger stars were the perfect canvas for me to test it out. 
 In the smaller stars I did just single line dancing as there wasn't much room left for anything more.
 Simple quilting for a simple pattern. I love how you can see the design on the back when the lighting is just right.
 Now when Mom sees these pictures and sees that I put her new tablerunner on the woodpile out back to get pictures she might freak out a bit, but it was all in the conquest for better lighting, I swear! It didn't get dirty. Plus it was only about 28 degrees out at the time, we did a quick photo shoot while the puppies were running around outside.

Mom actually will be teaching this class in the very near future at her shop, Cottonpicker's Quilt Shop, in Chardon, OH. If you live near and would like to sign up for a class, you can check out the class schedule by clicking here. If you really just want the pattern, she can help you with that too. E-mail Beth at CottonpickersQuiltShop (at) gmail (dot) com. If you didn't see before, we are now a certified Judy Niemeyer Quilt Shop which means we have the new Mariner's Compass pattern and are ready to ship it to you! For more on the new pattern, see this post here.

So have you tried paper piecing before? Was it Judy's method or another style? Would you be willing to try a simpler pattern like this?

My first quilt ever was paper pieced the old-fashioned way. It wasn't pretty and that's why it lives unquilted in a ziploc bag in the bottom drawer of the dresser in my sewing room... I may be able to fix the not-so-nice pieces and one day finish it, but that project is at the bottom of my to-do list right now. If I had learned this method first, I probably would have been more into quilting from the beginning.

Well, this little beauty I showed you today as well as a bunch of quilts will be traveling to Pittsburgh these next couple days with Mom and I as we spend some time with a local guild. I'll be sure to take pictures and report back when I get home! Toodles!

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