I learned about foundation piecing in a class taught by Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood at the Houston quilt show in 1994. These excellent ladies taught us five ways to make patchwork on various kinds of foundations and described all the situations in which these various techniques would be useful. The most appealing use for me at this time came from Jane: “If it needs to be perfect, use paper piecing.” I came away from their class with piles of samples, to which I can still refer when solving difficult piecing problems.
Shortly hereafter, I got an opportunity to put this new skill to use.
Super Triangles Baby Quilt by Kaffe Fassett, 1997
A friend gave my name to Liza Prior Lucy, Kaffe Fassett’s quilt book writing partner, who needed quilts sewn for an upcoming book, since the deadlines were looming. I volunteered to sew the top for this wonderful quilt, which is included in the 1997 edition of Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett with Liza Prior Lucy. (Subsequent publications are entitled Glorious Patchwork, and it is still a fabulous book.) Kaffe and Liza translated some of Kaffe’s wonderful knitting designs into quilting patterns. The Super Triangles sweater looks like this:
In return for piecing the quilt top I received an acknowledgment in the book, along with a book and poster, both signed by Kaffe. I devoured the book, and immediately made a quilt from my favorite (besides the one I made) Kaffe quilt.
Yellow Pennants, 2001 59.5″ x 71.5″ Photography by Sibila Savage
I was just beginning to use these wonderfully bright fabrics, so the Yellow Pennants Quilt (p.39) was a good tutorial for me. Great quilter Rebecca Rohrkaste once told me that if you want to learn to make color choices that you don’t usually make, copy a quilt you love, and you will learn a lot. Although she was referring to Amish quilts at the time, the message is still the true. Kaffe’s quilt design included extra borders, which I found distracting, so I just eliminated them. Easy.
I went on to make at least one more in this pattern, especially since I used my own fabrics as demonstration when I taught a class on this quilt. Here’s an example, with one of Kaffe’s borders added on:
Lime and Fuchsia Pennants, 2002 36″ x 36″
And don’t forget to take a class.