English Paper Piecing & La Passacaglia

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is the method of creating a quilt top by wrapping fabric over sturdy pieces of paper and basting the fabric to the piece with thread or fabric glue. You then sew the pieces together by hand.

Hand sewing is my preferred method of sewing. I think I am probably in the minority of sewers, but I really love working the needle through fabric. Before I started quilting, I spent years (decades 😉 ) doing cross stitch and embroidery. I’ve done Cathedral Window Quilts and English Paper Piecing such as Grandmother’s Flower Garden. I enjoy being able to sit in front of the television and stitch.

I also really love the fact that I can take my project with me. I have worked on paper piecing projects at the doctor’s office, the hospital, in the school pickup line, baseball practices, play rehearsals, while on conference calls…. the list goes on and on!

Last fall I started looking for new English paper piecing patterns and came upon an absolutely amazing quilt pattern. It was a pattern called La Passacaglia by Willyne Hammerstein. Willyne, a quilter from the Netherlands, created a book of quilt patterns she named Millefiori Quilts. She was inspired by the tiling designs of an English mathematician named Mr. Penrose who worked on stars, cosmos, and geometric design.

The designs in this book are extraordinary. She has since published three additional books that are also amazing. I have several patterns from her other books already planned.

When I was researching this pattern, I found a Facebook page for quilters who were working on Millefiori quilts. The administrators of the group explained that it takes most people a year to complete this quilt. It is very demanding. I can’t post pictures of other peoples quilts here, but let me tell you there are some drop dead gorgeous versions of this quilt out there. And you know how the difference in fabric choices can make such a huge difference in the look of the quilt? This quilt really, really is affected by fabric choices. If you are on Pinterest, I have a board called ‘La Passagalia’ within my Quilting board. I encourage you to take a look at some of these amazing works of art! My pinterest name is bgrahamlc (lavender crossings).

La Passacaglia is made up of many different rosettes. I have started several of these and have almost finished my first one.

Aren’t they fun!?! I’m having such a good time with this one. I can’t wait to get the whole thing together!

We are going to offer a beginning paper piecing class at Lavender Crossings sometime this spring. It will cover tools, notions, project bags, the actual paper pieces, basting and different ways to sew the pieces together. It is easier than it looks and very relaxing.

Well, I am going to get back to sewing! Happy Crafting!


Cathedral Window Quilt Class

Our Cathedral Window Quilt Class has been a lot of fun and the students are making great progress! I didn’t get many pictures but I did get a few.

Working on blocks
Laura cutting her ‘Window’ fabric.
Janey’s first Window!
Eight blocks pieced together with Windows

We have had such a great time. I hate to see our classes end! Hopefully, we will receive updates as the quilts come together.

We’d love to have you join us next time!


Quilting and Craft Retreats

Have you ever been on a quilting or crafting retreat? Several days dedicated to sewing, quilting, crocheting or other craft making with a group of friends and no distractions? Pure Heaven, in my opinion!

As many of you know, we have been in the process of setting up Lavender Crossings as a Creative Arts Studio. Our plan was to set up individual work areas with other areas dedicated to cutting, ironing, designing, etc. When some friends of mine were over for a craft night a while back, my friend Laura suggested that we add sleeping facilities and turn it into a retreat center. The others that were there agreed!

I must admit, the thought had crossed my mind before and I jumped into what I am best at: research, planning and dreaming! Since our building was once a Dayspa, we already had the bathroom facilities, handicap accessibility, a kitchen, plenty of hot water, electrical outlets and enough electricity to run a dozen irons. lol I took my ideas to my husband who is my builder, electrician, and engineer and he agreed to give it a go! Since then we have been busy working out all the details.

In the beginning, we will be renting the facility as a whole for Private Group Rentals. The price will be $49 per person per night with a 6 person minimum and we plan to accommodate up to 10. In the future we plan to offer several open group retreats each year where individuals can come spend a few days and meet and sew with other individuals.

We hope to begin accepting reservations for Private Retreat Groups next week and are planning for a Labor Day Weekend Opening!

We are working hard to turn Lavender Crossings into an amazing Retreat Center. We would love to hear your suggestions and will consider any you have. We will post pictures as things come together and we get closer to opening. If you would like to follow our progress, you can subscribe to our blog by signing up on the left side of the screen or the bottom of the page if you are on a tablet or mobile device.

Lots of Love,


Cathedral Window Quilt

I am so, so excited to announce our newest class!

Made and photographed by Beth Graham

This class will teach you how to make the time honored Cathedral Window Quilt!

 Inspired by historic church and cathedral stain glass windows, and made from ‘scraps’, this highly portable pattern became popular in North America in the 1930s. This beautiful quilt is sewn 100% by hand; no sewing machine required.

Each quilt block is made using a folded patchwork technique similar to origami; and as you complete each block, you have completed the top, middle and bottom layers! There is no need to sandwich, baste, pin or ‘quilt’ through the layers because it has already been done!

This is such a peaceful, relaxing project! I’ve worked on them while watching TV, in meetings, in the car ( not while driving, of course! 😉 )

This class will take place over four Thursday evenings.

May 2, 2019
May 9, 2019
May 16, 2019
May 23, 2019

You will need to bring your fabric and basic sewing supplies. A detailed list will be sent out before the class.

If you have made one of these gorgeous quilts before, or inherited, or were gifted one, please share a picture with us!