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!


Be Our Guest!

Oh, what a long year 2019 was! We worked so hard attempting to convert our facility from a day spa into a studio and retreat center. We had our first overnight guests recently and they gave us great reviews and feedback! We still have a couple of guest rooms needing furniture; and we need to finish putting artwork and decorations on the walls but most of the work is complete! If you’re craving a crafty weekend soon, we can currently sleep 4 with work space for 8-10 (additional work space for another 10 possible)! We’ll hopefully have the other furniture in place soon!!

How about a little tour?

Just inside the front door
Living Room Area. Perfect place to sit and stitch!
A glimpse into the Studio
Work Space
Hallway to Guest Rooms
A Guestroom
Guest room
Additional work space
Dining Room
Dining Room
A Quote on the wall of the studio

We’ve got some really fun classes and events planned for this year! If you are interested in renting our space, check our calendar for availability and email us at bgraham@lavendercrossings.com!



Crafting with A.D.D.

When I was in my early twenties I was diagnosed with ADD. I was prescribed Ritalin and it was like the clouds in my head cleared up and the sun shown through! Everything was so clear! I’d never known anything like it. I could do anything, learn anything, remember Everything! I was brilliant!!

A couple of years later, I got pregnant and went off the Ritalin. I was pregnant and then nursing; then trying to get pregnant, pregnant, and then nursing… and I never went back to the medication.

At the time, I wanted to be able to manage myself. I sometimes think I should have gone back on the Ritalin. I’m pretty sure if I had, I’d be running in the same circles with JK Rowling. My book series would have sold billions, the movie would be in post production and I’d currently be in negotiations for a theme park.

Or maybe I’d be hanging with Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos because the company I started and our software would have net me billions.

Alas, I did not. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Instead I worked, raised my children, and spent an inordinate amount of time learning how to do everything that was ever invented. Because I just love everything.  🙂  And I can’t focus on or choose just one thing!

I want to fill my life with color and beauty! And I want to make it myself!

So here is an example of what happens in my free time.

I’m sitting in my recliner crocheting, beading or cross stitching. Netflix is on and I’m browsing through Pinterest. I pin several beautiful beading patterns; a gorgeously swirled soap; a beautifully smocked and embroidered infant dress and a whimsical hand painted Christmas sign for inspiration.

I see some adorable felt Christmas ornaments. I pin them and click on the Pin which takes me to Etsy. Oohhh. She has some adorable patterns! They are so colorful! I think I need these in my life. I put several in my cart, ‘favorite’ her shop, check out with Paypal and download the patterns. I open a browser window and go to Amazon (Hi Jeff, we could have been peers!). I search for wool felt, find some nice color selections, add them to my cart and check out. I’m guaranteed to have my felt in two days! I love you, Amazon Prime! (Could have been my idea!!)

I return to Pinterest.

See gorgeously decorated Sugar Cookies. Pins Sugar Cookies; thinks, ‘Oh! Maybe I’ll be a cookie decorator!’ Begins search for the best sugar cookie recipe on the internet. Finds multiple recipes declared ‘The Best’ and compares ingredients, amounts, directions and comments to find the similarities and differences. Do the same for Royal Icing. Watch several videos on outlining and flooding Cookies with icing. Print out several recipes; determine what ingredients do not currently reside in the kitchen; make grocery list; schedule grocery trip and cookie making time on planner. Return to Pinterest to look at ‘more like this’ and pin more gorgeous cookies for inspiration.

I hear a knock at the door. FEDEX! Yay!! I quickly open the box to find the gorgeous light pink skeins of t-shirt yarn I recently ordered from Australia to knit the amazingly beautiful baby bassinet I saw on several of the Russian and Japanese blogs/sites I follow. Because there are absolutely beautiful patterns coming out of Russia and Japan!

Yes, I know I don’t have any babies. Or grandbabies. Or prospects of either…. (which is good at the moment! Haha) But this bassinet is so beautiful. And beautiful things make me happy. And I just want to spend my life making beautiful things. Full of color. And texture. And happiness. And just the thought brings tears to my eyes.

I put the yarn aside and return to the computer. Satisfied with my Sugar Cookie Decorating Progress, I start closing browser windows and return to my Pinterest feed.

Oh look at that awesome laser cutter advertisement! Clicks on ad, watches informational video, decides I must have it! After digging further, sees ‘Starts at $5,999.99’. Quickly closes browser window and returns to Pinterest.

Wow! Look at that amazing, whimsical and quirky wood relief carving! Pins Quirky Relief Carving. And there’s a tutorial! Quickly reads through tutorial scanning for required supplies and tools. Dremel, check! Flex shaft attachment, check! Sanding bit, check! Chisel…hmmm…think hubby has one! Makes note to ask hubby about chisel and mallet. Safety gear, check! Acrylic paint and varnish, check! Oooohhh! Can’t wait to make this! I open a new browser window and start sourcing basswood…




Surely I’m not the only one!!

Love to All!