I had a very productive day today - got several small jobs finished, worked on a large one and made some good headway, then worked on my new project for a while this afternoon. I wanted to make 6 1/2 inch fan blocks for the corners. I printed up some paper piecing templates using my Electric Quilt program and cut some strips for the fan blades. I laid the strips out and decided on the arrangement I wanted, and brought my fabric and paper piecing templates to the sewing machine.
I haven't done any paper piecing for a while, so was off to a slow start, but after getting into the upside down and backwards mode I made short work of sewing the fans. I realized that I made two going one way, and two the other, but decided that would work for my design. At least I didn't have one odd ball, with two you can just say that you meant to do it that way! I trimmed them up, then was ready for the next step.
I wanted to add piping to the curved edges of the fan, so tried out my handy piping foot for this - it worked brilliantly! Now the best thing about this technique - you press the seam allowance on the piping under and are ready to machine applique your fan to your background. To do this you stitch in the ditch of the seam between the piping and the fan. I tried the piping foot for this, but wasn't thrilled with the results. I also tried my regular straight stitch foot, and though it was better, still not very easy. I finally tried my adjustable zipper foot and it was the best for this step. It's pretty tricky to stitch right in that ditch so the visibility of the zipper foot made all the difference.
I think they came out really pretty! My quilt is coming together well and I think it will be wonderful when it is finished!
I also did some quilting this evening. I've got 4 quilts basted and really need to get them going, but seem to be stuck on ideas for how to quilt them. So I started one, just doing some basic outlining, then stitching some curves in the checkerboard border. I then tackled the largest one, more outlining - it's a has a cross stitched center and so far is looking good! Still not sure what I'm going to do in all the borders, which are not cross stitch, but I figure by the time I get there I will have an idea (hopefully!) It felt good to make such good progress on my pile of things to do, I hope I can keep up the good work.