My October ‘19 One Monthly Goal was to finish my Lumen quilt top. I used Alison Glass’ Kaleidoscope fabric in 24 different colors with a charcoal background. The 60” x 60” lap-size quilt top has 16 blocks, and each block has four paper-pieced segments that form an asterisk of sorts. I finished the quilt top on Sunday and was hoping to get some outside shots, but it was super windy, so I took several pics on my bed from different angles. I’m going intersperse them between paragraphs to break up all writing.
The pattern instructions say to wait to remove the paper until after the entire quilt top is sewn together. That seemed like it would be extremely bulky to me, so I went onto Instagram and searched for #lumenquilt. I found a beautiful Lumen Quilt made by @emrohner and asked her if she kept the paper on while sewing the blocks and rows together. She replied that she did follow the pattern instructions and kept the paper on, but the quilt top was very heavy when she was sewing it together. I can imagine!!! I decided to rip off all the paper before I even started sewing the segments into blocks.
I have to say that matching points is my least favorite part of paper piecing, but I followed Cristy Fincher’s Nesting and Spinning Seams tutorial as recommended by Alison Glass in the Lumen pattern which involves glue-basting and not sewing into the seam allowance. The Micro Fine Glue Tip that Cristy sells on her website really helps to apply the glue in a thin, controlled line. It was also recommended in the Lumen pattern to paper piece with 80 weight thread which is not widely available (and is definitely more expensive than 50 weight thread). I found small spools of Aurafil 80 wt. on Fat Quarter Shop and ordered three small spools to be safe (the larger spool was not an option). I probably used about 1 1/2 small spools with this quilt top. I do think the finer thread was helpful in getting everything to line up as the majority of my seams were matched to the “good-enough” standard. Several did have to be partially ripped out and re-done, but since I wasn’t sewing on paper, I used my regular stitch-length of 2.0, so I didn’t have to unpick horrendously small stitches. When sewing the rows together, I reinforced the glue basting with pins on the intersections.
This is the second project I’ve made with Alison Glass Kaleidoscope fabrics. The first one was my Feathers quilt. With that particular project, I had quite a bit of trouble with the fabric fraying, especially with the long sashing strips. But I had little fraying making this Lumen quilt top which may have been due to the glue basting helping to hold the fibers of the fabric together.
I truly love how vibrant the colorful Kaleidoscope fabrics are, especially in contrast the richly textured Kaleidoscope Charcoal background fabric that subtlety shimmers. I’ve decided to embrace the fabric’s imperfections and how different it can look when cut on the lengthwise or crosswise grain or cut on the bias.
At times while making this quilt top, I was really tempted to make another one to keep for myself, but with every point that needed to be ripped out and re-sewn, my thoughts changed from “I’d like to make another Lumen quilt” to “Maybe I’ll make another Lumen quilt some day” to “I’m pretty sure I won’t make another one of these quilts” to “Hell no! No way I’m gonna make another Lumen quilt!” But now that I’ve had enough distance and perspective, I’m feeling slightly tempted again!
I sent the quilt top to Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting on Monday with a gorgeous backing fabric that I’ll share with you all when I finish this quilt and write a post about it. I’ll leave you with one more photo that shows most of the quilt top:
Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Oct ‘19 OMG Finishes. I’m also linking up to Meadow Mist Designs: Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup – October 2019.